How to Install LED Recessed Lights

Takeaway meals: These new style recessed LEDs from Torchstar are so slim that they are barely recessed, mount flush to the ceiling and allow you to put the light where you want it. And, if you’re finishing a basement or installing in a ceiling with an open space above, they’re relatively easy to install. They are generally available in 4 and 6 inch diameters and in several color options, from warm white to cool white. The ones we installed are also moisture resistant for use outdoors or in bathrooms.

  • Five selectable color options
  • Junction box included for each light
  • Dimmable from 10 to 100%
  • Simple design blends into any decor
  • $68.99

    Buy now


    A discreet lighting solution

    In switching from lighting to efficient LED options in my old farmhouse, I was often challenged to find fixtures that matched our decor, or at least didn’t compete with it. I experimented with these LED recessed fixtures that install virtually flush, disappearing into the ceiling, while I was retrofitting a detached structure into an office and studio. I loved them so much that I ordered wet versions for outside under our porch and overhanging roof.

    Torchstar LED recessed lights come in sets of six and include a junction box for each light.

    Bradley Ford

    Installation of recessed LED lights

    Tools you will need:

      Installing recessed lighting in an already finished room in your home can be tricky if you don’t have access to the area above the ceiling. You’ll need to figure out where the ceiling joists are and how to run your cables through them. In some cases, you may need to cut one or more access holes, which will need to be resealed.

      But in a basement or other space you’re finishing, installing recessed lighting like this is relatively easy. Determine where you want the lights before installing any drywall or ceiling tile. Each light comes with a junction box that you need to attach to a joist near the location you have chosen for the light. You will need to remove knockouts from junction boxes and install a connector for non-metallic sheathed cable, most often 14/2 cable on 15 amp circuits. Make sure what you are using is appropriate for your circuit and meets the codes required in your area.

      If you are installing multiple lights, daisy chain them together, so each box will need two connectors, one in and one out to the next light. The last junction box only needs one connector.

      In my case, I was installing the recessed lights under a roof overhanging the front of our house. There was already a light fixture there, so I removed it and used that light’s junction box to power the new ones. The space inside the overhang was open, so it wasn’t difficult for me to get the cable through once I had holes drilled for the new LED lights. The lights I chose came in a set of six, but I only chose to install three, one in place of the original light, and on either side of it. I saved the other three for our back porch.

      Installation took about 90 minutes from when I started to when the tools were put away. After that I waited until dusk to be sure I had set them to a color I liked – I reset the color once, going for the warmest part of the settings. These recessed LEDs were a major improvement over the original pendant light we had; they bring much more light and enhance the character of our old farmhouse.

      recessed led lights installed
      Once the lights were installed, I flipped the breaker to test them, but had to wait until nightfall to see what color I should set them to.

      Bradley Ford

      recessed led lights at night
      I checked the color setting in the evening and chose a step of the warmest white.

      Bradley Ford

      Selectable 4 inch LED recessed lights

      THE FLAME STAR
      amazon.com

      $68.99

      • Junction box included for each light
      • Simple design blends into any decor
      • Can be difficult to retrofit in finished spaces

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      William M. Lee