How to Install Can Lights: A Step-by-Step Guide for Ceiling Recessed Lighting

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Ceiling recessed lighting, also known as can lights or downlights, are a popular choice for people who want to add a modern and sleek look to their homes or businesses. But installing these types of lights may seem daunting if you have never done it before. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to install can lights in your ceiling.


Tools and Materials

Before starting, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

  • Can light fixtures
  • Wiring supplies (wire nuts, electrical tape)
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Saw (if necessary)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Ladder

Choose Your Light Fixture Style

Can light fixtures come in a variety of styles and sizes. Consider factors such as design style, color temperature (warm white vs cool white), brightness (lumens), dimmability, beam angle and energy efficiency when selecting your fixtures.
At Rodec Lighting you can find various styles of LED Ceiling Lights that fit different preferences.

Location Planning

The next step is planning where your can lights will be installed. We recommend drawing up a plan so that you know exactly where each fixture should go before drilling any holes in your ceiling.

Start by measuring the room’s dimensions to ensure proper spacing between each fixture. Generally speaking, 4-6 feet apart is recommended for most rooms; however additional lighting may be required for certain areas such as kitchen countertop spaces or dining tables.

In addition, check above the ceiling space making sure there aren’t any obstructions located directly above where you plan on installing the fixture(s). Hitting an obstruction like plumbing pipes or HVAC ducts could cause major issues, so it’s important to make sure you know what is above your ceiling.


Turn Off Power

Before starting any electrical work, turn off the power supply to the room where you will be working. Locate the main electrical panel and switch off the circuit breaker for that particular area. Never attempt an installation with live wiring!

Create Holes

Now that you have a plan in place and safety measures are taken care of, it’s time to create holes in your ceiling for each fixture.

Firstly use a stud sensor or equivalent tool to locate the joists within your ceiling space as these will act as anchors for attaching fixtures safely into place.

Use a pencil to mark out placement points on each joist. Next, use a hole saw drill bit slightly larger in diameter than your fixture housing (check manufacturer specs) to cut through drywall at each marked point along joists.

Wiring Procedure

Once holes are made run electrical wire from outlet box over to where can lights will be installed using staples; consult local building codes when deciding which type of cable is preferred.

Attach wire nuts over metal wires connecting white-to-white & black-to-black electrodes separately then secure with electrician’s tape ensuring no exposed conductors exist within junction box whatsoever during assembly process.


Install Can Lights

Fasten every recessed light fixture into its corresponding housing by following manufacturer instructions exactly as written. Make sure they are properly screwed into place on corresponding rails and clips before moving onto next step.

After all fixtures have been secured into their housings verify that spacing between them has been executed correctly according design plan previously established earlier.

Attach Trims or Covers

Attaching trims or covers represents last part of this installation process – pop trim rings up add diffusers via spring clip inside edges matching evenly distributed around circumference ring outside edge until snug but not too tight.

Power On

Finally it’s time to turn on the lights and test them out! Go ahead and switch the breaker back on for that room, then turn the light switch to “on” position. If they are working properly, you should be good to go.


Installing can lights in your ceiling doesn’t have to be a difficult process as long as you follow these steps carefully. Make sure you have all of your tools and materials ready before beginning; plan out where each fixture will be located; take proper safety measures by turning off the power supply before starting electrical work; create holes using a hole saw drill bit slightly larger than diameter of fixture housing while following design plan established earlier; run wiring from outlet box over to planned installation area following local building codes regards preferred cable type. Finally fasten fixtures into place according manufacturer specifications ensuring spacing between them executed correctly previously established design plan,re-attach trims or covers lastly power up at breaker panel verifying functionality afterwards if everything was followed accordingly this should leave brightened new space in home or business with added aesthetics & benefits LED lighting.


What tools do I need to install can lights?

To install can lights, you will need a variety of basic hand and power tools, including:

    Drill or drywall saw
    Wire stripper
    Voltage tester

You may also want to have a fish tape and wire connectors on hand.

How should I space my can lights when installing them in a room?

The spacing between your can lights will depend on the size of the room and the desired lighting effect. In general, you’ll want to aim for even light distribution without creating too many hot spots or areas of shadow.

A good rule of thumb is to space your ceiling recessed lighting fixtures about 4 feet apart for an even spread of light. If you’re looking for more dramatic accents, consider spacing them closer together.

Can I install LED bulbs in my new can lights instead of traditional incandescent bulbs?

Yes! When installing new can lights that use traditional medium-based screw-in bulbs (such as incandescent or CFL), be sure to choose LED-compatible fixtures and select compatible LED bulbs rated for use in enclosed spaces like recessed cans.

LEDs offer several advantages over other types of lighting sources – they are energy-efficient, long-lasting, generate less heat than traditional bulbs and provide greater flexibility in terms of color temperature and bulb shape options.