How do I change my kitchen fluorescent fixtures to the pot lights ?

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My Kitchen was built in l987, when florescent fixtures were popular. I would like to change the ceiling and have the "pot lights" throughout the kitchen . Where do we start? I know we have to tear out the ceiling, and we are very DIY savvy, but this is new for us! Our whole neighborhood is waiting to see what happens to us before they will even think about changing theirs! We're the Grandparents of the neighborhood, trying to teach the younger generation, "Yes, you can do it! We did!"

Just finished replacing the Brick Fireplace with a White Marble looking ceramic tile.

The neighbors are amazed how I spent 8 hours figuring how to get a vein, and how

I remember what freshly cut marble kinda looked like. They're surprised that it is

ceramic and not real Marble! We are looking forward to this next project! Only 3 more rooms to go before our house is Modern!!!

  5 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 02, 2018

    Hi there, they make "After construction" pot lights. Depending on your ceiling you should be able to cut your holes where you want the cans to go and run your wire to them by fishing it around :) Kinda tedious but WAY less expensive than replacing your entire ceiling. You should be able to use the wire from your florescent to get to each of the cans/pots/recessed lights.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Aug 02, 2018

    I found an article that might help you - https://recessedlighting.com/kitchen-lights/

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Aug 02, 2018

    Recessed lighting is ok if you don't have a ceiling fan too. Keep that in mind if you want to put one of them in as well. Some nice ceiling mount lights will give you plenty of light if you need it. Also undercabinet lighting is great.

    • Ell14409386 Ell14409386 on Aug 13, 2018

      I agree under-cabinet lighting is great. My kitchen has both lighting systems! I have a Fan/light over the dinner table (in my day they called it an "Eat-in Kitchen" we have a "formal" dining room also. (Hey, it's CA ;)) So Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it! Have a great life! ellen

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 09, 2018

    You do not necessarily need to as you say, 'tear out the ceiling' to install pot lights. You will need to at some point though go up into the attic and crawl around to fish the wires through. This is physically not easy, as many attics are nasty- hot, dark, and dirty. A mask and protective clothing will most likely need to be worn.


    The older style pot lights were more of a can or tube style. They required vertical depth to install and due to the heat generated from the enclosed bulb, thick insulation was necessary. The housings were bulky, heavy, and sturdy hardware was needed to anchor them into the ceiling lumber.


    The newer integrated LED style are more of a flat puck design. These are thin, so can be installed fairly easily - pushing them up from below. AS LED lights do not give off heat, this style does not need any insulation. Housings and clips vary according to brand, but as all are very lightweight, they do not require robust hardware to attach.


    Purchase fixtures with the highest lumens that your budget can afford. If a dimmer switch is installed on the wall, amount and intensity can be varied according to time of day, season, and activity in the kitchen. It is also sensible to have the entire bank of lights on two different control switches, such as the one over the doorway, sink, etc. on one switch, and the rest on another. Plan it out to whatever might suit your needs better than having to turn all the lights on every time you need any light.

  • Ell14409386 Ell14409386 on Aug 13, 2018

    Awesome Info! Our bathroom is right above our kitchen so LED's it is! Thank you so much for your time, I truly appreciate it! ellen

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