How to Convert a Recessed Light to a Pendant

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on August 6, 2016

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Scott Caron, master electrician for Ask This Old House, helps a homeowner convert recessed lights into stylish new pendant lights. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Convert a Recessed Light to a Pendant:
– Recessed-light conversion kit, to convert recessed fixture to pendant light
– Pendant light fixture
– Threaded studs removed from metal light-fixture box, used to suspend pendant light
– Wire connectors
– LED lightbulb

Tools List for How to Convert a Recessed Light to a Pendant:
– Screwdriver
– Cordless drill with right-angle attachment, to attach mounting bracket
– Wire strippers, for cutting and stripping wires

Steps for How to Convert a Recessed Light to a Pendant:
1. Turn off the electricity to the light-fixture circuit at the main electrical panel.[BR]
2. Unscrew the lightbulbs from the recessed fixture.[BR]
3. Disconnect and remove the trim from the recessed fixture.[BR]
4. Screw the prewired socket adapter into the recessed fixture.[BR]
5. Preassemble the mounting bracket, which will support the new pendant light.[BR]
6. Feed the wires through the threaded nipple on the mounting bracket, then screw the bracket to the recessed fixture.[BR]
7. Pass the wires through the hole in the mounting plate, then thread the plate onto the nipple protruding down from the mounting bracket.
8. Screw two threaded studs into the tapped holes in the mounting plate.
9. Place the medallion over the upper end of the pendant light.
10. Make the wire connections between the mounting plate and pendant light. Use twist-on wire connectors to join same-color wires: black to black, and white to white. Connect the green wire to the bare-copper ground wire.
11. Gently fold the wires into the canopy and secure the pendant light to the threaded studs with two decorative nuts.
12. Install an LED lightbulb in the pendant light.
13. Turn the electricity back on and flip the light switch.

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