Easy DIY: Installing Can Lights in a Drop Ceiling

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Drop ceilings, also known as suspended or false ceilings, are a popular choice for many homeowners and business owners alike. They offer several benefits, such as easy access to pipes and wires, soundproofing capabilities, and aesthetic appeal. One way to enhance the look of a drop ceiling is by installing can lights or LED Ceiling Lights.

Can lights are recessed light fixtures that provide ambient lighting with minimal visual impact. They’re ideal for illuminating rooms without cluttering up the ceiling with bulky light fixtures. Installing can lights may seem like an intimidating task, but it’s actually quite simple with the right tools and knowledge.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to install can lights in your drop ceiling with ease.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before starting any project, it’s essential to have all necessary materials on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Can lights (also known as recessed lighting fixtures)
  • Drill
  • Hole saw attachment
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical wire
  • Wire connectors
  • Screwdriver

Make sure you select high-quality can lights from a trusted source like Rodec Lighting that fits your space and desired brightness level.

Step 2: Plan Your Layout

Once you have your materials ready, plan out where you want your can lights to go in your drop ceiling. Consider factors such as room size, shape, furniture placement before choosing the layout.

The standard recommendation is one light every six to eight feet apart in each direction. You may adjust depending on personal preference or functional needs if necessary.

Step 3: Cut Holes for Can Lights

With help of measuring tape determine where the holes will be drilled using pencil marks.When done drilling cut along those points following instruction based on product specification. Then, attach the hole saw attachment to your drill and cut holes for each can light according to your planned layout.

Be mindful of obstructions such as pipes or wires that may be present in the ceiling before making any cuts. If you encounter any issues or are uncertain about cutting through a particular area, consult with an electrician beforehand.

Step 4: Wire Your Can Lights

After the holes are made, it’s time to wire your can lights correctly. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off power from the breaker box
  • Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from both ends of electrical wire
  • Attach one end of the electrical wire to one side of the can light using a twist-on connector.
  • Repeat for all remaining fixtures.
  • Feed each fixture’s other end of its cable out through its corresponding hole.
  • Connect light fixtures together with additional electrical connectors as per product specification inputting proper voltage regulation info accordingly.

Once connected appropriately, test each Can LED unit by turning on electricity from breaker box for safety purpose.

Step 5: Install Trim

The final step is installing trim around each recessed lighting fixture. This covers up any gaps between the fixture and ceiling tiles or gridwork tracks surrounding it.

You can choose decorative trims based on personal preferences available on Rodec Lighting like frosted glass lenses, brushed nickel finishes, etcetera that suits well with pre-existing color schemes or furniture setup.

To install trims:

  • Gently place trim around fixture so clips clamp onto plaster ring inside housing below level surface without charing anything.
  • Test fit then gently press into place until secure against housing/plaster-ring edges being careful not damaging parts while fulling seating them
  • Confirm no visible gaps created after installation is complete

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your new can lights in your drop ceiling!

Remember always prioritize safety above all else when working with electricity, and it’s essential to turn off power from the breaker box before starting.


Installing can lights in your drop ceiling is relatively simple and straightforward, even for those who are new to DIY projects. By following these steps carefully and selecting high-quality lighting fixtures, such as those offered by Rodec Lighting, you can enhance the look of your space significantly while saving on energy costs in a long haul.

Remember to plan your layout carefully before drilling and consult an electrician if uncertain about any part of the process. With proper installation techniques applied knowledgeably, LED light bulbs or Can Lighting fixtures offer a beautiful way to illuminate spaces while creating a charming ambiance.


FAQ 1: What are the essential tools and materials needed to install can lights in a drop ceiling?

Answer: Here is a list of the primary tools and materials you will need for this project:

    Can Lights (LED or recessed)
    Drop Ceiling Kit
    Stud Finder
    Measuring Tape
    Drywall Saw
    Wire Strippers
    Screws and Nails

FAQ 2: How many can lights do I need for my space, and where should they be placed in the drop ceiling?

Answer: The number of can lights required depends on several factors such as room size, height, layout, and personal preference. As a general guideline, we suggest placing one light every four to six feet. You also want to ensure that they provide adequate illumination by using proper LED lighting fixtures. When it comes to placement within the drop ceiling grid system – draw out your desired plan on paper before beginning installation.

FAQ 3: Is it possible to install can lights myself without hiring an electrician?

Answer: Yes! If you have prior DIY experience with electrical work, then installing can lights in your drop ceiling is entirely possible as long as you follow safety guidelines carefully. Always turn off power from your home’s main breaker box before working on any electrical project. While it may seem daunting initially but following step-by-step instructions available online or watching instructional videos will make it easier for homeowners with some DIY experience.

We hope these FAQs have answered some of your questions about installing can lights yourself into a suspended-ceiling grid system installed above an existing drywall or plaster ceilings