Convert Recessed Lights into Pendant Lights

For months, we’ve been debating whether or not to install either pendant lights or a pot rack in the soffit above the kitchen island.  We eventually nixed the idea of a pot rack because we loved the open feel of our kitchen, and thought that the hanging pots and pans would get in the way.  And, as much as we loved all of the recessed lighting, we wanted to do something really cool for that soffit to make the island beneath it a little more special.  

A few weekends ago, Evan and I were wandering around Lowe’s and stumbled across a showcase at the end of one aisle.  The booth presented a video about how to convert any recessed light into a pendant light using one easy kit!  Our eyes lit up when we saw the price tag on these kits:  You could buy the base and the shade for less than $30 each!  We were sold.

The converter box consisted of a pendant light socket, a ceiling shade, and a pre-assembled socket adapter already strung on an adjustable cord. All that was needed to install each pendant light was one of these kits, a decorative lamp shade, a light bulb, and a flat head screwdriver.

Before we got started, we went to the breaker box and shut off the electric power to our kitchen.  I’m not sure this was completely necessary for this task, but since we were dealing with a new light fixture, we thought it was better to be cautious.
Then, unscrew the light bulbs from each recessed light fixture.  If the lights had been on for a while, be sure to wait at least five minutes before taking out the hot bulbs.  Your fingers will thank you!
Estimate the desired length of the pendant lights, keeping in mind that the shade itself is about five or six inches long.  The cord is completely adjustable and easy to fix even after the fixture is installed, so a rough estimate is all that’s necessary.  Secure the cord by tightening the screw next to the socket adapter.
Ready for the easiest installation ever?  Simply screw the socket adapter into the recessed light, shove the excess cord into the hole, and push the decorative cover upward until it meets the ceiling.  Once done, screw the lamp shade onto the other end of the pendant light socket.
And you’re finished!  We installed these two pendant lights in less than 20 minutes.
I wish I could’ve captured better pictures of the pendant lights while they were on; alas, my camera kind of stinks.  My apologies!

Here are what the fixtures look like when the lights are turned off.  

Aren’t they beautiful?  It’s a real treat to walk into the kitchen now.  It looks like invested hundreds of dollars to rewire our kitchen.  I wish we had more recessed lights around the house — I’d stick these puppies everywhere!  Hope you like them, too!

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7 thoughts on “Convert Recessed Lights into Pendant Lights”

  1. Aren't these great?? I used to have one over my sink. We took it down when we had some other lighting done. But, these are such a great option!


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