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Old 02-23-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


I have some old, early 90's style bulb lights in my hallways and a couple other areas that I'd like to change out for recessed lighting.

I attached a couple pictures and I want to know if I can do it without tearing apart the ceiling. It's one of those jobs that is a "would be nice", but not necessary if it is going to require a bunch of drywall and paint work.

Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights-20110223_0185.jpg Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights-20110223_0186.jpg

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Last edited by NitroNate; 02-23-2011 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


You can do it; you'll have to remove the box where the light is now; it is likely attached to a joist or cross brace in the ceiling. THen, put your can in the hole that results, wire it, and you're done.

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Old 02-23-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


It depends on what's behind that box. If there is just a bracket, you can remove the box and bracket and cut the whole bigger and use that. If there is a joist or other framing, the light would have to move and the whole would need to be patched.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


Do it. Its actually alot easier than you would think. If you buy remodel can lights then all you need to do is knock out the old plastic box, cut the new hole for the can, rewire, and push the can up in the hole. If you have access to the attic, it is better to use new work can lights and nail the brackets to the joists. The biggest problem is if your joists run long waise down the hallway, then you might not be able to center the cans if you have one running down the center, but if they run across the hallway it is easy to center.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


thanks guys, appreciate the input. these are on the first floor of a two-story, so no attic access. the box is attached to a horizontal bracket that i assume is screwed into the floor joists on either side.

i guess if i go to a bigger hole, i will have enough room to get in there and re-attach a new recessed fixture that attaches to the joists. as it is right now, it doesn't seem like i could easily get to the bracket because the opening isn't big enough.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


The existing wiring might not be long enough to reach the junction boxes on the recessed lights.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #7
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


If you get remodel can lights, you do not need to get to the floor joists at all. You can wire up the box before you put the can in, and then just push the can into the hole. They have wing nuts and slots that you unscrew and pull down tight on the drywall, and that is how they are held up.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by SparkandArc View Post
If you get remodel can lights, you do not need to get to the floor joists at all. You can wire up the box before you put the can in, and then just push the can into the hole. They have wing nuts and slots that you unscrew and pull down tight on the drywall, and that is how they are held up.
ok, that might work. i'd obviously have to cut the existing bracket out of the way, so once i go for it, no going back! i'll take a trip to the hardware store and see what i can find. i definitely have enough vertical space to fit the can up into the hole.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:40 AM   #9
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


What year was your house built? I would almost bet that there is a 3/8's steel cross bar attached to the joist. That will leave you the depth of your existing box. You may be able to cut the bar with a grinder with a cutoff wheel attached. Either way chech it out well before you do anything.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenworks View Post
What year was your house built? I would almost bet that there is a 3/8's steel cross bar attached to the joist. That will leave you the depth of your existing box. You may be able to cut the bar with a grinder with a cutoff wheel attached. Either way chech it out well before you do anything.
yes, that is exactly what is there and it is in the way. unfortunately, even if i cut the hole bigger, the joists are too far away on either side to be able to get to them and unscrew the bar. i pulled the box down and did the best investigation i could with a flashlight.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


As one poster said ,you can use the "remodel cans",what I did is,I cut the bar with a Dremel and a cut off wheel and bent the bar enough to install the cans. Without access it is nothing short of a PIA to do
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:35 AM   #12
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


thanks guys, i managed to hacksaw the bracket and then bend it out of the way. it was definitely a major PIA, but i got the job done with a remodel kit and it turned out great.

Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights-20110227_1874.jpg
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:39 AM   #13
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


Glad to hear. buy yourself a better tool for the future and life will be fun in the DIY world. it's all about the PIA factor!
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:30 PM   #14
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Bulb Lights to Recessed Lights


Congrats; looks very nice!

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