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#98269 - 05/21/06 01:46 AM Recessed cans in enclosed space
mradtke Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I'm a GC new to this board, who does small remodels and home improvements. I have been reading this BB for many months and have learned much from all of your collective wisdom/experience.

Here's my question: I have had several customers request the replacement of their kitchen lights with 4 inch recessed cans. The previous lights in these tract homes were two, 4 ft, twin tube fluorescents recessed into a drywalled "box" in the dropped section of ceiling (drywall). I remove the old fixtures, frame the recessed area and drywall flush to the dropped ceiling. I have done 2 jobs using 4 inch Halo remodel non-IC H99RT and lamped with CFL's (I realize the HO can freely exchange it after I walk out the door, until now, all HOs like the CFLs and the energy savings). But a new client doesn't like the look of the spiral bulb and wants PAR's.

Apart from the energy issue here in CA (Title 24), my primary concern is the heat build-up in this enclosed area. Should I be? Am I blind to other factors of concern?

I have scoured this forum and the web, regarding this issue of the "enclosed box" to no avail. Thanks for any input.
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#98270 - 05/21/06 06:11 AM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
Celtic Offline
Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 367
Loc: NJ
What does the electrician on the job say?
~~ CELTIC ~~
...-= NJ =-...
#98271 - 05/21/06 08:32 AM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Recessed lights are available as either "IC" or "Non-IC" rated. This refers to whether they are designed to be in contact with insulation- or if they require free air for cooling. The fixtures are plainly marked whether or not they are intended to be placed in contact with insulation.

The "IC" rated ones... ones that are OK to place in contact with insulation -and, by extension, into an enclosed space- are designed with a temperature switch, that will shut the lamp off if it gets too hot. For example, if the wrong bulb is installed.

The California Energy rules only allow consideration of a fixture as a fluorescent if a fluorescent bulb is the ONLY bulb that can be used. A simple CFL substitution will NOT meet the code, as the HO can -as you pointed out- easily switch back to a standard bulb.
(Now, I may not approve of the various energy codes- but that is what they say..... and that's another discussion anyway!)

Now, as for the general idea of recessed lighting in a kitchen.... I have encountered another problem with this idea.
Recessed lights do a superb job of focusing light down- say, on to a counter-top. Most trims, however, let almost no light out the side, so the room has a "dark" look to it, even though the counters are brilliantly lit.
I suggest using some sort of trim that will allow light to also be spread to the sides. The "dropped opal" trim often used in showers is one such trim.
#98272 - 06/09/06 08:37 PM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
trobb Offline
Registered: 06/08/06
Posts: 111
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Halo makes 6" cans in 13, 18, and 26 watts that have nice trims for washing cabinets and putting down light- I feel the best is the 406WB (ideal with 8' ceilings at 13W, can space them 4' apart and still get a rather even wash, at one foot from the cabinets). For islands, 405SC or similar works nicely. According to the cutsheet, it is California compliant.

[This message has been edited by trobb (edited 06-09-2006).]
#98273 - 06/10/06 09:31 AM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
LoneGunman Offline
Registered: 10/02/05
Posts: 141
Loc: Florida
You are a GC doing your own electrical work, or am I misunderstanding something?
#98274 - 06/10/06 09:47 AM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
mradtke Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Yes, I am doing the electrical (as well as the framing, drywall, texture and paint.)
#98275 - 06/10/06 11:56 AM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
LoneGunman Offline
Registered: 10/02/05
Posts: 141
Loc: Florida
I don't think you'll get too much help here, at least from me you won't. Sorry if I come off rude but I've ran across way too many hack jobs done by handymen and the like trying to save money by not hiring a licensed electrical contractor. It's all good until someone dies or a house burns then say goodbye to all that money you saved or maybe even your freedom, in Florida you'd be comitting a felony.

[This message has been edited by LoneGunman (edited 06-10-2006).]
#98276 - 06/10/06 02:54 PM Re: Recessed cans in enclosed space
e57 Offline
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
In California he can leagaly do electrical work for the time being.... (Not that I approve of that either...) So long as the AHJ is OK with it. But it sounds as if the AHJ does care too much for T-24, or just not inspected?

Many of these boxed out T-12 type set-ups in kitchens had big diffussers on them. You're not putting the fixtures "enclosed" in that are you? If you are go back and tear it out! If not, and the regular trim is installed normally, the heat will dissapate out of the trim opening, and be protected by thermal contacts in the fixture. The fixtue will also have insuctions for insulation and free air above the fixtue if required.

Either way, T-24 is going to be trouble if you dont know the intricacies of it. You still have follow codes as a GC too.
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason


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