Last updated: 9/12/2023
Grab the shiny-new mobile device you’re reading this blog on, saunter over to your hallway, and look up. Do you see:
A. Yellowed globe lights?
B. Dust bunny-laden ceiling fans?
C. Gold or yellow-brass anything?
D. Track lighting from the era of track pants?
E. Chandeliers that screams 1993?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re suffering from outdated light fixtures. You can’t ignore them into nonexistence. You’ve upgraded your smartphone annually - now it’s time to pay the same attention to your home - and updating those ancient lighting fixtures to recessed lights is a great place to start. Often overlooked by yourself and your family members en-route to more important destinations, if your hall is sporting any of these hopelessly outdated lighting styles, it’s time for a can light makeover. Not just for the resale value of your home, but for your poor peepers – and your pocketbook.
Are you living in the Dark Ages?
As with anything design-related, tastes and styles change. Even what was modern just 5 years ago could look downright dated today. Dated, often builder-grade lighting options do nothing to enhance the appeal or value of your home, often delivering substandard light to boot. It’s one of the most common homeowner recommendations when staging a new listing for marketing. For very little investment, it can make an incredible difference in the look of your home – and won’t go unnoticed.
Upgrade your outdated hallway light fixtures to sleek recessed LED lights in an afternoon:
The hallway is not the place to make a big design statement. Here you’ll want the clean, streamlined look only can lights or recessed lights can deliver. Low energy, LED bulb and fixture options have dropped in price considerably, offering far superior efficiency for just a few dollars more than halogens and CFLs.
- At your breaker box, turn off power to the light fixture you are replacing. Double check you have chosen the correct circuit before continuing.
- Remove the lighting cover off to expose the light bulb, carefully removing it.
- Using a putty knife, cut around the base of the light fixture.
- Using the appropriate tools, remove any screws, nuts or bolts holding the light fixture to the ceiling. Gently remove the light fixture from the ceiling (the putty knife cut should greatly speed this process.) The light fixture should now be affixed only by the wires.
- Unscrew the ceramic disk from the fixture that conceals the electrical connections. Remove the electrical connections.
- If any wiring is damaged or burned, trim it with wire cutters so only good wire remains. Strip sheathing from remaining wire about 3/4 inch.
- Unscrew the light hanging bracket connected to the electrical box.
- Using a putty knife, cut around ceiling drywall to remove the electrical box. Stubborn boxes may still be attached by a screw/nut. Remove it. Slide out the box, pulling the wires through the hole. Discard.
- Set the new box against the ceiling, tracing the new size with a pencil. Cut carefully with utility knife to shape, following this guide later with a keyhole/drywall saw, making the opening just big enough to fit the new box.
- Feed the wires through the new box, sliding the box into the freshly cut hole.
- Put the nut on the hanger, tightening to secure the new box into place.
- Clamp down the wire release.
- Remove the 2 screws from the new fixture. You will use them to install your new LED recessed light into it. Screw the hanger (looks like a stair-step bracket) flush into the box with the screws you just removed.
- Attach the ground wire with the green screw (came with the new light) in the center, wrapping the wire and tightening it into the hanger. Secure the connector from the recessed light converter to the wires with wire nuts: White-to-white; Black-to-black.
- Insert the connector into the new can light fixture, tucking the wires up and out of the way, pressing the light fixture into the 2 brackets.
- Return to your breaker box to restore power.
- Admire your handiwork – congratulations – your home’s light fixtures have now joined the 21st century!