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How to replace weird/ancient recessed lights?

Hi, and thanks in advance for your help.

I recently moved into a 1950 house with "vintage" recessed light fixtures. In my living room are several 6.5" square recessed lights. They had covers but they were so ugly I took them off and now the bulbs are exposed and hang down below the ceiling surface. I'd like to replace them with modern can lights.

When I replace them, how do I do it since my new cans will be smaller than the ceiling cutouts? Should I patch first? Or just patch that whole space and cut new holes for the cans somewhere else? Sorry if this is basic but I'm a beginner at this. I've changed out a few ceiling fixtures but that's about it.

Re: How to replace weird/ancient recessed lights?

I just did research and found 6" cans for renovation rather than new construction - they don't get nailed to the wood, but use spring clips to hold them to the drywall. I'm not a professional, but I would replace sections of drywall and use the renovation cans and cut out the holes with a circle cutting roto tool. I have not installed my cans yet because my cordless tool battery was dead and would not hold a charge. I bought the repair guide at www.batteryresurrection.com to learn how to bring my nicad battery back to life. It looks like it will work - you shock the battery. If it works I'll finish the job and let you know how the 6" cans worked for me. Also, I noticed that some cans are for contact with insulation - those are the ones I bought.

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