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What Does It Cost to Install Recessed Lighting?

Installing lights in a recessed manner is a good way to keep ceilings neat and clean, and get a warm and focused light. The problem is that people think the process is all too complicated—given that work is done at both sides of the ceiling—and therefore costly. Recessed lighting installation costs can be kept at a minimum, provided one knows the ropes and what he or she is going up against.

To be able to tell the how much it would cost to install recessed lights, a number of factors should be taken into consideration. Not all installations are the same, and the variables in such scenarios can be endless. For starters, let’s look at some of the differences and options people might encounter when installing recessed lights.

Possible the most important variable is if the installation will be done in an under-construction house, or commercial space, or in an existing ceiling. Having an existing ceiling is not the end of the world, however, it is pertinent that one has access to the backside of the ceiling otherwise the installation would be nearly impossible to manage. By access, it could mean anywhere from a person being able to walkabout in the backside, like in an attic, or have space enough to fit arms and grab and work on fixtures and wires. If such is the case, and if one chooses to do the installation themselves, then not cost has amassed as of this time yet.

Aside from wires, switches, and the fixture themselves, power tools are needed to be able to punch or cut a hole in the ceiling. True costing should take into account the electricity needed to run these tools, but for a half-a-day job, the costs are minimal and should run only at a maximum of $20 dollars. Wires can be bought per yard or meter, or by spools. A spool of wire should cost somewhere in the vicinity of $50. The length of the wire will depend on the number of lights that are to be installed. The switches should cost no more than $15 for a single install. The number of lights should dictate the number of switches unless you are trying to make independently-switchable lights.

Prices for complete single down light housings that include everything minus the bulb itself start at around $15. Multiple light packages that come in fours or more should start at around $50. The cost of the housing itself depends on the brand and style, and additional options such as covers. Incandescent bulbs should cost around $5, and more-efficient LED bulbs at around $10.

As of this point, doing the install yourself has not even run more than $100. However, things become exponentially more expensive once you try to hire services from other people. Per hour handymen can charge anywhere from $20 to $40 per hour for labor, but a skilled worker should be able to complete the job in a day, provided ample planning is done before any cutting is started.

As for under-construction houses, installation costs can be really hard to estimate and it should depend heavily on where you are in construction. If you plan it early, no additional costs should be incurred if you want recessed lights instead of normal, protruding lights. The cost, in this scenario, would now depend on your contractor.