There are mainly three factors in recessed lighting i.e. the type of housing, the bulb and the trim. Let’s discuss these one by one:


The trim is the actual rim or you can say the outer surface of the lighting fixture which is visible when a lighting fixture is installed. The bulb / LED installed will not be visible. There are different types of trims in different sizes and they can vary depending on your preferred choice of lighting.

Below are the different types of trims and their features:

Baffle Trim

The baffle trim is the most common and popular used trim in the recessed lighting. Its interior is designed in a way that it softens the light when it passes through the trim. The bulb in this style of trim fit insides the fixture and is not facing outwards.

Reflector Trim:

The setting of bulb is also inside the fixture similar to the baffle trim. However, the surface of the trim is mirrored which allows maximum light to reflect and light the room / area.

Open Trim

In this trim style, the bulb is facing outwards and is not set inside the housing fixture. This trim style allows maximum light to flow directly downwards without minimizing the glare.

Shower Trim

This trim style is used for wet locations such as bathroom, shower etc. The trim has a tempered glass lens which protects the lighting fixture.

Pin hole Trim

This trim style allows to narrow the light to a specific or targeted area. The concept of this trim is similar to a spot light which provides a solid and tight beam to one particular area.

Size of Trim: The trim varies starting from 2 inches to 6 inches. The larger trim sizes are usually used for model décor housing styles. The ideal size of a trim should range between 4-6 inches and these are the most common and popular used trim sizes.

The trim is one of the most important factors in recessed lighting. It allows you to choose the strength of light that you want and the specific area you want to target with recessed lighting. With several trim options available, every person can choose recessed lighting according to their preferred choice.


The type of housing is the second and also a very important factor in choosing recessed lighting. Below is the type of houses for which recessed lighting is most suitable and appropriate:

New Construction House

Recessed lighting is perfect for a newly constructed house because the lighting fixtures are built into the ceiling before the ceiling itself is completed. These houses are the most popular with recessed lighting. Recessed lighting can also be used when extending a building, floor or building a new area or room in the current house.

Remodel Housing

Recessed lighting is also suitable for renovations and remodel housing. The remodel houses are specifically designed for installation in a pre-built ceiling.  Recessed lighting fixtures can be purposely fit in to the ceiling.

IC Housing

IC housing is insulated contact housing. As the recessed lighting generates a lot of heat because the lighting fixtures are placed inside the ceiling, the house needs to be insulated in order to prevent incidents like fire or any hazard. The insulation is designed to transfer all the heat generated from recessed lighting fixtures to the insulation material.

Non IC Housing

Non Insulated housing is probably not the best type of housing for recessed lighting due to the heat generated by these lighting fixtures. One way to manage is to keep a distance of at least 3-6 inches between the lighting fixtures and the insulation.

Airtight Housing

Airtight housing is also suitable for recessing lighting fixtures because the air does not escape from the lighting fixtures due to any holes in the ceilings or walls. It keeps the house at your comfort level by keeping the air trapped whether it is cold or hot. This also allows you to lower your utility costs as well due to overall improved energy efficiency.

Recessed lighting is suitable for almost all type of housing structures. They can in different sizes, shapes, trim types, different installation methods with different housing structures. Again, it totally depends on the person’s preferred choice of lighting to go with.


The third important and key factor in choosing recessed lighting is the bulb. Below mentioned are the different types of bulbs available for recessed lighting:

CFL Bulbs

The most popular option in recessed lighting is the Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb due to the its energy efficiency and the savings it provides in terms of the utility costs. Furthermore, another additional benefit of these bulbs is greater life span.

LED Light Bulbs

Even though CFL provides sufficient energy saving when compared to the incandescent bulbs, the best option for energy saving are the LED bulbs. Where the CFLs are providing savings up to 75% in comparison with the incandescent bulbs, the LED bulbs can provide up to 90% savings.

Moreover, not only they provide the most savings, they also have a longer life span compared with other bulbs.

R-Type Light Bulbs

The R type bulbs are becoming the preferred choice in accent lighting. The reason why they are popular is due to the reflective surface at the back of the bulb which allows more light to pass through the fixture.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs also have the same energy saving feature like CFL and LED bulbs. Furthermore, they provide the brightest white light as well and are most popular with the can lighting styles.


Choosing the recessed lighting varies according to the preferences of a person. However, the three main factors remain the same when choosing what type and kind of recessed lighting a person wants. To summarize these three key areas are bulbs, housing and the trim.