How to Install Can Lights in a Two Story House

Are you looking to upgrade the lighting in your two-story house? Installing can lights is an easy way to improve the look and feel of any room drastically. Can lights provide a modern, stylish look while improving illumination and energy efficiency within your home?

How to Install Can Lights in a Two Story House

Whether installing can lights for the first time or just looking to refresh a current lighting system, this guide will provide you with all the steps necessary to install your new can lights.

This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on how to install can lights in a two story house, from selecting the right hardware to completing the installation process. By following these easy steps, you’ll see how quickly and easily you can breathe new life into any space with this simple improvement. So read on for all the details!

What Will You Need?

Before you get started, you’ll need to ensure you have the necessary tools and supplies needed for the job. To install can light in a two-story house, you’ll need a ladder, measuring tape, electrical wire strippers, screwdriver or drill (depending on the type of mount), adjustable wrench, and protective gloves. You’ll also need the can lights themselves, along with mounting hardware that you select to match your particular installation needs.

Once you have all of the necessary supplies, you’ll be ready to get started.

10 Easy Steps on How to Install Can Lights in a Two Story House

Step 1: Measure and Mark the Location

The first step in installing can lights is to measure and mark the location of your fixture on the ceiling. Use your measuring tape to ensure a level and centered installation. Once you have marked the area for your lights, you can begin the installation process.

Measure and Mark the Location

Step 2: Connect the Electrical Wiring

Next, remove the light switch box cover and connect the black electrical wire from the existing wiring to either of the two “hot” wires in the new can light’s fixture box. Then, connect one of the white electrical wires from the existing wiring to the “neutral” wire in the new can light’s fixture box. Finally, connect one of the two black electrical wires from the existing wiring or an additional black wire from a separate circuit breaker to the new can light switch.

Step 3: Install Mounting Bracket

Now it’s time to install the mounting bracket. Depending on the type of mounting hardware you have chosen, this can be done using screws or a drill. Be sure to align the holes in your mounting bracket with the marked area and secure it.

Step 4: Attach Can Light to the Mounting Bracket

Once the mounting bracket is securely in place, attach your new can light. Depending on the type of can light you have chosen, this may involve tightening screws or simply dropping it into place and securing it with an adjustable wrench. If you are using a recessed can light, gently push it into the ceiling.

Step 5: Connect Electrical Wires

Connect the electrical wires once the can light is attached to the mounting bracket. You’ll need to connect one of the remaining white electrical wires from your existing wiring to either of the two “neutral” wires in the new can light’s fixture box. Then, connect one of the remaining black electrical wires from your existing wiring to either “hot” wires in the new can light’s fixture box.

Step 6: Secure Ground Wire

Many can lights also come with a grounding wire for safety purposes. If your can light has a ground wire, connect it to the appropriate ground lug in the new fixture box. Remember to tighten all of the wire connections with an adjustable wrench.

Step 7: Install Trim Kit

Trim kits are a great way to add style and protection to your can light installation. Place the trim kit over the new can light, ensuring it covers both the fixture box and the mounting bracket. Then, secure it in place with the appropriate hardware.

Place the Trim Kit Over the New Can Light

Step 8: Attach the Light Bulb

Once the trim kit is securely in place, the next step is to attach the light bulb. Ensure the power is turned off from the main switch for safety purposes. If you have a screw-in light bulb, simply screw it into the bulb socket until it is secure. For pin-base bulbs, line up the base of the bulb with the socket, pushing in and twisting gently until the bulb locks into place.

Step 9: Test Your Installation

After installing the light bulb, it’s time to test your installation. Turn the power back on at the main switch, then flip the switch for your new can light. If the light comes on, congratulations! You have successfully installed your can light. If not, ensure all connections are properly made and the bulb is correctly installed.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Newly Installed Can Light

Once your can light is up and running, you can sit back and enjoy the results. Not only will it provide improved illumination within your home, but it will also add a modern touch that enhances any living space. Remember, if you are ever in doubt about any steps or wiring procedures involved with installing can lights, contact a professional electrician for help.

Installing can lights is an easy and affordable way to give your home interiors an instant facelift. With these simple instructions, you’ll be able to install your own can lights quickly and easily, no matter the size of your home. So don’t be intimidated – just get started and enjoy the results!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. If you have a two story house, consider using an extension ladder to get up to the ceiling. Ensure the ladder is secure and you have someone spot for safety.
  2. When wiring the can lights, use wire nuts or other approved connectors. This will help ensure your connections are safe and secure.
  3. Use a voltage tester to ensure the power is off before working with the wiring.
  4. If your can lights have a trim, install it after the cans are installed. This will help you get a tight seal and ensure no light leaks from the fixture.
  5. When installing recessed lighting in older homes, watch for insulation or other materials that could be blocking the light from entering the room. Make sure to clear out any blockages before installing the can lights.
Using an Extension Ladder

These additional tips and tricks should help you start installing can lights in a two-story house. Remember always to exercise caution when working with electricity, and if you need help, contact a certified electrician for assistance!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Never use staples or any other sharp objects to secure wiring when installing can lights. This can create dangerous electrical hazards.
  2. Avoid using aluminum wiring when connecting the can lights, as it is not approved for use in most jurisdictions.
  3. Do not run exposed wires across doorways or high-traffic areas; this could pose a tripping hazard.
  4. Avoid using recessed lights in damp areas, as the fixtures could be damaged and cause electrical shock.
  5. Never use nails to attach can light to ceiling joists. Use approved mounting hardware that is designed for this purpose.

By following these tips, you should have no problem installing your can lights in a two-story house safely and efficiently. If you have any questions, contact an experienced electrician for help.

What is the Difference Between Can Lights and Recessed Lights?

  1. Can lights be mounted to the ceiling and sealed with appropriate insulation? Recessed lights are installed in the wall or ceiling but only sometimes sealed with insulation.
  2. Can lights generally produce a brighter light than recessed lights since they can be equipped with more powerful bulbs?
  3. While both lighting fixtures need ventilation, can lights typically require more ventilation than recessed lights?
  4. Can lights are generally used to light up specific areas, while recessed lighting is often used for general illumination.
  5. Can lights can be more costly and time consuming to install due to the complexity of wiring them into the ceiling. Recessed lights are usually easier and less expensive to install as they only require mounting into the wall or ceiling.
Can Lights Be Mounted to the Ceiling

These are some key differences between can and recessed lights that you should consider when deciding which type is right for your two story house. Both types of lighting provide great illumination, so choose the one that best suits your needs.


Getting advice from a qualified electrician is always recommended to ensure complete safety and accuracy when making changes to the electrical work in your home. With proper planning, time, and careful execution of the abovementioned steps, you can successfully install can lights into your two story house.

Now that you have the knowledge and tools, we encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get started! Remember to use safe practices to protect you from shock or electrocution while installing the fixture.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to install can lights in a two story house. Good luck with your project – it’ll be well worth seeing how remarkable your house looks with all those wonderful lights shining down!

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