How To Install Recess Lighting

Recess lighting, when properly applied, adds a soft and warm character to any room. Compared to visible lights that could be unsightly, recessed lighting offers a more convenient option for lighting various sections of the house through hidden fixtures. Ideally, recessed lighting is used in areas where focused light is required, such as above the kitchen countertops or in a reading nook. Recessed lighting is also used to properly showcase a focal part of the living room like a fireplace or a large painting.

Before installing recessed lighting in any part of your home, there are many factors that need to be considered. These include the location, the size, and the spacing with which the fixtures will be installed (if you are considering using a group of these). There are also various bulbs that you can use such as halogen bulbs (if you want a clean and ultra white light) or the incandescent bulbs (good for adding a softer, warmer light in any spot).

Compared with other DIY tasks, installing recessed lighting is very easy. In fact, the modern fixtures being sold today are lighter and can easily be installed through a cutout section in the surface where the lighting will be installed. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you install a simple recessed lighting installation on a ceiling.

Step #1. Perform the preliminary safety precautions- Prior to working on this project, it is a good idea to gather all the materials nearby. This will allow for a smoother installation process. You must also wear protective gear, especially for your eyes. Next, before doing step # 2, you have to turn off the main power source, as this will allow you to safely install the fixture.

Step #2. Cut out a hole in the ceiling- Carefully mark the location where you want to install the recessed lighting. You may use a stud finder to look for the joist and hidden wiring on the ceiling. Next, outline the shape of the fixture directly on the ceiling using a pencil. Afterwards, use a small drywall circle cutter to cut out the hole where the lighting will be affixed. This is safer and easier to control than a conventional saw. Again, you must wear safety glasses during this process.

Step #3. Connect the wiring- Once a hole has been cut out, you will see the exposed wiring that you need to connect into the new fixture's junction box. To keep it simple, splice the old wiring to the new one with the same color (for example, splice the existing black wire to the new black one and do the same for the white ones). You may use a cable clamp to securely splice the wires together. When you are done, carefully place all the connected wires back into the junction box and close it.

Step #4. Attach the main housing and baffle- Carefully push the junction box and main housing back into the ceiling until the edges of the housing are engaged. Next, attach the baffle or inner housing using the manufacturer's instructions. Some use spring attachments, while others use clips to attach this interior fitting. The resulting fit should be snug and secure.

Step #5. Screw in the bulb and turn on the switch- Finally, screw in the bulb and turn on the main power source.

Additional free ideas are offered by senior staff writer and home decor specialist Alyssa Davis at The store also specializes in distinctive metal wall hangings and metal art.

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