Canned Lighting to Pendant Lighting in an Instant

light table pendant web

Our kitchen is now “en Vogue” – I finally have pendant lighting in our kitchen even though I did not have to hire an electrician! Do you want to learn how?

When the Hubby and I built both of our houses we avoided pendant lighting like the plague over our kitchen table and island. In both houses we had an open kitchen to the living room design and liked the clean look of recessed lighting – please – if memory serves me (and it is going) I don’t think there were a ton of pendant lighting options 15 years ago and even 9 years ago when we built House 2.0.

Today everywhere you look there is pendant lighting – and awesome options at that. So I guess I was feeling a little left out that I could not have pendant lighting in our house without hiring an electrician and then having to patch the ceiling etc.… It was going to be a “to do” – and the Hubby is not a big fan of that.

So about a year ago I was browsing through one of my go to magazines, Ballard Designs, and saw these conversion kits where you insert a device into canned lights and you can convert the light into a pendant fixture – I was like “how cool is this?” I filed it into my memory bank – and I told you my memory was going, and forgot about it.

Then I started seeing these conversion kits coming out of the woodwork, Home Decorators was now carrying them  – Lowe’s and Home Depot had them – they were now “en Vogue”, so I decided I would give it a try. I was reading how easy it was for Chronicles of Home to install the kit in her new kitchen and thought the Hubby and I could do this.

I love looking at lights – I could do it for hours – and of course I always pick out the most expensive light fixture – isn’t that always the way? In looking at our kitchen, I thought the best place to try out pendant lighting was over our kitchen table. Our ceilings are only 8-foot high so I was worried they would become bothersome over the island and we do use our island a lot.

In looking at the various sites and magazines that carry the conversion kits, I found that Home Depot had the best and widest selection when it came to the kits. I really fell in love with the looks of this pendant from Ballard, I just loved the shade and found one very similar at Home Depot for about half the price. The reviews were excellent saying the only challenge was getting them level…..more on that later.

They arrived before the weekend, and I have to say it put a huge smile on my face, since I just got back from the Dr’s with a sinus infection and the lights just made me feel better.

So on Friday night, the medicine really worked fast and I was feeling up to talking the Hubby into giving this a try.

Hubby figuring out the light feature web

I think it took him about 5 minutes to install the first one. It was as easy as we thought.

Steve looking at the converter web

steve danciing w the light on the table web

The directions were very straightforward….

lights up steve walking away

The cord hanging down was a little kinked from being in the box so we decided only to put one in and see if the height changed as the cord straightened through the night.

The next day the cord did indeed look straighter so we thought we would give the other light a try. It was easy to put in but I would have to say there were a few tense minutes and a few flavored words back and forth between the Hubby and I trying to get the two the same height.

straight on view of light web

Though, like Steve, I do like to “wing it” and not a fan of the tape measure – I just suggested that this might be an easier method to make sure both shades were the same height since they were off by a ½ an inch of so. But about 20 minutes later they magically aligned and looked awesome. Thank goodness!

view of the eating area kitchen web

I am really glad I went with the pendant shades; they offer a very nice light at night over the table. The shade is linen and matches well with the other textured elements in the room like the curtains and the rugs.

showing the bending of the cord pendant web They totally change the dynamic of the eating area of the kitchen making it a touch more formal and they don’t distract or block the view of the living room or heaven forbid the TV!

2014lights from above

So if you are looking for a quick and easy alternative for lighting in your house and you have recessed lighting – do try these conversion kits! They are truly a quick and easy game changer in your space.


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