How to Install Canless Recessed Lights

Installing canless recessed lights is ideal if you want to accent or illuminate certain areas of your home. These LED lights are attractive, energy-efficient, and take up little space.

Here’s how to install canless recessed lights:

  • Turn off the power to the light fixture at the circuit box. This will make it safe to work on the fixture without the risk of electrical shock.
  • Lay out each light’s location. Determine where you want each fixture, then use a tape measure and a pencil to mark each spot. Many people keep an equal distance between each fixture, but your lights’ placement depends on your unique needs.

    A hole in the drywall ceiling to install recessed lighting.
  • Wear safety glasses and drill a hole in the ceiling with a hole saw. (This is an affiliate link. If you purchase this product, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.) Make sure the hole is the right size for your fixture.
  • Go to the attic and use a voltage tester on the wiring. This is another precaution to confirm that the electrical wiring you’re working with is not live.
  • Feed the electrical wiring through the new hole and strip a couple of inches off the wires. Snip the wires’ sheathing without damaging the wires.
  • Connect your home’s electrical wiring with the junction box that comes with each fixture.
  • Remove the knockout plugs from the box and insert Romex connectors to protect and secure the wires coming into the box.
  • Make the connections using color-coded quick connectors — white to white, black to black, and connection the bare ground wire to green.
  • Close the junction box and fish it through the hole in the ceiling to the attic space.
  • Connect the junction box to the light fixture with a small threaded connector.
  • Snap the light into the ceiling with its spring-loaded wings.

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