Soffit Lights 101: Everything You Need to Know About Soffit Lights

An image of soffit lights.

From picking the type of soffit light to learning how to install them, this guide will break down everything you need to know about soffit lights.

4 min read

These days almost 90 percent of homeowners are looking for a project to improve their home. Soffit lights are a great way to do just that. With something as simple as the change of lighting a once drab, gloomy, room, or deck space can be turned into an inviting living area.

Understanding What Soffit Lights Are

The soffit is, most simply, the underside of any architectural feature.

Soffit lighting is downward lighting involving a wall or otherwise vertical position from the ceiling or other position mounted above the target area.

Examples in outdoor usage include decks and roof overhangs. While when utilized indoors it is commonly in a kitchen setting, between ceiling and storage or in a drop ceiling configuration.

Uses and Benefits of Soffit Lights

Where Soffit Lighting best shines is pulling interest to particular areas of a room or space, in the case of outdoor usage.

The installation configuration paired with the style of bulbs used to provide a much softer light when compared to standard overhead lamps and bulbs.

This presents the next benefit, cost-effectiveness.

LED bulbs that are used in Soffit configurations are far more cost-effective. With a longer life span and far lower energy consumption LED bulbs show to be 80 percent more efficient.

Freshen up your remodel with new ideas for using Soffit lighting, indoor or out it adds a soft touch that goes a long way.

Installing Soffit Lighting

Before getting anywhere near the hardware you need to plan out the lighting. Balance is very important, installing the wrong amount of lights can make for a very jarring appearance.

Identify The Locations

The location that the lights will be placed needs to be measured and marked. Each of the lights spaced properly allowing for the proper space for the fixture as well.

Pot light fixtures come with a template, use the template to properly mark where the cuts need to be made on the soffit area.

Cable Installation

Before starting any of the next steps make sure to turn off the main breaker and cut power to this particular circuit as well.

Run 14/2 NM Cable, NM being non-metallic, from the circuit to the nearest opening in the soffit area. Remember to leave approximately 10 inch of extra cable per opening for wiring of each light.

This process is repeated until all openings are taken care of.

Wiring The Lights

For each of the pot lights take both the wire from the switch as well as the wire sent into the next light and attach them to the electric-box.

Be sure to fasten all of the light fixtures into the eave.

Cable Stripping

On each of the 14/2 NM wires use a pair of wire strippers to trim 6 inches of sheathing from the wire. You need to have the copper conductor exposed and the other wires accessible.

The black and white wires need to be stripped as well, 1/2 inch on each.

Cable Connections

All the wires must be connected in their proper places

  • Two black in a wire connector
  • Two white in a wire connector
  • Connect the green wire while also making a connection to the ground screw

Install Lights

With the fixtures in place, each of the lights clip-in. Press upward into the recessed area until a locking noise is heard.

Well Lit Well Loved Home

Learning the benefits and the how-to, you can hit the ground running and start your next project using soffit lights and renovate your home.

What about a new challenge? See what creative things you can do with soffit design at our blog, read for more tips and ideas.

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