Thursday, February 18, 2010

The easiest way to update a light fixture


Some home improvement projects are labors of love. Some are matters of necessity. Some are occasions for blood, sweat, toil, and tears.  I've just completed one that stunned me by its simplicity.

Have you ever seen this product?




It's a kit to convert an existing recessed light into a hanging fixture. Without taking out the existing can light. Without doing any wiring. Without patching the ceiling. Without any blood, sweat, toil, or tears.

I like my kitchen. It's big and open. It was built in 2005, when recessed lighting was really a big deal. And in this kitchen, I have 18 can lights. No other kind of ceiling lighting, just 18 cans. I'm not complaining, because can lights are perfectly acceptable. But I longed for something a little different just to break up the monotony and add some interest across that vast white tundra of ceiling.

I purchased three of these conversion kits. I got mine at Lowe's for $17 each. The kit doesn't include the glass globe, but Lowe's has a big selection of globes that will fit these lights. I chose fairly simple ones that were less than $8 each. So each fixture cost less than $25. And the labor charge for installation? None. No professional required. All I had to do was screw the light kit into the existing fixture. The hardest part was adjusting the cords to be all the same length. . . which wasn't really hard at all, just a matter of some measuring.

Voila! Let there be (different) light:



Here's a closer shot of the fixtures with the light bulbs turned off, so you can see the shades:


I chose a simple gold shade to blend well with the granite in my countertops, although I know that in this photo they get a little lost against the backdrop of the cabinetry. In real life, they're far removed from the cabinets, so they don't get lost at all. Still, now I'm thinking just how easy it would be to change those shades out for a completely different look. Maybe it would be fun to have red shades for Christmastime? It would cost less than $25 and would take almost no time to change the shades.

Meanwhile, I couldn't be happier with my presto-chango home improvement. Tell me what you think!


27 comments:

Rebekah said...

That's a really neat find! I love the look of pendant lights over a bar or island. It looks so much more inviting, somehow.

stefanie said...

It turned out gorgeous!!!! it really makes the island look like a focal point, mmmm now something else I need...hahah

Dawn said...

hey! that is fantastic! and i love the shades :) the difference is really amazing... and you did it all by yourself! hooray!

randee said...

wow! they look fabulous.

are you going to paint the chairs black, now??????????????

Kendall at Finesse Your Nest said...

I have bought these! I have 2 in my kitchen - one over the breakfast table and one over the sink. They were super easy to install! Didn't even have to ask Mr. FYN for help, bonus!

I do have a question for you. Did you have any issues getting the plate to completely cover the edges of your can light? Mine shows a little underneath my plate, but yours look so nice!

Cottage Dreamers said...

I never new these exsisted. It looks great!

Richella said...

Yes, Randee, I am going to paint those stools! The advice I got from everyone was overwhelmingly in favor of painting, so I'm going to go for it. I'm waiting for warmer weather so I can take these babies outside and spray-paint them, but I think they'll wonderful in black. I got some fabric that I'm thinking about recovering the seats with. . . fabric stores are dangerous places, you know? :)

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Now that is neat!!! I have never heard of those~ Thanks for sharing.
Susie~

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

That's great! I've been wondering about those. I think TDC posted about them recently too. I have a can light above my kitchen sink that's just calling out for one of those!

Carmen said...

Awesome transformation! They look great.

Terri said...

Look how smart you are! Love such simple changes that have a great impact. These lights must make you very happy!! Blessings!

Rachelle said...

I love it! Those little easy projects are my FAVORITE.

Rachelle

Lauren said...

Your kitchen is absolutely, positively b-e-a-utiful! I love it. And possibly a trifle bit jealous. But, just a trifle. ;) Stopping by from SITS.

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

Looks great! Thanks for sharing with us! And your kitchen is beautiful!

Stopping by from SITS!

mooneyequalsmc2 said...

What an excellent product. It is great living in the 21st century isnt it? Your kitchen is awesome btw

Coming over from SITS!

Mindy~

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

I love these! I've seen them advertised & seen a couple people using them & what a nice change for pendants. They look perfect where you have 3 lined up. Great job!

And thanks for chiming in on the blue post. I totally agree with you, there are so many colors that look great with blue.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Oh, wow!!! I would never have known those are rigged up lights. ;) Looks like you planned it that way. I think they are great!

Holly said...

I've seen those on HGTV, and I wish I had can lights so I could use them. Yours look beautiful!

Carmie - the Single Nester said...

I have never seen these. Great find. Looks teriffic.

Jeanette said...

Now that is way cute. Never saw them before.

Lorie said...

Oh! That is brilliant!

Kristi said...

Lovely! Except that I've noticed when you get something 'right' in a remodeling project, it looks like it has always been there! And after all the blood, sweat, toil and tears, it just is rather frustrating that it took so long to get done! :) But, I am very glad that these beautiful lights that look-like-they-ve-always-been-there, were of the easy variety! Beautiful!

gina said...

That's amazing- love your kitchen!! Might try that ...

Meg said...

So cute...really! And I have the same dilema in my kitchen...and a Lowe's down the street! :)

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow! This is news to me. I hadn't seen them before. I might have to get some for the recessed lights in my kitchen, too. Thanks, Richella! :-)

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

Richella~ I love how they look all together! What a great invention these are. I want to try them, but I'm wondering...if I want to use a schoolhouse type glass cover on the bottom, do you think it would work on these? (am I making any sense??)

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