<h1><font size="2">DIY<br>Do It Yourself<br>How To<br>Howto<br> Recessed Lighting Placement and Installation Instructions</font></h1> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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 Lighting - HELP?  
Select one of the 11 topics below:

1 - Where Should / Can Lighting Be Located?

2 - New Construction or Remodel housing?

3 - Insulated, Double Wall, and Air Tight housings

4 - Bulbs - Types of Bulbs and Their Usage

5 - Housing Diameters and Bulb Usage

6 - Trims

7 - Low Voltage (12V) or Line Voltage (120V) MR16 Bulbs?

8 - Lighting Controls - Setting the mood of your lighting system

9 - Choosing the Proper Housing and Trim

10 - Sloped Ceiling Housing and Trim Information

11 - Retrofit / Conversion Kits & Tools

12 - Fluorescent Bulbs AKA Lamps


1 - Determine where you want to put lights and if a light can be installed in that particular location.

Determine where lights are going to be located.  The location of lights will be determined by what is to be illuminated, the type of housing that will accommodate the location, and ones taste in lighting effect.

Recessed ceiling lights and track lighting that illuminates pictures or artwork on a wall should be located at least 2 feet from the wall with a standard 8' ceiling and farther from the wall in the same ratio (2' to 8') as the ceiling height increases.  For example: using this ratio, a housing in a 10' ceiling would be placed at least 2.5' from the wall.  The number of items and wall area to be illuminated would determine the spacing between recessed housings.  If unsure, divide the wall length into equally spaced parts so as to equally space the housings.  For example: if a wall is 16' long and total illumination is required, place 3 housings 4' apart with the center housing in the center of the wall (8' from either side).  This configuration will allow each beam to overlap about 40% and provide good coverage of the wall.  For more illumination place 4 housings 3.2' apart.  It is also acceptable to off center the housings with respect to the wall.  For example: there may be a piece of furniture like a couch that does not sit in the center of the wall area.  A picture might be centered over the couch that requires illumination.  The housings will probably look best centered with respect to the couch as opposed to being centered in the wall length.  The rest of the housings used to illuminate the area would be spaced at equal distances from this center housing.  One caution!  Housings centered with respect to furniture placement may have drawbacks should you decide to change the placement of your furniture in the future.  Symmetry is important when placing lighting and should be given a lot of thought and planning.  If there are too many variables involved in the placement of recessed housings, consider using track lighting.

A wide variety of track lighting is available for areas where recessed lighting is not practical, where flexibility in light placement is required, or where multiple lights are required in a small area.

Lighting used for a display can be located directly above or slightly in front of the item being displayed.  This type of lighting can be accomplished using recessed housings or track lighting.  Track lighting is a good choice when many lights are needed in a small area.

Walkway lighting should be centered about the walkway, shine directly down, and be spaced at least 4' feet apart. Wall wash lighting should be located at least 2 feet from the wall and spaced a minimum of 4' feet apart.

Once it has been decided where recessed housings are desired, determine if they can be installed in the particular locations.

Tap on the ceiling or use a stud finder and determine where the ceiling joist are located.  Recessed housing placement may have to be adjusted to avoid hitting a ceiling joist. The housing, rather new construction or retrofit, must go between the ceiling joists.

Be careful at corners and along exterior walls where the roof comes close to the ceiling.  Where housings are to be installed, determine how much space there is between the ceiling and roof trusses or other obstructions such as air conditioning ducts. It helps to crawl up in the attic and determine if there are any obstructions prior to cutting holes in the ceiling for recessed housings.

The space under 2nd story structures are usually not a problem because the floor joist is usually at least 7 1/2" deep and usually not insulated.  The recessed housings must go between the floor joist.