We have this existing type of light in our dining room:


However we want to convert these to regular lights - pendants or chandeliers.

We had originally bought the Westinghouse Recessed Light Converter for Pendant or Light Fixtures. But when we removed the light casing we realized there was no can to attach the light to.

Is there a relatively straightforward way to convert these type of lights or will it mean a complete replaster of the ceiling?

We have one further complication in that the beam in the ceiling is actually located across the opening for one of the lights. Existing light opening with beam:

hole in ceiling

  • 2
    Depends on the details of your situation. I assume you don't have junction boxes mounted to framing, so that's step one. Please provide more details about your hardware and revise to ask something more specific. "Easy" and "a lot" are vague terms.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 20:57
  • 2
    Photos of your situation would also really help.
    – MiG
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 21:38
  • @isherwood apparently you don’t need junction boxes attached to framing for a canless light like this one: homedepot.ca/en/home/categories/lighting-and-ceiling-fans/… Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 22:35
  • @RibaldEddie you need j boxes, but they come with the light and spit out DC...
    – dandavis
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 22:47
  • 1
    As vague as this question is, it's gathering votes to close it. Even if it's closed, you can still edit to add in pics and more details (like what brand/model of lights you have now and what brand/model you want to install), and it'll go into a review queue to be reopened. We like answering questions that are answerable.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


By canless, I assume you mean the newer style flat puck style of recessed light that have a three-pin DC wire connecting the puck to a small transformer-cum-junction box?

And now you want to convert a light like that to a pendant?

That should be pretty straightforward without too much trouble. What I would do is get a retrofit “old work” fan box. Those boxes aren’t cheap but they have a screw mechanism that will stabilize them into the joists in the ceiling— something like this

You’ll need enough wire length to make the connection inside the fan box instead of the LED driver but this should get you what you need without bashing drywall apart.

Where it might get tricky is if you have larger holes cut for 6” lights but your pendants have minimal 4” box covers. For that, you’ll have to patch the drywall first.

I see that you added a photo. Great! So the complexity here is the joist. It looks like a real 2x4? Or is it strapping? Hard to tell. Anyway there are products that you can buy for this. They’re called “saddle boxes” usually. I know both Hubbell-Raco and Carlon, two brands of electrical supplies, both make such boxes.


For reference, a "conversion" from canned to pendant lighting typically relies on a traditional can with an E26 socket inside. For those, you can buy conversion kits that are extremely easy to install. They just screw into the light bulb socket. Then you just add a pretty light bulb and shade. See photo below.

You obviously do not have this option, and I think you know that "conversion" will involve some amount of changing the wiring and installing junction boxes behind your ceiling. That might not be too difficult, or it might involve rebuilding the whole ceiling.

enter image description here

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