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Indoor Recessed Downlights

Downlights, sometimes referred to as can lights or pot lights, are a beautiful way to accent residential and commercial buildings of all shapes and sizes. Use our selection of LED downlights to accent and illuminate office hallways, home renovation projects, new construction details, and retail settings. Swap your traditional incandescent recessed light bulbs with these energy-saving alternatives. Our LEDs operate at 80 percent to 90 percent efficiency so you conserve energy every time you flip the switch.

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Anatomy of a Downlight

Recessed downlights typically contain 3 main components:

The Housing: The enclosure above the ceiling, that you do not see, which holds all the parts of the fixture. When selecting housings (or a complete light fixture that includes a housing), a couple options should be considered:
  • Insulated (IC) housings are designed to allow insulation to be in direct contact with the housing. Non-IC rated housings require that flammable materials (including insulation) be kept a minimum of 3 away from the housing.
  • Air Tight (AT) housings are designed to restrict airflow through the fixture and prevent conditioned air from leaking into ceiling plenums, thereby reducing heating and cooling costs. Some jurisdictions require airtight fixtures in all new construction.
The Trim: The finished portion of the fixture below the ceiling. Trims are available in a wide variety of styles and finish options that can shape and manipulate the characteristics of the light coming from the fixture.

The Light Source: Traditionally an incandescent R/PAR bulb, or more recently CFLs, provided the light in a recessed fixture. These are commonly being replaced now by LED light modules for their reduced energy consumption and long life. LED light modules may have integrated trim, thereby eliminating the need for a separate trim piece.


There are different types of recessed downlights and its important to know which one is best suited for your project.

New Construction: A fully enclosed housing that is installed before your drywall ceiling or acoustical ceiling tile goes in. These fixtures contain adjustable bars that allow them to be mounted to above-ceiling framing members (joists, studs, grid, etc.) to support the weight.

Remodel: A fully enclosed housing that is designed to be installed after a ceiling is already in place, and is inserted from below. These fixtures will mount directly to, and are completely supported by, the drywall ceiling itself. Requires an existing drywall ceiling.

Retrofit: A new light engine that is inserted into an existing housing. Often used to upgrade existing downlights to use more efficient lighting technologies, such as LED. Requires separate (either new or existing) housing.

We carry recessed downlights in finishes such as dark bronze, brushed steel, and white to complement any room. These affordable fixtures come in both non-swivel and swivel designs. With a rated lifespan that can accommodate years of continuous use, our manufacturer-warranty-backed LEDs will ensure your satisfaction. Find the replacement lamps you need for these downlight fixtures and more at Take Three Lighting. In addition to our new construction and remodel lamps, we also offer retrofit fixtures. These affordable options are the perfect way to upgrade your commercial or residential lighting with energy-efficient and long-lasting alternatives.

Additional Resources

How to Choose and Install Recessed Downlights

Learn about the different components and design factors of recessed downlights and how to install them in a ceiling. View article >>

Arranging Downlights for General Lighting

Downlights are primary used to provide uniform ambient illumination in a room. Here are some quick tips on how far apart to space the lights and how to arrange them in a room. View article >>

Arranging Downlights for Task Lighting

When using your ceiling can lights to illuminate a work surface for task lighting, positioning the lights correctly is vital. View article >>

Arranging Downlights for Wall & Accent Lighting

Recessed downlights can be used creatively in a room by adding a visual flourish to walls by washing, grazing, creating light scallops, or accenting a piece of artwork. View article >>