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
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 www.randallwhitehead.com and follow his blog www.lightmakesright.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the lighting. I'm totally on board with showing off those wonderful vaulted ceilings. So many times we have... read full story
I would have you consider hanging a series of linear pendant fixtures that have both indirect and direct lighting. The indirect lighting will fill... read full story
Yes, it is a frequently asked question, but I think it's an important one. LED products will last for a long time, longer than most marriages. You... read full story
I, too, am excited about everything that's happening with LEDs. As far as undercabinet task lighting goes, I like to mount the fixtures toward the... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2.   This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, AFX Inc., Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   This live webinar has already taken place, but... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Civilight, GM Lighting, Langlais Group Inc. and Nora Lighting.   Live webinar has taken place, but you can watch the archived webinar by... read full story