Light it up!

Taking a break from recipes, now a little tech, lighting in the kitchen area was due for a makeover.

Energy efficiency is being touted and the current lights consist of a ceiling fan light fixture, not always used, two can lights placed over the counters, one to the left of the sink and one to the left of the stove. ( The hood over the stove already has a LED bulb installed ,an A19 style) and a florescent fixture over the sink.

Over the years I tinkered with the can fixtures, incandescent , then compact fluorescent, and then back to incandescent. The sockets and bulbs were never really aligned with the reflectors and uneven light patterns and glare were the result. As slow as I move on a project, replacement cans (4) were first ordered with an additional 2 for placement over the dining area table to supplement the pendant light fixture over the table. (That pendant hanging fixture already has a LED bulb installed in it.) Months later, the bulbs were ordered.

Usually with can light fixtures, trim kits have to be bought along with the fixtures. The LED replacement modules are all that’s required, no trim kit is necessary. They are expensive compared to incandescent bulbs, but the LED’s consume around 12 watts each for 800 lumens of soft white at 2700k and have a long life.
The new cans are 6 inches diameter compared to the existing 5 inch fixtures in the kitchen , so the cut outs had to be enlarged. No big problem, a hole saw for a drill was out of the question, too expensive for just drilling 4 bores. A reciprocating saw would be used, and I found out the a fine tooth metal blade worked better than one for wood. Also the ceiling is not all that thick. Plaster and sheet rock construction.

The can light replacement and the LED module.

One requirement of the LED modules, is to gut out the fixture of any brackets that hold the socket.

Ceiling cutout to the enlarged from the existing fixture that has been removed. Paper template is supplied with the fixture.

You have to install a romex clamp on the connection box, not supplied. The fixtures also have push on connectors, no wire nuts are necessary.

Thickness of ceiling requiring cut. Oh! I’m supposed to mention that the power is off before you begin working.


The wired fixture ready to be installed in the ceiling.

The installed fixture and LED module.


LEDs sourced from Amazon.com


Can light housings sourced from Home Depot.


The spring clips are a lot harder to engage than pictured, a small mallet may help and also pre-bending them may help, also as noted on the instructions, self tapping sheet metal screws may be used on the clips.

Two fixtures installed in the dining area .

New bores were required in the dining area, small holes were first  drilled along the perimeter of the diameter of the opening needed to prevent the ceiling from cracking when cutting with the reciprocating saw and finished with a course rasp,  checking in the attic space first for proper placement between the joist, also a line (electrical) fished down (time consuming) to the existing dining room light dimmer for power. An additional dimmer is planned to be added for the new fixtures.
Now the kitchen and dining area are very well lit, is is not a harsh type of light as with one of the LED flood light type bulb in the back hall. One other advantage other than the obvious energy savings is that it will be many years till they require changing. More A19 LEDs will be replacing incandescent bulbs in the future. The most used fixtures are being done first.

one note ;if you are considering installing new additional fixtures and deciding on placement, wire one of the can fixtures to a cheater cord with the led installed and onto a extension cord (safely). Plug it in and hold the fixture close to the ceiling in the desired location and have someone check the spread of the light pattern to see if it meets their requirement. Less work than patching holes.

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August 2014
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