Mounting recessed spotlights

Installing recessed lighting made easy

Hello, my name is Jens, and welcome to Paulmann's World of Light on YouTube.

Again and again, friends tell me that they are reluctant to have a go at installing recessed lighting – it's actually really easy. Today, I am going to show you how to do this step by step and point out what you have to bear in mind so that you will also be able to do this at home in the future.

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Recessed spotlights

We have chosen to install a 6 piece LED recessed lighting set. The LEDs are a pleasant warm white colour, 2700 Kelvin, and only consume 7 watts. They light the room just as well as conventional light bulbs but consume 80% less energy and have a lifetime of 25,000 hours.

Recessed lighting

If you choose a recessed set like this, a drilling template for the recess opening is already included and the 12V set contains a transformer and linking line. But of course you will need additional tools.


For round recessed lights you will need a suitably sized hole saw. I am going to use this saw together with a drill. You will also need: Slotted and Phillips electric screwdrivers, a 2-pin voltage detector, a ruler and of course, a pencil.

installation depth

First of all, we need a hollow ceiling with a certain installation depth for ceiling-mounted recessed lights. The recess doesn't have to be particularly deep, as even 40 mm is big enough for many recessed lights. You don't actually lose this much room height; but you should allow for it anyway. The hollow ceiling can be made of plaster board, like this one here, or wood panelling. The installation depth for furniture recessed lights is much smaller.

1. Plan your recessed lighting

Plan your recessed lighting

First of all, you should think carefully about where you want to place your recessed lights. This kitchen already has recessed lighting. I am going to extend the row that is already here, so I have just measured the distance and marked a cross in the appropriate place on the ceiling. But take note of the length of the linking line when planning.

2. Saw the recess opening

Saw the recess opening

Mark your recess opening on the ceiling using the template. If you are planning to install a new ceiling, you can plan the lighting at the same time.

For round recessed lights, make the appropriate sized hole in the ceiling using a hole saw. My tip: For square recessed lights, drill holes in the ceiling at the four corners of the area you marked out and then saw the area with the jigsaw.

If you have already laid out cables in the hollow ceiling, make sure you don't damage them.

3. Lay out linking lines

Lay out linking lines

Next, lay out the linking lines. It can help to use a cord or a wire to guide them to the corresponding openings.

4. Switch off the circuit breaker

Switch off the circuit breaker

When connecting lights to the mains, I take every precaution to prevent the risk of electric shock. I always switch off the circuit breaker beforehand and use a functioning voltage detector to check that the line is actually free of voltage. I also read the assembly instructions carefully before installing. If I am not comfortable carrying out the installation myself, or if a mains connection is not yet available at the desired installation point, I have to get a qualified electrician to assist me.

My tip: Be sure to use the 2-pin voltage detector, as test lights in the form of screwdrivers can give false readings and are often called "Lügenstifte" (lying pens) by German electricians.

5. Connect the transformer

Connect the transformer

Now we are going to connect the transformer to the 230V wire. The input is labelled correspondingly.

When you have screwed on the cover, you can place the transformer in the hollow space in the ceiling. Now we can connect the bulb socket to a plug-in connector and the transformer. Then I'm going to take out the bulb holder and we can insert the recessed light into the ceiling. Here you can see how the recessed light is fixed perfectly in place with the retaining clips.

6. Fit the bulbs

Fit the bulbs

Next, we insert the bulb in the holder, connect it to the socket and insert it into the recessed light. Done.

7. Make adjustments

Make adjustments

Especially with these recessed lights, you can illuminate pictures or cabinets separately if required because the lights can swivel in every direction. And another tip: Because the lights are set back so far, they are completely glare free. Once everything has been installed, you can switch the electricity back on.

Today I have shown you how to install these ceiling-mounted recessed lights and what to look out for when installing them. That wasn't hard at all, was it?

If you want to find out more about recessed lighting, you can watch Anita's video.


Recessed lights to suit your decor

Recessed lights are extremely versatile and go well with every decorating style. You can use them in furniture, the kitchen, the living room, at the dining table and of course in the bathroom. Anita shows you 5 lighting situations with spotlights, such as directional light.

to the video

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Best of luck with your next light installation! Until next time, Jens.