How to Install Recessed Lighting | Can Lights | The Home Depot

Whether you’re building a new
home or renovating an old one, recessed lighting can be a key
element in both the function and style of any space. Recessed lighting offers a clean,
streamlined look in a home. It can increase the
amount of light in a room, highlight artwork or
other special features, and open up spaces so
they look and feel bigger. The first step in installing recessed
lighting in your home is the planning. In general, recessed cans should be
positioned six feet from each other. If your rooms won’t
accommodate this, you’ll have to adjust your calculations. If there is insulation in the ceiling,
buy insulation-compatible, or IC, lights. Standard recess lights will dangerously
overheat when surrounded by insulation. Experiment with several configurations
and then take your plans with you to your local Home Depot for advice. You must also pick out the
trim that will fit your needs. Open trim is the simplest
and least expensive option. Baffle trim diffuses light so
it’s more evenly distributed. Fisheye or eyeball trim swivels
to highlight a decorative feature. And reflective trim
offers maximum brightness. Decorative trims are also available to
complement your interior decoration. Now, it’s a good idea to choose both
the size of the recessed housing and the trim at the same
time, or install housings with flexible trim options
and choose those later. Kits are available which
come with housing and trim. Once you have purchased
your recessed fixtures, lay out the lights using the mounting
templates that came with them. The templates show you what size hole to
cut so tape the temples to the ceiling to get an idea of where your life
should go and how they’ll look. Now, as always, the most important
step in any electrical project is to shut off the power at the
circuit breaker, so don’t forget. Use a stud finder to make sure the
lights will not overlap a joist. Locate and mark each of the joists
in the room so you can avoid them. If you are installing
between two floors, you will need eight
inches of vertical space above the ceiling to accommodate
the mounting hardware. You can check that you have
enough space by drilling a hole and poking a bent wire up into it. If you have less than eight inches
of vertical space above the ceiling, purchase a low clearance canister. Also, if you are
installing between floors, you will need to drill
holes in your joists to accommodate the wires that will run
from light to light that are separated by the joists, but make
as few holes as possible and do not cut holes greater than a
quarter of the width of the joists. You are now ready to cut
the opening in the ceiling. You can use a dry wall or hole
cutting saw to cut the hole, but make sure to cut
each hole precisely. If the hole is even just a fraction
too big, the can may not clamp tightly. Also take care not to snag any wires
that may be in the ceiling cavity. The second step is to
rough in the wiring. Run the cable from a power
source to a switch box, and then to the location of the can. Allow at least 16 inches of
extra cable to make wiring easy. Strip the insulation from the wire. Open the light’s junction box. Usually a plate will pop off. Run your cable into
the box and clamp it. Connect it black to black, white
to white, and ground to ground. Fold the wires into the
box and replace the cover. It’s time to mount your light. Most remodel cans have three or four
clips that clamp the can to the ceiling by pushing down on the top of
the drywall or the plaster. Pull the clips in so they do
not protrude outside the can. Slip the can’s box into the hole. Then push the can body up
into the hole until its flange is tight to the ceiling. With your thumb or
screwdriver, push each clip up and outward until it clamps the fixture. The last step is to add the trim. Most trims are mounted with coil
springs, or squeeze-able rod springs. If you have rod springs, squeeze
and insert both ends of each spring into their assigned holes. Then push the trim up. 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. Different trims require different bulbs. The ones you’ll need are marked
on the inside of the trim. All that is left now is to turn on
the power at the circuit breaker and test your work. And that’s it. Now, sit back and enjoy
your new recessed lighting.

13 thoughts on “How to Install Recessed Lighting | Can Lights | The Home Depot

  1. Kinda skipped past the part on how to connect the wires to the switch. Everything else, I probably could have read on the can's box. Anyone able to explain how to do the wires?

  2. they are making LED can lights now WITHOUT the cans. They are super thin. This should be far easier to install, consider these especially if you are installing them after drywall is already up:

  3. For more recessed lighting installation tips, including the tools needed for this project, check out our Recessed Lighting guide:

  4. how do you add the switch to the lights it only said to find power and hook to it.

  5. How do you run the wires if there isn't an attic space? Like if you are between floors?

  6. You may need more knowledge than this must of the times is not as easy as it looks.

  7. What wiring number of the cables is necesary for recessed light? Some know? Thanks.

  8. Please do not attempt this without electrical knowledge. I see it all the time. First I demo what you did, then fix electrical you tapped into finally I start the job. You will end up paying triple instead of hiring a qualified electrician at the beginning. Like if you are a electrician

  9. What is the trim at 1:18? I have this in my kitchen and I want to expand this out to my dining room. Please help!

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