non ic rated recessed light

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by quickfix, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. quickfix

    quickfix New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Pa.
    I've installed 2 recessed lights (35 watt max.) in a closet ceiling, and didn't know about IC rating prior to installation. I've heard that you can add some kind of cover to shield the light from the insulation. Question....If I first placed a styrofoam cup over the can, and then covered that with a coffe can, would that be sufficient?

    Thanks
  2. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Most fixtures say something like "do not install in such a manner that will entrap heat"

    If you box them in, make it a vented box.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    Most of them also state something like "keep insulation and combustables a minimum of *** from the fixture". That is what you need to abide by. With some, you can build a big box around it, and put insulation over it...you need some minimum amount of air to disipate the heat. The alternative (and probably better solution) is to get one that is both air tight rated (AT) and insulation contact capable (IC) (you can get one without the other, but more common is probably both ratings together). Then, it won't leak air from your house into the ceiling and will still work while insulated, keeping your heat inside.

    You can solder with a 15-watt soldering iron (not very big things though!)...it will get hot enough to melt metal, and ignite common building materials.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  4. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    A styrofoam cup is not fire proof - so no
    Usually 3" is the normal distance all the way around the can
    Many people build boxes out of drywall

    If too much heat builds up there is a thermal sensor & the light will shut off
  5. quickfix

    quickfix New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Pa.
    Thanks Dave! Should the dry way box be vented? Can I use joint tape to enclose it?
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    Dig out the instructions that came with the thing, or find them on the web...each will be slightly different. Sometimes, they are listed ON the fixture. Follow them. If the volume and distance is okay, you might be able to seal it...the manufacturer tested it under certain circumstances to get a UL rating...you need to follow those conditions to make it safe.
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    (B) Installation. Thermal insulation shall not be installed ABOVE a recessed luminaire or within 75 mm (3 in.) of the recessed luminaire's enclosure, wiring compartment, or ballast unless it is identified for contact with insulation, Type IC.

    Box or no box insulation can no go over the fixture at all
  8. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I'm only a DIYr, but I've been through a house fire recently.

    First - Calculate what it would cost to replace those two lights with IC rated units.

    Second - Picture in your mind; Yourself and your family sifting through a pile of ashes that was once your home, looking for anything that can be salvaged.

    Is the risk of loosing your house worth the cost of replacing with IC fixtures?

    At some point in time someone is going to stick a 100w bulb in one of those fixtures because it was handy. Please, change them out for IC rated. Just my 2cents .....
  9. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    While we are on the subject - I installed 4 4" IC rated cans with 50W reflector flood bulbs in my bedroom. I'm not sure if the cans are air tight or not so I was considering enclosing them with sheet rock because I do have a moisture problem in my attic which I am trying to mitigate. However I noticed that the cans are very hot to the touch. Enough so that I removed the insulation from above the cans so that the heat can dissipate some.

    Does anyone think that building a large-ish enclosure around the can would pose any risk? I would think not since they are rated IC but they do run quite hot.

    -rick
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    Flash point for wood is around 370-degrees. The lamp has a heat activated shutoff, not sure when it activates, but if you haven't noticed the lamp going off, you're probably okay. Build a box if you wish, won't hurt.
  11. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I boxed mine in using the scrap drywall we had leftover. It's called an "inverted soffit" - keep at least 3" of airspace around the fixture and seal the seams with tape or caulking. Insulate around and over it. There's a link somewhere, I'll try and find it.
  12. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
  13. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  14. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    Thanks for the link thassler!

    -rick
  15. thassler

    thassler New Member

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Tennessee
    <<Be sure to clear this method with the local building official. >>

    Scuba_Dave is right - I ok'd it with my local inspector before I did it.
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