We are in the process of creating a bedroom in our lower level. The room is 12x12ft and they currently just have 2 can lights, which allow for a lot of dark areas in the room. We are going to put in other light sources like floor lamps, but we still feel that we need more ceiling light. Does anyone have any suggestions if more can lights should be installed or smaller can lights? Before I start to cut into the ceiling, I want to have a solid plan and I am unsure of our best bet. Thanks for any feedback!

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  • you might install larger fixtures at the existing locations as well. – agentp Jan 3 '18 at 18:51
  • I had thought about going larger than the current 4" bulbs, but I didn't know if that would really help with the corners being dark still. – junta Jan 3 '18 at 18:54
  • I was thinking like a couple of flushmount LED fixtures. (Just trying to save from cutting into the ceiling) – agentp Jan 3 '18 at 19:54

Adding more “downlighting” won’t help brighten the room. You’re using “task” lighting when you should be using “General” lighting.

We use either: 1) switched outlets, or 2) surface mounted ceiling lights.

1) We hook one-half the electrical outlets to the light switch so that a table lamp or lamp on a nightstand can be plugged into the switch.

2) A surface mounted light with a glass globe will allow light to shine on the ceiling and walls. It brightens the room. Also if it’s placed near a closet, it will cast light into the closet.

For larger bedrooms we use a combo of 1) and 2), above. I like lamps next to the bed on a 3-way switch with general light by a sitting area, etc.

By the way, that is not a “legal” bedroom. The Code is very clear: you must have an egress window (emergency escape window) from every sleeping room. It cannot be more than 44” from the floor and must be a minimum of 5.7 square feet with minimum width and minimum height. Don’t put someone in harms way.

  • I was going to point out the legal egress requirement - but you beat me to it. From a practical standpoint, you can do whatever you want. But there are very good reasons for these rules, and in any case if/when you sell the house you will not be able to count it as a bedroom. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Feb 13 '18 at 1:26

I'm in the process of finishing our basement. For me, using Cree 6" LED recessed cans with 6' spacing is sufficiently bright and avoids dark spots.

So for a 12x12 room, I think 4 lights 3' in from each corner would be sufficient.

Cree also makes some nice LED "cans" that can fit in a 4" round box, so you don't have to put in a full remodel can, just an old work box - something to think about as well.

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