No, not those kind of pot lights…

Sometimes called can or recessed lighting, pot lights hide in your ceiling—and you can use them for a wide variety of lighting tasks. Let’s take a look at ten things you need to know about pot lighting:

1. New or Old Construction 

You can install recessed lighting when building a new home; but you can also retro-fit it into your existing home.

2. Low cost! 

Can or pot lighting costs much less than comparable ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures.

3. Sleek and Modern Design 

The old pot lighting options—well, they were pretty boring. Today, with a wide variety of new options, including hundreds of different kinds of trim, colors and sizes, pot lighting can have high impact on your home’s brightness, mood and ambience.

4. Energy-saving

Pot lights, because of their built-in reflectors and focused beams, and because they can accept CFL or LED bulbs, can save you a ton of money on that monthly electric bill.

5. Safety

Remember how the old-school pot lights got hot—even too hot to touch? The new generation of recessed lighting has thermal safety switches on every light, which eliminates the risk of heat damage to the lights themselves, their wiring or the ceiling.

6. Air Tight

Now recessed lighting comes in air tight versions, with sealed fixtures that prevent air flow in both directions. This means you can keep the attic dust out of your living spaces; but it also means the new air tight pot lights keep heated and cooled air where it’s supposed to stay—in your house.

7. Low Voltage Options 

For even more energy savings, you can now buy 12-volt recessed lighting—and these specialty lights come in increasingly smaller sizes, for pinpoint lighting exactly where you need it. Got a piece of art or memorabilia you’d like to spotlight? These are your solution.

8. Wall Washers 

One of the most effective uses of pot lighting is the wall wash style, where an entire wall can be softly lit by strategically-placed cans with non-glare baffles and bulbs.

9. Now for the Bath 

In the old days pot lights weren’t recommended for humid environments, but now pot lighting can be ordered with closed-face trims, which keep out moisture and prevent any flammable objects from coming into contact with the lamp itself. This is a great way to light showers, bathtubs and dressing areas.

10. Tons of Trim Options

Flat surface trim rings, eyeball trims, and the new surface-drop trims have made pot lighting a decorator’s playground. Used to seeing plain white recessed lighting in the ceiling? Now you can have accents and fixtures that match the style of any décor or period. And if you don’t want to see the can or pot at all? A whole new generation of simple, screw-in hanging fixtures can make your recessed lighting into innovative and striking pendant lights, in every finish from ultra-modern metallics to stained glass.

Any good lighting contractor can install recessed lighting, and most can help you with your home’s lighting design, too.