One of the best ways of beautifying your home or office and making it look luxurious and radiant is through your lighting.
A well-illuminated room goes a long way in improving the overall aesthetics of the room. One of the best lighting for homes is the recessed lighting, which is otherwise known as a down light, can light, or pot light.
Recessed lighting is a light fixture that’s fixed into a hollow opening in the ceiling. It concentrates its light in a downward direction either as a broad floodlight or narrow spotlight.
It can be used for commercial and residential purposes. You can use it in your kitchen, bathroom, hallway, or bedroom.
Recessed lighting is so versatile and can be fixed in virtually any spot you desire. It can be used for wall lighting, down lighting, or uplighting, depending on your preference.
This type of lighting is also great for providing ambient light in residential and commercial spaces, and accent lighting to highlight furniture, artwork, or the wall itself.
If you've been looking for the perfect guide to help you successfully install your recessed lighting without hassles, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about recessed lighting and how to successfully install it if you’re DIY savvy.
A recessed light fixture is made up of 4 parts— housing, trim, baffles, and lamp. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Image credit: riverbendhome.com
This is the fixture itself. It is the part that’s recessed into a ceiling, wall, or ground. It contains the lamp holder, mounting, and other electric parts.
This is the visible portion of the light. It is the thin lining around the edge of the light and can be seen when you look up at the fixture.
It helps to give the light its beauty and can be used to direct the beam if you’re spotlighting or wall washing.
You can select your trim according to your taste, aesthetics, and desired effect or according to the function it performs.
These are installed after the housing has been put in place. They are inner sheaths used to cover the bare metal can to give it a polished appearance.
Image credit: menards.com
This is used on most occasions.
It is used to minimize the light throw or eyeball `directional covers`. It is effective for sloped ceilings or to throw light to a specific area or direction.
Most lamps in recessed lightings are LEDs. But if you’re not using LED, you can consider any of the following.
This is the most common type of lamp. It is useful in various applications and has no obvious weaknesses or exceptional strengths.
This contains a reflector and excellent beam control. It can be used as a spot, flood, and display lights.
They are excellent choices for task lighting and general lighting. They have wide beams and are widespread.
This has excellent beam control. Hence, it's ideal for accent lighting.
Before you commence your installation, take your time to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions because all fixtures are not the same. You can then proceed with the following.
Image credit: oneprojectcloser.com
Locate the breaker panel and shut off the power to the room or the circuit you will be working on. If you have difficulty in locating the power source through the main breaker, then cut off the power to the entire house. Ensure that the power is off by using a voltage tester.
For a new installation, locate the overhead ceiling joists to avoid drilling into them. You can obtain a stud finder to speed this up.
Joists are about 16 to 24 inches apart. Locate the first joist to make it easy to find the others with a stud finder. Alternatively, go into the attic and note the direction and spacing of the joists.
Most lights come with a paper template to trace a circle on the ceiling. The most popular sizes are 4", 5", and 6" in diameter. Mark the location for the light on the ceiling and make sure there is no nearby joist. If you’re retrofitting an old light, measure the size of the existing hole.
After marking the location for the hole, drill the hole with a hole cutting drill bit. Then use a drywall saw to cut out the circle for the light fixture. Make sure that you provide the smoothest cut possible.
Be extra careful with older ceilings where the plaster or drywall ceiling may be hard and prone to crumbling under stress. Don't over cut the hole so as not to ruin the installation and damage your ceiling.
If you’re retrofitting, remove the old light fixture and the junction box from the ceiling. Use a saw to cut the junction box from the joist to which it is attached. Avoid damaging wires because they may have a short span and will make your work more difficult.
The junction box houses all the wires as soon as the lights are installed. Open the attached junction box on the light and clamp the wires protruding from the ceiling to the box.
Find the ground wire from your electric source, twist the two of them, and place a wire cap over them to secure the connection. Your light should have three wires—a copper wire and two conductor wires. Make sure that you leave enough room to easily move these wires as needed.
Image credit: oneprojectcloser.com
Remove the plastic insulation from the end of the wires and use wire nuts to pair the wires together. Make the wire connections to the light fixture; match a white wire to a white wire, a black wire to a black wire, and a bare copper wire to a bare copper wire.
Tuck each connected wire into the junction box and cover with its lid. Your junction box should be placed inside the ceiling. But don’t stretch the wires too far from the light. If you find this step intricate, don't hesitate to contact a professional.
Before installing the housing, temporarily turn the power back on and use a voltage tester to confirm if electricity reaches the bulb socket. Then, turn the breaker back off until the project is complete.
Housing can also be called can lights. Begin by inserting the housing in the prepared hole. Find the clips along its edges and use a screwdriver to push them outward until a click is felt to securely clamp the house to the ceiling.
Once you’ve used all the clips, pull the housing gently to make sure it is firm. Push the housing up into the hole and press it tight against the ceiling. Then, push the four metal clips into the housing.
Tap the clips with a hammer and slotted screwdriver to securely lock each clip.
Image credit: bazzsmarthome.ca
A baffle is an inner sheath used to cover the can lights (housing) for a polished look while the trim is used to cover the rim of the can lights and the surrounding hole. The trim hides the irregular or uneven edges during the installation.
Most times, the baffle and trims are attached to the housing with metal springs. Pull out the strings to their longest reach and attach them to the housing at the compatible holes in the can. Then, slide the baffle and trim upwards until the trim completely levels with the ceiling.
Image credit: armorelectricalservces.com
Inspect your installation once the lights are on. If you notice any arcing, popping, lights flickering, or any noise, shut your power off and call a licensed electrician to help you look into it to prevent a fire hazard.
Recessed lighting is a great choice for various places in your home or office. The illuminating ambiance it gives your home cannot be compared with any other type of lighting. This is why it is the most popular and widely used lighting by most homeowners.