How to Install Recessed Lights — Pretty Handy Girl

How to Install Recessed Lights - Pretty Handy Girl

How to Install Recessed Lights

Kitchen progress is definitely moving along (hooray. ) We now have recessed lighting in our ceiling and it really helps even out the lighting in the kitchen. Plus getting rid of the semi-flush light fixtures makes the ceiling feel taller.

We debated about installing new construction  recessed lighting:

or remodel type recessed lights:

We could have installed either because our ceiling was already full of holes. Ultimately, we decided to install the old work (or remodeling type) lights because they clamp tightly to the sheet rock for less vibration. They also have a built in junction box with easy to wire connectors. (Did I mention that my sons bedroom is right over the kitchen and there is a lot of jumping and bouncing that goes on up there!)

My electrician let me pal around and help him install the recessed cans after he ran the wiring. You know I took careful notes so I could share with you how to install your own recessed lighting fixtures.

  • Remodeling recessed lights
  • Light bulbs (be sure to get bulbs rated for your cans or they may blink out when the temperature gets too hot.)
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Pencil
  • Piece of tape
  • Hole saw (or drywall saw)
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer (optional)

Instructions:

First determine where you would like your light installed. Hire an electrician to run electricity though your ceiling if there arent already wires accessible. Remove the paper template from the recessed can. Trace onto the ceiling with pencil.

My electrician showed me how to make this cool tool out of a coat hanger to determine if there are any obstructions in the ceiling.

First bend the wire to the radius of the paper template (from the center to the exterior edge.) Next place the coat hanger against the side of the can. Extend the bent end an inch or so above the can and then wrap a piece of tape around the hanger where it meets the bottom of the recessed light (shown by the red line.) Here is what the tool looks like when you are done:

Press the bent end up into the center of your traced circle. Then press the hanger up into the ceiling until you reach the tape. Spin the wire around. If it doesnt hit anything you have the clearance you need to install the recessed light. If you hit something, youll need to relocate the light to another location.

Cut around the pencil line into your ceiling using a drywall saw. Or you can use this fancy hole cutter my electrician uses. It attaches to the drill and has a spinning blade that cuts the hole. The bowl around the blade catches all the drywall mess. Genius!

Pull the wires that the electrician ran through the hole.

Grab one of the recessed light fixtures. Remove the cover from the junction box. Use the flat screwdriver to break off the slot(s) in the side of the junction box. Youll only need to break off one tab per wire. (If you have two wires, the fixture is in a daisy chain and electricity runs to another fixture from that one. In that case, break off two slots.)

Feed the wire(s) through the slot(s) in the side of the junction box. Pull them through about 6 8 to give you enough room to work with.

Gently score the plastic coating of the wires. Then cut off the plastic coating and the paper coating from the wires. Finally strip off about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the black and white wires.

Spread out the wires in the box and locate the ones attached to the light fixture.

Here comes the easy part! Attach the newly stripped wire to the same colored wire from the junction box by firmly inserting the wire into the wire connector. [White connects to white; Black to black; and bare to bare (or green).] Gently tug on the wires to make sure they wont slip loose from the connector.

Gently fold the wires back into the junction box, take care to keep the black and white wire connectors separated if you can.  Replace the cover onto the junction box.

How to Install Recessed Lights - Pretty Handy Girl

Feed the light fixture into the ceiling hole by inserting the junction box first. Then press the recessed can up until it is flush with the ceiling.

Locate the four tabs inside the light fixture. Use the flat screw driver to press the tabs through the light fixture. You may need to bang on the screwdriver with your fist or a hammer to set the tabs to lock against the ceiling.

Insert light bulb(s), turn on the power, and switch on those beautiful recessed lights!

I had to share this some-ecard with you that BigMamaCass  (an amazing photographer ) shared with me on Instagram. I was ready to publish this post and get it out before my email feed went out at 8pm.  Then the power flickered and wouldnt you know that the internet went out! I cant think of anything more frustrating for a blogger. So, this image she sent brought a good laugh from me.

How to Install Recessed Lights

Kitchen progress is definitely moving along (hooray. ) We now have recessed lighting in our ceiling and it really helps even out the lighting in the kitchen. Plus getting rid of the semi-flush light fixtures makes the ceiling feel taller.

We debated about installing new construction  recessed lighting:

or remodel type recessed lights:

We could have installed either because our ceiling was already full of holes. Ultimately, we decided to install the old work (or remodeling type) lights because they clamp tightly to the sheet rock for less vibration. They also have a built in junction box with easy to wire connectors. (Did I mention that my sons bedroom is right over the kitchen and there is a lot of jumping and bouncing that goes on up there!)

My electrician let me pal around and help him install the recessed cans after he ran the wiring. You know I took careful notes so I could share with you how to install your own recessed lighting fixtures.

  • Remodeling recessed lights
  • Light bulbs (be sure to get bulbs rated for your cans or they may blink out when the temperature gets too hot.)
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Pencil
  • Piece of tape
  • Hole saw (or drywall saw)
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer (optional)

Instructions:

First determine where you would like your light installed. Hire an electrician to run electricity though your ceiling if there arent already wires accessible. Remove the paper template from the recessed can. Trace onto the ceiling with pencil.

My electrician showed me how to make this cool tool out of a coat hanger to determine if there are any obstructions in the ceiling.

First bend the wire to the radius of the paper template (from the center to the exterior edge.) Next place the coat hanger against the side of the can. Extend the bent end an inch or so above the can and then wrap a piece of tape around the hanger where it meets the bottom of the recessed light (shown by the red line.) Here is what the tool looks like when you are done:

Press the bent end up into the center of your traced circle. Then press the hanger up into the ceiling until you reach the tape. Spin the wire around. If it doesnt hit anything you have the clearance you need to install the recessed light. If you hit something, youll need to relocate the light to another location.

Cut around the pencil line into your ceiling using a drywall saw. Or you can use this fancy hole cutter my electrician uses. It attaches to the drill and has a spinning blade that cuts the hole. The bowl around the blade catches all the drywall mess. Genius!

Pull the wires that the electrician ran through the hole.

Grab one of the recessed light fixtures. Remove the cover from the junction box. Use the flat screwdriver to break off the slot(s) in the side of the junction box. Youll only need to break off one tab per wire. (If you have two wires, the fixture is in a daisy chain and electricity runs to another fixture from that one. In that case, break off two slots.)

Feed the wire(s) through the slot(s) in the side of the junction box. Pull them through about 6 8 to give you enough room to work with.

Gently score the plastic coating of the wires. Then cut off the plastic coating and the paper coating from the wires. Finally strip off about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the black and white wires.

Spread out the wires in the box and locate the ones attached to the light fixture.

Here comes the easy part! Attach the newly stripped wire to the same colored wire from the junction box by firmly inserting the wire into the wire connector. [White connects to white; Black to black; and bare to bare (or green).] Gently tug on the wires to make sure they wont slip loose from the connector.

Gently fold the wires back into the junction box, take care to keep the black and white wire connectors separated if you can.  Replace the cover onto the junction box.

Feed the light fixture into the ceiling hole by inserting the junction box first. Then press the recessed can up until it is flush with the ceiling.

Locate the four tabs inside the light fixture. Use the flat screw driver to press the tabs through the light fixture. You may need to bang on the screwdriver with your fist or a hammer to set the tabs to lock against the ceiling.

Insert light bulb(s), turn on the power, and switch on those beautiful recessed lights!

I had to share this some-ecard with you that BigMamaCass  (an amazing photographer ) shared with me on Instagram. I was ready to publish this post and get it out before my email feed went out at 8pm.  Then the power flickered and wouldnt you know that the internet went out! I cant think of anything more frustrating for a blogger. So, this image she sent brought a good laugh from me.


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