What Are The Alternatives To Recessed Lighting?

Recessed lights are very common ever since and won’t go away in the future. But they also have some disadvantages and are not easy to install. Luckily recessed lights are not the only types of lighting and there are many alternatives available. In this guide we’ll show you 7 recessed lighting alternatives to choose from.

1. Disk Lights

Disk lights are thin LED lights that are fitted to the ceiling. Disk lights are very similar to recessed lights, but instead of being fitted in the ceiling, it’s on the surface of the ceiling. They are similar in structure to recessed lights and are often chosen instead of recessed lights.

Disk lights are inexpensive and don’t require cutting a hole into the ceiling to install them. Installing disk lights is easy, and they come in warm and cool color options. These lights come in various sizes and emit different amounts of light. Disk lights also last between 10 and 20 years without needing to be replaced.

disk lights in living room and kitchen

Many disk lights can be dimmed and do not overheat. Disk lights are perfect for the kitchen, living room, and bedroom and are the closest alternative to recessed lights. If you’re looking for task lighting, disk lights are also a good option and provide sufficient illumination.

This type of lighting doesn’t cause damage to the ceiling, does not overheat, and is widely available in many lighting stores. Disk lights may be sufficient to light up a room but adding other forms of lighting such as decorative lighting will enhance the light illuminated by the disk lights.

2. Track Lights

Track lights are specialized lighting fixtures that are attached to a track. Track lights are flexible, adjustable, and customizable. If your house has high ceilings, track lights work well to illuminate a room when you need lots of light and are also a great option to light up specific spaces.

Track lighting works well in a kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Track lights can also be installed over the window for aesthetic appeal. In addition, this versatile lighting can be placed near artwork to illuminate it.

track lights are a great alternative to recessed lights

The lighting fixtures on track lights are adjustable. They can be turned in different directions depending on where you want to focus the light. Track lights also come in LED form, making them energy efficient.

Track lighting is more expensive than recessed lighting. However, regarding the amount of light it illuminates and its energy efficiency, it’s still a great alternative to recessed lights.

Track lights work well in spaces with long ceilings. They are elegant, space-saving lights and come in many designs. Many modern homes have track lighting as they are highly customizable, and you can modify the direction the light is focused.

3. Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are not fitted into the ceiling like recessed lights but hang from the ceiling. Pendant lights are a modern lighting staple in most homes. They can be found everywhere, from businesses to restaurants, hotels, and even in conference centers.

There are various pendant light designs, and they are not only aesthetically pleasing but work well in lighting up any space. Chandelier pendant lights are one of the most attractive types of pendant lights. They are a main attraction in many dining rooms.

combination of recessed and pendant lights

Pendant lamps hang from the ceiling from chains, cords, or cables. They consist of a single bulb with a shade or covering around it to reduce the amount of glare from the bulb. Pendant lights are made from various materials, including glass, metal, and plastic. Some pendant lights have a unique bulb look without any shades but offer a different amount of illumination.

These lighting fixtures are among the most beautiful lighting fixtures. They offer endless designs like globes, cages, cylinders, and boxes. They can be minimalistic or extravagant and are mainly used as decorative lighting.

Pendant lights can be used all over your home and work well for area and task lighting. Pendant lights are perfect for halls, kitchens, stairwells, and even on the porch.

4. Flush Mount Lights

Flush mount lights are flush with the ceiling and not installed in the ceiling like recessed lights. Flush mount lights are great for spaces with low ceilings and do not hang like pendant lights. This recessed lighting alternative offers better illumination than recessed lighting and provides excellent task lighting for large rooms.

Flush mount lights are perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens because they provide a good amount of downlight. Flush-mounted lights are low maintenance but aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing type of light fixture.

flush mount lights on the ceiling

There are three flush mount lights: a full flush mount, a semi-flush mount, and a directional flush mount light. Full flush-mounted lights are functional lights that leave little to no space between the ceiling and the light fixture. Therefore, the full flush mount light is perfect for lower ceilings and small spaces.

The semi-flush mount lighting is usually installed in rooms with high ceilings and provides a good amount of light. The semi-flush mount lighting is more aesthetically pleasing and an excellent alternative to pendant lights. The last type of flush mount light is the directional flush mount light. The directional flush mount lights focus light in a specific direction or highlight areas that need directional light.

5. Spotlights

Spotlights are lights that project a powerful beam of light from any angle. Spotlights are versatile and can be used in almost any room in your home. Spotlights can be turned to focus light in specific areas and are also helpful in highlighting accent areas like photo walls or art pieces.

Spotlights are fitted onto the ceiling and can have several beams from a single cable installation. This type of lighting is excellent for indoor and outdoor use. Unlike other lighting options, the spotlight provides a cone of light. Spotlights provide an intense light source but have a dimming feature, so you can dim them according to the amount of light you want to illuminate.

spotlights shining on wall

Warm spotlights with wider beams of light are ideal for creating ambient lighting. In contrast, cooler lights and more narrow beams are great for projecting light onto a specific feature in your home. Installing a few LED spotlights and replacing outdated lighting can save you close to 90% on your lighting bill.

Spotlights can be installed in clusters in the same space and can have many different control features depending on your needs. Rather than installing a single light in a room, you can opt for multiple spotlights to provide better illumination.

6. Tube Lights

Tube lights are another alternative to recessed lighting and offer numerous benefits, including being more energy efficient, lighting large spaces, easy installation and placement, and being space-saving lights. LED tube lights also provide up to 50,000 hours of continuous lighting and have low flicker and higher-quality lighting.

Tube lights are frequently used in offices, kitchens, workspaces, and homes. Tube lights vary in size and brightness and can be either LED or fluorescent. LED tube lights have become increasingly popular and come in various color temperatures, from cool and stark white to warm white.

recessed lights with tube lights

This type of lighting is commonly categorized according to length or lamp size. This “T” measurement comes in multiple sizes, with the most frequently found “T” sizes being T5, T8, and T12. The higher the T rating is, the thicker the bulb. Smaller-sized bulbs are always more energy efficient, and it is essential to note the size differences when purchasing tube lights.

Tube lights are widely used for decorative purposes as well. For example, you can find brightly colored tube lights installed underneath a bar, on the outskirts of a ceiling, and in many games rooms. In addition, tube lighting can be an attractive fixture in many homes and an excellent replacement for recessed lights.

Tube lights do not contain mercury or lead and are a safer alternative to other lighting options. LED tube lights are also more environmentally friendly.

7. Downlights

Downlights are similar to spotlights but focus light downwards instead of focusing light into a specific spot. Downlights are often encased in a metal cylinder and installed into the ceiling. Downlights can be used all over the home and also come in LEDs.

Downlights come in various color temperatures and can focus on specific areas to illuminate. Downlights are great if you have limited space and require lighting to light up an entire room. Many other lights can be added with downlights for decorative purposes. Downlights can illuminate focal points like a bookshelf, art piece, or display case.

downlights are a great alternative to recessed lights

This type of light comes in different beam widths, which include narrow, medium, or wide. The shape of the lighting fixtures can vary from round, rectangle, and square. When purchasing downlights, it’s essential to consider what you’ll be using them for and where they will be installed. This will also help you determine the power required and the size of the fitting needed.

Downlights can be used with spotlights to add more light to a living area in your home. Downlights can also be used with decorative lighting to focus light in a specific section.