Sharon Fullen
Sharon Fullen
  • Hometalker
  • Sparks, NV
Asked on Jul 3, 2013

Canned light conversion - cheap alternative

Sheryl GillilandWanda sinnemaWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
+8

Answered

I live in a home with over 100 canned lights. Which frankly I hate! I've bought some of the conversion kits with pendant lights but at $45 and up I just cannot afford to do that in every room. I have painted some of the yellowed trim rings which is nice but I'd love a low-cost DIY solution to making these more attractive with or without a new hanging light. Cannot seem to find any answer online except buy the conversion kits.
11 answers
  • LandlightS
    on Jul 3, 2013

    Sharon....I would highly recommend that you use LED recessed retro-fit kits. It will update the cans with new white trim, while savings TONS of energy......16 Watts equal the light of a 65 Wall flood lamp, and are dimmable. You can find them at HD or Lowes' for about $40.00 each. Very easy to install. Good lighting and have a nice 4th weekend...Gary

  • Jen
    on Jul 3, 2013

    HD has the LED retro-fit kits right now for $15 a piece for the 5 or 6 inch cans. They use so much less electricity than the old standard can lights and the bulb should last a really long time(10+yrs). We just put in 9 of them :) Maybe you could do the ones that you use the most in the house for now and change the rest out little by little?

  • LandlightS
    on Jul 4, 2013

    A word of caution with reference to LEDs.....when buying LED lamps(bulbs) or retro kits look for a statement that it is a "Cree" LED. Then you can buy it with confidence.... Gary

  • William Lutz
    on Jul 4, 2013

    I second the Cree Led conversion kits. They will Mae the cams look like new and save you $ over their life

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 4, 2013

    I have installed some of these for some clients...they are a little pricey at 40 but they will last a long long time...considering that regular bulbs cost $5 these will pay for themselves in no time.

  • Sharon Fullen
    on Jul 4, 2013

    Not quite certain I made myself clear . Don't want to upgrade the recessed lighting (well perhaps I might since I have so many so thanks for the suggestions. I want to eliminate the look without hiring an electrician with some type of conversion that is less costly than the standard kits available. My decor is traditional with some areas Arts & Crafts influenced and others Britich Colonial. Canned lights seem so out of place. Ideas?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 5, 2013

    Due to the shape and configuration of a "can" light. A Retro conversion is the only real practical option. The wiring tie point on a can light is a small junction box location up near the top of the "can". To use a more conventional light you would need to install a "remodel" box which would require the can to be removed and the wiring tied into the new box. This would also require the drywall to be repaired for smaller fixtures and to meet the "ignition" resistant covering that drywall provides. A Conversion kit could be installed in just a couple of minutes. While the more involved work would be much much more...30 min to hour by the time all the drywall work is done. If you are doing this DIY than it will just cost you your time...paying an electrician and / or drywall guy...$$$$

  • Sharon Fullen
    on Jul 5, 2013

    thanks KMS for your valuable info

  • You can as KMS said remove the light can and install new boxes. But you need to remember a few things. If you decide to remove some completely any splices must be accessible through a access panel. You cannot simply splice the wires removing the fixture by putting the wires in a box and drywall over it. Not only against the codes, but it can become a fire hazard. Another thing if you decide to leave some of the lights or convert them to LEDS or whatever. The fixtures are energy hogs. Not just from the conventional bulbs that are used now, but with the air leakage around them. I suggest you have an energy audit performed to determine the extent of energy loss. Even if they are located on the first floor they can cost you hundreds of dollars a year in energy loss in your home. Proper trim kits with new lights LEDs etc. can accent the design your looking for. Perhaps wood ceilings? Regardless of what you decide to do, it will end up costing you money, but the rewards with comfort increase and lower utility bills will outweigh the initial shock when you price it out.

  • Wanda sinnema
    on Jul 3, 2015

    I like the light canned light gives, so many options. but from what noticed at the local do it yourself store.. these kits are a good solution,, the ones I saw were pendants, various styles, modern to vintage-carriage looks. several hung in a row over counters, islands even 2 hung over sinks,, they would be focal points in a room, giving the canned lights a back light effect..These had an adapter you screwed into the bulb socket, a cover piece for the baffle area, and the hanging light...are these the types you mentioned>

  • Sheryl Gilliland
    on Aug 20, 2015

    My answer would be to frame the can with at least 1-2" clearance, then use any type of globe, shade, or cover you want. The shape of the frame must be the shape of the cover you choose. I have also seen, enclosing a line of can lights and using a textured plexi-glass or like a sheer curtain material. Make Sure There is Ventilation for the heat of the light. Is that what you were asking for?

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