Six Steps to Soffit Lighting Installation

The best soffit lighting that you can install in your home is recessed or pot light. This is because it is a type of lighting you fix to the ceiling, projecting a downward light direction. The trim will be the light’s only visible area. In a home environment, you can install recesssed soffit lighting in kitchens and bathrooms, or the library, den, or theatre room.

Step 1 - Identify the Locations

First of all, you need to identify the areas in the soffit where you want to install the lights. Make sure that the area is big enough for the installation. Keep in mind that the height of the light fixture should be at least five and one-half inches. Put a mark on the soffit by tracing the template of the remodel pot light fixtures and then cut the holes with a keyhole saw.

Step 2 - Install the Cable

romex cable with wires exposed

Run a 14/2 non-metallic (NM) cable from the switch to each hole in the soffit. Keep in mind that you have to leave an extra ten inches or so of cable hanging out from every hole for the actual light wiring and installation. Remember that the first hole should receive the cable directly from the switch and then forward the cable onto the next opening.

Step 3 - Wire the Junction Box

Reach the junction box and remove its cover by pressing it down with your thumb. Put the wires into the junction box and connect the soffit light fixtures.

Step 4 - Strip the Cables

Use a pair of wire cutters or strippers to strip six inches of insulation from the 14/2 non-metallic cables in every hole you have cut in the soffit. This is because you need to see the bare copper conductor inside, along with the others colored wires. Now use the wire cutters again to strip half an inch of sheath from the white and the black conductors.

Step 5 - Connect the Wires

Return to the junction box and it is now time to connect the wires into their respective places. Put the two black wires (one from the non-metallic cable and the other one from the junction box of the light fixture) together with a red wire connector. Now utilize the red wire connect to put the white wires together, and the green wire from the junction box with the bare-copper wire. Do this same procedure repeatedly for every soffit light fixture that you want to install.

Step 6 - Install the Soffit Lights

hand screwing a flood light into a recessed light fixture

Place the light fixtures into the holes that you cut into the soffit. Press the black clips upwards with a flathead screwdriver until you hear it click down into the slot that there is in the soffit light fixture itself. Make sure that all the black clips are locked so that the soffit light fixture will be securely in place.

After you have finished the soffit lighting installation and you switch the light, you should see the light coming down from the ceiling of the room. It will look somewhat like a large floodlight or a small spotlight. Such light fixtures have many names; they are usually called recessed lights or downlights, but in Canada they call them pot lights and in the United States they are known as can lights or canister lights.