how far should recessed lights be from cabinets

How Far Should Recessed Lights Be From Cabinets?

Recessed lighting, also known as can lights or pot lights, is an efficient way to brighten up your space. When planning to incorporate recessed lighting, it is essential that you factor in the distance between your lights and any existing cabinetry within the space. To guarantee that your room appears immaculate and is illuminated neatly, let’s discover how far should recessed lights be from cabinets.

What Is Recessed Light?

Recessed lights are a type of light fixture that is mounted flush with the ceiling, creating an even and ambient lighting effect in the room. They can be used to provide general or task lighting and come in a variety of styles and sizes. Kitchen recessed lighting is especially common in kitchens, as it can help make the space look bigger and brighter while providing plenty of light for everyday tasks.

With overhead lighting, you can easily see what you’re doing while prepping meals on the countertops, leaving no room for shadows from overhead lights. Lighting layout and placement will vary depending on the size of your kitchen, so it’s important to take into account the correct spacing around cabinets when you plan out the lighting setup.

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How Far Should Recessed Lights Be From Cabinets?

how far should recessed lights be from cabinets

The distance between recessed kitchen lights and cabinets will depend on the wattage of the bulb used in the light fixture. For standard bulbs, you should leave at least a 12- 18 inch gap between the light and cabinets to prevent the heat from damaging them. If recessed lights are placed too far from the cabinets, then the ceiling lights may be insufficient for optimal illumination.

The Optimal Distance Between Lights And Cabinets 

To create an attractive ambiance in your room, aim for a minimum height of 18 inches between the upper cabinets and the bottom of the light fixture. This will provide enough room for you to open drawers and doors without worrying about hitting or bumping into a light fixture. Additionally, having this distance between cabinets and fixtures ensures that no matter where you are in the room, you won’t have harsh shadows cast on your face or body due to low-hanging fixtures. 

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How To Install Recessed Lighting 

All it takes is some basic knowledge and the right tools, so let’s get started! 

Tools Needed For Installation 

Installing recessed lighting requires some specific tools. You will need an adjustable wrench, utility knife, drill with screwdriver bit, voltage tester, wire strippers and cutters, wire nuts or push connectors, a ladder (or step stool), and of course the light fixtures themselves. Make sure that all your tools are in good working order before you begin. 

Step 1:

Turn off the electricity in the room you are installing your recessed lights in. To be extra safe, turn off the breaker for the entire house and make sure all the lights are turned off before proceeding with this step. Additionally, you may want to cover any outlets or switches near where you will be working with painter’s tape just in case you accidentally drill into one of them. Safety first! 

Step 2:

Now that the electricity is off and your outlets and switches are protected, grab a stud finder and mark on your ceiling where each light will go. Keep in mind that recessed lights need to be spaced evenly throughout your room so they don’t appear too clustered or too far apart when illuminated. Make sure to double-check that there is nothing blocking each spot–like a pipe or beam–before drilling holes into your ceiling. 

Step 3:

Once you have determined where each light should go and double-checked that there are no obstacles blocking them, use an electric drill to cut holes into your ceiling for each light fixture. Be sure not to make these holes too big—or else you won’t have enough support for your lights! Once all the holes are cut, attach each light fixture using small screws into those holes before moving on to the next step.  

Step 4:

It’s time to wire up your lights! Before doing so, however, check to make sure that all of your fixtures came with junction boxes attached since these will provide support for wiring connections as well as insulation against electrical shocks from direct contact with live wires.

Then connect one side of each wire from the fixture together and screw down a connector plate (make sure it is rated for use inside walls) over them before connecting its other side directly to electrical wires leading up through the hole in the ceiling junction box created earlier.

Finally, attach each light fixture’s ground wire directly to the ground wire running up through its own junction box before attaching an outlet cap onto its connectors and then installing it back into its respective hole in the ceiling by screwing down its mounting brackets on top of it. That is how easy it is to install recessed lighting.

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The Benefits Of Installing Recessed Lighting 

This type of lighting has a variety of benefits, from energy efficiency to flexibility. Let’s take a look at what recessed lighting can do for you. 

Energy Efficiency 

how far should recessed lights be from cabinets

Recessed lighting is highly efficient when it comes to energy consumption. Most bulbs used in recessed fixtures are LED or CFLs, which use far less energy than standard incandescent lightbulbs. By making the switch to recessed lighting, you can significantly reduce your monthly electric bill while also helping the environment by using less electricity. 


Recessed lights are extremely versatile and can be installed anywhere in your home. Whether it’s the kitchen, bedroom, living room, or hallway, these lights provide an attractive source of illumination that won’t take up valuable space in the room. You can even control them with dimmers if you want a softer glow for certain occasions or activities. 


Installing recessed lighting also provides a safer environment for your family and guests since there are no exposed wires or hanging lights that could cause accidents or other hazards. Furthermore, since they are mounted flush against the ceiling they’re almost impossible to knock over or break accidentally by pets or children running around the house. They also don’t get hot like traditional lightbulbs making them even safer around kids and animals.

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Recessed lighting is an attractive and efficient way to light up your space. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure that your recessed lights are installed safely and securely at least 12- 18 inches away from any cabinets to avoid damage or hazardous situations. Installing recessed lighting not only helps you save energy but also adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room in your home. With the right tools and knowledge, installing recessed lights doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

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