Installing Recessed Lights: DIY

Installing Recessed Lights

As the days get shorter, many people are craving the loss of light.  Installing recessed lights, especially because LED’s make them appear brighter, are gaining popularity once again.

If there’s a light in the ceiling, this is a project that lends itself to DIY: Do It Yourself.  Simple enough that you don’t need an electrician, just a few simple tools and some ambition.

Let’s talk a bit about design and installation.  Here’s a calculator that will help you determine total number of lights you’ll need based on size of room and bulb intensity.

How Many Recessed Lights?

Flat ceilings are easiest but vaulted ceilings are not that big a problem.  If you’ve got an attic, mark your locations and put a probe through the drywall.  You’ll next climb into the attic to make sure your desired locations won’t be near a joist.  If they are, change the configuration.  (Layout can take anywhere from 1-2 hours alone.)

Next, you’ll want to take out the old fixture and the light box serving it.  Make sure the switch is off.  It would be nice if your first recessed location was close to that original box.

When you’ve got locations set, you can use the paper template that comes with the light to mark the drywall you’re going to cut out.  (You’ll be using remodel cans that allow you to do the installation from below the attic.)

Halo, a big maker of these lights, provides a handy connector that makes hooking the lights together and to the electric feed quite easy.

APG Electric

Halo Connectors Make the Job Easier

Push the light into place and secure it with the four tabs that clamp on to the drywall from up above.  Wire up your light and turn it on!

Here’s another good “how to” if you want more detail.

Enjoy the brightness!

How to Install Recessed Lights

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