How to Install Recessed Lights in a Remodel

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Updating your home's interior lighting can be exciting, and with the proper planning, will add that extra warmth to your newly remodeled home. Many shapes and styles of recessed lighting fixtures are available to choose from, and when you put the finishing touches to your project, you'll not only feel proud but have added value to the greatest investment you own.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical tape
  • Saw
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill
  • Electrical meter/tester
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Map out the location(s) of each recessed lighting fixture, and use the stud finder to locate the nearest ceiling joist to affix the lighting canister to. Use the canister as a guideline to measure the size of the hole you will need to cut into the ceiling. Mark a circle around the outside of the canister.

  • Carefully cut away the ceiling using the mark in the previous step as a guide. Dry fit the canister into the hole to make sure it fits. Trim away any parts of the ceiling that may keep the canister from fitting up into the ceiling.

  • Locate the nearest electrical wiring to be used for installation, and turn off the power at the power breaker. Use an electrical tester to ensure all power is off. Cut and strip all the wiring to be used, to the manufacturer's guidelines. Pull the house wiring to be used down through the hole for easier access and assembly to the wiring of the recessed light canister.

  • Connect the wiring using the electrical twist wire nuts. Connect the white (neutral) wiring together, connect the black/red (hot) wiring together and connect the green (ground) wiring together as well as to the canister housing for a proper ground. Secure each connection with the twist nuts, and tape with electrical tape to ensure the wiring is secure and will not come in contact with any other wiring or metal pieces of the installation.

  • Install a recessed lighting fixture into the hole and affix with the included hardware using the drill and screwdriver. Screw in the bulb and attach the finishing cover to hide the edges of the canister and hole. Turn on the electricity from the breaker and ensure the wiring is correct and the light is functioning.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never handle any electrical wiring without the proper equipment, and consult a certified electrician before any work is done. Be sure your project adheres to local building codes for electrical work. Safety is always first in every project.
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