Recessed Lighting Spacing

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After you plan your recessed lighting layout, you must calculate recessed lighting spacing to ensure effective light distribution all over the destined area. Constantly remember that recessed lighting placement lead to improving the total view or arrives at the view look disoriented. When we talk about can light spacing not only talking about the distance between the light fixtures but including the distance between the first fixture and the wall which should be half the distance between fixtures in the same row.


space recessed lighting

After you have determined  how many recessed lights you need , now by some calculations you will know exactly the spacing necessary for effective lighting.

Recessed Lighting Spacing Calculations for general recessed lighting layout

Recessed Lighting Spacing

  • Determine the length of the area (L).
  • The number of light units in a single row for that length (N).
  • Divide the length (L) by the number of light units in that row (N), you get the exact distance between light units in that row.
  • Divide the distance between light units by 2 that will be the distance from the wall to the first light unit.

Now repeat the same steps for the width of the area
  • Determine the width of the area (W).
  • The number of light units in a single row for that width (N).
  • Divide the length (W) by the number of light units in that row (N), you get the exact distance between light units in that row.
  • Divide the distance between light units by 2 that will be the distance from the wall to the first light unit.
For practical calculations check out the Recessed Lighting Placement Calculations by Examples

Recessed Lighting Spacing Calculations for task recessed lighting layout

The calculations for task lighting are the same as the general recessed lighting spacing except if the task area sits near a wall :
  • Measure the distance from the ceiling down to the surface you wish to light, for example, the floor or a countertop.
  • Divide this distance by 4 to determine the distance from the wall to the first light unit. To light the task area without creating the harsh lighting on the wall, So for an 8 foot ceiling lights should be placed two feet away from the wall.

Can Light Spacing Calculations for wall wash recessed lighting layout

  • The general rule for installing wall wash recessed fixtures are about 1.5 to 3 feet away from the wall.
  • Fixed trims should be placed closer to the wall.
  • Adjustable trims may be placed farther away from the wall.
  • Wall wash fixtures should be spaced apart the same distance from each other.

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