Replacing recessed cans

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by dhla, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. dhla

    dhla Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    For some reason - and I have a feeling this was/is code - my kitchen has a bunch of recessed lights that take screw-in floodlights and then right in the middle, two recessed lights that take "pin" florescent "sticks".

    We've now changed out every bulb in our house to a CFL, including the floods... and the florescent "sticks" flicker every time we turn them on. I've replaced those bulbs with new ones to see if the problem was the bulbs, but the new ones flickered just like the old ones.

    I would love to be able to replace the cans for those recessed lights and replace them with ones that take the screw-in floods, and put CFLs in them.

    Not sure the best way to go about this - how complicated a job this is - etc. etc.
  2. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    We need more information here.

    Do you mean they flicker when you first turn them on, and then stop? If so live with it.

    Or flicker all the time when they are on?

    Or flicker when the switch is off?

    I have a feeling it might be your wall switch. If you are using a dimmer they might flicker when they are on (assuming the other CFLs are dimmable). And if your wall switch has a light in it (like an LED) most fluorescent bulbs will flicker when they are off unless used with ordinary incandescent bulbs. The LED or light in the switch draws a small amount of current you see.

    So give us more info.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,154
    Location:
    New England
    If the cans are remodel cans, you can usually pop them out easily. If they were new construction cans, they could be a lot harder to remove. The can may have a ballast that is failing.
  4. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    Yeah, I was told that the ones with pins the ballast is in the ceiling can. So if you get flicker, you have to change out the recessed can :(

    I no longer use cans like these
  5. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    I don't think it would be too hard. Every situation is different, but if they are new work cans usually you can drop the can by removing the screws you can see up inside the can. You'll need a small screwdriver. Once the can is removed you are still left with the frame. The jbox is on the frame so disconnect the wires to the old can. Now for the (not so) fun part. The frame won't fit back down through the hole. The good news is the adjustable tracks the cans are installed on are pretty flimsy so with a little bit of effort you should be able to break them and push the old frame out of you way or if your really ambitious you may be able to cut it up with tin snips and pull it back out of the hole. Be careful of the existing wiring. Your likely going to need every inch of it. Make sure the old wire will reach the new remodel can before destroying anything. You may also find you need to carefully remove the last wire staple to give yourself enough slack when inserting the remodel can.

    If the are remodel cans it should be a piece of cake.

    Good Luck!
    -rick
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  6. dhla

    dhla Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    They flicker when they go on and then they stop flickering, but they flicker for about 10 seconds when they go on.
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Check out those CFL bulbs as most will state; "do not use in recess fixtures"
  8. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    Bright effects - Lowes - 13w, no mention of not using it in a recessed can

    NVision - HD - same

    GE 15w (30) floodlight - no restriction

    Sylvania (13w) is the only one that indicated not to use it in a recessed can

    All state not to use it on a dimmer, or for emergency exit signs

    So check the CFL packaging
    But if I had a choice between a 13w CFL floodlight & a 60/65w reg I'd go with the CFL regardless
    As long as they only flicker briefly when turned on I'd leave them
    But here the screw in type are juch cheaper (free sometimes) VS $5 for the pin type
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    click here for more information about which bulb can be used where
  10. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    Interesting that it doesn't include tube lights in recessed cans
    Despite the fact that they are sold
    Our kitchen has 4 recessed pin lights
    They have been working great for years
    They do indicate to read the Mfg package for specific use
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,154
    Location:
    New England
    Some of the CFL bulbs state an orientation (i.e., base down only). So, that would preclude them from a can and other fixtures as well...you must read the whole description of allowable uses.
  12. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    I did, no exclusions like that
    Since these are made for most outdoor light fixtures (pointing down) that would be the same orientation as a recessed can
  13. dhla

    dhla Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Just to be clear in my situation - I have CFL flood lights (screw-in) in about 12 different recessed lights... no problem. None are on a dimmer, for the record.

    The florescent stick (with pin) were obviously made to go into those cans, and those are the ones that flicker... and I would like to replace.

    I'm use TCP CFL floods (non-dimmable) with good results. TCP makes the nVision brand that HD sells. I have not had good luck with the brand Feit in general... their CFLs seem to be of lower quality.
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