How to Install Recessed Lighting

Are you looking to add some extra lighting to your home, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of traditional lamps? Well, consider installing recessed lighting! Recessed lights are a great way to add light without taking up a lot of space. In this blog post, we will show you how to install recessed lighting in your home. We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself, as well as tips on what to look for when purchasing recessed lights. Remember, if you read this and do not feel comfortable, we recommend finding a dependable electrician to do the work for you.

How To Install Recessed Lighting
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What are recessed lights and what are they used for?

When most people think of recessed lighting, they envision the standard can lights found in many homes. However, recessed lighting comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and it can be used for a number of different purposes. In general, recessed lighting is any type of light that is installed into a hole in the ceiling. This can include spotlights, track lights, and even LED lights.

Recessed lighting is often used to highlight specific areas or objects. And it can be an effective way to add ambient light to a room. For example, it may be that you choose to have extra lighting above a reading nook or above the kitchen island to help increase the appearance while also helping gain extra light. It is also a popular choice for task lighting, as it provides focused light without generating glare. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of style or simply need more light in your home, recessed lighting installation is worth considering.

Before beginning of recessed lighting installation

Before you start playing around with electricity, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the necessary safety precautions. We all know how dangerous it can be to work with a live wire. According to The Electricity Forum, electricity at any voltage can be dangerous. Be sure to read the entire article and make the decision of whether you feel you are equipped to handle electrical work. If you are not, you will want to consider using electrical installation services in your area.

If you’re installing recessed lighting, that means turning off the power to the room at the main fuse or breaker box. If you can’t turn off power for just that room, turn off power for the entire house. Then, use a voltage tester on the wires to double-check that there’s no electricity flowing through them before you start working. Once you’ve verified that everything is turned off and safe to work on, you can go ahead and begin the recessed lighting installation.

Cutting the hole for the lighting

When it comes to recessed lighting, proper placement is key. Whether you’re starting from scratch in new construction or retrofitting an existing room, take the time to plan your light placement before you start drilling or cutting any holes. Once you’ve got a plan, mark the planned locations on the ceiling, so you know where to drill or cut. This will help you avoid mistakes and ensure that your recessed lights are evenly spaced and aesthetically pleasing. With a little planning, you can achieve professional-looking results that will brighten up any room in your home. However, if you are hesitant, please reach out to a licensed electrician (if in Australia, a Sydney residential electrician would be able to help).

To install your recessed lights, follow these steps: use the template provided with your light kit to draw the outline for each planned opening, making sure to check that the holes do not overlap a joist with a stud finder. Next, drill a 1/4-inch hole at the center of each planned opening. If you can’t access the area above the ceiling from your attic, insert a coat hanger or fish tape through the hole to check for any obstructions. Once you’ve confirmed that there’s nothing in the way, cut out the larger hole with a drywall saw and mark all light locations. Be careful not to snip any wires!

Rough-in the wiring

If you’re planning on replacing an existing light fixture with recessed lighting, the first step is to disconnect the power to the circuit that supplies the light. Once that’s done, you can remove the old fixture and then proceed with wiring your new recessed lights. Depending on the type of recessed lighting you’re installing, the process may vary slightly, but in general, you’ll need to connect the hot wire to the black lead on the recessed light and the white wire to the white lead. Once everything is wired up, you may want to tag your work with electrical wire labels in case you ever need to do more work with the wires in the future. You can then screw in the light bulbs and restore power to the circuit, then you should be able to flip the switch and enjoy your new recessed lighting installation.

When installing recessed lighting, the first step is to run NM-B cable from the power source to a switch box. Then, continue running the cable from the switch box to the first hole. It’s important to allow for at least 18 inches of extra cable, as this will make wiring much easier. Next, run the cable from the first hole to the second hole, and then from the second hole to the third. Continue in this manner until you reach the last recessed light location. These steps will ensure that your recessed lighting is installed correctly and safely.

How To Install Recessed Lighting
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Wiring the recessed lighting

Before you start, gather the following materials: a light fixture, wire, wire cutters, wire strippers, and UL-approved wire connectors. Once you have everything you need, follow these steps to wire the light: Open the light’s junction box. Run cables into the box and clamp them. Use wire stripper to strip a few inches of the cable’s insulation to reveal the interior wires. Next use the wire stripper to remove about 1/2-inch of insulation from each wire. Connect like-colored wires using UL-approved wire connectors. Always match black to black, white to white and ground to ground (ground wires may be bare copper or have green insulation). Fold the wires carefully into the box and replace the cover. That’s it! You’ve now successfully wired your light fixture.


Most models of recessed lighting have four clips that clamp the can to the ceiling by pushing down on top of the drywall. To mount the recessed lighting, follow these steps: Pull the clips in so they do not protrude outside the can. Slip the can’s box into the hole, and then push the can body up into the hole until its flange is tight to the ceiling. With your thumb, push each clip up and outward until it clicks and clamps the light fixture. That’s it! Now you know how to mount a recessed light.

Adding the Trim

Most recessed light trims are mounted with coil springs or squeezable rod springs. 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. If you have rod springs, squeeze and insert both ends of each spring into their assigned holes. Push the trim up into position. That’s it! Add a light bulb and you are all set! Be sure to follow the recommendations on the wattage that are printed on the light fixture. By following these simple steps, you’ll have your recessed lighting trimmed and ready to go in no time.

image sources

  • How To Install Recessed Lighting: FreePik
  • How-to-Install-Recessed-Lighting: FreePik