Recessed LED spotlights: how many you need and how to place them

Recessed LED spotlights: how many you need and how to place them

  • Products

Getting the lighting right is one of the goals to increase the comfort of a home. LED recessed spotlights are perfect tools for lighting specific areas of interiors and exteriors. But how many are needed, and how should they be positioned, to achieve effective lighting?

Recessed LED spotlights to light up the home

Recessed lights are lighting systems that in most cases allow you to radiate a very powerful diffused light thanks to LEDs, which allows you to illuminate the room according to your needs. In this way it is possible to effectively highlight architectural and decorative details or simply the furnishings of the home.

LED is a semiconductor device that produces illumination when it receives electric current. LED recessed spotlights are interior space lighting fixtures with practical and versatile operation. They can be easily inserted into wall cavities, leading to even lighting in a given area (bedrooms, hallway, corridor, etc.).

How to calculate how many spotlights to put in to illuminate a room

A spotlight is a device suitable for generating diffuse lighting in a given room. You may be wondering: how many LED spotlights do you need to light a room?

On the basis of lumens-a unit of measurement of the light emitted by a light source-we count lux, or the lumens needed to completely brightly illuminate a square meter of surface area.

To calculate the number of needed spotlights to fully illuminate a room, several factors must be taken into account such as:

  • ceiling height;

  • materials that make up the ceiling;

  • composition of the walls and floor;

  • decor of the room;

  • types of work and movement taking place in the room.

These are very specific analyses that run the risk of leading to erroneous conclusions if they are greatly simplified, for example, by resorting to preset formulas that do not take into account the specifics of the room, but only its size and the wattage of the fixtures.

Therefore, in order to calculate how many spotlights to put into light a room, it is advisable to develop a meticulous lighting calculation, possibly relying on a professional who is well versed in the subject.

How many spotlights do you need to light a room?

Obviously, not all rooms need the same quality of lighting. You have to take into account the objective you want to achieve with the lighting (e.g., highlighting the contents of a shelf, displaying objects for an exhibition display...) the type of rooms to be lit (the room of a home, a working office, a store...).

Commercial rooms have very different lighting needs than private homes, so for the same square meters, the desired effect must be taken into account, not only in terms of lux but also in terms of room specifications.

Depending on the desired breadth of lighting for the same room (e.g., do we want to illuminate only the kitchen table or also the entire work surface?) more or less lighting power may be needed. For example, kitchens, being rooms that need adequate lighting, may require up to 350 lux.

Studios, being environments in which attention-intensive work activities take place, may require 300/500 lux.

Bathrooms need 150 lux, with makeup areas requiring up to 400 lux. Closets and garages need as little as 100 lux for minimal lighting.

How to arrange recessed spotlights?

The position of spotlights depends on the brightness they are capable of producing. However, it should be kept in mind that the distance of the devices may vary depending on the characteristics of the room in question.

In a kitchen or a busy room-taking a standard ceiling of 2.7 meters as a reference and using spotlights with an angled opening of 60°-you can place the devices 90 to 100 cm apart. In a wide corridor, to generate more diffuse light, they can be spaced even 130/150 cm apart.

In the case of narrow spotlights (30 degrees or less) we can keep shorter distances to make sure that no shadow areas are generated between them. In order to define the appropriate way to place the spotlights, we need to define a laying pattern.


To position them, one must follow a hypothetical line where they are spaced about one meter apart to avoid producing cones of light on the walls (unless this is the desired effect). Depending on the light beam of the devices in question (usually narrow - 30 degrees - or wide - 45/60 degrees) they will be placed at an appropriate distance from all the spotlights so as not to leave any areas of shadow.

In a long, narrow space such as a hallway, we can arrange a series of small circular spotlights placed about 90 cm apart to achieve satisfactory illumination. However, these are considerations that expose one to a certain risk of error when performed by non experts.

A professional can make a tailor-made lighting calculation so as to identify the optimal number of spotlights and the position in which to place them, in order to achieve effective lighting in relation to the specifics of the room in question.

9010 offers a wide range of LED recessed lights to match any style, from modern to minimalist. Wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted and as marker lights, all of our recessed products are made entirely by hand in Italy from CRISTALY®, a high-performance material that allows for easy recessed mounting thanks to a patented multi-cut slat system.


Square, round, rectangular, our lighting points are a true furnishing accessory, capable of creating an evocative atmosphere, especially when installed concealed in the false ceiling.


For over 50 years we have been carrying on the tradition of our area with passion and dedication, using non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials. We also provide our customers with the ability to customize products with the goal of meeting any lighting needs and requirements.