Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bright Idea

I've seen this a few times now and think it's an idea worth sharing: a fixture that makes it possible to replace a recessed can light with a pendant. You can easily update your lighting in a matter of minutes. All by yourself. Without the cost, or mess, of hiring a pro. Following, are the three I've seen in retail catalogs (that of course also have websites).

Ballard Designs offers this first version (below). If the recessed lights you want to replace are two or three in a straight line over a focal area like an island or down a hallway, this option would be an attractive way to add softer, more flattering light than is sometimes produced by overhead spots. The converter itself, with cord attached, is sold separately and is designed to accept any of Ballard's 10", 12" or 14" Drum or Empire shades. One of the product lines Ballard is best known for is their selection of fashionable, affordable shades for lamps of all styles and sizes. Provided your can fixture is in the right spot for this type of shade, you'll get a pretty, custom look for not a lot of cash.

Another catalog, Plow and Hearth, offers a glass pendant that's better-suited for wet areas than a fabric shade would be, such as over a kitchen or bar sink or bathroom vanity. And, like the fabric shades above, these would also look good two or three at a time over a peninsula or island that currently has cans over it. This fixture and its shade are sold as one unit and there are three shade finish choices: amber, alabaster or frosted ribbed glass. Just as easy to install as the Ballard option. In the photo below you can see it has the same screw-in style adapter and a dark ceiling canopy that matches the cord and covers the can.

The third option I've seen comes from a company called Improvements. Same screw-in installation as the previous examples. The selection I show here is more contemporary in appearance with chrome fittings and canopy. The flexible cord appears to be a silver color as well. Teardrop-shaped Italian glass shades are available in white or amber. There are a few other shade style options on their website and a fun feature that allows you to see "before" and "after" views of spaces that are given this simple lighting makeover.

All fixtures shown here come with cords that can be adjusted to a drop length of approximately 8 to 48 inches. Depending on which you choose, they accept bulbs of either 75 or 100 watts. And they're all super-affordable. Individual fixtures range in price from around $40 to $50, and at least one of the retailers offers a "buy two" price break. To complete their fixtures, Ballard's shades in the appropriate sizes are priced in the $30 to $50 range.

If you have a spot in your home that could benefit from a quick-fix like this one, take a look at, or It doesn't cost anything to look and barely more than that to buy!


for the love of a house said...

Hi Tracy! Thank you for your really nice comment!
I agree, I think these conversion fixtures are the best idea! Why didn't 'I' think of that?!! I've recently seen the conversion fixture (no shade) at Lowes!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So preferable to can lighting, which sometimes, to me at least, can make a ceiling resemble swiss cheese.

Thanks for the visit and sweet comment on my post today. Especially since it led me here to your lovely blog. I know I shall return, and you are welcome to visit at our place anytime!

Wishing you a Happy Fourth!