How to easily turn recessed lighting into a pendant light. - A Life Unfolding

How to easily turn recessed lighting into a pendant light.

Today I am sharing a simple update I truly wish I had done sooner. When we bought our house, it had a recessed light in front of our front door with a fourteen-foot vaulted ceiling. 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!

You can see from this before shot how empty the space above the door was before. NOTE: Obviously, infomercials do work as we own a Little Giant Ladder. :-

How to easily turn recessed lighting into a pendant light.

So let’s get back to how easy this is; all it takes is a recessed light converter! Do 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
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 dierections enclosed. One of the things I really 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.

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker- always flip the light switch off as an extra safety measure.
  2. Remove the existing can light and lightbulb
  3. Screw-in the pigtail socket
  4. Install the channel brace inside the opening and secure the mounting bracket.
  5. Attach the ground wire -sounds scary, but it isn’t, I promise!
  6. Connect the connections from the pigtail to your new pendant fixture.
  7. 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. It is held in place by the fixture itself.
Getting ready for install of pendant light

And because 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. 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 if 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

I cannot believe it took us almost five years to do this. I love it! If you are still freaked out about hanging your own 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,


If you like this you may also be interested in these easy DIY’s:

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  1. Dee says:

    Oh my goodness! 1st of all I absolutely love this, it turned out so incredibly super cute and it’s the perfect thing for your entry way! Thanks for sharing the info on the convert kit because I was considering changing out a couple recessed lights in our kitchen with pendant lights, but it all depends on what we do over the island. But it’s good to know what to look for in case I do make that change! Thank you for sharing think it turned out fabulous my friend!

  2. So glad to know about the converter kit! That’s amazing. I love when you can fix a problem easily! Great job! And thanks for sharing.

  3. Love the updated look!

    • Libbie Burling says:

      Thank you, Paula. We love the new fixture. I am now looking around to see where we can add another!

  4. Cindy says:

    This looks great. Love the idea!

  5. Jayne says:

    The new lamp looks amazing. I have recessed lighting everywhere – good to know about these converters, I had never heard of them before!

  6. I agree, it turned out great Libbie

  7. Rosemary says:

    I had no idea this could be done, but what a great, and different look for the entry.

  8. Marie says:

    What a cool find! The new pendant really fills the space and draws your eye up. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Anita says:

    What a great find, It looks great.

  10. Michelle says:

    What!!!! There’s a recessed light converter kit! Why did I not know that? I can’t wait to share that little fact with my hubby. We hate our recessed lights in the passage. It always feels like we’re walking along an upside-down airport landing strip.

  11. Carol Karl says:

    Wow! Who knew there was such a thing! Thanks for sharing this.

  12. So much bang for the buck!! It’s nice to know that a project like this is so doable. Your new light looks smashing.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  13. […] Decorate your home with a DIY light by turning Recessed Lighting into a Pendant Light. […]

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