Recessed lighting trims serve three purposes:
- They conceal the recessed fixture behind them.
- They direct and shape the light downward.
- They provide a finished/decorative look.
In this tutorial, we’ll first look at the various trim options that are available and the differences between them. Then, I’ll show you how to choose the best trims for each lighting layer in a room.
Gimbal Trims are similar to eyeballs except they pivot within the housing so they protrude much less below the ceiling. Their range of motion is the same as the eyeball but at full range the trim may cut off part of the beam of a wide angle lamp.
A trim’s color can have a big impact on its output of the light. Dark colored trims absorb light and can result in as much as a 44% loss in light output.
The term Photometric Efficiency is used to describe the loss/efficiency of a trim.
|Trim Color||Sample||Light Absorbed by Trim||Photometric Efficiency|
Trim Finishes (optional)
A trim’s finish can directly affect ceiling brightness. There are two finishes that work very well for maximizing light reflection while minimizing unwanted glare:
Alzak® Finish – Alzak is a proprietary anodizing process developed by Alcoa Aluminum. It creates a finish which is very efficient at reflecting light while at the same time reducing ceiling brightness and glare.
How to choose the best trims for each lighting layer in a room.
Recommended trim type for each lighting layer
|General Lighting||Task Lighting||Accent Lighting|
|Baffle Trim||Baffle Trim||Eyeball|
|Reflector Trim||Reflector Trim||Gimbal|
|Lensed Trim (wet locations)||Pinhole||Surface Adjustable|
When choosing the best trim for each lighting layer in a room, you should:
- First, select the type of trim needed based on function. For accent lighting, it is important to pay attention to the range of motion of the trim to be sure that it will work with the placement of your light.
- Next, choose a color that is closest to the color of the ceiling. For general lighting, I recommend using white trims if the ceiling is white. If the ceiling is painted a color other than white, you can use a clear (chrome) trim with a specular finish which will reflect the ceiling color and blend well. You can also paint the trim ring to match the ceiling if you’d like, but don’t paint the inside surface of the trim.
- If available for the trim type, choose a finish that will minimize glare and ceiling brightness.