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Our Hidden Lighting Solution for the Sleeping Loft

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

check sheets | sconce | vintage rug (similar) | wool rug | bookcase | art | night light

The pitched beadboard ceiling is one of the most charming aspects of our sleeping loft, and we’ve said this before (and I’ll say it again!), but this little loft was the most endearing surprise when we first laid eyes on our Tree House. Painting it a bright white was just the facelift the space needed to keep it feeling bright and cozy (taller, even!), but still, the slope of the ceiling created some challenges in the overhead lighting department.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

When the ceiling was finished (we think in the mid-90s) , the gap left between the beadboard and the interior of the roof structure is only about 3.5″, which makes for tricky wiring and junction box placement – hence the two exposed, shadeless fixtures and the wonky CFL bulb that we inherited when we purchased the home. We discussed everything from a strand of hidden LED light hidden in that center channel, to flush mount fixtures recessed into the center beam. Kim was on the hunt for adorable lighting for months (we both loved these), and we even sketched up plans to add a flat surface to the center of the pitch to allow for a flat mounting surface. Any scenario we came up with, however, detracted from the charm we first fell in love with, and it felt as if we were doing nothing but spinning our wheels. In the end, nothing felt right – or even feasible – for that matter!

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

But. After we had the slim can lights installed in our studio space at home, we had a lightbulb (dad pun intended) moment! Why not install recessed canless lights in the loft? After all, we’d be adding interest with wallpaper, so why detract from that? Recessed lighting seemed like the perfect, nearly-invisible solution, so we picked up a pair of dimmable, 4″ canless LED lights in our favorite 2700k temperature.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

With the existing wiring in place, the cans that we chose were practically plug-and-play. In our case, they actually replaced the junction boxes that were installed a couple of decades ago. The metal panel on the side pops off with a small clip and the round knock outs make for easy wire access. Tip: Just make sure to have the proper connections on-hand, as the kit does not include any parts beyond the light itself. 

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

We followed the detailed instructions closely and the install process was very straightforward, taking only an hour or so start to finish. We absolutely love the way the flush design disappears into the ceiling and allows extra headroom for our taller friends and family members. Can you spot them below?

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick HomeRecessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

Our only hesitation was the placement of the existing junction boxes. Because they were both on the same side of the center beam, we worried that the light would end up feeling very lopsided, but we were careful to choose a flood bulb (as opposed to spotlight), and when paired with the bright white of the ceilings, we were pleasantly surprised with how even the light felt!

Now we have lighting solutions for any time of day or night. The recessed lights provide even overhead lighting, and the sconces are great for evening reading or relaxing. The ceiling light closest to the window is also on a pair of three-way switches, which means that it can be turned on and off using the switch next to the window, or we can use a secondary switch near the base of the loft ladder (on the first floor). We’ll eventually install dimmer switches – that’s next on the list, always! – so we can dial in the perfect amount of ambient lighting.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

We’re incredibly happy with the finished result and actually can’t believe that it took us this long to make the upgrade! Isn’t that always the case with the small things though? The loft is one step closer to completion, and we’ll be installing the wallpaper next week, fingers crossed.

Recessed lighting in a bright and airy kids' sleeping loft | via Yellow Brick Home

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  • Lori4.2.19 - 9:41 AM

    I usually loathe the look of can lights because I find their shadows when they’re not on really distracting, but these really do visually disappear into the ceiling! Pretty cool.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.2.19 - 11:02 AM

      Totally. These guys are so flat, you barely see them!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Gokie4.2.19 - 9:47 AM

    I had no idea canless recessed lights even existed! Definitely filing away for future use.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.2.19 - 11:02 AM

      Neither did I until Scott showed me! Game changer.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan4.2.19 - 4:37 PM

    This might be an interesting solution for both our basement and attic. We have exposed bulbs in the basement right now and I love how much light they provide but the bulbs do hang down and the ceiling isn’t very high to start with. and the attic has two original hanging bulbs on either end of the room but the bulb is about face height for me? They operate with switches on the bulb but we did have them wired to a wall switch a few years ago so we could change them out for a “regular” ceiling fixture someday. I hadn’t realized that LEDs had changed the recessed lighting game so much recently.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.2.19 - 6:39 PM

      The LED lighting came has changed like CRAZY! Definitely worth looking into. It sounds like it would be a great solution for your basement.ReplyCancel

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