Recessed light replacement options?

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-13-08, 10:04 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Recessed light replacement options?

Hello - I usually hang out on the Electrical forum, but I've run into something of a bothersome problem with my basement lighting.

I've got two recessed lights in the rec room - they're quite old. The trim measures 10 1/4" by 10 1/4" and is square. Both lights are identical. Both lights take normal light bulbs, and have a "drop-down & handscrew-up" glass cover. Inside, the fixture isn't even a "fixture" per se - it's some kind of plastic or other very stiff material, with a reflective foil-type covering on the inside towards the light, obviously to reflect light down to the ground. Obviously, I'm wanting to replace these lights for aesthetic reasons, but I'm also somewhat concerned about the safety of these very old fixtures.

That said, I went to the two big-box stores and looked for any recessed lights that would fit - neither had anything in stock, and one pointed me online to look at something, while the other said to just rip it out, make a smaller plaster hole and install a normal, smaller can.

However, I've found online one product I think might work: Juno 70-WH trim with a Juno TC-7 housing. This says it's 10 inches, but the measurement should be close enough that some minor plaster repair around the edges would be no big deal. No insulation in the space above, so that's not a concern.

Thing is, this solution seems to be about $150 at the cheapest online sites I've found, for two lights and two trims, shipped. That's definitely more than my wife was thinking when she let me start exploring this little project!

I didn't really think recessed lights were that expensive - so I'm wondering, is there any other alternative that might spring to mind to some of you who are more experienced in lighting? I really would prefer not to have to plaster-up the ceiling and attempt to create a new opening for a new light. Further complicating things is that these two lights are the only lighting in the room (other than track lighting over the bar) and so they do need to provide light, not just "spotlight" type effects.

Any ideas out there? I'm eternally grateful for your help
 
  #2  
Old 05-13-08, 03:44 PM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,943
Received 44 Votes on 42 Posts
Originally Posted by TheWGP View Post
Obviously, I'm wanting to replace these lights for aesthetic reasons, but I'm also somewhat concerned about the safety of these very old fixtures.
If you can disassemble the light socket from underneath and inspect the wiring inside the can you can get a good idea of the safety. As long as the insulation does not seem brittle or cracked I would not worry about the safety.

Juno 70-WH trim with a Juno TC-7 housing. This says it's 10 inches, but the measurement should be close enough that some minor plaster repair around the edges would be no big deal.
That housing is a new-construction housing which would require some drywall tear down and re-plaster to get it in the hole anyway.

I can't think of how you would be able to remove an existing recessed fixture and get a new one in without cutting out some drywall.

I didn't really think recessed lights were that expensive
Once you get outside of the common 6" round cans and trims the pricing goes up very fast.

is there any other alternative that might spring to mind to some of you who are more experienced in lighting?
Can't think of an easy solution other than perhaps leaving these fixtures as-is and installing some 5" or 6" cans around the perimeter of the room on a separate dimmer so you don't have to use the old fixtures.

The best solution is probably just to tear out the old ones, replace with new cans and do the drywall and mud repair.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-08, 03:16 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
An update!

I was actually able to find a special order product at Home Depot that I believe will work - and they let me use a coupon on it, so even with shipping included it was only about 90 dollars total for 2 of them, all-inclusive, from what they said. The opening required is a smidge *bigger* than what I have, but it's far, far easier to make the hole BIGGER than try to make the plaster resemble the original ceiling!

Here's the product page on the maker's site:
http://progresslighting.com/products...uct=P6416-30TG

One question: On that page, they seem to indicate some sort of plaster clip is required for remodel installation - P8700. I'm guessing the Home Depot people totally missed this, since they didn't say anything about it. Here's a product page showing the clips:

http://app.infopia.com/Shop/Control/...d/0/rid/126361

What exactly do I do with these clips? I obviously won't have the fixtures in hand for a few weeks, so I'm wondering if I should go ahead and order a set of clips online. That one site seems to sell them for about 5 bucks, and shipping is free. Or is this something generic that I can get some other brand of at HD/Lowes for 50 cents? I only ask because they look like pretty simple, small pieces of metal - but if I need to order this specific part number, I want to do that before the lights get here to avoid having them on hand and not being able to do anything!


I did make sure they understood my goal was to do a remodel installation, and they seemed to think that should be doable - especially since the hole is really pretty big, as recessed-light holes go.

One benefit of this fixture is I'll be able to put in 150-w-equivalent CFL's, and so get some more light in that basement without having to do _extensive_ plaster work and joist drilling to add more lights. If we ever PAY someone to remodel the whole basement, maybe we'll do that at that point, but until then, this will do just fine, I think. Leaving them in place and non-functional isn't really an option for several reasons, one of which is that I'll finish law school (and probably the house will be sold) in summer of 2010 - so a lot of my work is at least somewhat geared towards that.

Also, on the issue of the condition of the wires/safety - I'm not too concerned about the wiring itself, honestly - throughout this house it's been in surprisingly good shape considering it's 61-year-old K&T. At this point, I'm closing in on having replaced every fixture and receptacle in the house, and at least three of the fixtures were clearly 1947 originals soldered straight to the house wires and taped - I'm pretty sure these two basement lights are the last remaining ones of that vintage. The safety concern isn't so much for the wiring as it is the fixtures - the "plastic-foil-stuff" just laying loose over the hole, for one thing - and in one of the lights, the bulb base (which was once screwed to that plastic-foil-stuff) has come loose to the point I've had to resort to using electrical tape to hold it in place so the bulb doesn't drop down and touch the glass cover. There's no stress/strain on the wires or anything, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and well, if I'm doing every OTHER light in the house...

Incidentially, we're not replacing anything with $$$ fixtures anyway - I think we've found some really pretty lights for around 25-40 dollars. Actually, I think these two recessed lights, at 45 each, are the most expensive ones we've done! It could definitely be worse, though!
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: