How much value does recessed lighting add to a home?

If you’re looking to add value to your home, you’re probably already aware of some of the key things you can do. Creating additional space with extensions and loft conversions is obvious, but smaller things can make a difference, too – from redecorating and fixing superficial defects, to decluttering and smartening up the garden. But have you considered lighting?

Lighting is an important detail that’s often overlooked, and it can not only add value to your home, but it can make a positive impression that might tip the balance between receiving an offer and not.

Does recessed lighting add value to a home?

The type of lighting you add will influence how much value you can add. Recessed lights are popular with potential buyers – especially those with energy saving and dimmer features.

In fact, recessed lighting is one of the most popular upgrades right now and is driving more viewings than other upgrades. The return on investment is proving to be very attractive in that recessed lights are relatively easy to install, but are great for driving enquiries, leading to a quick sale.

LED recessed lighting is particularly appealing to prospective buyers and, according to research by Vonn, could add anything between 1% and 3% to your home’s value – enough to pay some estate agent fees!

Why? LED lights have several benefits. They last much longer than standard bulbs, are more energy efficient and more eco-friendly. That can help lower household utility bills and help the planet.

What is recessed lighting?

Recessed lighting is a fixture installed in a hollow in the ceiling or wall, instead of being suspended from it. Its flush finish gives a neat and modern look. A recessed light consists of three parts – the housing, the trim and a bulb. The housing contains the electrics, the trim is the visible part of the light, and the bulb is … well, you know!

How to choose the right recessed lighting for your home

Choose the right housing

There are two main types of recessed light housing: new construction and remodel.

You’ll need a new construction housing if you want to add value to a new building project. Remodel housings will add value where there is an existing wall or ceiling cavity.

If there is insulation in the wall or ceiling cavity, you’ll need an insulation contact (IC) rated light to prevent overheating. There are also different housings for shallow or angled walls and ceilings, so get some advice from your installer or supplier if you're not sure which is right for you.

Pick your trim

The trim has a practical and aesthetic purpose. It provides a neat visible finish to the installation but also gives you the opportunity to select a colour and type of trim to complement your room. Brushed nickel and matte finishes are popular with contemporary homes, while rubbed bronze and antique silver finishes are more popular within older, classic houses. Either will make a great finishing touch.

Trims come in all sorts of colours, so choose a shade that’s going to complement or contrast with your existing colour scheme. Different styles of trim will allow different amounts of light through, so it’s worth considering the eventual lighting effect that you wish to create.

Baffle trims are great for living rooms

Baffle trims are the most common, and allow for a softer lighting effect and reduce glare. These are great for living rooms and rooms where you watch TV or work on a computer, and it's a simple way to add value to the main rooms in the house. Having dimmable lights is a nice feature, too, especially for those 'movie nights' when you want the big screen experience in your own home.

Eyeball trims provide directional light

Aptly named eyeball trims provide directional light so you can highlight under cabinets, onto worksurfaces and illuminate smaller spaces.

Lensed trims are moisture friendly

A lensed trim has a cover over it to protect the bulb, wiring and electricals from water damage. Lensed trims on recessed lights are particularly good for outside, bathrooms and kitchens where a lot of moisture may exist. Look out for a 'wet-rated' trim for these sorts of applications.

Putting recessed lighting with a lensed trim outdoors can be remarkably effective.

Reflectors are a bright idea

If you wish to maximise the amount of downward light, then a reflector trim will do the job. These are great for kitchens and rooms with high ceilings where you want a nice bright space.

Wall wash trims spread the light

A wall wash trim will spread light sideways, which is great for drawing attention to artistic and architectural features, making sure that potential buyers don’t miss key areas.

How to choose the right bulb

Once you’ve gone to the trouble of choosing the correct housing and trim, you’ll need to select the correct bulb. The bulb will determine the type of light, the brightness and the amount of energy used.

The four main types of bulb are:


Bright, white, warm light – being phased out


Traditional filament, bright, white warm light – being phased out


Energy efficient, low heat


Energy efficient, long life cool light

LED bulbs are the no.1 choice for recessed lighting and get our recommendation as they are long lasting, bright and are energy efficient.

Energy efficiency is important to prospective buyers

Energy efficient lighting will be attractive to buyers, primarily because it’s a great way to reduce the electric bill. You can make recessed lighting more energy efficient by doing the following:

  • Fit energy-saving LED bulbs
  • Ensure light fixtures are airtight
  • Insulate exposed recessed lighting cans that are exposed in the loft
  • Add a dimmer switch

Is recessed lighting old fashioned?

Recessed lighting will give your home a smart and contemporary look. As modern homes are generally smaller than older ones, recessed lighting helps to maximise room space and keeps a clear line of sight. If you wish to freshen up existing recessed lights, consider replacing the trim or the bulbs and you may find the effect is just what you needed.

Is it worth investing in recessed lighting?

Modern, LED recessed lights are space saving and energy efficient. They can really show off your rooms to their best effect, and are discreet enough for most buyers not to have strong feelings against them. On the contrary, most potential buyers will love them, and you could increase the value of your home!

Should I install recessed lighting in a bedroom?

Having recessed lighting in a bedroom is fine. It can improve overall light levels and boost the appeal of the room. Most people choose dimmable lights to give them more control and the ability to set the mood.

Do I need an electrician to install recessed lighting?

We'd strongly recommend getting a qualified electrician to install recessed lighting. As with all domestic electrical work there are safety considerations, and domestic wiring can be full of nasty surprises. Not all homes have been professionally wired by previous owners, and some of the existing electrical installations could be shocking. 

With recessed lighting there is the added task of making holes in walls and ceilings. And again it takes skill to make a neat, right-size hole in the correct, safe place.

Get help with recessed lighting installation via Rezigo – our vetted experts are ready and waiting. Simply click here to book a job, and we'll send you up to three electrician quotes to compare, completely free.