How to Fit a Ceiling Spotlight


Recessed spotlights enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room or highlight specific parts of your house because they shed light over a small area for a specific task. Because they are hidden in the ceiling, they make the rooms they're in use in appear more spacious. Select the appropriate position of the spotlight beforehand, depending on the area you want to illuminate. Most spotlight kits are available in home improvement or electrical stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Spotlight kit
  • Utility knife or drywall screw
  • Wire stripper
  • Mark the desired spot on the ceiling where you want to install the spotlight, using a pencil. Locate and mark the locations of joists on either side of the marked spot, because the housing for the spotlight will be between the two joists.

  • Drill a tiny hole at the desired spot where you want to install the spotlight and extend a wire coat hanger through it. You need a clearance of 8 inches above the spot for the spotlight can. Use the straightened coat hanger wire to determine whether there's enough clearance.

  • Hold the spotlight template on the ceiling over the mark and outline its edges. Cut around the circle outline on the ceiling using a utility knife or drywall saw. Remove the cutout and set it aside.

  • Pull an electric cable from a power source through the ceiling and through the hole. Allow 16 to 18 inches of wire to hang through the hole to make wiring easy. Use a utility knife to strip off 8 inches of the cable’s outer sheathing, and close the ends. Also strip 3/8 inch of the plastic coating off the ends of the black and white wires using wire strippers. Turn off power at the circuit breaker box.

  • Loosen and remove the light’s junction box cover. Run the cable through the hole at the side of the box. Clamp the cable to keep it in place. Match the wires by color; black to black, white to white and ground to ground, capping the connections with connectors. Replace the cover of the junction box.

  • Insert the four mounting clips that come with the spotlight kit into the ceiling hole, with their upper ends pushing down on the drywall. Pull these clips in so they do not extend beyond the can. Set the box of the can into the hole and push it up into the hole so its flange is flush with the ceiling. Push each mounting clip up and out until it clicks, securing the fixture.

  • Position the decorative trim piece over the spotlight and pull out each spring. Hook each spring to its corresponding hole in the can to complete the installation.

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