How to Fit Recessed LED Downlights?
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How to Fit Recessed LED Downlights?

Views: 2236     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-06-07      Origin: Site

    Downlights are recessed lighting features that illuminate a large area without being too bright. If you want to install downlights in your home, you can install it yourself with some tools. First, find a spot in your ceiling where you want to discharge the light and make sure there aren't any pipes or wires in the way. After that, all you need to do is cut a hole, connect the light to the power supply, and push it into place!

Part.1 Positioning the Lights


    ①Use stud finder to locate the joists in your ceiling. Move the bolt viewfinder slowly until it beeps or lights up. Use a pencil to mark where it beeps to mark the edges of the joists. Continue to work on your ceiling where you want to install downlights so you'll know where to avoid turning on the lights.You can also try knocking on the ceiling to see if there are any hollow sounds. If you hear a hollow echo, then there is no keel behind it. If you hear a solid pop, then there may be a keel there.

Tip: If you have a textured ceiling, put a thin piece of cardboard between the ceiling and stud finder so you can easily slide it around.


    ②Check behind the ceiling with a pipe and wire detector to make sure it’s clear. Place the detector flat on the ceiling where you want to place the downlight. Move the detector back and forth slowly to check if the machine beeps or lights up. Mark the location with a pencil to indicate that there are pipes or wires blocking your light. If the detector doesn't find anything, then you can easily install lights in that area.

  • You can buy pipe and wire detectors from your local hardware store.

  • If you aren’t sure where pipes or wires are located, contact a home inspector, plumber, or electrician to help locate them for you.

  • You can also try to access the ceiling from the floor above if you want, but you may need to remove floorboards or finish.


    ③Mark the location where you want your downlight with a pencil.  Pick a point between the joists of the ceiling and draw a point to mark the center of the light. Make sure this area doesn't contain any pipes or wires, or you can damage them when installing the downlights. Leave about 3-4 inches (7.6-10.2 cm) of space on either side of the dots so you can install fluorescent lights on your ceiling.

  • You can place the lights further or closer if needed.


    ④Space additional lights so they’re 4–5 ft (1.2–1.5 m) apart. If you want to install multiple spotlights in your room, mark on the ceiling where you want to install the spotlights. Keep them 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters) away from each other so your room isn't too bright even with lights.

  • You can place the lights further or closer if needed.

Part.2 Cutting the Holes


    ①Choose a downlight that’s short enough to fit in your ceiling. Downlights usually have a tall cylindrical shape, so the bulbs go into your ceiling. Typically, your ceiling will have 6 inches (15 cm) of space, but it may vary depending on the age of your home. Buy a light-emitting diode light bulb that emits approximately your ceiling. 

  • Downlights can be purchased at your local home improvement store or hardware store.

Variation: If you don’t have enough space behind your ceiling for a light, you can also get a surface-mounted light that screws onto a mounting plate.


    ②Measure the rear diameter of the light to know the size of the cut out. Turn the lights down so that the bulbs are on the bottom and the part inside the ceiling is up. Use a tape measure to find out the diameter of the light so you know how big the hole needs to be. Don't measure the edges of the ray or you'll cut the hole too big.

  • You can usually find the cut size on the packaging of the downlight.


    ③Put a hole saw on your drill that’s the same size as the cutout. Drill saws have a ring-shaped blade that attaches to the end of the drill. Choose a blade with carbide or diamond grit to cut the cleanest holes. Rotate the chuck, which is the front where you attach the drill, to loosen it counterclockwise. Insert the center part of the hole saw into the chuck with the blade facing into place.

  • You can buy diamond grit saw attachments from your local hardware store.


    ④Use a hole saw to cut through your ceiling. Hold the saw blade so it is perpendicular to the ceiling and the drill in the middle is right on the mark you made. Pull the trigger on the drill bit, start the circular saw, and apply light pressure to get the middle bit into the ceiling. Make sure the blade stays straight so you don't bend the hole. Pull the trigger briefly and go through the ceiling until you feel the saw jump out the other side.

  • Wear safety glasses and a dust mask. Pull so that the plaster wall doesn't hit you.


    ⑤Remove the piece of ceiling you cut from the hole saw. Once you've broken through the other side, pull the saw out of the hole. Turn your drill off completely so it doesn't start accidentally. Place the end of the screwdriver between the side of the saw and the ceiling clipped inside. Pry the ceiling saw out of the hole and throw it away when you're done.

  • Some hole saws have an adjustable blade that you can loosen and move, making it easier to remove the ceiling.

Part.3 Installing the Downlights


    ①Turn off the power to the area at your circuit breaker. Find the electrical control box in your home, usually located in the basement, utility room, or hallway. Find the circuit breaker that controls the area where you plan to install spotlights. Flip the circuit breaker switch to the off position to cut power to your home. Test the wires and receptacles with a wire tester to make sure they have no voltage going through them.

  • If you don't know which circuit controls the room you work in, either contact an electrician to check your wiring, or turn off the main power switch on the electrical box.



    Run wires through your walls to the spot you’re installing the light. You can install a light on an existing switch or add a new switch to the circuit. Use a wire tie to run a 14/2 cable through the wall so it lines up with where you put the light. A 14/2 cable contains 1 hot, 1 neutral, and 1 ground.

  • You can get 14/2 wire from your local hardware store.

  • If you feel uncomfortable wiring your home, call an electrician.

  • Portable lights can also be installed on existing junction boxes if available. Just delete the existing lighting function first.


    Strip the ends of the wires in your wall and on the downlight. Open the stripper and pinch the back 1" (1.3 cm) of the 14/2 cable between the jaws. Pull the stripper toward the end of the wire to remove the insulation. Repeat the process with the wires attached to the downlight.

  • There will be a black wire, a white wire, and an uninsulated wire coming out of the 14/2 cable.

  • Downlights have 1 black or red wire, 1 white wire and 1 uninsulated wire.


    ④Splice the matching wires with wire caps. Connect the ends of the black wires together so that they are straight up. Use a pair of pliers to twist the ends together so that they form a good connection. Turn a wire cap clockwise at the connection to cover the exposed end. Repeat the process with the white and uninsulated wire.

  • Some spotlights will have connection boxes attached to them. If your downlight has a junction box, line up the wires of the 14/2 cable so they go straight through the matching wires inside the box. Tighten the screws on the wires to hold them in place.


    ⑤Hold the spring clips against the sides of the light. The base of the bottom light will have spring-loaded metal clips that pop open when the spring is released. Grab the spring clips from below and push them up so they are flush with the base of the light. Keep holding them so they don't suddenly turn on when you install the lights.

  • Surface mount downlights will not have spring clips. Instead, it just pops into the mounting plate you installed earlier.



    ⑥Push the light into the hole until you hear the clips snap into place. Make sure all the wires go into the holes before your lights come on. Continue to direct the light into your ceiling so the clips go into the holes. Gently press down on the bottom of the light and listen for a clicking sound. Slowly lower the light to make sure the spring clip supports it.

  • Don't let it go out right away or it will fall out if it's not properly engaged.

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