Choosing the Right Can Lights for Your 8-Foot Ceilings: Tips & Tricks

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Choosing the Right Can Lights for Your 8-Foot Ceilings: Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking to upgrade your lighting fixtures and improve the ambiance of a room with an 8-foot ceiling, can lights, also known as recessed lights or LED Ceiling Lights, could be an excellent option. However, choosing the right can lights for this type of space requires some careful consideration. In this article, we’ll cover some tips and tricks to help you select the best can lights for your needs.

Understanding 8-Foot Ceilings

Before diving into different types of can lights and their features, it’s essential to understand what makes 8-foot ceilings unique. Most homes have ceilings ranging from eight to ten feet high; however, lower-than-average ceiling heights require specific considerations when it comes to selecting light fixtures.

When working with low ceilings such as those at eight feet in height, you want a fixture that doesn’t hang down too far and possibly obstruct someone’s path. With limited overhead space available between the ceiling and floor above, one must pick out a fixture that has minimal depth when recessed.

Types of Can Lights

Can lights come in several different types based on their size/shape/depth/features.

Traditional Incandescent/Halogen Recessed Cans:

These are typically larger than LED recessed cans because they often house heat-producing incandescent bulbs or halogen bulbs that not only use more electricity but also produce much more heat output per watt used than modern LED technology. Traditional non-LED cans may be less expensive initially compared to modern LEDs but will end up costing extra money over time due to wasted energy costs.

Modern LED Recessed IC Cans:

IC rated means “insulation contact” so these fixtures utilize safe-to-touch technologies while minimizing any unwanted thermal hazards caused by putting insulation directly on top of them during installation. IC rated LED cans are considered the latest and greatest because they use significantly less energy than halogen/incandescent bulbs, will last many years longer (often 25-50k hours), generate almost no heat output relative to their light output, and are often dimmable or even color-tunable.

Modern LED Recessed Non-IC Cans:

Non-IC rated means “non-insulation contact,” and requires proper spacing from insulation. These units require a bit more clearance above for both air circulation around the fixture itself as well as minimized thermal damage risks to any insulation/flooring materials above it.

Selecting the Right Size

When choosing can lights that are suitable for 8-foot ceilings, you don’t want them to be too large or too small. If you select fixtures that are too big or deep, you may end up with an unwanted glare in your field of vision. Conversely, if you choose fixtures that are too small or shallow, they may not provide enough lighting coverage.

So how do we determine size?

A general rule of thumb is to use one recessed can per every 25 square feet of ceiling space. In addition, consider using smaller sized cans like the 3-inch or 4-inch options since most larger sizes will exceed acceptable depth limits when installed into a standard two-by-four joist framework in residential construction. It’s essential also always to focus on lumens over wattage when selecting your bulb type instead of solely focusing on wattages although selecting lower lumen counts would be better due to limiting glare/light pollution issues caused by brighter sources overhead especially at night time usage when our eyes adjust more quickly through darker environments.

Deciding on Lighting Features

Once you’ve narrowed down the size/type options for your space now comes time to decide what features matter most while searching out new products such as dimming abilities/color temperatures.

Dimming allows users full control of the lighting level in a particular space, so you can adjust to your mood, time of day or night and preserve energy as well.

Color temperature is another crucial factor to consider. Most LED bulbs come with color temperatures that range from 2700K (warm/soft white) up to 5000K (cool daylight). Usually, a warm light works better in residential dwellings since it feels more comfortable and close to natural sunlit environments.


Selecting the right can lights for an 8-foot ceiling space requires careful consideration of factors such as size/type/features. Knowing what options are available will help make sure your selection fits your needs while not compromising on safety and energy efficiency. Remember always to investigate thoroughly before making any purchases online or elsewhere by searching out customer reviews, installation guides, detailed product specifications where appropriate along with expert advice when necessary. Following these tips and tricks will enable you to choose the perfect can lights for your specific needs!


Q: How many can lights do I need for an 8-foot ceiling?
A: It is recommended to space out your can lights between 4-6 feet apart. For an 8-foot ceiling, you may want to place a light fixture every 5 feet. So, if your room is 10 feet wide by 12 long, you would need at least four fixtures.

Q: Which type of bulb should I use in my LED recessed lighting for my low ceilings?
A: For low ceilings like those at only eight feet high, it’s best to use shallow or ultra-shallow housing cans that are less than six inches deep with directional LED bulbs that have a narrow beam angle of around 30 degrees or less.

Q: Can I install dimmer switches on recessed lighting fixtures in rooms with low ceilings?
A: Yes! Modern dimming technology allows you to adjust the brightness level of your LED fixtures with great precision without any flickering or buzzing sounds when using compatible dimmer switches. Avoid using traditional incandescent dimming devices as they’re not always compatible with modern LEDs; instead look into LED-compatible ones from reputable manufacturers such as Lutron or Leviton.