Easy DIY: How to Install LED Trim Lighting

Sep 12

Full disclosure. This blog entry started out with this title…”How many blondes does it take to change a lighbulb?”. Love my self-depricating humor, dontcha? It’s much-needed these days to keep a smile on my face during these home renovation projects.

All kidding aside, let’s get a little serious about lighting. Today i’m sharing a home tip that will not only save you a lot of money, but is so easy it only takes one person to get the job done.

Or in my case, one blonde.

Do you have canned (recessed) lighting in your home? Looks like this…

Most of us do. I love the look, but don’t love the expense / hassle of replacing the bulbs. Especially if you have high ceilings. I’ve had this type of lighting in each of the homes I’ve owned. It never fails that as soon as I change out the dead bulbs, a few days later I would find more dead bulbs around the house. Anyone feeling me?
Anyway, there’s a lot of cans in this new crib. When a few bulbs needed replacing, my electrician friend shared a tip with me about a new type of lightbulb….

When he told me it was so easy I could do it myself, my ears perked up. “I can do this myself? Without having to pay you or a handyman?”. The heavens opened and angels started singing. My checkbook has been having panic attacks since April, therefore anytime I can do jobs around the house myself, I’m on board! He quickly realized he made a big mistake telling me it was as easy as changing a light bulb and that I wouldn’t be calling him back to help me with this job.

Ha! Take that you expensive electricians!

It’s a recessed LED trim light package that I found at home depot

Now, this will cost you a bit up front. They are about 30 smackaroo’s each, but it’s going to pay you back over time. Not only are you not paying for that pesky electrician or handyman, but you won’t be changing another bulb for a very, very long time. these bad boys last up to 35,000 hours and run you about $1.69 per year!

You read that correctly! Just $1.69 per year for elegant, glare-free lighting…

Did I mention they are so easy to install that one blonde can do it? Don’t believe me? Read on.

The amount of recessed lighting in the playroom is a bit overkill…19 total!…


I had been dreaming of upgrading the bulbs to something softer, so these new lights work out well. I went with a 65 watt bulb (warm white) equivalent. The playroom ceiling looks much cleaner and the lighting is just right on the eyes.

Io start, I made sure the lights were turned off, got up on my ladder, and removed the old bulb first…

Then I carefully removed the old trim by unlatching the wires and hooks keeping it in place…



Oh, if you had a bad can cutting job, the outer rim on these LED lights work well covering up those imperfections.

Very easy to remove. and bonus: You’ll see just how many spiders/bugs have been making a home up there too…

With the trim removed, it was time to plug in the new bulb. But before you do that, check the measurement of the can opening. My can openings are 5″each, so I adjusted the LED trim down to fit correctly…

Now that your light/trim is adjusted to the correct size, let’s install. The set comes with 2 pieces. This end is for plugging into the socket…

And this is the actual light that will plug into the other end…


I placed the cord into the socket. Again, just like twisting in a light bulb…


Then I plugged in the light/trim…

Finally, to get that new light/trim in place, you’ll just pinch on the 2 sets of grabbers (that’s my technical name for those wires with hooks on the end)…

Pinch and push the light/trim into the can. Done.
The before and after…


Beautiful! something as simple as a clean-line, LED light with trim makes a huge difference.

I must admit, it was nice to get my hands dirty doing a job on my own. Most of the jobs around here (pool, roof, french drains, etc) have required me hiring out the work. This? this I did on my own! And so can you!

Have a great day!

(i linked up with tatertots & jello)

comments +

  1. Kristin says:

    We are remodeling a house we just bought this winter and put in LED cans everywhere. They are also nice because they don't let off heat like traditional cans. We also installed a dimmer switch which helps a lot in the rooms with a lot of lights.

  2. sucia01 says:

    OMG I am SO doing this!!! Awesome blog post and it's perfect if you just buy as you go.

  3. Those look so much better! I'm slowly replacing just the bulb part of all our fixtures to LED now that it's easy to find decent "type A" bulbs that are LED. It's great not to have to change them out all the time like CFLs!

  4. Not only does it look better but I bet that room will be so much cooler now! If we weren't renting I'd be looking into installing these in our kitchen. We have CFL's in there now and when I turn the lights on it takes forever for them to heat up and get bright. The plus side is that is good in the morning when you have squinty sleepy eyes.

  5. Helen B says:

    We swapped our 100w flood lights for these babies a couple of years back. Great savings plus it gives off a better light – brighter. Best decision we ever made except we had to pay $50/each in Canada. Still – TOTALLY worth it 🙂

    Great decision!

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