What’s the Cost to Install Recessed Lighting?

Are you looking into interesting and innovative ways to light up your home? In that case, you’re probably wondering about certain costs such as how much to install recessed lighting. So, let’s quickly go over the details here so you know what you’d be getting into with recessed lights.

What are recessed lights?

Also called “Pot lights”, recessed lights are lighting fixtures that are installed inside the ceiling itself. This makes them look like luminous orbs of light that pierce your ceiling to light up your room and home. Such recessed pot lights can be as luminous and as numerous as you want them to be and they are excellent not only for low ceilings but for any room that can benefit from a more contemporary style.

Types of recessed lights

There are a couple of basic types of pot lights:

  • IC lights – this type comes in direct contact with the attic’s insulation and is thus the safer option.
  • Non-IC lights – this type doesn’t safely contact the attic insulation, however, it’s a perfectly viable option when there’s no insulation present anyway.

Another way to differentiate between recessed lights is depending on their housing:

  • New construction – these pot lighting cans require access to the ceiling joints.
  • Remodeling – in case you don’t have access to the ceiling you can use remodeling cans that can be installed by cutting holes in the ceiling from below.

How much do recessed lighting fixtures cost?

So, how much does the pleasure of installing recessed pot lights cost? This will depend on the quality, type, and quantity of lights you want to install, as well as on whether there are certain additional features you have in mind. However, as a basic guide, here are the average cost for pot lights in the U.S.:

  • $20-$60 for each basic post light. Two-thirds of the price usually go for the fixture itself and the other third – for the trim and the bulbs.
  • $75-$150 per light for low-voltage models that are more efficient over time.
  • $150-$200 per light for outdoor models.

Keep in mind that these prices don’t include additional accessories such as dimmers (up to $100) or the light bulbs themselves ($25-$75).

What is the cost to install recessed lighting?

Installing recessed pot lights can be a DIY project, of course, but unless you’re a professional electrician yourself, we’d recommend paying for the installation. There are quite a few risks involved in installing ceiling light fixtures so the price for an expert will usually be worth it.

Depending on the state you live in, installing the lights will usually cost you between $100 and $200 or a bit more if there are too many lights and additional features to install. Wiring the lights into the ceiling can cost an additional $70 to $140 per light and moving any internal obstacles such as heating ducts or joists can cost up to $200 per light as well.

In other words, the installation costs can vary greatly on a case-by-case basis.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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