Replacing recessed ceiling lights

Old 08-17-23, 06:54 PM
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Replacing recessed ceiling lights

I have these old LED lights that are cheap and the drivers keeps burning out, I want to try a more reliable and permanent (and expensive) solution and I settle on 4 inch white thin LED from HALO. These are easy to install and hopefully last more than 4 times than the old ones (they cost 4 times more). The issue I am having is that the old ones are 3 inch wide with a 2 1/2 inch hole and the new ones need a hole of 4.18 inches I got a

4-1/8 in. Hole Dozer Bi-Metal Hole Saw

and the problem I have is that since there is an opening already the saw does not grab nor have a grip in the center..and moves all over the place. The tooth are wide and move a lot until they "bite" creating a lot of grooves as opposed to a perfectly clean cut even when I press really hard. I had some slack since the light is 4.7 inch in diameter but unfortunately on my first one the mess went already outside of the safe zone. Any tips as to how to deal with having to make a bigger hole but creating a a clean cut? Do I need to find the same size saw but with smaller grooves? any suggestion as to how to make a clean cut without messing an otherwise perfect finished ceiling.? Thanks in advance

Old 08-17-23, 07:02 PM
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The only way to make an existing hole larger with a hole saw is to take a scrap piece of wood and drill the new hole size through it. You then have to mount the wood to the ceiling somehow centering the new hole size to the existing hole and use the wood as a guide to keep the hole saw on track. Sometimes it helps to run the drill backward so the teeth do not grab so much.

If I was doing it, and your ceiling is drywall, I would just use a keyhole saw and manually cut out the hole. You can even use the wood from above as a template if it is indeed the correct size.
Old 08-17-23, 07:54 PM
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Hi Tolyn, thanks. but what do you mean "drill the new hole size through it" . Are you saying to create a circular piece of wood made with the hole saw then attached it somehow to the ceiling? as to have a "guide" why? and How I would attach it? I don't understand what you are proposing. The ceiling has two layers or Sheetrock (looks like 3/4 each) to make things a bit more complicated..,,the first half came out easier that the second one, I don't think a kehole saw will work.better that what I am using. I am looking at a dedicated saw (just for ceiling and drywall/plaster, not wood/metal) to see if this will allow me to get safer (and cleaner cuts). The problem is I don't have a way to "practice" this scenario.

HLOFIZI 4-1/8 Inch Carbide Hole Saw for 4" Recessed Lights, Cutting Plaster Drywall Ceiling Sheetrock, 2X Faster
Old 08-17-23, 11:54 PM
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I have smooth plastic inserts for my hole saws.
You could use wood.

When you use a hole saw to drill wood it gets plugged with wood.
If you drill thru 3/4" wood.... cut several circles. Use as many as needed to fill the inside of the hole saw to just shy of the blade. Take one more and sand/file it down to your required hole size. Make sure it's very smooth. Put it on the hole saw. That wooden plug will center the hole saw in the sheetrock.

You can also make one piece of wood the exact size of your needed hole. Drill a hole in the center and then add shims behind it to bring it just beyond the teeth.

Agostomortal voted this post useful.
Old 08-18-23, 05:44 AM
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Why not drill a few holes with a drill bit and then cut the hole size you want freehanded using a jab saw or key hole saw on drywall/sheetrock?
Old 08-18-23, 06:00 AM
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I think what is meant is get a 6 X 6 X 1/2 inch thick piece of wood.
Thickness is not critical.
Drill your cutout in the center of that piece of wood.
Then a couple small holes in two of the opposite corners.
Attach this to the ceiling with the hole where you want it
Then drill using the wood template as a guide this should stop it from jumping all over the place.

Perhaps two small nails will hold it so filling the holes may be easy.
Old 08-18-23, 01:22 PM
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, Thanks you guys.
PJmax, I get it! I see what you mean and its the easiest and cleanest solution.
Kooter, a lot more work! when you have 16 lights to replace and a double sheetrock to cut through.
manden, right, I see now, A lot more work and I don't want to have to patch or fix a perfect ceiling, other than the light holes, I have seen videos of people making a template and holding it with one hand, I won't do that.
SO far the best option I will try is the plug proposed by PJmax and seen in dif. versions on youtube videos.
I have also seen this accessory which seems the perfect solution, but not available in the US !?! (someone has to make it happen here!) I would have ordered but cant wait to mid September for the delivery


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