How many recessed lights should be placed per room?

Written by jake damon
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How many recessed lights should be placed per room?
Recessed lighting can add charm and warmth to any room in your home. (kitchen image by Rich Johnson from

One way to determine the number of lights needed for a room is simply by placement. For example, a standard arrangement for recessed lighting is to install six-inch cans 4 to 6 feet apart, centred. Therefore, if your room is 12 feet by 12 feet then you can install 4 cans comfortably.

Variations in light layout

Even though 6 feet apart is a good starting guide, there are still many variables that can alter how many lights you will need. Higher ceilings, for example will call for more lighting than lower ceilings. Often, homeowners would like a lights to specifically highlight a wall or a group of artwork. There could be other light sources in the room, such as sunlight, lamps, and of course smaller or larger cans will change the formula.

Bottom Line

As a general rule, use the 6 feet apart for 6 inch cans as a guide for your recessed lighting arrangement. However, you should then determine whether there are factors in your room that necessitate more or less lighting than "average." Adjust the spacing accordingly.

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