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How To Install Recessed Lighting?



|Last Updated: 26 Jul 2022

Whether you're building a new home or renovating an old one, recessed lighting can be a key element in both the function and style of any space.

Recessed lighting offers a clean, streamlined look in a home. It can increase the amount of light in a room, highlight artwork or other special features, and open up spaces so they look and feel bigger.


Step #1: Planning

The first step in installing recessed lighting in your home is the planning. In general, recessed cans should be positioned six feet from each other. If your rooms won't accommodate this, you'll have to adjust your calculations. If there is insulation in the ceiling, buy insulation-compatible, or IC lights. Standard recessed lights will dangerously overheat when surrounded by insulation. Experiment with several configurations and then take your plans with you to your local lighting fixture store for advice. You must also pick out the trim that will fit your needs. Open trim is the simplest and least expensive option. Baffle trim diffuses light so it's more evenly distributed. Fisheye or eyeball trim swivels to highlight a decorative feature. And reflective trim offers maximum brightness. Decorative trims are also available to complement your interior decoration.

It's a good idea to choose both the size of the recessed housing and the trim at the same time, or install housings with flexible trim options and choose those later. Kits are available which come with housing and trim. Once you have purchased your recessed fixtures, lay-out the lights using the mounting templates that came with them. The templates show you what size hole to cut so tape the temples to the ceiling to get an idea of where your life should go and how they'll look. As always, the most important step in any electrical project is to shut off the power at the circuit breaker, so don't forget.


Use a stud finder to make sure the lights will not overlap a joist. Locate and mark each of the joists in the room so you can avoid them. If you are installing between two floors, you will need eight inches of vertical space above the ceiling to accommodate the mounting hardware. You can check that you have enough space by drilling a hole and poking a bent wire up into it. If you have less than eight inches of vertical space above the ceiling, purchase a low clearance canister. Also, if you are installing between floors, you will need to drill holes in your joists to accommodate the wires that will run from light to light that are separated by the joists, but make as few holes as possible and do not cut holes greater than a quarter of the width of the joists. You are now ready to cut the opening in the ceiling. You can use a drywall or hole cutting saw to cut the hole, but make sure to cut each hole precisely. If the hole is even just a fraction too big, the can may not clamp tightly. Also, take care not to snag any wires that may be in the ceiling cavity.


Step #2: Rough-in the Wiring

The second step is to rough in the wiring. Run the cable from a power source to a switch box, and then to the location of the can. Allow at least 16 inches of extra cable to make wiring easy. Strip the insulation from the wire. Open the light's junction box. Usually, a plate will pop off. Run your cable into the box and clamp it. Connect it black to black, white to white, and ground to ground. Fold the wires into the box and replace the cover. It's time to mount your light. Most remodel cans have three or four clips that clamp the can to the ceiling by pushing down on the top of the drywall or the plaster. Pull the clips in so they do not protrude outside the can. Slip the can's box into the hole. Then push the can body up into the hole until its flange is tight to the ceiling. With your thumb or screwdriver, push each clip up and outward until it clamps the fixture.


Step #3: Add the Trim

The last step is to add the trim. Most trims are mounted with coil springs or squeeze-able rod springs. If you have rod springs, squeeze and insert both ends of each spring into their assigned holes. Then push the trim up. If you have coil springs, hook each spring to its assigned hole inside the can. Pull out each spring and hook it to the trim. Then carefully guide the trim into position. Different trims require different bulbs. The ones you'll need are marked on the inside of the trim. All that is left now is to turn on the power at the circuit breaker and test your work. And that's it. Now, sit back and enjoy your new recessed lighting.


*All images are from the internet.


Sure you may try and follow these easy recessed lighting installation steps when you'd like to give your house a nice touch-up, but if you'd like to ask for lighting professionals or home remodeling experts, Eano Home Renovation has got you covered. Apart from ADU, kitchen, bathroom, and flooring services, we also do miscellaneous projects like lighting installation and paint services. Want to know more of our add-on service packages? Browse through our website and see more projects that might be something that you need!

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