Changing the Beam Spread in Recessed Lights
Choosing a bulb with a narrower spread will keep the light where you want it.
We have installed recessed lighting above the bed for reading. We purchased the bulbs recommended — 20W MR16s — and gimbal trim for the housing. The light beam is quite big and when I inquired about a recessed trim that would give a narrower beam, I was told that there is a recessed trim available but it is not able to be directed at an angle. So it must be installed directly above the person who will be using it, rather than above the person beside you. Have you heard of this before and do you have a solution?

You don't have to change the trim; you just need to change the bulb to one with a tighter beam spread. There is an MR16 with a 10-degree beam spread (narrow spot) and one with a 15-degree beam spread (spot). My guess is that you were supplied with one with a 30-degree beam spread. My recommendation is that you consider an LED version. Then you could have the equivalent of 50W of dimmable illumination for 11.5W of power consumption.

Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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