New Kitchen Lighting - Converting a can light with a Recessed Light Adapter

Oooooh lighting.  I'm a bit obsessed with it, at the moment.
I'm pretty sure that we've changed out 90% of our builder-grade light fixtures already, and I don't plan on stopping there :)  Beautiful lighting fixtures add tons of interest to a finished space, big OR small, and if you keep your eye out for great deals you won't have to spend a fortune either!

Speaking of small spaces, Cason and I have been a little preoccupied with this tiny nook in our kitchen.

We lost a bit of steam after we put up our paintable wallpaper and wood slat back splash.  But just lately now, we have been hmm-ing and humm-ing about how to finish off this small space, that has great potential!

First things first, we needed to find a "cool", inexpensive pendant light that would hang down over the sink. But before all of that... we had to figure out how to convert that can light, into a pendant worthy outlet.

Enter in:
If you have can lights in your home and dream of pendant lights instead... then this box will open up a window of opportunities :)

The installation instructions that came in the box were very self explanatory and easy to follow.
Heck... the picture on the OUTSIDE of the box pretty much shows you everything you need to know, ha!

After we took the can light fixture down, we were in business.
With all of our pieces in hand, we got to work.
We chose this funky, slightly "fisherman style looking" OTTAVA light fixture from Ikea, to place over our sink. It only cost us about $30.00 and with a vintage light bulb, we thought it would be a great mix of new and old in our space.

We added a small 10 inch lighting fixture medallion to the top, shortened the cord to the OTTAVA light a little with some electrical pliers, and then installed everything accordingly.

Two VERY important tips when installing new lighting fixtures:

1 - Make sure your main power source is ALWAYS off!
Electrocution = No fun

2 - Once your wires are properly connected, screw in a light bulb to do a test run to make sure everything works, BEFORE finishing your final steps of install.  This will save you from having to unscrew/detach everything, if your wires aren't correctly connected the first time.

After we made sure everything worked well, we purchased one of these vintage style light bulbs from our local hardware store to complete the look.
Zoomed: Feit Electric Feit 60 Watt ST19 Vintage Bulb

This is our finished product!
Our medallion is a bit loose, due to the screws that the pop out a little from the recessed lighting kit, but we're rigging up a way to fix that problem :)

I LOVE the character that this lighting fixture brings.
With the exposed bolts, the shape of the glass, and the glowing filaments from the vintage bulb... it's not JUST a light, it's a piece of decor!

Check out these other great posts on the OTTAVA lighting fixture from Ikea:
Little Home Blog not only has a video, on how to change out a regular lighting fixture, but she also stacked her Ottava light a bit differently.
The Lettered Cottage puts her own spin on this fixture, by adding some rope and frosted glass spray paint, to give her light more of a coastal look.
The Feminist Housewife installed the same light outside on her back porch!


  1. Love!! I've been eyeing that fixture for the same spot in my own kitchen. You made it fabulous, girl!

  2. Love that look, and love even more that it didn't require an electrician to accomplish it! ;-)

  3. I put that same fixture in the house we built! It was before we had an Ikea in Minnesota so I asked my parents to stop by the Chicago one when they were driving through Chicago in their motorhome!

  4. I love this fixture! I went to pick one up at our Atlanta Ikea store and they were sold out. Boo! I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for it though, you can't beat the price. Thanks for the lovely how-to. Can't wait to convert my kitchen light.

  5. love it...I've actually been eyeing these up quite awhile...I have a very high vaulted ceiling over my kitchen island and would love to hang pendants but am afraid the cord wouldn't be long enough....have to find something!

    Your kitchen is a great mix of vintage, industrial and clean modern - how great!

  6. Shelley!

    I have pretty much the exact same nook in my kitchen with a "Blah" recessed light and a CFL bulb in it. U-G-L-Y! Now I only wish there was an Ikea closer! I will have to look online!

    Thanks for sharing :)

    XO, Mallory @ Classy Clutter

  7. very cool. we are moving into a new house and i am hoping to hang 2 pendant lights, hoping without ikea that i can find something cool like that!
    you are wearing long sleeves is it still cool in utah?!

  8. Love it! I too have the same light over my kitchen sink! http://almostfabulouscottage.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-bye-scallop.html

  9. LOOOOOVE it!
    We want to install 2 pendants above our sink but we have no connection things so we have some work to do. But soon.... ;)

  10. Emily!! I have to apologize... the whole time I saw an 'Emily" commenting on my blog, I thought it was my cousin! Until just recently, my husband realized that it wasn't my cousin and he sent me over to your blog!! I just have to say that I love everything about it and I'm a huge fan of the new light! We have an IKEA light in our house too and I'm in love!

  11. Hi Shelley! I don't even remember how I first came across your blog, but I love it and I love your style. I have a design question for you. We have the same granite as you and a a little bit darker cabinets with a simple brown tile backsplash. We are in desperate need of some window coverings (we just moved and have nothing!) and are looking into a roman shade that we are having custom made. Problem is, we can't decide on a color. Any recommendations?? You are always so up to date on what's in style and I'm not :) So I would love any advice! My email is tarynmccook@msn.com

  12. Hi Shelley love the new light... I am so glad you showed the converter kit! I have a lot of recessed lights and want a regular pendant or other kind of light in kitchen and also my tv room... where did you come across that kit? home depot? I need it!

  13. Great taste in kitchen lighting! (We just remodeled our kitchen and we have two of those same fixtures hanging over our sink area.) Love the idea of the vintage lightbulb. When ours burn out, I think we might have to give those a try!

  14. How scary/hard is it to change a light fixture? This is wonderful as I have 2 can lights over my island and I don't want to pay for an electrician to do it. Thanks! Where do you get the converters? p.s. LOVE your blog!!!

  15. That looks great. We changed out our kitchen fixtures too, it makes a big difference. And I agree with you about the cost, just keep an eye out and you'll find a great deal when you least expect it!

  16. Oooh love it! Impressed that you were up there touching those wires, you go girl!



  17. Lol. I love that light fixture! Looks great!

  18. We have two hanging over our kitchen table. I love them! My husband had to do a little rigging to make them work too but it was worth it! :)

  19. Oh so chic! :) Love the idea and want to copy in my kitchen. I also love the wall texture around your window. Is that a wall paper? It looks neato! I am looking to do a back-splash and something like that might do the trick. Look forward to your reply. thanks, Jen :)

  20. That bulb is so fun! I love all the vintage lighting that is coming back :)

  21. I too would love to know where the recessed light adapter kit came from! We have two can lights over our bar and have been contemplating the light converter from Ballard Designs, but we have to use their light. This would enable us to use anything and would be awesome! I looked on Home Depot's website but couldn't find it, guess I need to take a trip in person!

  22. thats Great taste in kitchen lighting!.......so Please log on our website for Jaipur Property

  23. I have the EXACT nook in my kitchen with a can light overhead, and I wantttt this! Looks amazing!


  24. very impressive....just stunning...like the kitchen..Adore all you did..

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  25. Random question, do you know if it would be easy to convert it back to a recessed light after you change it? I live in a rental and want to hang a pendant light, but need to switch it back when we move. Would Love to hear your thoughts!

  26. Random question, do you know if it would be easy to convert it back to a recessed light after you change it? I live in a rental and want to hang a pendant light, but need to switch it back when we move. Would Love to hear your thoughts!


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