70's fluorescent lighting - how to fix it when it's recessed.

jenathegreatAugust 23, 2008

I'm looking for ideas. We have a galley kitchen in our 1969 ranch house. We did a mini-remodel when we moved in (painted cabinets, new appliances, new sink) but did not do anything with the light. Well now the fluorescent light has died and I'd love to get something better looking.

The problem is that the ceiling around the light fixture is recessed - there's some lovely plastic grids that sit at ceiling level to hide the light fixutre. It's a very small kitchen, so it's just one fluorescent light fixture set inside a box that is roughly 2'x6' and 7" deep.

Any examples of what it looks like to put a different sort of fixture inside a recessed box like this?

We are looking for a fairly cheap fix, so I don't think that patching the box up with new drywall is in our future. For one thing, the kitchen flows into the living room, so I think it would be hard to do. Second thing is that we absolutely do not have the talent or skill to do anything drywall by ourselves. Replacing a light fixture and maybe adding some trim around the box is about as talented as we are. But I'd really love to see some examples!!

Thanks for any help or advice.

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We took the plastic grids and metal frame down, finished the edges of the recessed area with a simple angled edge trim (although I have seen others use a more elaborate crown molding), then put in a track light system and some cans. Was easy, peasy.

Sorry, I don't have a better picture, but you can sort of see what we did:

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:10AM
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Eventually I want to get rid of our drop-down ceiling so didn't want to do anything fancy or complicated in the least. We just changed out the trim around the box and used some custom panels. While this look is far from my first choice, it was the only thing Hubby would agree to. Everyone that sees them loves them and they do go with our kitchen "look".



There are some that look like stained glass. That's what I wanted to use but Hubby didn't like them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:37AM
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ngng treated it like sarchlos by just taking the old down and adding trim. It looks like a tray ceiling.

Here is a link that might be useful: ngng's finished kitchen

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:53AM
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it's just one fluorescent light fixture set inside a box that is roughly 2'x6' and 7" deep.

Because it's so long & narrow, I think you have to fill it in. Sounds like the box is set in between the ceiling joists? (How tall are the ceilings in the kitchen & living room?)

Patching in with drywall is an inexpensive solution. I totally suck at drywall finishing but, lucky for me, I love Spanish knife/ skip trowel texture. It's easy & fun to do and covers up drywall oopsies. So, if that appeals to you, one option would be to patch in, tape the seams and texture & paint the ceiling in the kitchen & LR. Cost would be less than a coupla hundred dollars plus the cost of a new light fixture.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:34AM
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I did one for a customer that we frammed for sheetrock covering. We installed recessed lighting in the frame work and then covered with drywall. It made the old feel look new and modern.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:49AM
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Our ceilings are all 8' (except in the light area in question). Our ceilings are almost smooth, just a very very light texture on them and I don't think we could match it ourselves.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 11:06AM
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