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How Can You Install Recessed Lights

Recessed Lights Installation Guide
July 5, 2021

Choosing the correct fixture makes installing recessed lighting much more straightforward. One essential aspect to remember is that just because you want to install the light in an existing ceiling does not mean you have to utilize an "Old Work" fixture. As the name indicates, "New Construction" fittings are intended to be placed in open joisting and subsequently encircled by new ceiling material.

These are the fittings to utilize if that is the nature of your project. However, if the area above the ceiling is accessible, new building fittings should be used. Because you'll need to be above the roof to run the wiring, why not install the fixtures while you're up there? Furthermore, new construction fixtures are often less expensive than equivalent renovation lights, and they frequently come with a more extensive range of trim options.

It would help if you also decided how you will connect the lights before they are installed. And how you're going to keep them under control. We have six recessed lights in our kitchen and breakfast room, for example. Three switches are used to control them.

Four of the lights are linked together: the main one in the kitchen's centre and three smaller work lights above the counters. The switches are located over the sink and above the desk space in the breakfast area. This enables us to tailor the illumination to what we're doing at the time.

If you're going to install a succession of lights, make sure the wiring goes from one to the next in a daisy chain. A spiral or S-shaped arrangement may be beneficial.

Installing New Construction Bulbs in an Existing Roof

Fitting the lights into the ceiling framework is the most challenging element of installing recessed lighting in an existing ceiling. Working with "New Construction" fittings has the benefit of giving you access to space above the roof. To find the locations where your new lights will be installed, follow these steps:

  • Place one of the lamp housings in front of a wall or a scrap board and push it as far beyond as it can go toward the parallel mounting arms' closer end. From the wall or board, measure back to the middle of the housing. That's the shortest distance between any ceiling joist and light without altering the framework.
  • Use a stud finder to get a sense of where the ceiling joists are located.
  • Mark the best placement for the centre of each new light on the ceiling using a pencil. With a tiny drill bit—1/8 inch or so—drill through each of your markings. Cut a length of coathanger wire, or something similar, to fit through each drilled hole and keep it in place. Place the coathanger wires in their proper positions.
  • Measure from each of your cables to the nearest joist in the attic. If any of the measurements are less than the minimum you determined, move the marker wire over and twist it back down.
  • Return to your room and try if you can adjust to the changes. Make any required modifications.
  • Mark the cutouts for each light using a template or a circular scribe, then cut them out with a drywall saw tilted outward. Slant the cut such that the unfinished side of the aperture is somewhat more significant.
  • Screw the mounting arms to the joists in the attic.

Installing New Lights in an Open Roof

Stretch a rope between two nails or screws along the line where you want the centre of the lights to make finding several fixtures in a straight line easier. Tack a spare piece of wood across the joist bay at either end, past the last light, and place your nail or screw in there to accomplish this parallel to the joisting.

Lift each housing into place and hammer two of the setting prongs into the joists in diagonally opposing directions. Screw all four ends of the two mounting arm pairs together.

Run a small, self-tapping screw through a spot where the mounting arms overlap on each fixture to keep it from slipping away of position before you put the ceiling up.

Wire the Lights

A splice box should be installed on each of your recessed lights. Each cable should end up inside one of those boxes. Remember to drill halfway through the joists to wire across them and staple the line at the centre of a post while wiring parallel to the frame.

A black wire, a white wire, and one or two bare wires should be found within each splice box.

Strip your cable until the jacket's end is barely within the splice box. To enter and secure your line, utilize a connector or the clamp holes if they are available. Color-to-color splice the wires.

Finish Up

If necessary, install a new ceiling. Install the trim for each lamp that you've chosen. Place the lights in place (light bulbs).

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