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An Introduction to Outdoor Recessed Lighting

Updated: 07/29/2022

Although recessed lighting is commonly used in interior settings, over the years, outdoor recessed lighting is also getting popular. One of the main reasons is that it does not increase light pollution. Light pollution which has been commonly attributed to glaring floodlights, street lamps etc, disrupts the regular cycles of insects reproduction, birds migration and our circadian rhythms. And since outdoor recessed lighting does not emit that much amount of light into the night, it’s hence more environmentally friendly.

Since it is waterproof and contains a lens or trim that protects the lamp from weather elements, people have used outdoor recessed lighting and other surface mounted lights to illuminate their decks, barbeques, walkways etc. You name it, there’s probably a light for it! Some of these are also required by local codes for safety purposes. Commercial buildings and offices love using it for landscaping as it’s able to accentuate the designs very well.

Let’s run through some of the common styles of outdoor recessed lighting available.

Well Lights

Commonly used to illuminate walking paths or highlight a specific landscape design such as a statute, the well light is usually placed along the path or garden with the lights shining upwards. It creates a therapeutic and calming atmosphere while lighting the pathways subtly without being too much of a glare. There are also some well light styles that project itself upwards on a pedestal instead of inground. These are predominantly used for highlighting sculptures, fountains, etc.

Wall Mounted Lights

As the name suggests, these are outdoor recessed lighting designed for mounting on vertical surfaces such as the wall or a particular side of the building. They come in a variety of styles, from the elaborate decorative, modern simplistic zen to standard shaped lights. If you’re looking to light your barbeques, wall mounted lights can be a good consideration.

Recessed Downlights

Great for illuminating pouches, recessed downlights are a great way to light up a large area like the porch, as it would be quite a challenge getting the same level of lighting with wall mounted light fixtures. If you have tall ceilings, it’s important to ensure that an appropriate number of larger size cans are used. For example, if you have a porch that is 10′ x 20′ with a 12 foot high ceiling, four 6 inches recessed cans lights should be sufficient to light up the area.

Underwater Lights

Another style of outdoor recessed lighting is underwater lights. These are often used to illuminate swimming pools, fountains, and even ponds during the night. These lights are not intrusive to marine life and hence work well even if you have carps in your pond.

Step Lights

Where do you think step lights are used? Yes, you’re right. Staircases! Be it the outdoor staircase leading to your home entry. Or the steps sprinkled along your garden pathways, these step lights give a heartwarming welcome to your guests and keep them safe from tripping in the dark. A must-have!

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