Instructions for Installing a Recessed Light Fixture

The directional lighting provided by recessed lighting is ideal for use in the kitchen, the living room, and the bedroom. In contrast to most ceiling lights, recessed lighting can be neatly tucked out of sight because it is flush with the ceiling.

Light fixtures are attached to the ceiling's exterior. There is a junction box and wires concealed within the ceiling's drywall. However, the light fixture is visible on the ceiling's surface and draws a lot of attention. Recessed lighting is an option for those who either don't want this obstruction or prefer a different kind of illumination in their homes.

There is some work involved in converting a ceiling light to a recessed light, but the job can be done by a handy homeowner in less than two hours.

To install a recessed light in the same location as a regular ceiling light, simply remove the old fixture and electrical box. You should think about the following things first:

  • Ceiling fixtures are off-center. As a rule, ceiling fixtures must be placed in the middle of a room. Lights installed in the ceiling are called recessed lights, and they are typically arranged around the edges of a room. The placement of the recessed light in the middle of the room is determined by the removal of the ceiling light.
  • It can be challenging to get the old electrical box out of the way. It is often easier to just leave the electrical box for the ceiling light where it is rather than try to remove it.

You can either move the current wires to the new spot, or you can run brand new wires there. No matter what, the ceiling fixture's electrical junction box is kept on and powered. A ceiling box cover now hides the empty fixture and prevents any light from penetrating.

Use a remodel light fixture that can be installed from below the ceiling if you don't have access to an attic above the ceiling.

First, turn off the light switch for the fixture on the ceiling, and then turn off the corresponding breaker in your home's electrical panel. You must use both hands to turn off the lights at once. The breaker must be turned off.

Make sure you're using a light that can safely come into contact with the insulation in the ceiling (IC-rated). In order to prevent a fire from starting, insulation must be kept several inches away from non-IC-rated fixture housings. If you don't insulate your home or the area around it, warm air will leak out of your ceiling and into the attic.

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  • Disguised as an architectural feature, the recessed lighting
  • Device for securing cables
  • Ligatures for joining wires

  1. Power must be cut off at the panel by switching off the breaker. To ensure the light is unplugged, try turning it on and off at the switch. If the switch doesn't turn on, try these steps.

    Electrical Distribution Board Interior Getty Images for Fuse
  2. Take down the ceiling light's cover or sphere, then pull out the bulbs. Disconnect the housing from the power supply by unscrewing the screws holding it there with a screwdriver. Carefully lower the light a few inches to reveal the wiring. You can verify the absence of power by using a non-contact voltage tester to check each wire. If the voltmeter reads power, you must shut off the offending circuit breaker before continuing testing.

    Title: The Spruce by Liz Moskowitz

  3. Separate the circuit wires from the wires in the light fixture by unscrewing the connectors holding them together. Don't just snip the wires unless they're extremely long or frayed. They might become too short to work with the new light if you do that.

    "The Spruce" by Liz Moskowitz

  4. Cover the hole where the electrical box will go with the cutting template from the new fixture. Make a cutting guide by tracing the outline of the template with a pencil. Draw the shape on the drywall and cut it out. Take care not to nick the wiring up there. Take down the sections of drywall that you have cut.

    Liz Moskowitz's The Spruce

    In the absence of a template, mark a circle on the ceiling with a pencil compass that is just slightly larger than the canister of the new light fixture. No more than 1/8 inch more (in diameter) than the canister itself is acceptable.

  5. Take out the old electrical box's screws from the ceiling joists. Hacksaw through the nails holding the box down if necessary. Turn the screw on the cable clamp to release the cable, and then take the box down from the ceiling.

    Liz Moskowitz's The Spruce

  6. Attach the cable clamp to the new light fixture's electrical splice box. Insert the circuit cable into the splice box, then tighten the clamp's screws to keep the cable in place. The cable sheathing (outer jacket) must protrude from the clamp by at least 1/4 inch.

    Liz Moskowitz's The Spruce.

  7. Follow the wiring diagram provided by the manufacturer of the light fixture when connecting the circuit wires to the wires of the light fixture. Use a wire connector to ensure the safety of every join. Black (hot) circuit wires typically connect to black (hot) fixture wires, white (neutral) circuit wires typically connect to white (neutral) fixture wires, and bare copper (ground) circuit wires typically connect to bare copper or green insulated fixture wires.

    Liz Moskowitz's The Spruce

  8. Insert the splice box part of the fixture into the opening, followed by the light canister. If you open the container, you can reach inside and snap the ceiling clips down hard to secure them to the drywall's back.

    If the light bulb is stored in a separate module, connect it to the fixture's wiring before sliding it into the canister. Put in a light fixture

    Summary of Liz Moskowitz's The Spruce

    Verify the bulb's wattage against the fixture's stated maximum. There is very little chance of going over the limit when using energy-saving LEDs or CFLs. Incandescent and halogen bulbs, despite their high wattages and high temperatures, make this task relatively simple.

  9. Turning on the breaker will restore power to the light's circuit, and turning on the switch will test the bulb. Cover the new fixture with insulation (only if the fixture is IC-rated) in the attic if you want to reduce heat loss from the room.

    Spruce / Liz Moskowitz

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