Replacing ceiling light:


Old 03-02-05, 07:02 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 62
Replacing ceiling light:

I have a basic ceiling light in the middle of the kitchen, controlled by two 3-way switches on opposite walls.

I want to replace the light with a couple of can lights a few feet apart, keep the same switches.

Easiest way to do it? Thanks!
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Old 03-02-05, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,678
Easiest way is to remove the old fixture and run a new cable fromthe existing box to your two new fixtures. Connect the new cables to the 3 wires that went to the existing light. Don't mess with any of the other wires. Put a blank cover plate on the old fixture box and paint to match the rest of the ceiling.
Old 03-02-05, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
First, make a careful recording of how the current fixture is connected. Then disconnect just enough to get the old fixture out. If the existing wiring cannot reach the location of one of the cans, you'll need to put a junction box where the wires come into the current fixture. Run a cable from this junction box to the first can, connecting the cable exactly how the old light was connected (very important!!). Then run a cable from the first can to the second. The junction box will need to remain permanently accessible, so put a blank cover plate on it.

If done methodically, this algorithm does not require you to figure out which of the many possible ways the existing fixture is currently wired.

Beware of shadows. In all but pretty small kitchens, two cans could not effectively replace a large center fixture.
Old 03-02-05, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 188
If you are saying you will use the present location for one new can light and install another a few feet away it should be relatively easy-make sure you get the correct lights.

If you want to install both adjacent from where the old light was, it should be easy enough as well. Look to see how much slack there is in the wire and make a decision on location for the first new can light. Then extend new wire from there to the location of the second light. You will have to patch the old light location anyway but first could use that as an access point getting the two new lights set. You'd have to cut holes for the new ones anyway so between the 3 locations you would have help in working around the ceiling joists, etc. How they run would probably dictate the furthest distance between the 2 new light locations you may want to go without getting into more detail.
Old 03-02-05, 09:24 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 62
appreciate the quick reply, clarification:

The original cable will reach the first can, I'll hook it up exactly as the original light was connected.

My question: the cable that will then run to the second can is just pigtailed onto the connections from the first can in a normal manner: hot to hot, neutral to neutral, ground to ground?

Now both switches will control the two cans together?
Old 03-02-05, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Yes. Yes again (to satisfy the response parser).

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