change-ugly-recessed-lights

Do you have those old discolored recessed can lights in your home that use big hot flood bulbs? If so, it’s time for an upgrade!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED
How to Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED Lights

Today I want to show you how to update ugly recessed can lights with energy saving LED recessed lights. This process is quick and easy, not to mention the new lights will look better, last longer, and save you money on your energy bill! What more could you want? Change out all your ugly recessed lights in no time by following this simple tutorial.

Materials:

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Instructions:

Here is what my old lights look like. Not only are they ugly, but they use the large flood light bulbs that use too much energy, radiate heat, and burn out quickly. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of changing these burned out bulbs.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Want to see how quickly you can change out your lights? Here’s a one minute video (that’s how fast you can do it):

The first step to replacing these recessed lights is to remove the light bulb by simply unscrewing it from the socket. Unless you’re extraordinarily tall, you’ll probably need a step ladder for this project.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Next, find two small springs inside the baffle, as shown in photo below. They look like a wire with a loop in the center. Pull up and out on the springs to release the baffle inside your can light.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Remove the trim by simply pulling it off the ceiling.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Grab your new retrofit LED recessed light and screw the adapter into the light bulb socket, exactly as you would screw in a light bulb. It’s that easy!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Inside the opening, find two metal clips. Squeeze the spring hinges on your LED light and insert them into the clips inside the old recessed can. These will hold the light in place.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Finally, gently push your light up into the ceiling. Believe it or not, you’re done!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Now you have a beautiful, white, and energy-efficient LED recessed light. Take some time to admire it.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Now you can easily change out all the can lights in the room and voila, your lighting is upgraded! This is such a quick, easy, and inexpensive project. There is no point in putting it off any longer.

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to share any questions or thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you for reading!

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

Liked this project? I know you’ll love these other lighting upgrades:

Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

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Update Ugly Recessed Can Lights with Energy Efficient LED

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27 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    I have recessed “eyeball” lights. Can these be changed out for the new LED lights? They are 30 years old.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Susan Shamblin
      Susan Shamblin says:

      need a suggestion for this too – i am having the same problem – no clips to hook those springs into – thinking about silicone gluing them to the ceiling!!! – should I

      Reply
  2. Marcie
    Marcie says:

    Hi Brittany,

    I am looking to do this in my house but I am thinking my might be a larger light. What do you measure to know yours was 6 inches? The hole in my ceiling is about 8 inches but the inside of the housing is 5 inches.

    Thanks so much, I am so looking forward to completing this in my bathroom!

    Reply
  3. Sheree D
    Sheree D says:

    Looks super easy but in general all the new LED light is quite ugly. It’ produces a cold wash of light, even if you step those new can replacements to 2700 (warmer). It actually is uncomfortable to my eyes to look at, like old fluorescent lighting–which is true for many people.
    I’m waiting until they figure out how to make the light more pleasing and much less harsh than it currently is. Sad to see incandescents and halogens go. They are much more comfortable and flattering light for indoor and outdoor.

    Reply
  4. Pesky
    Pesky says:

    I ordered 8 lights and installed them myself on Saturday. I love them – everything looks brighter. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Reply
  5. Carl
    Carl says:

    the only thing bad about those light is if they burn out or don’t work then you have to bring them back to the store because there is no way to fix it

    Reply
  6. Liesl
    Liesl says:

    Wow, thanks so much for this tutorial! I recently bought a house with 24 (!!) of those ugly recessed can lights and thought I’d need to hire an electrician to replace them. So excited to get started on this project!

    Reply
  7. Donna Casey
    Donna Casey says:

    Brilliant! I wanted to change mine out because, like you, I’m TIRED of changing them so often!! But, I didn’t want to mess with electrical, so these screw-in lights are perfect. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Reply
  8. misslindsayfay
    misslindsayfay says:

    Brittany, this post is so useful; I wish I had read it a year ago! I had these lights all over my old condo, and they were everything you claimed: energy suckers that heated up my condo and were constantly burning out. I bought a 24 pack of bulbs simply because I went through them so quickly. I had no idea they could be so easily updated! I’ve since sold the condo, but I’m totally pinning this for when I come across these lights in the future!

    Reply
  9. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Awesome. I did that as soon as I bought my townhouse in May. Changed all the lights to LED, as well as the home I sold in Ca. I changed every light first. So my Can Lights in the kitchen don’t have that snazzy “cover” your have, nor do they have the springs in the baffle. The only thing I have is the trim. My lightbulbs came right out like regular bulbs. Do I need to buy covers for these lights? IDK if they had them at one time. Thanks!

    Reply
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