How to install pot light trim

The end stage of a renovation involves a lot of little tasks: put on the cover plates, caulk the trim, touch up the paint, clean and dust everything. One of the little to-dos on our list was to put the trim on the pot lights.

My post on how to install pot lights is one of the most frequently accessed posts on the blog. But it’s unfinished. The housing for the pot light is just one part of the fixture. The other part is the trim, which goes on after the ceiling is finished.

Without the trim, the pot light looks a bit rough.

Pot light without trim

Our trim-less pot light

The first step in installing the trim is to wash a summer’s worth of drywall dust off of them.

Pot light trim in the sink

This step may be optional for some installations.

The trim should be made up of three pieces: the baffle, trim ring and spring or hook.

Pot light trim spring

This spring connects the trim to the housing

Step one is to attach the hook to the baffle. There should be little holes in the narrow end of the baffle specifically for this purpose.

Spring attached to pot light baffle

The end of the spring without the loop should be hooked to the baffle.

The next step is to connect your baffle and trim ring.

Putting trim on the baffle

This is probably the simplest step. Just slide the the trim ring over the baffle.

Remove the light bulb, so that you can reach into the housing. If necessary, adjust the height of the socket so that your bulb is recessed as much or as little as you want.

Adjusting the socket in a pot light

Loosen the wing nut, and the metal socket will slide up and down. Tighten it back up when the socket is positioned where you want.

To connect the trim, insert the baffle into the housing, stretch the spring and hook it into the cut out on the pot light.

Pot light trim hooked in place

On our pot lights, the cut out looks like a candy cane

I found I was able to reach into the housing and hook the spring by hand. If your hands aren’t as small as mine, needle nosed pliers may come in handy.

Screw the light bulb back in and admire your trimmed pot light.

Pot light

All done!

The trim reduces the brightness of the light somewhat and directs it downwards. I may adjust the height of the bulbs if we feel we need more light once we’re using the basement.

However, for now the pot lights are bright enough for me to admire our nearly finished basement. Is it weird that I stood there for nearly five whole minutes on the weekend just looking at the rooms and remembering how far we’ve come?

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