How to Install a Recessed Light Cover

A recessed light installation isn't finished until the decorative trim, or cover, is put into place. The trim is needed to cover up the sometimes jagged edges in the drywall that are a result of cutting the access holes for the light fixture installation. Installing a recessed light cover is simple; just be sure to purchase the proper-sized trim.

  1. Purchase recessed light covers that match the dimensions of the housing openings on light fixtures being installed. The most common dimensions of housing openings are: 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches and 6 inches.
  2. Hold the light cover up against the recessed light fixture so that the inside rim of the cover is aligned with the rim of the fixture.
  3. Use needle-nose pliers to stretch the spring hooks so that they can be inserted into the support holes on the inside of the fixture's housing. Before hooking the springs, turn the cover so the hooks are lined up with the support holes.
  4. Move the recessed light cover as needed, so that it will cover up any areas of cut drywall. Even though the covers are installed, they can be moved slightly to ensure a perfect look.

Things You Will Need

  • Recessed light covers
  • Needle-nose pliers


  • If you can purchase a recessed light cover that's made by the same manufacturer as your recessed light fixture, you will have an easier installation.


  • Make sure the light fixtures are "OFF," as you don't have to worry about accidentally touching the socket with your needle-nose pliers.

About the Author

Based in Atco, NJ, Dave Donovan has been a full-time writer for over five years. His articles are featured on hundreds of websites, and have landed him in two nationally published books "If I Had a Hammer: More Than 100 Easy Fixes and Weekend Projects" by Andrea Ridout and "How to Cheat at Home Repair" by Jeff Brendenberg.