If you have recessed lighting installed in strategic locations around the home it can transform the entire ambiance of the property. It is relatively simple to install if you have just a little bit of knowhow and a few basic tools. If you don’t have either then you are highly advised to pay a professional to do the job for you, but if you are quite the handy person then why not have a go yourself.
Recessed lighting means that the light fitting is installed within an opening of the ceiling leaving only the light bulb itself visible. This can be a very attractive and stylish look, minimalist yet functional and oozing in elegance if done correctly. It’s particularly great in kitchens and bathrooms where it is a perfect way of providing specific lighting for functional activities or perhaps ambient lighting for particular objects.
Installing recessed lighting is possible in almost any ceiling. It’s probably easier in new builds which are not finished. The important thing to remember is safety first.
Before embarking on your lighting project you need to think long and hard about the effect you want to achieve. How much lighting do you want in the room or in that particular area of the room? What type of lighting will be most suitable? Most people think of down-lights when they think of recessed lighting so it is important to overlap them if you are installing several in one room to avoid dark spots. Eyeball lights are a nice alternative which swivel and can be directed towards any particular area of the room you want to illuminate.
It is dangerous to tackle any electrical jobs if you don’t have the necessary experience or knowledge and although it is relatively simple to install this type of lighting there are a few safety procedures which must be followed.
Remember too that you will have to have any electrical work signed off by a professional electrical contractor just to ensure that it complies with all safety and building regulations.
Always shut off the electricity to the house before you start doing any electrical jobs around the house. Don’t touch any wiring until it is safely switched off. You should also follow any instructions which have been supplied with your light fittings and if you purchase a kit of installation tools follow the instructions step by step.
The things you’ll need include:
• Keyhole or drywall saw
• Stud finder
• Wire nuts
• Electrical wire
• Recessed light fixtures and fittings
When positioning your fixtures you must make sure that there is plenty of ceiling access, fixtures are attached through the ceiling and have the power running to them.
Decide upon the positioning of your fixtures and what (if anything) you will do about the existing lighting. It may be the best idea to leave well alone if the power circuit is able to support any extra load.
Then you need to find a ceiling joist using the stud finder. If there is attic access to the ceiling go upstairs and take a look.
Then you will have to drill the ceiling with a small hole in the areas where you want the fittings to be.
Once you have determined all of the above you will be able to get on with the electrical part of fitting your recessed lighting. Once again, if you don’t have any electrical experience you should leave it to the experts.
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