Pendant lighting seems to be the trend today when choosing new lighting for a decorative look. However many homeowners will have to convert previous installed recessed lighting to a normal ceiling fixture by using a conversion kit. Conversion kits are sold at your local home improvement stores. Once the conversion kit has been installed, any style of lighting can be hung, including the popular pendant lighting.
Before you get started, make sure you have the proper tools needed:
- Flat tip screwdriver
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Sharp knife or wire strippers
- Wire cutters or heavy duty scissors
Steps for converting recessed lighting into pendant lighting:
- 1. Turn off the circuit breaker to the light you will be working on.
- 2. Remove the light bulb.
- 3. The outer bezel and inside frame are usually attached to each other. Reach your fingers on each side of the inner frame and press in on the tabs The bezel and frame should come out.
- 4. Remove the light bulb socket from the inner frame. There are usually two metal detent tabs holding it to the inner frame. Use a flat tip screwdriver to press in on each detent tab and the light bulb socket will come free.
Don’t cut any wires; you will use the light bulb socket with the conversion kit.
- 5. The light bulb socket should be hanging free inside the light can.
- 6. Open you light conversion kit and ensure you have all of the pieces.
Most conversion kits generally include the following items:
- One metal disc
- One light bulb socket with two wires coming out of it
- One three arm bracket
- Three L-shaped brackets
- Three bolts with wing nuts
- Three nuts for the bolts
- Three self-tapping screws
- One threaded metal tube with two brass nuts
- One ceiling bezel that you may or may not use depending on the hanging light you are installing.
Note: At this point, follow the instructions with your specific brand of light conversion kit. Some kits may require additional steps.
However, the general steps are as follows:
- Attach the light bulb socket piece into the existing light bulb socket hanging from inside of the light can.
- Loosely assemble the three L-shaped brackets onto the three-armed bracket.
- The three-armed bracket should be on top with the L-shaped brackets underneath each arm.
- Screw the wing nuts onto the bolts
- Insert the bolts into the L-shaped brackets and then up into the three-armed piece.
- Loosely screw the nuts onto the bolts. They should be resting on the three-armed bracket
- 6. Each L-shaped bracket will be attached to the side of the light can. Hold the entire bracket assembly into the light can and mark with a pencil where each of the self-tapping screws will go.
- 7. Drill a very small hole at each of the three pencil marks on the inside of the light can. This will allow you to easily screw the self-tapping screws in later.
- 8. Hold the bracket assembly into the light can and secure it to the three holes with the self-tapping screws.
- 9. Remove one of the brass nuts from the metal tube. Screw the metal tube about halfway into the center hole of the bracket assembly. Once installed, screw the brass nut back onto the top of the metal tube. It should be loosely resting on the top of the three-armed bracket.
- 10. Adjust the height of the metal tube and the two bolts so the heads of the bolts rest against the metal disc; and the metal disc is flush with the ceiling. After you adjust everything unscrew the disc.
- 11. Cut your pendant lighting chord to the desired length.
- 12. Using a wire stripper or a small sharp knife cut about one inch of the plastic sheath off the ends of the wires on your new light.
- 13. Route the wires from the new light up through the metal tube. Prior to doing this, make sure you run the wires through the screw collar loop, the ceiling canopy , the ceiling medallion and then the metal disc.
- 14. Reach into the light can and using wire nuts, connect the wires from your light to the wires coming out of the socket in the light can. If your new light has black and white colored wires, connect the white wire together and the black wire together. If your new light has a wire like the one in the picture below, simply connect the black wire to one side and the white wire to the other side of your light wire.
- 15. Screw the metal disc back onto the metal tube until it is touching the heads of the bolts. Hold the medallion and the canopy against the ceiling, and screw on the screw collar loop onto the metal tube. The medallion and the ceiling canopy should be snug against the ceiling.
- 16. Flip your circuit breaker, turn on your light and you should have your new pendant lighting up and working.
Lighting is one of the most important factors in a home. There are many different types of light fixtures on the market to choose from. However if you have existing recessed lighting installed, installing a conversion kit will allow you to use regular mounted ceiling light fixtures that offer a home more of a decorated look. Today many homeowners are choosing pendant lighting because of it's modern look and style. By following the steps provided, you can convert recessed lighting to pendant lighting too.
Wanda is the author and founder of Recreate and Decorate, an inspiring home decor blog that shares how to decorate a stylish home on a budget. Recreate and Decorate shares many DIY projects that will transform your home without spending a fortune. Wanda is an Army wife and attempting to raise to 2 middle school, well rounded daughters. You can find Wanda on Facebook and Pinterest.