Does Recessed Lighting Use More Electricity? [And How To Make It More Efficient]

Are you wondering if recessed lighting uses more electricity than typical light fixtures? Or are you questioning how to make recessed lighting more efficient? If either of these questions have come across your mind, you are in the right place. We have researched all about recessed lighting for you.

Recessed lighting does use more electricity. There are, however, ways to make your recessed lighting more energy-efficient. The amount of electricity (kWh) consumed by recessed lighting is up to 90 kWh per day which is 2,700 kWh per month. This is in reference to recessed lighting with fluorescent lightbulbs. Typical electrical costs differ depending on where you live. On average, Americans use 877 kWh per month. 

Don't stop here. You will learn how to make your recessed lighting more energy-efficient if you continue reading. In addition to that, you will learn more about whether or not recessed lighting is outdated, the pros and cons of recessed lighting, whether or not recessed lighting can add value to your home, how much electricity dimmers save, as well as whether or not LED bulbs actually last longer.

Modern Pot lightening with recessed lights, Does Recessed Lighting Use More Electricity? [And How To Make It More Efficient]

Facts About Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is referring to lights that are not low-hanging but rather sit in the ceiling. Recessed lighting tends to be less expensive than normal light fixtures. LED bulbs are more cost-effective and energy-efficient. It is a good idea to clean the dust off of your lights and recessed light fixtures to keep the illumination at its best.

We mentioned earlier that recessed lighting uses about 2,700 kWh per month, but this is with a 90-watt bulb. This varies because you can choose the wattage of the lightbulbs you want to use. For example, 60-watt lightbulbs are equal to .06 kWh per hour while 100-watt lightbulbs consume 1 kWh per hour. If you use bulbs with lower wattage such as 45, you will be using less energy.

How to Make Your Recessed Lighting More Energy Efficient

A detailed photo of recessed lighting inside a living room

Homeowners can make recessed lighting more energy efficient by putting their recessed lights on a dimmer. Another way to make recessed lighting more energy efficient is by utilizing LED bulbs. Choosing Energy Star certified lightbulbs and fixtures will also help make them more energy efficient. Dimmers can save energy too. Additionally, you should make sure that the light fixtures are air tight, and insulate recessed lighting cans that are exposed to the attic.

Rather than using fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs tend to use the least amount of energy and they run cooler. Energy-efficient LED lightbulbs use about 7 watts each as opposed to 60 to 100 watts with traditional incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs also last longer than fluorescent bulbs.

Using Energy Star lightbulbs and fixtures will help bring down your total cost. They are better for the environment because they reduce CO2 emissions. These certified LED bulbs can last up to thirty times longer and use 80% less energy for the same output of light.

How much electricity do dimmers save?

Implementing dimmers makes a huge difference! On average, using dimmers can save you half of your normal electric bill. When dimmers are used, most people do not turn their lights on to full brightness. Dimming your lights will reduce the energy output, therefore, saving you money. Sometimes you may simply want less light. For watching movies or having a more romantic feel, dimmers are a must-have. Using dimmers will also make your lightbulbs last up to twenty times longer. 

Click here to see these dimmable recessed lights on Amazon.

Do LED bulbs really last longer?

LED recessed light fixtures are most often used in smaller canisters. This is perfect for sloped ceilings. LED light fixtures usually cost a little more than the more common recessed lights, but they are more energy-efficient. What this means is that using LED light fixtures might be a little more expensive starting out, but there is a balance because they ultimately save you money over time.

Types of Recessed Lighting

The two types of recessed lighting are canless and canister lighting. Canless recessed lights are not encased within a metal can the way canister lighting is. They do not require a big hole in your ceiling.

[PIN id="247979523222821746" description="hide" size="medium"] [/PIN]

Canister lighting refers to light fixtures that are mounted above the line of the ceiling. They are about three to six inches wide. You do not have to stick to one size of recessed light fixtures throughout your home. Some people actually like to mix 4-inch and 6-inch recessed lights in the same room.

[PIN id="599330662926291511" description="hide" size="medium"] [/PIN]

You can use one of four light bulb types for recessed lighting. These include incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent, and LED. Those are listed from most expensive to least expensive. Incandescent and halogen are the least efficient choices. To avoid a potential fire hazard from bulbs getting too hot in the ceiling, check the label on the inside of your light fixture for a marking of "IC." This is to make sure your bulb is an insulation contact-rated downlight. What this means is that they are approved to be insulated without the worry of them becoming too hot.

Is recessed lighting outdated?

Recessed lighting is still popular. The sizes and finishes have changed and continue to change over time. Recessed lighting is sleek and can add another dimension of style to any space.

The advantages and disadvantages of recessed lighting


Because recessed lighting is built straight into the ceiling, they eliminate the need for hanging fixtures. Recessed lighting is perfect for low ceilings as they give you more space in the room, making the room appear to be larger than it actually is. 

Another benefit of having recessed lighting is that you can use them as focused light. This means you can have them light up artwork or wall decor.  

Recessed lighting is good for any room in the house that can benefit from extra lighting. Your kitchen, bathroom, and home office are perfect examples of this. It is always helpful to have some extra light above where you are writing, cooking, or getting ready for the day. In a kitchen, recessed lighting can be used to illuminate your cabinets. In an office, recessed lighting can be used to illuminate your desk.

As for a bathroom, recessed lighting can be focused toward your shower and bathtub or your vanity. Recessed lighting is ideal above bathtubs or showers because the fixtures are waterproof. 


One downside of recessed lighting is that they do not produce a lot of light. They provide poor light quality depending on where they are placed. If your ceilings are tall, you will need additional lighting in order to properly light up your room. You will need to install several recessed light fixtures if you want to illuminate a decent-sized space. Also. if recessed lighting is not used the right way, it can waste electricity.

Sometimes having big holes in the ceiling for these openings can allow heat to escape. In this case, it is important to be sure your recessed lights are either air-tight or insulated. There are insulation covers available and even though they are a tad more expensive, it is worth it in the long run. Incandescent recessed lights have the potential to produce additional heat. These problems will lead to higher heating and cooling bills. 

Another negative aspect of recessed lighting is that the light bulb sockets can go bad or wear out, potentially causing you to have to replace the fixture. Sometimes they go out due to the thermal sensor going bad, but the sensor will cool off and reset itself. In this case, it is time to get a new sensor. You most likely will not have this problem, but it is important to understand that it is a possibility.

Click here to see these recessed lights on Amazon.

Does recessed lighting add value to a house?

Modern Pot lightening with recessed lights, Does Recessed Lighting Use More Electricity? [And How To Make It More Efficient]

Yes, recessed lighting does add value to a house. This is because recessed lighting is considered to be an upgrade to a home. The cost of installing recessed lighting varies depending upon the bulb, trim, housing type, ceiling material and style, as well as the amount of wiring required for the task.

When you include labor, each light typically costs between $100 and $300. This is why the task is considered an upgrade and will ultimately add value to your house. You can find deals as long as you look in the right place.

On average, listings of homes for sale that have recessed lighting get more views. They are considered to be aesthetically pleasing. Recessed lighting is said to be one of the most valuable home improvement trends in the US. A home that has recessed lighting tends to sell about at list price.

In Closing

Overall, recessed lighting does use more electricity unless the right precautions are put into place. Making sure your recessed light fixtures are air-tight and insulated is one way to cut down costs. Choosing LED lightbulbs instead of the other options is another way to save money and electricity. Utilizing dimmers saves energy as well. 

Before you go, check out the following links about recessed lighting:

10 Best Sloped Ceiling Recessed Lighting Fixtures

Can You Put Recessed Lighting In A Garage?

Where To Place Garage Lights [A Helpful Guide]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *