How To Install Led Recessed Lighting [In-depth Guide]

For decades now, can light or recessed lights have been helping people brighten their homes, eliminate shadows, and spread light around their rooms. But in recent years LED lights have pretty much reinvented the recessed lighting market. 

If you’ve got a remodeling coming up that you’ve been thinking about, should I add recessed lighting too that’s up to you? But if you do decide to here in this article we will explain the layout technique, tools, How To Install Led Recessed Lighting in-home, material list, etc. in full detail. 

For residential lighting, you can set the recessed lights from 2,000 to 6,500 kelvins and if you want your lighting to be warm you go down to 2,000k, and if you want the light to be bright go upwards. So you actually can pick where you want it to be. 

How To Do Layout Planning Recessed Lighting

When you want to install a new source of lighting you need to know the purpose of that installation and how you want that to happen. So you need to plan-

  • How many lights do you need?
  • Where you are going to put them?
  • What’s involved with installing them?
  • How you are going to control them?

 So for the first option think about the size of the space and how many lights do you want there. To measure the light location out and put some tape on the ceiling to mark. This way you can adjust the light location as per your liking.

The next thing that you need is, you don’t want your lights too close to the wall or you’ll get some hard shadows. So don’t go closer than two feet from the wall. If you have a ceiling fan pay attention to how close the lights are to the blades of the ceiling fan and avoid the strobe effect.

Next, you need to avoid the lights being too close together. So the distances should be between 2 to 3 feet and not more than 5 feet. 

If you know what kind of recessed light you’re going to be using that will determine where you can install the things. 

Lastly, you need to figure out how you want to control the lights. Are you going to be using a switch or a dimmer? Are you going to be breaking the lights into multiple switch legs or one switch leg or do you already have a wire that you can use instead? 

Now before you go shopping for the materials you need to make a list of things that you might need for the whole process so you don’t need to go back to the shop in between jobs.

How To Install Led Recessed Lighting

Now you already know how to do layout planning on the ceiling for recessed lighting, you know where the lights are going to go, so now it’s time to get on to the installation process. The installation process is divided into several sections, like:

How To Install Led Recessed Lighting
  • Cut holes for the lights
  • Run switch leg into the upper floor 
  • Run power to switch box
  • Expand switch bow

Switch Box

 Most houses have power coming to the switch box. So the first thing you want to do when working with electrical wires is to make sure the power is off to whatever circuits and wires you are going to check. So the number of lights you are going to have, all must be connected to the same location. 

If your switch box is going to control several electrical cords, then switch it with the three-gang box to make some more room. Now take out the old box and cut a new hole according to the new box so it fits in that hole. 

Hole Cutting For Recessed Lights

When you’ll be cutting into the ceiling you’re going to have lots of dust and insulation falling. So if you have furniture or flooring that you want to protect. Be sure to cover it with plastic or some kind of drop cloth. 

To cut down holes in the ceiling you can use a four-and-a-half-inch hole saw. It makes everything much simpler than doing the hole by hand. Make sure you are wearing a mask and goggles to protect your eyes and nose from the dust. This way makes holes where you’ve pre-marked the recessed light locations. 

Running Wire

Once you have all your holes cut, the next thing you need to do is fish wire between each hole connecting them if you want to control them all on the same switch. If you want to minimize the amount of wire you’re going to be using start with the wire closest to where the switch location is going to be and then create a wire path to think those lights altogether. 

Clip the wire off with about a foot hanging off the hole and then repeat that process until you’ve connected all of the lights with your wire. You can use the fish rods to go from hole to hole.  

Attach the wire to one end of the fish rod and then pull it across. Twist the wires with the rod so that they don’t accidentally pull apart. Now you need to get a switch leg fish down. 

Now go upstairs where you might have pulled apart some of the floorings to reveal the top plate where you have to fish a wire down from the switch box up to connect all of the lights. Now pull the new wire through the top plate and pull it out from the switch box to connect everything. 

Wiring Up The Light

Now it’s time to install the lights. Now prepare the light connector box, Romex connector, wires, light temperature, light color everything that you need for the ladder so you don’t have to spend too much time up there.  

Take your wires hanging down from the ceiling and put them through the Romex connector. Make sure there are only 3 to 4 inches of wire in the box. Now do all the wiring and close the box. 

Now connect the wiring harness by lining up the connectors and then screwing it together. Put the fixture box up in the ceiling and then place one of the springs against one side of the hole and the other spring against the other hole and push the trim up against the ceiling. Then repeat the process for the rest of the lights. Now the last thing you have to do is wire the switch box and connect the lighting. 


So with all this installation process now you know How To Install Led Recessed Lighting in a 2 story home, but we would also like to mention that this is not a beginner’s project. This kind of installation is difficult and you need to be experienced to do all this by yourself, but of course, it’s doable. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you install recessed lighting yourself?

Whether you’re looking to add some ambient lighting to a room or want to create a more focused light for tasks, recessed lighting can be a great option. While recessed lighting can be somewhat tricky to install, with a little patience and attention to detail, it’s definitely a project that most homeowners can tackle themselves.

To start, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. In addition to your recessed light fixtures and bulbs, you’ll need some electrical tape, wire connectors, and a drill. You may also need a stepladder or other tall stool to reach the ceiling. Once you have everything you need, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power to the circuit you’ll be working on. This is absolutely critical—you don’t want to get electrocuted!
  2. Using a stud finder, locate the ceiling joists. You’ll want to drill your holes for the recessed lights between these joists so that the fixtures will be secure.
  3. Once you’ve found the joists, use a pencil to mark where you’ll be drilling your holes.
  4. Drill your holes—you may want to start with a smaller drill bit and then switch to a larger one to make the hole the right size for your fixture.
  5. Run your electrical wire from the power source to the first hole you drilled.
  6. Feed the wire through the hole and then connect it to the fixture, using wire connectors or electrical tape.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each of the other fixtures.
  8. Once all of the fixtures are connected, turn the power back on and test out your new recessed lighting!

Can you put recessed lights in an existing ceiling?

If you’re considering adding recessed lighting to your home, you may be wondering if it’s possible to install them in an existing ceiling. The answer is yes! Although it’s not a quick or easy project, it is possible to add recessed lighting to an existing ceiling.

The first step is to determine the location of the joists in the ceiling. You’ll need to drill holes through the ceiling at these locations in order to secure the lights. Once the holes are drilled, you’ll need to run electrical wiring to each location. This is where things can start to get a bit tricky, as you’ll need to be careful not to damage any existing wiring in the ceiling.

If you’re not comfortable working with electrical wiring, it’s best to hire a professional to help with the installation. But if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, installing recessed lighting in an existing ceiling is definitely possible!

I'm Jimmy, the creative mind behind Drawing from extensive expertise in home improvement, I founded this platform to help individuals transform their living spaces. My dedication lies in empowering homeowners with dependable advice, ensuring that every DIY project not only elevates your home but also enhances your lifestyle. Join me as we redefine homes, one project at a time.

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