How to Install Recessed Spotlights On a Joist

Written by marissa wilson
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How to Install Recessed Spotlights On a Joist
Installing recessed spotlights can be a simple process with the right tools and the proper knowledge (Antique Lighting image by Lucid_Exposure from

Recessed spotlights can brighten up the room. They also add value to the house. Recessed spotlights give good lighting and an uncluttered look. Recessed spotlights are inexpensive to install because you are doing them yourself. There are a variety of recessed spotlights available from low voltage to line voltage. Installing recessed spotlights to a joist can be a simple process as long as you have the right tools and the proper know-how.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Stud finder
  • 110 wire
  • Cordless drill
  • Philips drill bit
  • Philips screws
  • Recessed spotlights
  • Wire nuts
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape
  • Junction box
  • Ladder
  • Drywall saw
  • Hammer
  • Flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Figure out where you are putting the lights. Use the stud finder to find the studs.

  2. 2

    Turn the power off. Take the 110 wire and run it from the breaker box for the first light. Drill a hole through the ceiling by the main breaker box. Run the wire that you just put up through the hole in the ceiling from the main breaker box to the recessed spotlight. Use the drywall saw and cut a hole in the ceiling where you are putting the light.

  3. 3

    Mount the junction box to the joist. Use the hammer and flathead screwdriver to punch out one of the knockout holes. Run the wire from main breaker box to the light switch and run the same wire to the junction box. Cut and clean the wires with the wire cutters. Attach the black wire to the black wire, which is the positive wire. The white wire goes on the white wire, which is the negative wire.

  4. 4

    Cover the wires with the wire nuts and tighten them down by turning them clockwise. Use the electrical tape to cover the wire nuts for safety reasons. Place the cover on the junction box. Turn the power back on.

  5. 5

    Repeat all steps for any additional lights.

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