How to Easily Turn Recessed Lighting Into a Pendant Light.

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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Suggested materials:
  • Converter Kit   (Amazon)
  • Ladder   (Amazon)
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 10 comments
  • Krafty Kathy Krafty Kathy on Jan 14, 2022

    We found another hack to put a pendant in without rewiring. The recess light for our kitchen sink was over your shoulders if washing dishes so the sink was in shadows. We have these little do hickeys that screw into a light socket making it an electric plug. Find them with electric stuff at home depot or lowe's. With tha , we could plug in a pendant light and used a ceiling hook to swag the cord so the light shines on the sink and bar not our backs.

    These little adapter things are great for running Christmas lights off security lights sockets. Then we just flip the switch the security light switch to run both lights.

    • Flipturn Flipturn on Jan 15, 2022

      Kathy, I think 🤔what you are describing are light socket converter adapters.

      Here are a couple of examples.

  • Donna Donna on Jan 27, 2022

    Had no idea you could do this!! Thank you for sharing! Wow!

    • Libbie B Libbie B on Jan 27, 2022

      My favorite kind of DIY quick and easy!