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How to install recessed lighting in existing ceiling
2020-07-23

How to Install LED Ceiling Light Fixtures: Where to Use Them

Fixed LED light fixtures are absolutely perfect in quite a few, often overlooked areas of the home where you dont need anything fancy but you need a good, reliable light source. Places like closets, utility rooms, storage areas, garages and laundry rooms are the kind of areas that you want to think about for this.


Basically anywhere that you would see something that looks like this light fixture on a builder grade home.


The Benefits of Using Fixed LED Light Fixtures

The issues with those old standard light fixtures are that theyre really inefficient by todays standards, the bulbs you use in them can be easily broken, they run hot, and they often flicker as well.


You can see by the discolouration around this one that it was running really hot. Eek.


If you find that you have light fixtures like this that flicker, its probably caused by the heat created when you turn them on. The connection in the socket is often compromised by the heat because things can change shape when theyre heated up and youre left without a solid connection between the bulb and the light fixture.  You can see an example here where we had a flickering problem with the light on the right.


Fixed LEDs are the most efficient products available on the market and theres no bulb to worry about. So theyll never break, they wont ever burn out, and theres no connection to become compromised to cause flickering. Going to LED bulbs is a good step, but if you have easy access to your light fixture, why not just switch the whole thing out to a fixed LED? That way, youll never have to worry about that light fixture again!


TIME REQUIRED: 2-4 hours

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate

Recessed lights are an effective option for both new construction and remodeling if youre looking for lighting thats functional but hiddenin the ceiling. This project guide details how to install recessed lighting and which recessed lighting parts youll need to complete the job.


Safety: Before beginning the project, cut the electricity to the room in which youll be working.

Turn the wall switch in the room to the offsetting.

Cut the power to the room at the main fuse or breaker box.

Use a voltage tester to be sure there is no electricity flowing through the wires.

Tip: If you are not comfortable working with electricity, call a licensed electrician to complete your installation.


Lay out your light placement before you begin

Lay out your light placement before you begin, then use the template provided with your light kit to draw the outline for each opening.

Use a stud finder to make sure the holes do not overlap a joist.

If necessary, go into the attic and make sure there are no wires, pipes or ductwork behind the proposed opening.

If the area above the ceiling is a finished space, you can insert a coat hanger or fish tape through hole to check for any obstructions.

Be careful not to snag any wires that may be in the ceiling cavity.


Rough-In the Wiring

Disconnect the existing light fixture.

Run cable from the power source to a switch box and then to the first hole, allowing at least 18 inches of extra cable to make wiring easy.

Use a drill with a long drill bit to avoid cutting additional access holes that will need patching later.


Wire the Light

Open the lights junction box.

Run cable into the box and clamp it.

Strip insulation and make wire splices, black to black, white to white, and ground to ground.

Fold the wires into the box and replace the cover.


Mount the Light

Most models of recessed lighting housing have four clips that clamp the can to the ceiling by pushing down on top of the drywall.

Pull the clips in so they do not protrude outside the can.

Slip the cans 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.


Add the Trim

Most recessed lighting 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.


Install Lightbulbs

Once you have completed the trim, simply add the lightbulbs you like, turn the power back on and check to be sure the lights are working.


Be sure not to exceed the total wattage of the circuit. If you wanted to exceed this, consult a licensed electrician to determine how much of a load the circuit can accommodate.


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