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How to Install Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a popular style of lighting for businesses and homes alike. This type of lighting arrangement is also known as can lighting, and consists of lights that are recessed into the ceiling. Installing recessed lighting is a fairly simple project, but one that involves some planning and some careful precision. You’ll first have to think about what kind of recessed lighting you want in terms of the style of beam emitted from the light, as well as how many.

You’ll need to know what’s above the ceiling to determine the installation approach. You will also need to consider the type of wiring in your ceiling so that the same type is used in the lighting installation. You may want to have an expert electrician inspect the wiring to determine if it should be replaced and advise you on the number of lights you can install to the circuit to prevent unintentionally overloading the circuit. If you aren’t comfortable working with your home wiring, you should contact a quality electrician. Here are some steps for installing recessed lighting.

    • First, shut off the power at the main breaker, turn light switches to the ‘off’ position, and test the wires to ensure that power is off.

    • Identify the location for each light and use the template on the lights to prepare the opening for each fixture on the ceiling.

    • Drill a ¼ inch hole in the ceiling at the center of the opening. Make sure that there are no obstructions in the area above the ceiling, whether there is another finished room or an attic above. Next, use a hole saw to create openings for the light housing.

    • Disconnect the existing fixture from the power source and stretch the cable from the first recessed light, leaving about 18 inches of wire hanging from the ceiling. Repeat this for each light fixture.

    • This excess wire will give enough room to wire the new fixtures. If there is an attic above the ceiling, run the wire from the attic. If the above area is a finished space, drill into the joists and thread the wire through the framing.

    • Connect the fixtures one by one, starting with the first fixture by wiring it to the power source and the cable running to the next housing. You should have three black, white, and ground wires connected and capped.

  • Install the housing and fit the pieces according to the instructions on the manufacturer’s installation information. Finally, screw in the bulbs, inspect the work, and restore power.