How long to replace recessed can lights?

Merry Christmas
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dhalleron

Senior Member
Location
Louisville, KY
Along with some easy stuff I am quoting a potential customer to replace some can lights. I have installed remodeler cans with new wiring, but never tried to remove old cans to install remodelers. I have 7 cans to replace from an install that might be 5 or 6 years old. How much trouble might they be?

It's all finished drywall ceiling in a basement. The existing ones are too small says the owner. He wants something like a 6" can.

Also he has one recessed light in an area that does not have enough light. He wanted to know if there was a trim that would convert the recessed to a surface fixture with more bulbs. I've never seen one of those. I might be able to remove the can fixture and install a box for a surface mount light.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
It's quite possible the small cans were installed due to pipes & ducts preventing 6" cans from being installed. Eyeball above the ceiling before giving a price.

Check out Can Converter.
 

dhalleron

Senior Member
Location
Louisville, KY
I should have known the can converter already existed. I?ll try that idea for at least that one area.

I was worried about what is above the ceiling. Even if some of the cans can be replaced there still might be some that can?t because of space. That would screw up the whole layout.

I might just price up the other work and do the can lights T&M. Then I could look at each of the lights first to make sure there was room before tearing into a few of them.

Thanks guys. Glad you are here.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
I have used "The Can Converter" to convert several 6" cans to ceiling lights and pendent style light using a medallion because the canopy would not cover the adapter, and they make a version for smaller 4" cans that I have used conduit spacers to convert 5" cans, they take a little thinking on the first one you do but after that the rest go fast, they come with plenty if hardware to do almost any kind of adaptation, but like I said for Small canopy fixtures you will have to use a ceiling medallion to make a nice finished product.

As far as removing old cans within a finished ceiling will take a bit of manipulated prying and cutting skills to get the old frame out of the way which can be just shoved back out of the way once the securing method is over come, using a roto-zip to cut your 6.125" hole then a 2x4 to hammer up the old frame till it breaks loose from the cross bars, works most of the time, remember to not loose the feed cable back to far in the ceiling, you can leave the cross bars in place if using remodel cans, or if just nailed then use a small flat bar to pry them loose, keep in mind the added wattage if there is a dimmer on the circuit also.

But as was pointed out, remove the can guts and make sure you have the necessary clearance.

Also adjusting the lamp plate down exposes more of the lamp allowing more light to shine sideways from a can, while not the best way to improve the amount of lighting as I myself don't like seeing the lamp, but it does provide more lighting, also using CFL's can allow much brighter lamps to be used without tripping the heat detector, as they don't get hot, so cans and or trims that might only allow a 60 watt lamp can use a 100 watt equivalent CFL or even brighter, most CFL's found today say ok to use with recessed fixtures, so look for this when buying CFL's
 
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dhalleron

Senior Member
Location
Louisville, KY
Thaks again. I got the job. I quoted them a price on part of it for some easy stuff that will take me most of a day.

They agreed to allow me to check the lights out under time and material to see if they can all be replaced to larger ones.
 

fishin' electrician

Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
Why are so many people afraid of having their drywall cut open:confused:

A finished drywall ceiling can be a finished drywall ceiling again with minimal effort, especially for someone that does it for a living. Guess I'll just never understand.
 

dhalleron

Senior Member
Location
Louisville, KY
Why are so many people afraid of having their drywall cut open:confused:

A finished drywall ceiling can be a finished drywall ceiling again with minimal effort, especially for someone that does it for a living. Guess I'll just never understand.

Nobody was afraid to cut the drywall. It would have just added to the expense. The main issue started to be whether or not there was room above due to pipes and such. It would not have worked out if I could only replace some of them.

It turned out I did it time and material not to exceed 8 hours. I was able to do it in 4 hours. This and the other work on this same job turned out to be fairly easy, so another job is done with money in my pocket.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
Why are so many people afraid of having their drywall cut open:confused:

A finished drywall ceiling can be a finished drywall ceiling again with minimal effort, especially for someone that does it for a living. Guess I'll just never understand.
I always wonder the same thing. Many customers seem willing to pay me for example 6 hrs labor to avoid having small sections of sheetrock cut out. Then again maybe the sheetrockers are bad enough to have around that it's worth it.
 
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