Choosing a recessed LED spotlight: 4 criteria for choosing the right recessed LED spotlight

5 min

  • Recessed LED spotlights are an elegant and energy-efficient lighting solution for indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Depending on the number and beam angle of the LED spotlights, you can use them to set targeted light accents or illuminate entire rooms.
  • When making your selection, rely on additional functions such as dimmability or swiveling of the LED spots in order to benefit from them to the maximum.


Regardless of whether general or accent lighting – LED recessed spotlights are versatile. The advantage of this type of lighting is that the room height is retained, because the LED recessed spotlights are built into the ceiling of the respective room. You also benefit from even light distribution. We have summarized for you which criteria have to be considered when choosing the right product.

1. The beam angle should match the intended use

art gallery led spot

In galleries, individual recessed LED spotlights with a narrow beam angle are often used to showcase the works of art.

LED spotlights are also referred to as directional light sources among experts. They are therefore often used in museums and galleries when it comes to highlighting certain elements, such as pictures and sculptures, from the rest of the room, also in terms of lighting.

Nonetheless, recessed LED spotlights are also suitable for illuminating entire interiors. In this case, an important purchase criterion is the so-called beam angle, which provides information about how wide the light cone from the LED recessed spotlight is ultimately.

If a larger area, such as the entire hallway of the apartment or the entire bathroom, is to be illuminated, a wide beam angle is recommended for LED recessed spotlights for optimal illumination. On the other hand, if you only want to highlight a certain object (e.g. a painting, a vase or another object) with a light accent, you should choose a narrow angle. Our list shows an overview of the common beam angles in degrees:

Beam angle description
  • narrow beam angle
  • especially useful for light accents on certain objects
25° – 40°
  • medium
  • It is worthwhile combining several LED recessed spotlights, for example, to illuminate the kitchen island or the desk corner in the bedroom
41° – 90°
  • wide beam angle
  • Several recessed LED spotlights together can illuminate an entire room
> 90°
  • very wide beam angle
  • is therefore suitable for illuminating the entire living room
  • only a few LED recessed spotlights are required in combination

2. Dimmable LED recessed spotlights for different moods

So that the light can be individually adjusted depending on the mood and the desired atmosphere, there are now also dimmable ones Buy LED recessed spotlights. The light intensity can be precisely regulated by dimming. The intensity is simply reduced for a cozy atmosphere. A positive side effect is the lower power consumption of the LED recessed spotlights when dimmed. If, however, z. If, for example, more light is needed to work in the kitchen, the lighting can be intensified.

A notice: The color temperature of such built-in ceiling spots is usually between 2,700 and 3,000 Kelvin, which is known in technical terms as warm white. Basically, depending on the manufacturer, variants are also available that are in the range of 3500 Kelvin (= neutral white) or 5000 Kelvin (= daylight white).

The advantages and disadvantages of recessed LED spotlights with dimming function can be found in the following overview:


  • Lower power consumption with dimmed LED recessed spotlights
  • The lighting situation can be adapted to needs (work, relax)

  • Usually more expensive to buy
  • Light switch with dimming wheel must be retrofitted

3. Recessed LED spotlights with swivel function provide more flexibility

A particularly high degree of flexibility in the alignment of the individual spots can be achieved using the swivel function. The light cone of the respective lamp can be readjusted again and again as required. This is particularly useful when the facility changes and, as a result, other areas or objects are to be illuminated in a targeted manner.

We therefore recommend the installation of LED recessed spotlights, especially in living rooms. Bathroom, hallway and kitchen usually remain very similar in terms of room composition even in the case of renovation or new furnishings, which is why the LED recessed spotlights do not necessarily have to be pivotable.

But when the children’s room becomes a youth room or the parents’ bedroom gets a complete make-over, the demands on the lighting also change.

A combination of dimmable and swiveling LED recessed spotlights is best. You save energy and always remain flexible, even if your living situation changes over the years.

4. You should pay attention to this with ceiling spotlights for the bathroom


When using LED recessed spotlights in the bathroom, you should pay attention to the corresponding protection class.

Not all LED recessed spotlights are suitable for damp rooms such as the bathroom. Because when it is wet or in close proximity to water, the luminaires have to meet certain requirements. Depending on where exactly the lighting is installed, the corresponding IP protection class must be given.

  1. IP44 offers protection against splash water: Recessed LED spotlights with the Marking IP44 are splash-proof and can therefore be easily installed in the vicinity of water sources such as wash basins, bathtubs or showers.
  2. IP65 offers protection against water jets: Ceiling spotlights with the IP65 rating offer even better protection. These can even be exposed to water jets without being damaged or posing a safety risk. They can therefore be installed directly above the shower. The operating voltage of such LED recessed spotlights must not exceed 25V / AC or 60V / DC.

A notice: The version protected against splashes or jets of water is also well suited for outdoor use. So if you want to provide atmospheric lighting outdoors on the balcony, terrace or in the garden house, you can also use the energy-saving LED spots.

5. Checklist for selecting the right recessed LED spotlights

In the following, we from summarize again what is important when buying LED recessed spotlights

  1. The beam angle: The higher the beam angle is specified in degrees, the wider the light cone of a single LED recessed spotlight.
  2. Dimmability: If you want to adapt the lighting situation to your respective needs in the room, a dimming function of the LEDs should not be missing
  3. Pivotability: If you would like to rearrange and want a sustainable lighting solution for every room, rely on swiveling LED recessed spotlights. The corners of the room, which were previously rather dark, can be filled with bright light thanks to the pivotability and vice versa.
  4. Protection classes: When installing LED recessed spotlights in the bathroom or on the veranda, you should ensure that the LEDs are either splash-proof (IP44) or even protection against water jets (IP65).

Photo credits: Sobolev,, Jarzabek (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)


Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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