How to Install Surface-mounted Downlights
Ask This Old House master electrician Scott Caron helps a homeowner improve his living room with surface-mounted downlights
- Find the necessary breaker on the main electrical panel and turn off the power.
- Using a screwdriver, remove current light fixtures, unscrewing the wire nuts to the connections.
- Tie in the recessed light plate to the recessed electrical box, using screws and a screwdriver.
- Connect fixture wires to corresponding power wires. Splice the wires together using pliers and cover with wire nuts.
- Snap in and twist the surface-mounted downlight to the recessed light plate.
- Repeat steps 2-5 as necessary, depending on the number of lights.
- Surface-mounted downlights can be controlled using a dimmer if the homeowner chooses.
- To install a dimmer, remove the current light switch by unscrewing the faceplate with a screwdriver. Remove the electrical connections with a screwdriver.
- Reconnect the electrical wires to the new dimmer switch and screw the switch plate on using a screwdriver.
- If using a wireless dimmer system, mount the remote-control dimmer to the wall. If there is an existing three-way switch system, remove the second switch. Place wire nuts on the wiring and tuck them away in the wall. Install the wireless remote in place of the existing switch.
- Turn the necessary breaker back on at the main electrical panel to turn the power back on.