Recessed lighting can be a wasteful way of lighting rooms in your house. If they are on dimmer switches, and/or use halogen lights, they can be expensive to retrofit with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). A friend recommends the following approach to reducing dependence on recessed lighting, while still having a pleasing light.
"My solution at home is to keep the halogens dimmed and use large CFLs in torchiere style lamps for the primary lighting in those rooms."
Seek out the torchiere lamps that use compact fluorescent bulbs rather than the potentially dangerous and less efficient halogens (they get very hot and could start a fire if the lamp is knocked over).