Shallow recessed lighting is a great option for homeowners who want to enjoy the versatility and aesthetic appeal of recessed lighting, but have limited overhead space between the ceiling floor and the next structural layer. The reduced space requirements of these lights make them especially suited to applications where normal recessed lighting is not an option, or would require a more expensive installation process.
The primary reason for installing shallow recessed lighting is space limitations. Maybe the ceiling installed in the room you wish to light has been installed over a sagging or otherwise damaged ceiling, and the process of cutting through the old ceiling's material seems too challenging for a DIY project. It's also possible that you have a cement subfloor, or some other obstruction without sufficient clearance for installation of standard recessed lights. There may be wires or pipes that run through a particular area between the ceiling and the subfloor, and interfere with a particular location that you have chosen for light installation. For all of these reasons, shallow recessed lighting may be a good choice for you.
Ease of Installation
Installation is simplified in tight spaces by using a shallow fixture. The shallow fixture may save you the trouble of cutting through that old ceiling, or working around those wires or pipes. Recessed lights that will be in contact with insulation must be properly rated to avoid the risk of fire, and shallow lights may avoid the extra cost of purchasing fixtures that will contact insulation. The easier the installation, the more likely it is that the homeowner will be able to complete this task without assistance, saving the time and money required to hire a contractor for a more complex job.
Shallow fixtures tend to be smaller, and smaller fixtures tend to have lower energy needs. A shallow fixture with a compact fluorescent bulb will dramatically reduce the cost of lighting a room, saving hundreds of dollars over the years on your energy bill. The lower energy load of fluorescent recessed lighting may also allow more lights to be installed on the same circuit breaker without installing another breaker or upgrading your electrical service. As the cost of energy continues to rise, the savings to the homeowner will become more and more substantial. This is definitely a reason to consider shallow recessed lighting.
Different fixtures diffuse light in different ways. Shallow fixtures tend to have a broader radius of light distribution, making them ideal for situations where the installer wants a limited number of lights for an entire room. Recessed lights in general provide excellent control of the distribution and quality of the light. They draw the viewer's eye towards the object or area that they illuminate, rather than towards the fixture itself. Recessed lights provide excellent tools for lighting work spaces, reading areas, and art pieces, because when properly positioned, they prevent shadows from falling across the item you are trying to view, making it easier to work or to admire.