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How to Choose the Best Pot Light Types

Pot lights are a great choice for your home. They’re energy efficient and recess up into your ceiling, keeping the wiring hidden and giving your room a sleek and elegant look. We’ll show you some of the different types of pot lights, some of the things you should know when shopping for pot lights and help you along the buying process with this handy guide.

Where Should You Install Pot Lights?

Pot lights are arranged symmetrically in a kitchen ceiling.

Pot Lights are Ideal for Kitchens

Putting pot lights in your kitchen is a great idea, as they are low profile and provide ample, even lighting for all of your cooking and meal preparation. Kitchen recessed lighting options will vary according to the size of your space, but a reflector trim is highly recommended. Choose lights that are 4-inches or 5-inches in diameter to provide enough concentrated light for meal prep and cleanup.

Pot lights illuminate a nice-looking living room.

Provide Even Lighting to Your Living Room

Your living room is another great place for pot lights, as the flush-to-the-ceiling look makes the space look larger and more inviting. The bright, even lighting helps to light up even the darkest corners. Plus, dimming them can set the mood for a movie or some relaxation.

A bathroom shower area lit by pot lights

Great Option for Bathroom and Shower Areas

Shower pot lights are great as they don’t take up any hanging space so you have even light distribution and maximize your shower area. Bathroom pot lights are helpful in providing light for getting ready in the morning or for any other task.

A bedroom with pot lights in the ceiling

Create the Perfect Ambient Light in Your Bedroom

Bedroom pot lights can be used to provide lighting in a general sense and also to highlight any areas you want showcased, such as a fireplace or a bookshelf.

An outdoor patio is lit up at night using pot lights

Outdoor Pot Lights

Lighting your outdoor area with pot lights is a great way to illuminate your entertaining space without adding a hanging light or stand-up lighting, maximizing your entertaining area.

A living room with pot lights accenting the TV area

Highlight A Wall or Decorative Item

Pot lights can also be used as accent lighting, highlighting a showpiece, fireplace, artwork or any other prominent feature in your home. They can also be used to highlight a certain wall or area that you’d like to have featured.


Great for kitchens and overhead countertop lighting.


Good for general, more broad room lighting purposes.

How to Find the Perfect Pot Light Sizes for Your Room

Finding the perfect sized pot lights for your space depends on a number of factors including how much light you want in your room, your ceiling height and room size.

Here are some examples of sizing and their appropriate usage.


Great for task and accent lighting.


Great for kitchens and overhead countertop lighting.


Good for general, more broad room lighting purposes.

Popular Trim Styles

A baffled-trim pot light

Baffle Trims

Baffle trims have the light recessed into the socket to help avoid glare and have a ribbed inside surface to help shape the light.

A pot light with a gimbal trim

Gimbal or Eyeball Trims

Gimbal trim pot lights allow you to control the direction of the light and focus it onto a specific area or feature.

An open trim pot light.

Open Trims

Open trim pot lights have a low-profile trim that sits flush with the light and the ceiling

A surface mount pot light

Surface Mount Trims

Surface mount pot lights are another low-profile option that sits almost flush with the ceiling. They have a small bezel surrounding the light.

A reflector trim pot light

Reflector Trims

Similar to baffled trims, but with a reflective coating inside to help cast light over a wider area.

A shower trim pot light

Shower Trims

Shower trim pot lights have a gasket to seal against the ceiling, making them water-tight and perfect for wet areas like the shower.

A kitchen is displayed and shows the various lighting temperatures from bright white to yellow white

Brightness and Temperature

Lighting temperature ranges from warm Light which is between 2700K and 3000K to cool white which ranges from 3000K to 5000K and daylight, which ranges from 5000K to 6500K. Warm Light is more like incandescent lighting, which has a yellowish-orange hue. Cool white provides more of a yellow-white while daylight has more of a blue-white hue.

Housing Types

A pot light is installed in a new home build

New Construction Housing

New construction pot light fixtures are made to be installed from scratch and are screwed or nailed to the ceiling joists before drywall is installed.

A pot light housing is pushed up into a ceiling

Remodel Housing

A remodel fixture is designed to be retrofitted into an existing home. Usually when a homeowner wants to add more lighting for tasks or to illuminate a feature space or piece. They have clips that help the attach to an existing ceiling making installation easy.

A pot light buried in insulation above a ceiling

IC Rated Housing

IC (Insulated Contact)-rated lights must be used when the light will come into contact with insulation or other flammable materials in the roof. They usually have a metal sheathing that contacts the insulation, and then are installed inside that sheathing to prevent fires caused by overheating.

An airtight recessed pot light in a ceiling

Airtight Recessed Lighting

Airtight recessed lighting helps to control temperatures and keep drafts at bay. The fixture is airtight, stopping air from circulating through the opening in the ceiling between the lights and the drywall or housing.

Popular Pot Lights Features

A dimmer switch control on a wall.

Dimmable Recessed Lighting

Dimmable pot lights are a great way to control the amount of illumination in your room, or to set the mood for a movie or party.

A smart phone controls a smart light.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart light bulbs can be controlled from your smart device, allowing remote control of power, dimming and other features.

Colour-tunable lights in various colours light up a room.

Colour-Tunable Pot Lights

Colour-tunable pot lights offer the highest level of customization, allowing you to create colourful ambience for any setting.

Additional Features

Retrofit Low-profile Recessed Lights Sloped Ceiling Compatibility Low Voltage
Can be installed in your existing outlets. Lights that sit flush or nearly flush with your ceiling. Lights with a gimbal trim to accommodate sloped ceilings. Use less energy to help you save money.
A pot light with a dark trim sits flush with a ceiling.

Installation Tips

Always check your local codes and wear safety equipment before starting any kind of electrical work. If you’re unsure, leave the work to a professional electrician.

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