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  1. #1
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    Default Can Light IC or No IC???

    This home was built in 1977. Lighting appears to be original. The labels inside the cans were all painted over. I've heard that white cans are not IC but I have nothing to support that. Some say that is not always the case. Can anyone definitely identify the cans from the photo as IC or not IC? Thanks for the help.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    Another thing to consider is that some fixtures can be either IC or Non IC depending on what trim kit is used on the finished side of the ceiling.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    That looks more like a 1980's can at the earliest. I could be wrong but I don't think that is a 70's can. I also don't remember white cans from that era being IC. I think they were all non-IC. Don't remember who but I know somebody also used to put a label on the top of the can for awhile. I remember seeing it and thinking it was a dumb idea.
    Realistically though, that type of insulation and the lack of full coverage, I don't see it as posing a fire hazard.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    If it were an IC rated can you wouldn't see the slots in the side, it would have another can layer over the original to keep insulation out.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Another thing to consider is that some fixtures can be either IC or Non IC depending on what trim kit is used on the finished side of the ceiling.
    That and the wattage of the lamp installed. Those fixtures that are dual rated have different requirements for trims and lamp wattages to get the IC rating.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    If it were an IC rated can you wouldn't see the slots in the side, it would have another can layer over the original to keep insulation out.
    The original IC recessed housings had slots and were IC, I suspect you are thinking of AT (airtight) recessed fixtures.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    As an insulation contractor (my other day job) if we see white can lights, we figure they are Non-IC Rated. We hate them. I have never seen a white can that was IC rated. And they still sell them.

    It is a good thing to look for because many home owners (and even electricians) will buy these at Home Depot and stick them in an insulated ceiling. Reason? They are about $10-$15 less than the "Silver" IC rated units.

    About 4 years ago, I was bidding a new house. It had already passed the city inspection. I looked up, it was loaded with white can lights, about 60 of them. I explained to the owner about the danger and also electrical and Energy code that required all of these lights to be covered. I just gave him a line item on the bid for $800 to install shrouds around them. Glad we didn't get the job or the liability that would have gone with it.

    Last edited by Larry Morrison; 02-13-2012 at 07:56 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    Using the color of the recessed light is not the way to determine if it is IC rated or not !!!!!!

    There are white recess lights that are IC rated, there are silver recess lights that are IC rated.
    There are silver recess that are NOT IC rated or dual rated.
    What about one that has a silver and white housing ?? ( Yes they make them)
    What about the dual rated ones ?


    You need to remove the trim and look inside the fixture for the label to see what it says.
    If your judging them by the color you could very well be lying to your customers and exposing them to the risk you claim to be avoiding !!!!

    Last edited by ken horak; 02-13-2012 at 11:38 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    I have yet to see a white can light that is IC rated (or airtight as now required by IECC) in 27 years. Not saying they don't exist, just saying I have never ran into them where I am.

    You are correct when you say you need to look at the inside label. But the OP said the inside was over sprayed with paint and not legible. This is very common in new or remodel construction (over spray). For the last 10-15 years, Non-IC lights have been required to have a RED warning label on the top of the can so the Insulation installer could confirm they are IC rated (if they didn't have the red sticker) The only problem with that is that many times the red sticker would come off if not before installation shortly after if the attic got hot. It is hard to prove a positive (IC-Rated) with a negative (No label)
    IC-warning label may or may not be missing. I would always ere on the side of Caution. if the label is illegible even if the can is silver. (yes not all Silver cans are IC-Rated. Someone also made the point that some IC rated cans are not IC rated if used with certain trim.

    This is probably very similar to the dilemma of calling out a Dishwasher drain not having a High-loop or vacume break because you can't see how the drain line is routed before it exits the cabinet. Many of the new DWs do make a high-loop, but is hidden...I still call it out, as not evident, in a lot more words than that with some explanation, much as I would the lights.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    An indication that the fixture in question has thermal protection?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    As an insulation contractor (my other day job) if we see white can lights, we figure they are Non-IC Rated. We hate them. I have never seen a white can that was IC rated.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Using the color of the recessed light is not the way to determine if it is IC rated or not !!!!!!

    There are white recess lights that are IC rated, there are silver recess lights that are IC rated.
    There are silver recess that are NOT IC rated or dual rated.
    What about one that has a silver and white housing ?? ( Yes they make them)
    What about the dual rated ones ?


    You need to remove the trim and look inside the fixture for the label to see what it says.
    If your judging them by the color you could very well be lying to your customers and exposing them to the risk you claim to be avoiding !!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    I have yet to see a white can light that is IC rated (or airtight as now required by IECC) in 27 years. Not saying they don't exist, just saying I have never ran into them where I am.
    I worked in lighting system design and installation for a number of years and almost all the recessed fixtures we carried and installed were white, and when the IC requirements came ... the color was still white ... all that was done was the addition of a bimetal thermocouple which would turn the light off if it got too hot. Then they came out with large square housings over the recessed lights - all still painted white - and that box was to keep the insulation back from the fixture and allow sufficient space and metal for heat dissipation and not be popping the thermocouples so often. The first IC cans would heat up and start turning off in the insulated ceilings ... then turning back on as they cooled down ... this set up a random blinking on and off of the recessed lights, and the customers *did not like that at all*. All kinds of things were done at first when IC ratings first started - some of them a bit scary.

    But, as stated above ... DO NOT USE COLOR ... to determine if the recessed light is IC rated or not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    Last edited by ken horak; 02-13-2012 at 06:51 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can Light IC or No IC???

    The Progress P87 is all silver. To convert the can you just remove a sticker from the top of the housing.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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