How to Install Eyeball Recessed Lights

Updated July 20, 2017

Recessed lighting gives your home an elegant and updated look. You can install these lights in any room you desire, including kitchens, entertainment rooms or bedrooms. Shop online or locally to find the design and price you desire. Eyeball recessed lights are different than other types because they allow you to direct the lighting to a particular area of the room. Stationary recessed lights, by contrast, cannot be directed; they can only be pointed downward.

Locate the main service panel, which is normally in a basement or utility room, and turn off the electrical power to the room where you will be working. Advise your family that you’ve begun your project. Place the first light as an example on a corner of the ceiling and trace the fixture with a piece of chalk.

Measure the spacing for the next light fixture about 7 feet away from the first light using a tape measure. Trace that fixture on the ceiling with chalk. Outline the rest of the recessed lighting on the ceiling by going to the opposite side of the ceiling and repeating this step.

Remove the furniture and cover the floor with a dust sheet to catch the drywall dust. Close the door or cover the interior door to the room where you are working to confine the dust to only one room. Open the windows. Climb into your attic with a flashlight to make sure that you will not be cutting into any wiring.

Climb out of the attic. Drill a starter hole in your first recessed outline using a drill and cut out the rest of the tracing with a reciprocating saw. Repeat this process until you have cut out the outline for all the other recessed lights. Install each electrical box by pushing it through the hole you made and securing with the mounting fasteners that came with your package.

Pull the wiring through each electrical box and use wire connectors to connect the wiring red-to-red, black to black and green to green. Place the retaining hardware onto the cans. Install the trim pieces and light bulbs. Turn the power back on and test the eyeball lights.


Advise your electrician about how you intend to place the recessed lights in the room and where you wish to have your light switch placed on the wall so that the installation goes as smoothly as possible. Consider adding a dimmer switch during the wiring installation so that you will have as much or as little lighting as you desire in the room.


Use caution when securing the fixtures to the drywall ceiling as failing to take your time can result in you have to perform major repair to your drywall ceiling.

Things You'll Need

  • Coloured chalk
  • Tape measure
  • Dust sheet
  • Flashlight
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Electrical box
  • Wire connectors
  • Light bulbs
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