Replacing energy efficient high hat with something brighter

fotostatFebruary 8, 2009

I have a house that was just built, some of the high hats have 4 pin CF lamps in them for some type of energy efficiency rating. One of them is in the laundry room and just isn't bright enough (especially with the 10 foot ceiling).

What is the best way to upgrade to a brighter light?

Can I replace that high hat easily with one that will accept a spot light lamp? I see Halo brand High hats for around $10 at Home Depot, would it be easy to remove the existing (new work) high hat and replace it (with an old work)?

Or would I be able to find a 4 pin lamp that will give me much more light than what I currently have?

Advice? Thanks!

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Without some more detail about your ceiling light (I'm assuming is a recessed "can light") such as wattage of your current lamps, ballast size and what size reflector. It is hard to give a specific answer. I would recommend installing the maximum wattage allowable by your fixture's ballast to start with. Also, it is not so easy to remove a roughed in fixture and replace with a remodel "can". It might be easier to simply add a couple new cans for task lighting above your work area and tie them in with the existing fixture.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:25PM
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For the ones I've dealt with, brighter bulbs won't fit and removing the fixture will entail ceiling repair.
The solution I came up with was to install a surface mounted dual tube circline fixture on the face of the can with a homemade bracket and running the power connection back into the existing fixture.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:37PM
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btharmy, The ballast is part of the 4 pin CF lamp. I don't know any other information about it since the house is 5 hours away.

randy427, I was thinking about running a surface mount right over it, but I was hoping that I could fit a retro high hat into the existing hole. It's too bad that I can't (I don't want to patch any holes).

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:48PM
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If you are good with a pair of tin snips working blind inside the hole you might be able to cut the support arms away. It can be done but it is not easy. You also might check required hole size for the cut-in/re-model/retro can you wish to use compared to what you have.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:35PM
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Depending on the brand and model of the recessed fixture housing you are replacing it is possible to replace the components of the fixture. As an example, a Halo 274IC uses the identical plaster frame, J box and hangar bars as the H7ICT. The ballast is attached to the removable cover on the J box. All of these parts are required to be field replaceable through the plaster frame hole without damaging the ceiling. It's not fun but it can be done. It's also possible to upgrade to a higher wattage fluorescent by the same method if available in the same fixture size.

Here is a link that might be useful: Halo example

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:55PM
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