I am trying to decide on recessed lighting for my kitchen and family room. What are the pros and cons of the baffle verus the directional trim?
Good question, I'd like to hear some thoughts too!
Picking recessed lighting and trim is soo much fun (not!) It is my understanding that baffle trim and directional trim are two very different things. Baffle trim is used for generally lighting purpose and directional trim is used for accent lighting. Directional trim can be either a gimble type or an eyeball type. The difference is in the way they rotate and the degree of the angle the can be adjusted. I have a recessed light in my dinette area that has a gimble trim and is used to light a large piece of artwork on the wall. In my great room, I have two 4 inch cans that have eyeball trim which shine on my fireplace/mantle.
Besides baffle trims there are also reflector trims. Baffle trims reduce glare but also reduce light output. Reflector trims give off more light but there might be more glare. Reflector trims are also called specular or the trade name Alzak. Reflector trims come in different finishes such as wheat haze, satin nickel, clear and others. I initially bought wheat haze for my kitchen but it made the light too warm colored for my kitchen and I exchanged them for satin nickel. It made a big difference in my kitchen. Ceiling height, room size and number of cans are all factors to be considered
Here is a brief explanation I found for trims:
Q) When should a baffle trim be used?
A) Baffle trims, or stepped baffle trims, have concentric circular grooves inside the cone that surrounds the lamp. Use a baffle trim when you want to minimize glare coming from the light fixture.
Q) When should a reflector trim be used?
A) Reflector trims have smooth, shiny cones surrounding the lamp to reflect the light. Use it when you want to maximize the amount of light coming from the recessed fixtures.
Q) What is the purpose of an adjustable trim?
A) It allows the lamp inside the recessed fixture to be aimed at something like a sculpture or a wall hanging and, thereby, provide good accent lighting. Adjustable trims can rotate, revolve, and/or swivel. They can also provide good task lighting; for example, as a "reading light" over your bed.
After you figure out the trim you can move on to the fun of picking out the correct bulbs for your recessed lights. They come in different color temperatures (2,700K, 3,000K etc.), different lumens and different color rendering (CRI) regardless of whether they are incandescent, CFL, halogen or LED.
Good luck in your quest for the perfect lighting
Here is a link that might be useful: Recessed lighting trim