Can You Install Pot Lights in Popcorn Ceiling? A Quick Guide

Pot lights in home

Pot lights, or recessed lights, are a great lighting option for your home. They’re sleek, they’re stylish, but above all they have a host of benefits over traditional lighting like chandeliers or pendant lights.

But you may be wondering - can I install pot lights if I have a popcorn ceiling?

The short answer is yes, you can! In this article we’ll quickly go through some of the benefits of pot lights, and then we’ll look at exactly how you can install them on a popcorn ceiling.

Nordic Coloured Glass Pendant Light

What are the Benefits of Pot Lights?

Light Up More of Your Room

The nature of pot lights means you can install them lights equally throughout the ceiling of your room. Because of this, using pot lights allow you to easily light up every part of your room.

Think about how frustrating it is when you have two or three gorgeous pendant lights spaced out around your room. As gorgeous as they may be, oftentimes it’s just not enough light to fully brighten the entirety of the room.

This leads to the inevitable ‘dark spots’ in certain corners of the room. Not with pot lights!

Make Your Room Look Larger

Because pot lights are recessed and built-in to the ceiling, you haven't got a light hanging down into the main area of your room.

Although you may not think it when you see a traditional pendant light or chandelier, they can actually take up quite a bit of space in your room. This is even more pronounced if your room has fairly low ceilings.

Pot lights, on the other hand, not only do not take up that space as they are recessed into the ceiling, but they can also help to make your room seem larger than it actually is.

Highlight a Fixture

Pot lights are great for casting light on a particular fixture in your room, like a bookcase, large mirror, or piece of art.

Japanese hanging wall art

If there’s something in your home you really want to show off, there’s no better way than installing a pot light above it!


Can Pot Lights be Installed on Popcorn Ceilings?

Yes, you can install pot lights on popcorn ceilings. Here’s how.

First, you will want to find out if your ceiling truly is a popcorn ceiling, or if it is in fact a different kind of ceiling with a bumpy texture.

To find out if it is actually a popcorn ceiling, there is a simple test you can do.

With a true popcorn ceiling, you should be able to smooth the bumps of the ceiling with your fingers. You will not need a great deal of pressure in order to smooth the bumps flat.

This is because an actual popcorn ceiling is created using tiny pieces of polystyrene, which can be easily flattened/removed from small areas of your ceiling.


Step by Step Instructions for Installing Pot Lights in a Popcorn Ceiling

  1. Cut the hole for the pot to fit into. Remember to cut it slightly wider than the width of the pot. You don't have to be too accurate here as the trim of the pot is wider than the part going up into the ceiling.
  2. Slide the pot light into the hole fully. Look to see if the trim of the pot light can be pressed flat against the wall. If it can, then you do not need to worry about flattening any of the popcorn ceiling, as your pot light can already sit flush against the ceiling.
  3. If it cannot be pressed flat, you will need to flatten the popcorn ceiling underneath where the trim will sit. First attempt this with your finger - you may be able to pry off/flatten the popcorn with a little bit of force from your fingers.
  4. If you are unable to flatten it with your fingers, you will need to use a tool to file/chip it away. You will want to place a blanket or towel on the floor underneath the area you are filing away, so that all the little pieces can be easily collected and thrown away.
  5. Try again to slide the pot light into the hole fully. You may need to repeat step 4 a few times until the light can sit flush against your ceiling.

And that's it!

For more home decor help guides, feel free to check our regularly updated Home Decor Projects blog!


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