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DIY Tips for Replacing Canned Lighting

DIY Tips for Replacing Canned Lighting

Canned lighting, or properly known as recessed lighting, started to be very popular in the 70’s and many homes have these types of lighting fixtures already in place. Some of the fixtures are starting to not function properly, and some people would simply like to upgrade to newer styles so they could take advantage of the energy saving LED lights. You can replace your fixtures with a few simple tools and a little instruction.

You need to assemble a circuit tester, your new recessed lighting fixture, and a pair of needle nose pliers, a screwdriver that has an interchangeable tip with a flat end on one side and a Phillips head on the other.

Your first step is to turn the power to the fixture off at the switch. Next you go to the breaker panel and flip the breaker off turning power off at this junction. The circuit tester can now be used to assure you that the power supply is completely shut off to the fixture, and the wires you will be working with.

You will need to remove the bulb from the fixture, and remove the decorative trim that is usually snapped into place. If there are spring clips holding the trim to the metal casing you can use the needle nose pliers to remove the trim. You will then use the needle nose pliers and unfasten the clips that are holding the metal casing, or can, into the recess in the ceiling. Do not scratch the paint on the ceiling so that you do not have to repaint later.

If you have not already purchased your replacement fixture you can now get accurate measurements so that you can buy the right size fixture when you go shopping.

You will need to remove the cover plate over the electrical connection box in order to disconnect the electrical wires. You will remove this plate by unscrewing it. You may now check the wires using the circuit tester again to make sure you are not working with live wires. The wires should be fastened together with wire nuts or electrical tape. You should loosen the wire nuts, or remove the tape so that you can disconnect the wires.

Insert the new fixture into the hole that is already in your ceiling. Push the box as far to the side as possible to give yourself working room. Reconnect the electrical wires in the ceiling to the new wires of the new light fixture. Make sure you connect black wires to black wires, and white wires to white wires. If you cross the wires the power supply will not get to the fixture.

Once all wire connections are completed you can position the box in the ceiling and attach the clips, or springs to the canister to hold it firmly in place in the ceiling. There will be decorative trim for you to snap in place and then you will insert the new light bulbs. 

Turn the power on at the breaker panel first, and then turn the power on at the light switch to check your work. This is a quick home decorating step that will save you money in the long run.

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