I am working on an article for Houzz.com on how to choose the right downlight trim, and it is turning out to be quite a challenge.  The article is inspired by my earlier post here, but I wanted to simplify the ideas and provide something a little more helpful.

The problem is that choosing a downlight and its trim resists simplification with extraordinary skill.  The best downlight trim for a particular home and a particular room and a particular task for a particular owner is, well, particularly specific.  Getting there in five easy steps may not be possible.


But getting close might be.  So I rolled up my proverbial shirtsleeves and go to work.  First I sketched.  Then I scribbled.  Then I came up with what I thought was a masterful one-page step-by-step guide to choosing downlights.  You’ll find a link to the PDF here: RecessedDownlights

I sat back and looked at it.  My son Sam said “you have a particular gift for making visually attractive buying guides.”  Heh.  But I thought it was a tad too complicated for the Sunday Morning Houzz.com edition, so created the info graphic at the top.  When the article comes out, I’ll post a link on my blog as usual.

In the meantime, I’d love to know if either the infographic or the buying guide are useful.  And of course there will be more to come!

3 thoughts on “Update/Downlights

Add yours

  1. Hi David, thanks for sharing this post! Funny enough I’m working on a lighting course for ID so this is right down what I’m currently working on. I would agree with your son, I like the way you show this infographic and it is clear to read. I would although comment a bit:
    1. The height of the ceiling. Well, I agree with you in a classic environment it will make sense – but what about if the room has dark finishes, dark tiles, dark walls. you may get a good amount of light on a countertop but what about the ambiance in the space? ceiling height cannot be all. I think back to the project program and lighting scheme, what ambiance is desire in the space should be the first question – second should be how dark the materials are in the space and this answer will be tight-up to the first what ambiance – if white wall and spacious or clean ambiance – well you can direct toward the ceiling heigh question. but what about the person that is trying to create a dramatic, intimate, lounge ambiance? well, they will most likely have a darker material and that doesn’t mean they will need more light output.
    Also, a note about only one type of lighting can’t do all should be in the intro of your post!
    I hope this help!


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