Recessed Lighting Installation Cost: 2022 Average Rates

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans
Have you settled on what kind of light fixtures you want inside your home? If you haven’t, you may want to consider recessed lighting. Recessed lighting provides sufficient illumination while

Have you settled on what kind of light fixtures you want inside your home? If you haven’t, you may want to consider recessed lighting.

Recessed lighting provides sufficient illumination while maintaining a minimalist profile. They fit in very well into just about any design scheme because they don’t interfere with your home décor. Of course, the cost of installing recessed lighting has to be considered before you make any kind of final decision.

The average recessed lighting cost is $365 per fixture, and it costs $1,875 for a set of 6 recessed lightings. Recessed lighting LED kits cost $110 each, and you can install a full set for $660. You will have to spend another $110 to install each recessed lighting switch.

You can add a more refined dimension to your home from a style standpoint using recessed lighting. It also helps that recessed lighting gives homeowners so many options in terms of customization. Learn more about what it will take to add recessed lighting to your home by continuing with this article.

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Average Cost to Install Recessed Lights

Number of LightsInstallation TimeEstimated Labor Cost to InstallCost to Wire LightsTotal Installation Cost
Two4 hours$255$300$555
Four4 hours$320$400$720
Six6 hours$425$500$925
Eight6 hours$680$700-$800$1,480
Ten8 hours$850$900-$1,000$1,850
Twelve10 hours$1,105$1,100-$1,200$2,305

Labor Cost for Recessed Lighting Installation per Light

Let’s discuss labor expenses. Hiring an electrician is necessary for this kind of job. You can examine the table below to see how much electricians are likely going to charge you per each light fixture.

Labor CostsHourly Rate
Low-End Estimate$150
Average Estimate$200
High-End Estimate$250

There are two types of fees to keep in mind when you hire an electrician. First off, there’s the service fee.

The service fee is usually in the range of $70 to $80 for a standard electrician. Master electricians will charge more, with their service fee almost always being above $120. Master electricians have more credentials under their belt. However, their level of expertise is not required for this specific kind of job.

Next up is the hourly rate. The hourly rate for hiring an electrician is in the range of $50 to $75. Most recessed lighting installation jobs take two to three hours. You can expect to spend upwards of $150 on labor alone if you’re hiring a professional.

Cost of Can Lights

Can or pot lights will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $190 per fixture. That number is based on the different factors buyers must consider when shopping for recessed lights. Let’s break down those specific factors in the sections below.

Cost of Recessed Lighting Based on Housing

Housing affects the durability of each recessed lighting fixture. It can also impact what type of illumination you’re getting so pay close attention to which type you’re getting.

TypePrice Range
Airtight Housing$12 to $90
Shallow Housing$15 to $100
Sloped Housing$30 to $120

Airtight Housing

Recessed lighting fixtures are kept in specific types of housing to keep them protected. Those housing units may sometimes be referred to as cans or pots.

Among the housing options available is airtight housing. Airtight housing is great for promoting energy efficiency. Consider it as an option if you want to cut down on your monthly expenses.

Shallow Housing

Some ceilings may not be able to accommodate the standard-sized housing units that some recessed light fixtures require. That’s why housing options in the form of shallow cans are made available. Those shallow cans can squeeze into as little as two inches of space. They should fit well into just about any type of ceiling.

Sloped Housing

Much like shallow housing, the sloped cans used for recessed lighting are designed for certain types of ceilings. If you have a vaulted ceiling in your living room or bedroom, you will need this kind of housing. The cost of can lights that are sloped is higher than the previous two options because the units require more work.

Cost of Recessed Lighting Based on Trim

Just like with housing, homeowners have several choices when it comes to can light trim. They also fall into different price ranges.

TypePrice Range
Baffle$7 to $70
Decorative$20 to $200
Eyeball$11 to $100
Lensed$15 to $150
Open$9 to $60
Pinhole$11 to $50
Reflector$5 to $90

The abundance of available trim options for recessed lighting can make settling on one pretty difficult. Learning about how they differ from one another could make the selection process just a bit easier.

Baffle trim is great if you want to cover a wide space. It also gives off a gentler light compared to the other options. Reflector trim works similarly to baffle trim in the sense that it casts light out in a wide range.

Opting for decorative trim will significantly increase the pot light installation cost. Expect the price to go way up if you’re looking for something especially elaborate.

Both the eyeball and pinhole trims are good choices if you want to feature spotlights inside your home. The eyeball trim provides a bigger cone of lighting. Recessed light fixtures with lensed trims are tops in terms of versatility. Your choice of lens can increase the range of the light, alter its glow, and even provide improved protection.

Open trim makes sense for budget-conscious shoppers. This type of trim has a decent range, but it can be tricky to install.

Cost of Recessed Lighting Based on Light Bulbs

We cannot talk about installing can lights without discussing the matter of the actual bulbs themselves. Homeowners basically have two options to choose from if they want a new can light. They can either go with CFL or LED lights.

Cost to Install CFL Lights

CFL or compact fluorescent light bulbs for recessed lighting fixtures will cost around $20 to $50. Technically, you can still choose incandescent lights for your home, but they have fallen out of favor significantly. When it comes to energy efficiency and longevity, incandescent lights simply cannot stack up to CFL lights.

CFL bulbs need only a quarter of the amount of energy that incandescent lights do. Despite that, they can still offer plenty of illumination. The only real downside to CFL bulbs is that they contain mercury. They must be handled carefully during disposal because of that.

How Much to Install LED Lights

LEDs are more affordable compared to CFL bulbs. They cost around $20 to $35 if they will be used in recessed lighting fixtures. LEDs are comparable to CFLs when it comes to energy efficiency. They are also remarkably versatile and capable of lasting for a very long time.

Installing Recessed LED Light Kits

Recessed LED light kits are also made available to homeowners. Individual kits cost $110 each so you may have to spend $660 to complete the lighting setup for a single room.

Unlike recessed lights that use LEDs, LED light kits are already complete units. You don’t have to worry about purchasing housing, trim, or the light bulbs separately. Everything you need is included in the recessed LED kit.

LED light kits are also easier to install. If you are planning to install the recessed lights on your own, the kits are better for you.

Cost to Install Recessed Lighting IC-Rated or Non-IC-Rated

While looking for can lights, you may be asked if you need IC or non-IC-rated products. This is something you must pay close attention to if you have insulation in your ceiling.

TypePrice Range
IC-Rated Recessed Lights$12 to $100
Non-IC-Rated Recessed Lights$14 to $90

IC-rated recessed lights are the ones you can install even if your ceiling contains insulation. The specially designed housing will mitigate the heat being produced by the lights. It will stop the heat from potentially melting the insulation.

Non-IC-rated recessed light fixtures offer no such protection. Avoid using this type of housing if you have insulation in your ceiling.

Cost of Installing Wiring for Recessed Lighting

The part of your home’s ceiling where you want to add the recessed lighting may lack the wiring required. In that case, the electrician will have to purchase new wiring while also arranging it inside your ceiling.

The cost of creating the new wiring setup is already baked into the electrician’s rates. Do note though that the additional wires are separate expenses. Aluminum and copper wires are the most common options used for rearranging lighting. Copper, which is priced right around $1, is usually twice as expensive as aluminum.

Copper is more expensive because it tends to last longer. It offers more corrosion resistance along with greater stability. Aluminum wires can last for a long time, but they still pale in comparison to copper in that department.

Consult with your electrician to determine what type of wiring is best for your home. Going with copper does increase the cost to add recessed lighting, but it’s arguably the better investment long-term.

Cost of Installing Switches for Recessed Lighting

The single switch controlling the lone light bulb inside the room may no longer be enough. The electrician may need to add more switches so you can use your new recessed lighting fixtures.

Switches can be surprisingly expensive. A single switch can cost you around $70 to $150. Still, you can argue that the price is worth it in exchange for full control over your recessed lights.

Additional Features for Recessed Lighting

You can add more features to your recessed lighting to turn them into more prominent elements of your home. The top features you can add include dimmer switches, special trim finishes, and wireless control.

Dimmer switches can be expensive. If you’re already spending $70 for a new switch, adding dimmer functionality will tack on an extra $50.

The trim finishes have more varied price points. A simple white or chrome finish may only cost around $10 to $20. Other finishes that feature copper, gold, or satin nickel cost closer to $50 and above.

Now, if you want your recessed lights to offer wireless control options, prepare to spend big. Adding that kind of functionality will cost about $100 extra for each light.

Additional Costs For Room and Ceiling Considerations

The material makeup of your ceiling matters because some are easier to work with than others. If the electrician you hired needs to spend more time cutting through your ceiling, your expenses will go up. You may have to pay an additional $100 to $200 for labor costs if your ceiling is complicating matters.

The height of your ceiling can also be an issue. Higher ceilings are more precarious and so electricians may have to create sturdier setups to stay safe. That will also take up more time and lead to their charges becoming more expensive.

Installing Recessed Lighting in an Existing Ceiling

Expect to spend somewhere in the range of $370 per fixture to add recessed lighting to an existing ceiling. The current wiring setup in your ceiling may require a lot of adjustments in order to accommodate the new lighting. That’s why the cost is that high.

You can save some money if you have leftover housing units in place. That could reduce the cost by as much as $100.

Installing Recessed Lighting in a New Ceiling

Going with recessed lighting right from the start will allow you to save money. The potential cost of hiring someone to handle recessed lighting installation in a new ceiling is close to $330 per fixture. The lower cost can be attributed to less work being required.

How Much to Install Recessed Lighting if You Have an Accessible Attic

The kind of roof you have may add to your expenses. However, that may not be the case if you have an attic. The electrician may not take as much time getting ready if they have access to your ceiling via the available attic. Labor costs will often end up close to $180 if you have an accessible attic.

Clear out the attic before you sign up for pot lights installation. Make working on your ceiling as easy as possible to cut down on your labor costs.

Cost of Installing Recessed Lights in the Kitchen

Installing new pot lights inside your kitchen will be more expensive than adding them to your living room or bedroom. On the low end, the cost will be around $1500. If you want all the features included, you’re looking at a bill closer to $2900.

So, why is it more expensive to get recessed lights added to your kitchen? There are some key factors in play here.

Kitchen Size

The first is the size of your kitchen. Four lights may suffice for a bedroom or living room, but that may be lacking for a standard-sized kitchen. You will probably need six light fixtures at least and possibly even eight to ensure you have good coverage.

Bigger Fixtures

You may also need bigger fixtures for a space like a kitchen. Generally speaking, the lighting installation cost will go up along with the size of the fixture you want to add. There are three size options made available to homeowners. 4-inch fixtures are the most affordable, 5-inch fixtures are the mid-range options, and the 6-inch options are the most expensive.

Inside the kitchen, you almost always have to go with the 6-inch fixtures. Anything smaller can result in a lack of lighting. Major remodeling may also be required if you want recessed lights in the kitchen. Aside from fixing the wiring, the electrician may need to work around any ventilation in there. That will take time and also cause your labor expenses to go up.

DIY Recessed Lights Installation vs. Hiring a Professional

Going the DIY route with recessed lighting installation is an option and that will cost you around $1150. That should be enough for six new light fixtures.

$1150 remains the price for six lights, but you have to account for labor costs, if you’re bringing in the pros. To get a set of six lights professionally installed, you’ll have to pay a bill in the neighborhood of $2250.

When it comes to this kind of project, homeowners are generally advised against handling the project solo. So many things can go wrong during a project involving complicated wiring. Whatever you could save on labor expenses may just go towards medical bills and no one wants that.

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Related Questions

Do You Need a Permit for Installing Recessed Lights?

Whether or not you will need a permit for your recessed lighting project will depend on where you live. Your electrician will know if you do need a permit. They may be able to tell you where to get the permit and the requirements you’ll have to present.Note that securing a permit will cost money. You’ll have to spend somewhere in the range of $20 to $100 in order to get a permit for the project. Take care of this early on so you can account for it while building your budget.

Are Recessed Lighting Fixtures Considered Valuable Additions?

According to real estate company Redfin, recessed lighting fixtures are indeed considered very valuable. They rank behind only double pane windows and front patios as the most valuable home additions currently.If you’re looking to boost your home’s value before putting it on the market, adding recessed lighting will definitely help. Recessed light fixtures also remain great additions to your home even if you have no plans to sell anytime soon.

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Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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