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How to Install Recessed Lighting without Attic Access

Running the new wiring is the most challenging aspect of installing recessed lighting in a home without an attic or attic crawl space. Even for an expert electrician, it can be difficult to get new cable through finished walls and ceilings with little regard for the structure’s walls and ceilings. In older homes, be prepared to meet obstacles like fire stops and horizontal 2-by-4s inserted between studs when routing wire through the walls and ceilings.

Step Involved

-The circuit breaker for the light switch circuit to which you will be connecting should be turned off. To ensure that you have turned off the right breaker, use a non-contact voltage tester. You might need to shut off more than one breaker because certain light switch boxes may have many circuits running through them.

-The location of the ceiling tile where the recessed lighting fixture will be put should be marked. Locate two nearby rafters with an electronic stud finder, then mark the location of the light fixture halfway between them. Create an outline for the cutout using the template that was included with the fixture.

-To remove the cutout, drill a 3/4-inch hole inside the template’s outline and use a jigsaw or drywall saw. When working overhead, wear safety goggles and a dusk mask to protect your eyes and lungs from drywall dust.

-To route the cable through the wall to the switch, make four-inch square holes in the ceiling and wall. Drill a 3/4-inch hole through the top plate of the wall.

-Baseboard along the wall should be removed. Utilize a utility knife to cut the paint bead. Push a flat pry bar with a curved end down between the baseboard and the wall. To protect the wall from harm, sandwich a scrap piece of plywood between the pry bar and the wall before gently prying the baseboard out. Work slowly along the entire length of the baseboard.

-Using a metal straight edge, trace a 2-inch-wide channel behind the baseboard placement. Remove the drywall to uncover the wall studs by setting the jigsaw blade depth to 1/2 inch. Half an inch down from the top of the channel, mark the studs for 1-inch notches.

-Make the top and bottom horizontal cuts for the notches by adjusting the jigsaw’s depth of cut to 1 1/2 inches. With the use of a 1-inch wood chisel and hammer, complete the notches.

-After removing the two #6-32 screws holding the switch in the box, remove the light switch cover plate. Cut the cable after running it up to the switch box so that it sticks out 6 to 8 inches. Use a cable ripper to remove the cable’s outer jacket, and wire strippers to remove the insulation covering 3/4 inches of the cable.

-By placing their stripped ends side by side and attaching a wire nut, connect the white neutral wire to the box’s neutral wire. In a similar way, connect the naked ground wires. Create a loop at the end of the black wire and attach it to the switch’s top brass screw by tucking the loop under the screw and tightening the screw down on it.

-Put the switch back into the box. Connect the cord to the fixture’s connecting box. Strip the wires from the cable, remove the jacket, and use wire nuts to join them to the fixture wires of the same colour. Push the light fixture into the hole in the ceiling until the spring clips release and lock it in place.

-In accordance with the directions on the patch kit, replace the baseboard and fix the holes in the wall and ceiling.

-Re-engage the breaker.


Recessed lighting solutions exist, though, so you can get the aesthetic perfection you desire for your home. Modern semi-flush ceiling lights and designs including disc lights, pendant lights, tube lights, and track lights are some of the choices.

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