How to Install Recessed Lighting on a Bookcase Headboard

What You'll Need
Screw driver
Electric test light
Electric drill
Wire hanger
Stud finder
Drywall saw
Wire connectors
Recessed lighting can and kit

A bookcase headboard on your bed is a convenient, attractive way to keep books on hand for nighttime reading. Recessed lighting embedded into the bookcase enhances the experience with ample reading light positioned correctly. This is a task you can complete successfully one  your own by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Turn Power Off

Turn the power off at the main service panel.

Step 2: Wires

Remove and disconnect existing fixture. At this time, check that the power is off using an electric test light against the bare wires. The incoming wire, or rather the wire that is directly connected to the electrical box, is the wire to which you will attach your recessed light.

Step 3: Drill Hole

With your electric drill, drill a hole the length of the recessed lighting can, which is usually about 7 to 8 inches. After drilling the hole, measure out 7 to 8 inches with one of the handles of the wire hanger. Do this by first cutting one of the corners of the wire hanger. This will leave two ends free. From one of the ends, measure 7 to 8 inches. Stick that piece into the hole to make sure that enough space is available. Make sure you know where your studs are with a hanger and a stud finder.  The stud makes up the frame of the wall. Between these pieces, you will install the housing for the lights.

Step 4: Cutting

To make the cut, use the manufacturer's template as your guide, taking into account where the studs are located. Make the cut with a drywall saw. After that, insert the mounting hardware, which includes the electric box for each light fixture.

Step 5: Stability

The stability of the can depends on what you have access to in your wall. If you have access to studs, purchase a can that can mount to the studs creating greater stability. If you do not have studs already there, attach the can directly to the drywall. Although this is not as sturdy, it will work.

Step 6: Running Wire

Take the electrical cable from the old fixture box to the closest new fixture opening. This may involve drilling a hole in the studs as necessary to run the cable. Do not drill a hole bigger than a 1/4 of the width of the stud.

Step 7: Connecting Wires

Connect matching wires with wire connectors—red to red, black to black and green to green.

Step 8: Mounting the Can

Lift the can into its place in the drywall using the retaining hardware that came with your particular can.

Step 9: Trim

Install the trim on the outside of the headboard that came with your can.

Step 10: Light Bulb

Screw in the light bulb, and test your work by turning the power back on and flipping the switch.