How to Install a LED Downlight.

By falyn_eaden

Recessed or downlights have recently become increasingly popular mainly because of their sleek and stylish look. These lights are designed to appear as though they are a part of the ceiling rather than being attached to it. Downlights are perfect when trying to illuminate a room with particularly low ceilings because they provide plenty of light without becoming an obstacle for those taller by nature. In short, down lights are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and hidden lights.

Are you looking to install recessed lights in your home or business? Perfect! We’ll show you how. This blog details the installation process. Before we get started, let’s take a look at what we need to achieve this task.

 

We recommend hiring a certified electrician.
Tools Needed Materials
Drill Recesssed/Downlights
Drill bits Junction box
Drywall saw Switch
Hole cutting drill attachment Electrical wire
Voltage tester Electrical tape
Wire stripper Fish tape reel
Saftey glasses Wago connectors
Lineman's pliers Ladder
Stud finder  
Important steps to remember before you start!
  • Turn off electricity at the main fuse box that powers the fixtures you are planning to work on.
  • Use the voltage tester to ensure power isn’t traveling through the wires at that location.
  • Turn the wall switch to the off position.
  • Make sure you are in agreement with local codes.
  • Do not use bulbs with a greater wattage than specified for the fixture.
  • Consult with a qualified electrician if you have questions or concerns.

With access to the attic

  1. Find the location of where you want to place each light. Ensure there are no studs in these positions with your stud finder.
  2. Trace the paper template on the ceiling with a pencil in the places you want them installed.
  3. Drill a hole (1/4 inch) into the center of the circle drawn in the step above.
  4. Check the attic above the hole to make sure there isn’t anything blocking the area such as insulation. A cover needs to be installed over the mounting.
  5. Use a hole saw to make the space for the down light housing.
  6. Feed the power source cable through the hole giving yourself enough slack to work with (18 inches or so of wire).
  7. Wire the power source to your first recessed light fixture (hot to hot (black), neutral to neutral (white), ground to ground (bare/green). Then wire that same fixture to the wires leading to the next fixture. Continue this process for every fixture.
  8. Mount the housing and trim pieces as directed by manufacturer.
  9. Turn on power and test lights.
Remember to clear all insulation away from the fixture!

Without access to the attic

  1. Find the location of where you want to place each light. Ensure there are no studs in these positions with your stud finder.
  2. Trace the paper template on the ceiling with a pencil in the places you want them installed.
  3. Drill a hole (1/4 inch) into the center of the circle drawn in the step above.
  4. Stick fish tape or hanger in hole to ensure there are no obstructions. Things such as insulation can increase risk for fires.
  5. Use a hole saw to make the space for the down light housing.
  6. Feed the power source cable through the hole giving yourself enough slack to work with (18 inches or so of wire).
  7. Drill small holes through the ceiling joist and feed the wire through the ceiling joist to each fixture.
  8. Wire the like wire from the power source to your first recessed light fixture. Then wire that same fixture to the wire leading to the next fixture. Continue this process for every fixture.
  9. Mount the housing and trim pieces as directed by manufacturer.
  10. Turn on power and test lights.

Replacing an existing fixture

  1. Disconnect the power source from the fixture you are replacing.
  2. Using a pencil trace the paper template on the ceiling with the wiring hole in the center.
  3. Use a hole saw to make the space for the down light housing.
  4. Feed the power source cable through the hole giving yourself enough slack to work with (18 inches or so of wire).
  5. Wire the like wire from the power source to your first recessed light fixture. Then wire that same fixture to the wire leading to the next fixture. Continue this process for every fixture.
  6. Mount the housing and trim pieces as directed by manufacturer.
  7. Turn on power and test lights.

Starting from scratch

To feed cable through difficult areas you can tape them to a fish tape reel and pull them through.

 

Remember to clear all insulation away from the fixture!

 

Now that you have a step by step guide on how to install downlights, let’s put it to work. Once again, we suggest that you seek help from a certified electrician to complete this task. Please share your installation stories with us on our social media. We’d like to hear your experience. You can get your downlights and other tools needed for this task here at HomElectrical.

  1. Find the location of where you want to place each light. Ensure there are no studs in these positions with your stud finder.
  2. Using a pencil trace the paper template on the ceiling with the wiring hole in the center.
  3. Use a hole saw to make the space for the down light housing.
  4. Ensure there are no obstructions such as insulation because they can increase risk for electrical fires. A cover needs to be installed over the mounting.
  5. Find a power source to provide power to the switch (GFCI outlet or other source).
  6. Feed the power cable to where the switch will be placed.
  7. Insert you switch junction box and feed the wire from the power source to it.
  8. Feed your wires from the switch to the holes your recessed lighting fixture will be through the attic. If you don’t have access to the attic you will have to drill holes in the ceiling joist and feed the cables through them.
  9. Begin splicing like wires together (hot to hot (black), neutral to neutral (white), ground to ground (bare/green). Wago connectors make this process easy. You should be splicing your power source, switch, and the wire being fed to your fixtures all together at the switch.
  10. Wire the like wire from the power source to your first recessed light fixture. Then wire that same fixture to the wire leading to the next fixture. Continue this process for every fixture.
  11. Mount the housing and trim pieces as directed by manufacturer.
  12. Turn on power and test lights.

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