Home Improvement--General/led recessed lights


hi Diane I want to add recessed LED lights in my family room. There are not any existing lights and I don't have access from above, only through the hole that I would cut. Is there a style that is hardwired right to the fixture that I can just pop in, or what? Not sure how to go about this without cutting out a large piece of sheetrock. thx

Hi, Robert.

Adding any lights to an environment -- especially a room that's got a finished ceiling with no access -- is a big challenge, but it's not impossible. For the majority of homeowners, it's really not a D-I-Y project.

Yes, there are "remodeler" LED fixtures that have the transformers built in. Juno is my favorite light fixture company, but Halo (sold at big-box stores) also has similar products. Switching the lights is probably going to be the biggest challenge, because you don't have any existing lights, which means you have no existing switches. Wiring from your main panel to where you want the switch is going to require a licensed electrician, and you'll need permits. This project could get expensive.

The mistake that most homeowners (and many construction professionals) make is putting in too many fixtures, instead of thinking about where the light is needed. The result is what I call a "swiss cheese" ceiling.

Fortunately, most LED fixtures are dimmable, but many of them require compatible switches, so it requires reading all of the specifications and manufacturer recommendations. You need to know how deep your ceiling joists are. I always specify "insulated ceiling" (IC)fixtures, even when there's no insulation (i.e., there's a second floor above). Here are links to Juno and Halo recessed fixtures:

Juno 5" LED recessed "remodeler": http://www.junolightinggroup.com/product-family.aspx?name=JR-IC920RLEDG4
Trim: http://www.junolightinggroup.com/product-family.aspx?name=JR-205
Halo 5" recessed "remodeler": http://www.lowes.com/pd_270969-337-H5RICAT_0__?productId=1240111
Because this is a more generic fixture, you'll need to get trim that is compatible with LED lamps. Halo has many models available.

Wishing you good luck, and good lighting!


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, C.A.P.S., NCIDQ
D. P. Design  

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about anything to do with bathroom remodeling: design considerations, safety, function, materials (cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures and fittings, lighting/switching, heating and ventilation, tile, stone, concrete, tub and shower enclosures, flooring, etc.), saving water, trends, ROI, and appearance.


25+ years as a bath-kitchen design specialist, hundreds of completed bathroom projects (all styles, all investment ranges). Author of "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling," co-host of a home improvement program on a local radio station for over three years. Currently hosting "Today's Home" on Lifestyle WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (http://www.todays-home.com).

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization), IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council).

"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (my book, published in 2003), Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Gentry Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Business Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Design News Magazine,Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Statesman Journal, Portland Tribune, Oregonian.

Multiple degrees: Bathroom Design, Residential Interior Design, Kitchen Design, and Lighting Design. Regularly attend classes and seminars to maintain current knowledge about codes, trends, sustainability, new products, etc.

Awards and Honors
Awards: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Best of the Best, Chrysalis, Excellence (best home in its category), and NABE (best how-to book, 2003). "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" received #1 listing in the City of Chicago publication, "Hiring The Pros".

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, visit my website: http://www.dp-design.com/portfolio

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