How do I convert from 6 inch to 3 inch recessed lights?

Updated February 21, 2017

Recessed lighting has been the lighting of choice for home builders and homeowners alike since the 1980s. These fixtures give a ceiling a clean and uncluttered look while at the same time providing ample lighting and avoiding dark spots that occur with conventional lighting schemes. Depending on taste, some people prefer the 3-inch recessed lighting to the 6-inch recessed lighting that is more common. Changing from the 6-inch recessed lights to the 3-inch is very simple and can be performed in a few hours.

Make sure the lights are off. Set up your step ladder underneath the 6-inch recessed light and set a 3-inch bulb and the 6-inch reducer trim on the top of the ladder.

Climb up the ladder and pick up your clean rag. Unscrew the 6-inch trim piece from the recessed light by turning it counterclockwise. Set it down and remove the 6-inch bulb.

Install the 3-inch bulb in the socket. Screw in the 6-inch reducer trim. This trim is made for reducing the opening in the can light from 6 inches to 3 inches. Only the 3 inch bulb is now visible. Repeat this for the remainder of the recessed lights that you want to reduce to 3 inches.


Reducer kits come in many different colours and styles so make sure you choose something that goes with the rest of your decor.


Use caution when working with electricity. Do not stick your fingers in or on the metal socket piece to avoid electric shock.

Things You'll Need

  • Step ladder
  • 3-inch light bulbs
  • Clean rag
  • 6-inch reducer ring
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About the Author

Adam Yeomans has been writing professionally since 2010, with his work appearing on websites such as eHow. He works in the construction industry as a builder and as an energy efficiency consultant.