Recessed Lighting Installation Costs: How Much is It?

You may wonder how much a recessed lighting installation will cost. Back in the 90s, recessed lighting was one of the most popular choices for lighting fixtures. Even today, these fixtures are still one of the most popular lighting fixtures in the industry although they have evolved throughout the years to offer an even better experience. In this guide we will examine the recessed lighting installation costs.

About Recessed Lighting Installation Costs

These recessed lighting fixtures are also known as can lights or pot lights. These fixtures make an ideal companion for kitchens, bathrooms and dining rooms. This is a type of low-profile lighting that can enhance the beauty of your home without trying too hard. Any professional electrician can install these recessed lighting fixtures without problems.

If you are interested in using recessed lighting fixtures in your home, the installation cost will vary depending upon the following factors:

  • number of fixtures
  • style of chosen fixtures
  • number of obstacles in the path
  • labor associated with installation

What Are the Installation Costs for Recessed Lighting?

Any electrician will charge you around USD 250 to USD 480 per fixture to install the recessed lighting in your home. The reason for such an expensive cost of installation is the manual labor associated with the process. It requires approximately two to three hours to install one fixture alone. Therefore, labor per hour will cost you around USD 90 to USD 105 for installing recessed lighting into your ceiling.

Moreover, this installation cost is only true if there are no complications. In case the electrician has to move around any hazards or objects from the path, the cost will go up even higher per fixture. Let’s break it down into categories.

What Is the Labor Cost of Installing Recessed Lighting Fixtures?

The cost of installing the recessed lighting fixtures alone will cost you USD 200 to USD 250. This will depend upon your region and area, but the average labor cost associated with installing recessed lighting remains within this price range.

This is merely the cost of labor alone. This is how much an electrician will cost you for the installation of one fixture. Since it takes approximately two and a half hours to install one basic recessed lighting fixture, the average labor cost comes out to USD 90 to USD 105 per hour. This will include installing the fixture, adding new wiring, and establishing an electrical connection.

What Is the Cost of New Wiring Required for Installing Recessed Lighting?

You cannot just install new lighting fixtures on old wiring. Recessed lights require a special form of wiring, and the new wiring required for installing recessed lighting fixtures will cost your somewhere between USD 70 to USD 140. Once again, this price may vary from region to region, but this is the average price point for the majority of regions.

There are times when installing new pot lights will require an entirely new circuit that is separate from the normal wiring circuit. The purpose behind installing a new circuit is to provide ample current for the newly added fixtures. The addition of a new circuit will cost you USD 5 to USD 15 for installation per linear foot.

Sometimes there is also a new circuit panel required. On average, a brand new circuit panel for such fixtures will cost you an additional USD 1500 to USD 3000 apart from the costs mentioned above.

What Is the Cost of Clearing the Obstacles for Installation?

If there are any hazards or obstacles in the path, the electrician will have to ensure to clear those out for safety purposes. This additional task will cost you an additional USD 200 or more per fixture. This clearing process may include taking care of heating ducts, joints, and managing previously installed wires, among other things.

Moreover, this process will also add to the existing timeline for installing a new recessed lighting fixture and will drive up your overall cost by USD 250 or more depending upon the number of hours taken for each fixture.

What Is the Cost of Adding Recessed Lighting Fixture to New Ceilings?

If you are building a new home from scratch, congratulations. Now that you have decided to add recessed lighting fixtures to your new ceiling, you should know that it will cost you USD 360 on average for each light. This cost of installation includes the labor cost, and the wiring cost only.

Since the electrician will not have to move around any obstacles and will not have to re-install any new circuits for can pots, the cost is lower than that of installing recessed lighting fixtures to an existing ceiling. This way, you can not only reduce the cost of installation but also make sure to leave ample room for adding any additional recessed lighting fixtures in the future.

What Is the Cost of Recessed Lighting Fixtures?

You have taken a look at the cost of installation for recessed lighting. Now it’s time to take a look at the cost of recessed lighting fixtures themselves. This will be added to the overall installation cost because you will have to buy the fixtures by yourself (or from your electrician).

An average recessed lighting fixture will cost you around USD 30 to USD 230 depending upon these factors:

  • manufacturer
  • style of lighting
  • used construction material

This is not the only cost associated with buying a new can lighting fixture. You will also have to purchase the housing for this fixture. The housings usually fall somewhere between USD 10 to USD 160 depending upon the housings’ material.

Moreover, you will also have to get bulbs, that will cost you around USD 20 to USD 60. The wire required for installing each fixture will cost you around USD 8 on average. If you want to add a dimmer for your recessed lighting fixtures, it will cost you an additional USD 125 to USD 150 to install the dimmer with the fixture.

What Are Some Rules You Should Know Before Installing Recessed Lighting Fixtures?

Professionals recommend leaving a padding of 24 inches from the wall for each fixture. Moreover, it is also recommended to install these fixtures at least 3 to 5 feet apart from one another. Since a recessed lighting fixture’s core purpose is to illuminate the area right underneath it, keeping them at a distance of 3 to 5 feet will help you achieve a minimalist design for your room.

If you have a bigger room, a general rule of thumb dictates dividing the ceiling’s height by two to decide the appropriate amount of space between the fixtures. For instance, if you have a room that comes with a 10-foot-high ceiling, the space between the fixtures should be 5 feet. On average, it takes around six recessed lighting fixtures to take care of any room.

How Can You Make the Entire Installation Process Smoother?

You can make the entire process smoother and easier for yourself if you stick to the following rules and tips by professionals:

You should set a realistic budget for your installation process. Recessed lighting fixtures cost a lot for the installation process, and this is why you need to set aside at least USD 3000 for six fixtures. There is no way you can save money by cutting corners, as it will cause safety issues.

Set aside at least 20% of the total budget for unexpected turns and costs. All remodeling or construction projects will result in some unexpected costs. Therefore, if you do not want your installation to get stuck in the middle due to unexpected costs, set aside some money to deal with such situations.

If you want to highlight the size of your walls or accentuate a certain feature of your room, do not purchase general-purpose recessed lighting fixtures. Get directional fixtures as these will help you enhance any feature of the room without any problems.


On average, it will cost you between USD 250 to USD 480 to install a single recessed lighting fixture in your ceiling. The cost of installation associated with installing recessed lighting fixtures may be expensive, but it can be managed with the help of the tips mentioned above. You need to keep track of the marked locations, used materials, and the inventory required for the installation process.

This will help you to get everything done and install recessed lighting fixtures without having to spend any additional money. Before you move forward with the installation process, you need to ensure that all the permits and inspections are up-to-date for installing such fixtures. You can take help from a local remodeling expert to take care of any permits required for installing can lighting fixtures in your residential place.

You should only install these lighting fixtures where necessary. It doesn’t make sense to use a recessed lighting fixture for your living room, as these will not do anything to illuminate the entire room. Therefore, instead of wasting away your money, understand where to use these fixtures, mark those areas, and then move forward.

The recessed lighting installation costs seem to be quite high. But once they are installed you get rewarded by a modern and minimalist look for your interior design. Get a free quotation from your electrician beforehand and be well-prepared for the total installation costs of your new recessed lighting fixtures.