DIY: Installing Recessed Canned Lighting

Whether you are going from no recessed canned lighting in your house or you just need to add a few more in your kitchen, there are a few steps to take to educate yourself on how to be the most successful.

Lowe’s lays out a few questions that you might want to ask yourself before you jump in feet first. These questions and answers include:

What type of light do you want?

Recessed lights with baffle trim provides a full, wide beam of light. Recessed lights with eyeball trim allow the light to rotate so you can focus it on a specific area.

What’s above the ceiling?

Measure the ceiling hole to determine the size housing and trim you need. If an attic is above the ceiling, the project is pretty straightforward. Since you’re working with an existing light fixture you’ll need a remodel housing; however, if the housing will be surrounded by insulation you’ll need one that’s insulation rated. If there’s another floor above, the project is more involved. You may need a shallow ceiling housing, and the wire may have to be fished through the ceiling frame.

What kind of wiring do I have?

Is the existing wiring aluminum or copper? Use wiring that is the same material and gauge (thickness) as the existing wire. If the existing wiring is fabric-insulated or has no ground wire, have a qualified electrician inspect it to determine if the wiring should be replaced.

How many lights do I want to add?

You can add lights that draw as many watts as the existing fixture without overloading the circuit.

Example: If the existing fixture uses (4) 100-watt bulbs.

4 x 100= 400 watts total capacity

You can safely install up to 400 watts of lighting on the circuit. If you plan to use more watts than the existing fixture, have an electrician determine what the circuit can carry.




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