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How to Install Recessed Lighting 4:45min

This is a DIY, how-to video about how to safely replace fluorescent lights with recessed can lights in a basement. The narrator takes you from how to remove the old fixture to how to install the recessed one to improve the look and feel of a basement family room. I don’t own the rights to this video; it’s from SkilPowerTools.


Hey everybody. Welcome to SkilTools Home Improvement How-to Videos

I’m your host Bill Link and I’ve got a great project for you this time

It’s real simple to do but it’s going to have a big impact on this basement family room

What I’m going to do is get rid of some old fluorescent overhead lights and replace them with recessed, or can lights, just like this one

Now first things first

You’re dealing with electricity anytime you’re dealing with lights

and when I looked up in the ceiling what I found was a mess of wires and connections that I didn’t feel all that comfortable addressing myself

So I got off the ladder and got on the phone. Called an electrician and I had them come out and straighten out the wiring for me

Now I have to do is take the old lights out and put the new ones in. So, let’s get started

Okay I’ve pulled down a bunch of ceiling tiles and I’m almost ready to remove the old light fixture

Not quite!

First I need to disconnect the wiring

This is the wiring that I had the electrician run to the existing lights, and it’s the same wiring I’m going to use for the new lights

Before I start taking it apart, though, I want to make sure that there’s no electricity flowing through it. I did turn off the breaker but you can never be too safe

So, I am going to use this little live wire tester. Here’s how it works:

If you hold this up to a wire that has electricity running through it, you get a light and a beep

Then, hold it up to these; no light, no beep, no juice

So we know we’re safe to take those apart

So I’m going to go ahead and take these connections off, and we’ll lift the light fixture down

As soon as the wire nuts come off, the wires are come apart easily

Now these were the connections my electrician had just made, so I knew they were in good shape

If yours are older, check the wires for damage and strip new wires if you need to

Next I removed the light bulbs and stored them in a safe place

Then, to remove the light fixture, I just lifted it off the ceiling grid and lowered it through the opening

You may find there are a few screws that hold yours in

With the old fixture out of way, I was ready to install the can light in the space, which was a simple matter of aligning the mounting brackets with the bottom on the floor joist, and then pounding in the mounting nails

Once I had the bracket secure, I positioned the fixture so it was right in the center of the ceiling tile

There are center lines right on the fixture to help you do this, and once you got it where you want it, tighten down the screws, one on each side of the can to make sure it won’t move again

Now loosen the screws inside the fixture and lower the can into its final position

When you have it in place, use your skil XO to tighten the screws one more time

Notice how well this little tool fits into these tight spaces? It’s just perfect for an application like this

Okay, I’ve got the light fixtures installed and secured. I’ve dropped the cans down and I’ve even pulled wires into the junction box so the next step is to actually make the electrical connections

So I’ve got three wires that I’m going to connect here. I’ve got the line that’s coming from the power, but I’ve also got the wires that go directly to this fixture and then, this set of wires goes to the next fixture in the series, so now I just need to connect those and move down the line

Match the wires up by color, and then hold the ends flush while you twist the wire nut on

There’s really no need to twist the wires together before you do this, just twist the nut on until it has a nice secure hold on all three wires

Alright, the next step is to cut a hole in the ceiling tile that corresponds with the location of the can light. In order to do that, I took very careful measurements on the center of that can light and now I’ve laid those out on the back the ceiling tile

Now all I need to do is use my circle cutter and my Dremel tool, and cut that hole out

When you get the ceiling tile back in place, the next step is to install the trim ring and the directional lens. This can take a little bit of doing to get the spring clips mounted, but before you know it you’ll be setting the ring and adjusting the lens

All that’s left now is to put in a lightbulb

Recessed lighting: simple and dramatic, as promised

And that does it for this project. But I’ll be back soon with another one in the meantime take a look around com, for all your power tool and project know-how

Thanks for being here

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