Total Recessed Lighting Blog

Valuable information from Recessed Lighting experts.

  • Fire Rated Recessed Lighting Fixtures and Covers

    House on FireTotal Recessed Lighting is pleased to offer a full line of both fire rated covers to insure your project meets code as well as fire rated recessed housings. Either way work with real lighting people that are here when you need them. Like we asked a customer the other day. Does that big web site owned by the richest person in the world offer you project help when you need it most?

    WARNING: Do your due diligence before you rush into a project using these products! Make sure you have considered all of your needs including the type of installation, cover (if used) and location, and have your building inspector sign off before you place your order.

    We receive calls every week on projects that have gone wrong because the designer, engineer or contract made incorrect assumptions about the project.

    Our company has experience and expert knowledge about all of our products and we work directly with the factory to insure they are correct. Before you lose thousands of dollars, order a rush delivery of product by air shipment only to find out you still have a problem, let us work with you on your project.

    Fire rated recessed products are important for your safety. Don't cut corners and buy low-quality products on some big website that also sells underwear and books. We only sell lighting products. Work with knowledgeable people that care about the success of your project!

    We are here to help you do it right.

    Fire Rated Covers

    TENMAT FF109-350 15 inch 1 hour UL fire rated recessed cover FF109-350
    TENMAT FF109-300 13 inch 1 hour UL fire rated recessed cover FF109-300
    TENMAT FF109X 15 inch 2 hour UL fire rated recessed cover FF109X

    Fire Rated Recessed Lighting Cans / Housings

    Fire Rated 4 inch recessed lighting air tight IC housing 1-Hour L500 P500 2-Hour L505 FS4IC-AT-W
    Fire Rated 4 inch LED recessed lighting air tight IC housing 1-Hour L500 P500 2-Hour L505 FS-LD4IC-AT-DIMTR-120
    Fire Rated 6 inch recessed lighting air tight IC housing 1-Hour L500 P500 2-Hour L505 FS6IC-AT-W
    Fire Rated 6 inch LED recessed lighting air tight IC housing 1-Hour L500 P500 2-Hour L505 FS-LD6IC-AT-DIMTR-120

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    Tags: Fire Rated, Housings, Cans

  • Our Recessed Lighting Parts Save the Day!

    6-IN-SOCKET-PLATE-BOLT-NUTYou read that right. Our recessed lighting parts saved the day! We were recently contacted through our Contact Us page by a contractor in distress. He asked if our 6" recessed housing socket plate would fit the existing cans in his customer's ceiling. Our team of experts quickly responded with additional questions to make sure our product would fit.

    ThFloating socket recessed housinge problem was that the recessed can had a floating / suspended socket that dangled from the housing requiring it be attach to the trim. The recessed trim his customer purchased  was not designed to have the socket attach to it. Thankfully he found us online and contacted us right away. Turns out our 6" recessed lighting socket plate with attachment screw would work perfectly. Our recessed can parts saved the day saving him time and money over alternative solutions.

    If you ever have a question about any of our products on our website contact us through our Contact Us page and our professional and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help.

    Trims installed with socket plate

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  • Meet our 4" LED recessed lighting family + insights and features, Video

    LED 4" recessed lighting has become the standard size in most down lighting and can lighting applications. In this video, we go over the many features of our LED 4" trims and housings comparing them against our competitors and showing you the difference between the old standard styles of the past. If you're unfamiliar with 4" recessed lights or pot lights you don't want to miss this informative video.

    See the 4" LED Recessed Lighting family HERE!

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    Tags: comparison, led, overview, Features

  • Meet our 2" LED Recessed Lighting Family - Plus design tips!

    The 2" LED recessed lighting you see here is the smallest member of our LED recessed lighting family. Don't let its small size fool you. It packs a large amount of LED light for such a small trim. Watch as we unveil the different styles and types while providing design tips along the way!

    See the 2" LED Recessed Lighting family HERE!

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    Tags: LED recessed lighting, 2-inch square recessed trims, LED lighting

  • Meet the Family, 2", 3", 4", 5" & 6" LED Recessed Lighting - Plus Energy Star documentation explained

    We now have a complete family of LED recessed lighting in 2-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch, 5-inch and 6-inch with a square trim option, vertical and horizontal adjustable positions and flexible sizing adjustments all with Edison adapters to fit your existing recessed can.
    Watch as we provide lighting design insights and valuable information regarding Energy Star approvals and documentation.

    See the Family of LED Recessed Lighting HERE!

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    Tags: LED recessed lighting, Energy Star, LED retrofit, square trims

  • Will your Recessed Trim fit my Recessed Can?

    We get this question all the time so we decided to make a video explaining the basics on how to know if our recessed trim will fit your recessed housing. Our goal is to help eliminate the guess work when dealing with your existing recessed lighting and our recessed trims and cans. Watch our video below we hope you learn something new and help save yourself some time and frustration with your recessed light project.

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  • Affordable LED Under Cabinet Light unboxing video

    We have finally found an affordable LED under cabinet light that is not only bright with a beautiful diffused light but has a super thin 1-1/8" profile that will fit in the most hard to light places like kitchens, garages, works shops, showcases and more!

    We made this quick unboxing video to provide you the basic details of the LED under cabinet light, like for instance, what is included in the box, how much light output and power consumption as well as installation information such as knockout quantity and location.

    Check out the LED under cabinet light video below!

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    Tags: led, LED under cabinet lighitng, video, Under Cabinet Lighting

  • Lighting Your Kitchen Like a Pro

    (Updated January 2016)

    Whether one is doing a kitchen remodel or starting from scratch, the lighting design is frequently the last thing considered and often the first thing to get cut from the budget. Lighting design and planning should be phase 1 of a kitchen project whether you are starting from scratch or remodeling. If you want your lighting to look like it was done by a pro, choosing the right light and the right placement of the light will make all the difference in the world. To avoid headaches, hassles and driving your project cost up unnecessarily, the lighting decisions need to occur in the initial stage of the project and not as a 'hindsight is 20-20' kind of thing.

    What are the aspects that need to be considered in making these decisions? Lighting designers say that using three types of lighting functions is paramount to good lighting design-whether it is in your kitchen or elsewhere. It is a 'layering' technique:

    1. General or ambient light source: this is the primary and central source of lighting that provides overall illumination. Think of this as the general lighting that allows you to move about in the space safely and allows you to perform general tasks.
      - Best choices for general lighting: ceiling and wall mounted fixtures, recessed lights.
    1. Task lighting: lighting that allows you to perform specific tasks such as, food preparation, reading, cooking, etc. Effective task lighting should not have distracting glare and shadows and make sure that it is bright enough to avoid eyestrain.
      - Best choices for task lighting: recessed, pendant lights, under the cabinet lighting, floor and table lamps.
    1. Drama/accent/focal lighting: lighting that is used to introduce elements of drama or accent by bringing the viewer’s attention to something in particular-such as artwork, plants a wall, etc. How to make focal lighting work effectively? Make sure the light on the focal point (object) is three times brighter than your general lighting source around it.
      - Best choices for focal lighting: recessed lights, track lights.

    Some Thoughts on Dimming Systems


    Some designers like to incorporate dimming systems in their lighting design. Our designer recommends that dimming systems be avoided in most cases-with the exception of dining rooms and media rooms. Here are some reasons why a dimming system should be avoided: 1) color temperature shifts (if you are not using a LED lamp) 2) bulb does not dim in the full range and will drop out around 15-20% (common with LED lamps) 3) flickering. Halogen bulbs experience color temperature shifts when being dimmed-not to mention that they require more energy to run and create unwanted heat. Fluorescent bulbs do not have a filament-which translates to it not being conducive to being dimmed-they drop out at 15-20%-which in turn, does not give you the full range. Fluorescent bulbs will also flicker when being dimmed. LEDs do not have a filament either, and suffer from the same things that fluorescent bulbs do; dropping out at 15-20% and flickering. Flickering is a bigger deal than one would initially think: it can cause neurological disturbances, headaches, fatigue, eye strain, affects your perception of motion and is a distraction, to name a few of the problems. As technology changes, the LED are becoming more easily dimmed, but we like to reserve dimming for where dimming is actually needed. Hopefully, we've succeeded in talking you out of using a dimming system.

    You can achieve a more pleasing effect by using the layering technique-not to mention that it looks professional. You can also keep your lighting costs down by using fixtures that can perform multiple functions.

    General Light Source


    6" recessed cans are a great choice for the general lights-and will give you the most choice by way of lamps/bulbs that fit into the fixture. When I did a kitchen remodel in my own home in 2008, LED lights for 6" recessed had just been introduced to the market. Yes, initially, LED bulbs cost more than their counterparts, but now with the changes in LED technology, prices have dropped down to where they are more than affordable. The new LED bulbs provide up to 60,000 of continuous light that is cool burning and instant on. No other bulb can do that! LED is also the most 'green' choice you can make in keeping your carbon footprint minimized. Initially, we tried out LED bulbs that had a color temperature of 27K. We found these to look too 'yellow' and ended up going with a brighter, slightly cooler color temperature of 30K. Much better! You can go up to as high as 4100K. We found that the 5000K and above is just to white of a light for use in a home-to the point where your eyes see it as blue.

    LED 6" recessed kitchen lights

    Here is an example in my kitchen with just some of the recessed lights on-this is my 'everyday' lighting choice. The lights are LED bulbs in 6" recessed cans (my camera did yield some unwanted lens flare from pointing up in to the lights-those reflections are not really there on the ceiling).


    LED 6" and 4" CFL recessed kitchen lightsIn this example of my kitchen lighting, I have all of the recessed lights on. All decisions for the lighting source and placement were intentional. We looked for a light that had a broad, white, diffused, bright, even light-one that did not have 'edges' to the beam spread. This reduces the shadows on the work surfaces and the amount of glare. The LED lights we chose met that criteria. Track lighting was not a good choice because it is harsh, directional and creates lots of shadows. It wasn't appropriate for our application (you might have call for a directional light in your kitchen layout, however).

    My lighting designer wanted all my work surfaces to be evenly lit. Notice the distance of the recessed lights in relation to the cabinets. They are place 18" out from the cabinets so that it would light the cabinets and allow the light to light the inside of the cabinet when opened. This distance also minimized shadows cast in the area of the work space when standing at the counter. The space between each recessed light is about 2 feet-allowing for a well lit room. Notice too, that one is placed over the doorway.

    Look carefully at the bank of recessed lights above the table (far top right of image). These are 4" LED Modules just like we used in the 6” housing. Using the 4" housing and module also breaks things up and adds interest-we didn't need as much light over the table area.

    With the 6"recessed cans, our lighting designer put them on two switches so that you could just have some on and at other times, have them all on when you want it to be brighter. That provided two levels of general lighting.

    Task Lighting


    The next layer of lighting in my kitchen is task lighting. Right above my kitchen sink is a light to provide me with an additional layer of light-by way of a LED under cabinet fixture.
    kitchen sink task lightAn additional LED under cabinet light fixture over the kitchen sink for additional task lighting (I turned the general lighting off so that you can see this light source better - we have a full video on the new LED under cabinet fixture at this link)

    stovetop task lighting Task lighting over the stove top area achieve by way of halogen MR-16s

    Accent Lighting (for added drama)


    Accent lighting in my kitchen was achieved by way of additional fixtures under the cabinets The LED under the cabinet fixture is a great choice over a fluorescent since it lasts longer, is more energy efficient AND has a lower profile. Not to mention that the color rendering is much better. The LED under the cabinet is a specular light source-it gives an added dimension that a fluorescent bulb cannot. Think of it as adding more 'bling'.

    under cabinet lighting Under cabinet lighting
    cabinet lighting specials LED under cabinet & cabinet lights

    Pictured here are the LED under the cabinet lights and LED cabinet lights in the upper cabinets.

    Of course, it goes without saying, that if you have natural light to work with, by all means incorporate that in to your lighting design. Natural light always makes a home more appealing. When trying to achieve natural lighting with lighting fixtures, be sure to use bulbs that are described as 'daylight' instead of those described as warm-that way the color temperature is more closely matched.

    Hopefully, by sharing what went in to the decision making process for lighting choices in my kitchen remodel, you will have at least a better starting point. Avoid using a dimming system and avoid trying to light the entire room with just one light source such as a ceiling mounted fixture.  Please feel free to contact us for solutions to your lighting challenges-we are here to help!

    If you found this article to be helpful, please send us your before and after photos and a brief description of your experience-we'd love to share your success story!

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    Tags: Energy Saving, led, LED under cabinet lighitng, 6" recessed lighting, LED recessed lighting, kitchen lighting, Under Cabinet Lighting

  • Buying cheap LED bulbs doesn't always pay off - Video

    Don't make the same mistake as one of our customers. He bought on price from a popular online retailer that sold him the wrong LED MR16 lamps for his low voltage track lights. Was it the retailers fault? Not necessarily but they offered little to no help. The customer simply was not educated on what to purchase. Had he purchased the light bulbs with his track lighting purchase his costly mistake could have been avoided. Please, if you are buying lighting products purchase them from a lighting company that knows the products and can answer your questions. It will save you money, time and grief!

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  • LED Home Lighting Make Over Video

    LED 14" ceiling light LED-JR002BRZ LED-JR002BRZ dimmable ceiling light at only 20watts, 1800 lumens

    We decided to bless a family with a LED lighting make over that not only will reduce their energy use but also looks and feels amazing increasing not only the value of the home but also their quality of life!

    In this LED make over we installed five of our LED 14" two ring bronze ceiling lights in 3000K that flush mounts to almost any junction box throughout the hallways. We also installed five Green Watt LED 6" white reflector retrofit trim in 4100K in the kitchen. Both lights are dimmable. We explain more of why we chose a 3000K in the living spaces and 4100K in the kitchen in the video.

    LED 6" white reflector trim recessed lighting G-DL6D LED 6" white reflector trim 4100K dimmable at only 15watts, 950 lumens

    Watch as we take old power hungry boring incandescent lights and easily swap them out with designer bronze LED ceiling lights that will last thousands and thousands of hours reducing the home owner's maintenance costs and energy consumption.

    You will see how an understanding and creative use of color temperature can take standard track home recessed lighting in a dimply lit kitchen from ordinary to amazing with a few simple steps!

    In the middle of the LED make over we discovered that the master bedroom closet was poorly lit with a flickering fluorescent cloud fixture. We couldn't let the home owner continue living in this monstrosity. So we swamped that out too!

    So sit back, pull up a snack or two and watch as we transform the mundane into the extraordinary and perhaps along the way you may learn something new :)

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    Tags: installation, 6" recessed lighting, going green with led recessed lighting, kitchen lighting, video, Surface Lights, Ceiling Lights

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