How Much Does It Cost To Install Recessed Lighting?


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Recessed Lighting Costs

Professionals & Services Cost Guides      Electricians      Recessed Lighting Costs

Recessed lighting became popular during the 1990s and remains a popular choice for lighting today. These are also known as can lights or pot lights and are ideal in kitchen and dining spaces or above a desk that requires focused light. These lights offer a low-profile lighting solution that adds style to a home.

The cost of installing recessed lighting depends on how many lights you need and what style you choose. The installation labor will also affect this project, which can be significant due to wiring the lights and installing them in the ceiling. You can also invest in smart lights or switches with your recessed lighting setup for home automation, which will increase the cost of the project slightly. The biggest cost consideration, by far, is the size of the job.

Recessed lighting installation: by type of outlet and service, including materials and labor costs.

Item Unit Cost
Can lights-indoor $20-$200 each
Dimmers or smart switches $50-$100 per component
Can lights-outdoor $150-$200 each
Installation and wiring $170-$350 per light


Recessed lighting installation: 6 can lights installed in a living room, including material and labor costs.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
Indoor can lights $65 per light 6 $390
Dimmer switch $50 per unit 1 $50
Wiring and installation $250 per light 6 $1,500
Total Cost $323 per light 6 $1,940


Other considerations and costs

  • Installation that involves relocating joists, ducts, or other wiring can incur a premium charge and increase the installation cost by a couple of hundred dollars. If possible, try to install recessed lighting in open spaces to avoid this.
  • Recessed lighting installation involves cutting holes in the ceiling. Thus, the project is going to be significantly cheaper to put into new construction before the ceiling is finished as opposed to retrofitting them into existing construction.
  • There are specialty lights designed to use near attic spaces. They are differentiated with an “IC” label, which means they are approved for insulation contact without causing safety risks.
  • This job is usually priced by the light for labor and installation costs. Some installers or electricians might charge by the square foot, at an hourly rate, or by the job. Be sure to check your estimate and know what you are paying for, regardless.

DIY considerations

  • If you have experience with electrical wiring, you may be able to install your own recessed lighting and save the labor costs. Electrical work is dangerous, though, and it should not be performed by anyone who doesn’t have experience.
  • Always make sure that you turn the power off to the house when you are working with any type of electrical project. While turning it off to the room where you are working might seem sufficient, it is safer if the main power is off.
  • These lights are connected in a string, of sorts, to the power source. If wiring them yourself, be sure to secure all connections with wire nuts for effective operation.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to install recessed lighting in your city?
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Cost by city

  • New York, NY$3,116
  • Bronx, NY$2,561
  • Brooklyn, NY$2,134
  • Philadelphia, PA$2,663
  • Washington, DC$2,310
  • Atlanta, GA$2,090
  • Miami, FL$1,901
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$1,992
  • Minneapolis, MN$2,336
  • Chicago, IL$2,722
  • Houston, TX$2,808
  • San Antonio, TX$1,885
  • Austin, TX$2,134
  • Denver, CO$1,803
  • Phoenix, AZ$1,902
  • Las Vegas, NV$2,088
  • Los Angeles, CA$2,353
  • San Diego, CA$2,135
  • San Jose, CA$2,579
  • Seattle, WA$1,888

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: