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can lights in soffit #6889
01/13/02 12:53 AM
01/13/02 12:53 AM
A
amp-man  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 141
Sacto, California US of A
Hi y'all,

Need your opinions on this--

Adding two mini (4") can lights in a kitchen remodel. Soffit into which they are going encloses a space 8' by 1' by 6".

The cans are Halos, non-IC. Lamps are 40W mini reflectors (tungsten). Can instructions call for 3" clearance from combustable surfaces. Plenty of clearance except on top, where there is about 1" clearance above the housing.

The top of the soffit is a conventional drywall ceiling (the ceiling is finished, so the soffit must be part of a remodel).

Questions:

1. Am I O.K. with less than 3" clearance above? I think so, because the surface above, being finished drywall, is considered non-combustable.

2. The soffit is essentially unventilated. It encloses a pretty good volume (~4 cubic feet). Should I be concerned about heat buildup, and if so, would providing a few 1/2" holes above each housing be a good idea?

Thanks in advance--

Cliff

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: can lights in soffit #6890
01/13/02 08:13 AM
01/13/02 08:13 AM
E
Electricmanscott  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
I believe you would not have a problem with the lamps you are using. The problem may come if someone at some point throws some higher wattage or halogen lamps in. Some ventilation may not be a bad idea. Can you possibly cut out the drywall above the light?

Re: can lights in soffit #6891
01/13/02 03:39 PM
01/13/02 03:39 PM
S
Sandro  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 444
Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
I believe the built-in thermal overload would kick in if a higher than rated wattage bulb was put in.

Re: can lights in soffit #6892
01/13/02 05:00 PM
01/13/02 05:00 PM
E
Electricmanscott  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
I do agree that the overload should protect from any fire issues. What I would be concerned with if somebody were to install a higher wattage lamp, and then the light starts to go off and on....."What did that electrician do?" YOU look like the dummy!

Re: can lights in soffit #6893
01/13/02 05:24 PM
01/13/02 05:24 PM
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,904
NY, USA
amp-man

You shouldn't have any problems with clearance above, as standard cans are engineered with only 1/2" space left above them to a wood floor above. I mean that the standard height can is 7 1/2" high which only gives you 1/2 inch (at best) above in a 2 x 8 ceiling. Same with shallow cans (5 1/2" in a 2 x 6 ceiling)

Some ventilation holes sound like a good idea.

Bill

Re: can lights in soffit #6894
01/13/02 08:26 PM
01/13/02 08:26 PM
A
amp-man  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 141
Sacto, California US of A
Scott, Bill, Sandro--

Thanks for replying.

Think I'll put 'em in and leave it at that. Bill's point about the intended clearance, given the height of the can and the joist height, is convincing.

If I ever get a report of blinking lights, then I'll put some ventilation holes in...and I'll come back tell you about it, and Scott can say, "I told you so..."!

Re: can lights in soffit #6895
01/13/02 08:31 PM
01/13/02 08:31 PM
E
Electricmanscott  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
I will be waiting! [Linked Image]


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