How to Easily Turn Recessed Lighting Into a Pendant Light.

Libbie B
by Libbie B
2 Materials
20 Minutes

Today I am sharing a simple update I truly wish I had done sooner. When we bought our house, it had a recessed light with a fourteen-foot vaulted ceiling in front of our front door. I have to admit canned lighting has its place but not in a foyer. It was the perfect spot for a statement pendant light, but I was worried it would be a pain to switch out; it turns out I was wrong; a recessed lighting conversion kit makes it easy to convert to pendant lighting.

Yay for an easy DIY!

Pendant lighting

You can see from this before shot how empty the space above the door was before.

This recessed light is too small for the large foyer

What you will need:

NOTE: Obviously, infomercials work as we own a Little Giant Ladder. :- So let’s get back to how easy this is; all it takes is a recessed light converter!

Did you know about these?!?!?

I had no clue that for twenty dollars and 25 minutes, we were able to add some serious visual interest!!

Recessed light converter kit

I bought mine at Amazon.

Components for the recessed lighting kit.

To Install:

The steps are easy to follow, but I am listing them below to give you an idea but follow the directions enclosed.

One of the things I liked about this kit converter is that you screw a socket pigtail into the existing can housing and that connection connects the old wiring to the kit, so you won’t need to mess with the original wiring.

Turn off the circuit breaker- always flip the light switch off as an extra safety measure. Remove the existing can light and lightbulbScrew-in the pigtail socketInstall the channel brace inside the opening and secure the mounting bracket. Attach the ground wire -sounds scary, but it isn’t, I promise! Connect the connections from the pigtail to your new pendant fixture.

Add the medallion if you need to cover the hole (it is paintable).

If I had something to change anything, I would paint mine black.

It doesn’t attach to the ceiling, and it is held in place by the fixture itself.

Getting ready for install of pendant light

The kit can hold up to 50 lbs; it would have held just about all the light fixtures I was looking at.

I was able to find the perfect light at Lumens, and it is from their ED line by Ellen DeGeneres line.

I searched for a pendant with texture, visual impact (size), neutral in color, and a bonus; this one weighs only 17 lbs.

Once I found this one with the linen look, I knew it would be perfect for our lake house.

Lumens Pendant Light fixture.

The photo shows the medallion a little off-kilter, and I adjusted it once I saw this! 🙂

Looking into pendant light view

It was so easy to convert this recessed light into a pendant that I cannot believe it took us almost five years to do this.

I love it!

If you are still freaked out about hanging your light or perhaps afraid of ladders, I did have our local electrician quote this, and it was very reasonable to have the job done.

Large Pendant light

Until next time, -Libbie

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Libbie B
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Hen22236797 Hen22236797 on Jan 13, 2022

    The space looks less cluttered with recessed lighting, plus the dimmable LED lighting has an excellent color light, and less watts.

  • P.i2360292 P.i2360292 on Feb 03, 2022

    I have changed out cam lights into differants lights. Super easy . I to would like to know the color of your front door. I love how you painted both sides. Bringing the outside in!!

  • Lannen Lannen on Feb 10, 2022

    Was it the size of your pendant that had you purchase a conversion kit? I have seen pendants that simply screw into existing recessed lighting "sockets." I'm linking to one that is much smaller than yours...not trying to promote any product...but for those looking to put in a smaller light, it can be even easier than Libbie's lovely foyer project: Libbie, I love your end result!

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4 of 21 comments
  • Dannyswife Dannyswife on Jan 11, 2023

    I have been wanting a small chandelier type fixture over my bath tub area which has a single can light and this looks like a great solution! Thank you!

  • Angelaclarkson Angelaclarkson on Jun 01, 2023

    Thanks for sharing your experience on turning lighting into a pendant light. It's awesome how a simple update can make such a big difference, right? If you're looking to convert your recessed lighting to a pendant light, I recommend checking out this website about Recessed Lighting for more detailed info and tips. They've got some great insights on lighting conversions. The good news is, it's easier than you might think! With a recessed light converter kit, you can make the switch hassle-free. No need to mess with the original wiring—simply screw a socket pigtail into the existing can housing, connect the old wiring to the kit, and you're on your way to adding some serious visual interest.