Can you change a can light into a light fixture? YES!
Better yet, can you change a can light into a light fixture without an electrician and drywall repair? The answer is still YES!
As I was tackling the wallpaper and painting in the toilet area of our Primary Bathroom for the One Room Challenge (read more about that here), it became pretty obvious that the intense, direct light coming from the overhead can was not going to work. I ended up adding a dimmer switch which helped quite a bit. But then the second concern was that because I had painted the ceilings dark to match the baseboards (and cabinets in the main area), the can light really stuck out. And not in a good way.
Here is the before:
At first, I called an electrician to help me change it out. He told me he would have to come out twice – first to take out the can and all that holds it in the ceiling above the drywall, and then come back out again to install the regular light fixture equipment AFTER I had a drywall person repair the ceiling. Ummm. No thanks. I didn’t want this to be a major project time and budget wise so I started looking at other solutions.
I did some research and found that you can buy a kit that converts your can into a light fixture. Sold!
These are the two that I found.
After reading the reviews I didn’t find a good reason why the Can Converter brand was more expensive so I went with the Westinghouse and it worked beautifully!
Here is how it looks now:
However, I do have a few tips:
- The video installation tutorial is pretty helpful and can be found here.
- You do have to drill into the side of the can light. The video shows the guy just drilling the screw in but that didn’t work for me and the drill bit just slid all over the place. After some more research and finding others that had the same issue, one person mentioned just holding the screw where you want your hole to be and giving it a few taps with a hammer. This creates a small indentation you can use to guide a drill bit. Go SLOW with your drill bit and it will go through. Mine took a minute or so. Then you’re good to go to place the screw.
- The middle portion where the ground wires are can be adjusted to the right and left by loosening the middle screw. I had mine all the way to the right and then when it came time to hang my fixture it was off center.
- The can light opening is typically larger than the size of a light fixture. Therefore you have to either buy a light fixture with a wide enough heading (mine is 7.5in on a 6in can light opening) or use a medallion. The kits come with white plastic medallions or you can buy larger decorative ones. I bought this one and it’s coming later this week so I might try it out. Most can also be painted to match the color of your ceiling.
- If you decide not to use a medallion like I did in the after picture, the converter hangs about 1/8 of an inch below the ceiling so it is not flush. I don’t think it its noticeable but just so you are aware.
I mean… how cool is this converter kit?! I’m all about making big impact with small changes and THIS. IS. IT! You don’t need to have contractors and tear apart walls (or ceilings!) to create your home and make it your own.
Would you tackle this project? I would love to hear! Comment below and be sure to join our newsletter for more Home on Monday.