How To Install Retrofit Recessed Lighting

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I installed two new LED downlights using new build 4″ IC housings. The problem is that both lights are not flush with the ceiling after installation, they sink on one side about 1/4″.

How To Install Retrofit Recessed Lighting

How To Install Retrofit Recessed Lighting

Am I doing something wrong? Is the 1990s (Minnesota, USA) plasterboard ceiling too thick or something? Do I need another part? make something with tape/glue/etc. if necessary, but I like the fixtures so I won’t be returning them. How can I make these fixtures flush with the ceiling?

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Tried removing the fixtures and reinstalling with the same result. The houses are as close to the plasterboard as possible and are attached below and to the sides of the ceiling joists. The housing itself slides into the drywall hole about 1/4″ I would guess, but it doesn’t go all the way into the room; not sure if that’s standard or not.

The mechanism for attaching the parts to the housing seems a bit unique to me. It has clips that use friction to install, but will fall apart if you turn the part clockwise to uninstall. It’s best explained through an image:

The symptom of the hole you have in all my experience with recessed lights has been that the roughness of the housing has room for deflection. When you push the liner into place, the rough inside is also pushed up under the tension of the incoming lens and stays pushed until the lens drops to the ceiling and is released. The casing loosens again, creating the hole.

I’ve had some success minimizing the gap by slightly rotating the liner after the liner meets the ceiling. Turn it in the direction that keeps the clamping fingers out on the lens. The wrong direction can allow the clamping fingers to collapse for removal and you’re back to square one.

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If that doesn’t work to your satisfaction, I’ve glued the glass to the drywall so it’s stable enough that it won’t lift when the trim is installed.

Blue tape the finished drywall to keep it free of whatever glue you choose to use, it can be almost anything. Construction glue or block paint would be my choice. Push the rough in to expose the gap, if possible, on the top surface of the drywall and rough on the lip. Spray a lot from the hose into the room, it gets messy, you have paper on the floor. Let the rough come back, it may leak more, keep it clean remove the tape and let it dry for a while. A day or two will work, the longer the better, try reinstalling it.

As Jack explains in his answer, the problem seems to be that the rough-in deflects upwards as you push the liner and then returns to

How To Install Retrofit Recessed Lighting

Consider drilling two small holes about an inch above the bottom lip and on opposite sides of the rough. Attach an eight-inch strip of flexible webbing or similar (flat, strong, and not prone to stretching) using sheet metal screws through each of these holes. Let the straps hang.

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Installation will be a two-person job. Have someone pull these straps down and then out to keep the fat at its lowest point. Then, you press down on the pad set while your assistant maintains the tension. the rough-in can even slide up a bit when the liner is in place and the straps release, pulling the liner even tighter. You can then cut off the protruding pieces of the strap with a utility knife.

You can make this a one-man job if you’re willing to put two anchors in the ceiling drywall to hold the straps in place. Once the liner is installed, the anchors can be removed and the holes filled and the paint replaced.

I just came here because I too had this problem and this was one of the only threads I could find that discussed the problem. My problem was clearly the housing box shifted up and I pushed the light into place.

All I did was take two strips of electrical tape, tape one end to the inside of the house and run it vertically down and around the edge of the house and the drywall hole, while the other end I put on the ceiling . This provided enough resistance to lock the housing in place as I pushed up on the light. When it was almost completely rinsed off, I just shook the electrical tape and pulled it off. He left no mark, no mess. The electrical tape was strong enough to pull out without cracking, but it probably would have been fine if I had to cut it with a utility knife. Our home gym finally has lighting! I took the time yesterday to install the four recessed lights in this room and now I can finally work in there after dark. 😀 I used the same lights here that I used in my studio and in our master bathroom – the 6 inch Halo recessed lights (called super slim lights).

How To Install Recessed Lighting

Thin (about 1/2 inch), which is a night and day difference compared to the traditional style of light box, which has the huge housing that has to be mounted on the ceiling and attached to the ceiling joists.

They are so thin that they can be installed almost anywhere. You can see here that the part that rests on the roof is less than 1/4 inch thick. I’d say it might be 1/8 inch thick or just a hair more than that.

And the HALO jugless recessed lights have dimmable lighting. I’ve gotten some that have three settings and some that have five settings. Here’s one that has five settings, from 2700K to 5000K.

How To Install Retrofit Recessed Lighting

I don’t like that the switch on the three-way lights is inside the metal box. I prefer lights with five settings where the switch is easily accessible on the outside of the box. But for this room I bought the light with three settings (accidentally) and as long as you make sure you set the switch to the setting you want before you close the box and put the light in, it really isn’t a problem. It’s just a hassle if you forget to set the switch to the correct setting and have to go back and pull the light, open the box and change the setting.

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So when you open the box you can see the wires. Three-position lights have standard wiring with wire nuts. Five-setting lights have cables with push-in connectors attached. In any case, installation is very easy.

In my attic, my contractor’s guys had left me with little holes and wires hanging out. They didn’t cut the holes to size for me because I forgot to buy the lights so they didn’t know exactly how big to cut them. So this is where I started.

The first step when working with the electrical wiring is to turn off the power at the breaker box. So after doing that I was ready to install these lights.

The unboxed HALO recessed lights come with a template that you can use (either a paper template that you cut or a cardboard template that is already cut) to trace the size of the ceiling.

How To Update Old {and Yellowed} Recessed Lights To Led

So after pushing the wires back into the ceiling and marking exactly where I wanted the light to go, I used the template to trace the circle onto the ceiling.

I don’t do enough drywall to own one of those handy drywall cutters that make cutting things like this very quick. So instead I had to use my Dremel Multi-Max tool, which doesn’t make the nicest cuts on curves, but it did the job. (This is one of those tools I bought and then wondered how the heck I ever got through as a DIYer without it. I use it all the time!)

They make a drywall sheet for the Dremel Multi-Max, but I didn’t feel like making a special trip to Home Depot for it since I only needed it for this one job and already had a blade that would do it . the job, though not as nice as the plaster blade would do.

How To Install Retrofit Recessed Lighting

With the hole cut (and I tried fitting it with the light), I was ready to mount the light. Before I ran the wires from the ceiling to the wires to the light, I had to tap one of the four round metal washers into the metal housing of the light.

How To Install Recessed Lighting Like A Pro!

In this particular light model there are four of them – one at each end and two on one side. I only dropped one of them with a screwdriver and pliers.

I then ran the wires from the ceiling inside

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