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Thread: Can Lights

  1. #1
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Can Lights

    I hate asking dumb questions but I need an answer. When can lights are installed in a home, is there an easy way to determine if they are insulation contact or not without removing light bulbs or anything like that?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Are you asking about being in touch with the attic insulation?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    If your in the attic you might see this sticker on the can light fixture.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    If you see light through the slots in the can, rest assured, that is not IC rated. I think to see a positive label indicating IC rating though you would have to look inside the fixture for the label.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  5. #5
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    I was afraid of that. How do you guys handle the can lights. I've found attic spaces where one can light will have a box built around it to provide clearance from the insulation but then there are 4 more can lights buried under insulation. What are you suppose to assume or say, if anything, about that? How would you handle it?


  6. #6
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by David Block View Post
    I was afraid of that. How do you guys handle the can lights. I've found attic spaces where one can light will have a box built around it to provide clearance from the insulation but then there are 4 more can lights buried under insulation. What are you suppose to assume or say, if anything, about that? How would you handle it?
    Like Rick says look for sticker in attic I move insulation if needed. If you can not confirm I would recommend Licensed Electrician for verification that they are IC rated. Most all houses will have some other electrical issue that has to be addressed so while he is there have him check it out.


  7. #7
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Thats a very good point. It is a rare day that I find a house with no electrical problems. A couple weeks ago in a newly constructed house with the certificate of occupancy already being issued, there were splices not in junction boxes, open junction boxes and one wire that the electrician tried to pull through a raceway and stripped all the sheathing off. I'm not sure how these things got overlooked but they sure did.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    I normally unscrew a bulb and look inside the fixture if I'm not sure.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Sometimes it's easy to see them...

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Obviously checking the label for IC rated or non-IC rated is the best way to check for sure. An easy, usually reliable method is to look at the color and construction of the can.
    White metal can - usually not IC rated
    Silver aluminum can - usually IC rated
    This is based on the cans sold in the chicago area.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    If you see light through the slots in the can, rest assured, that is not IC rated. I think to see a positive label indicating IC rating though you would have to look inside the fixture for the label.
    Hi Jim,

    You can have IC cans with slots that you can see light through. I would not rely on slots in the can to determine if it was IC or not.

    Corey


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    If you see light through the slots in the can, rest assured, that is not IC rated. I think to see a positive label indicating IC rating though you would have to look inside the fixture for the label.
    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Hi Jim,

    You can have IC cans with slots that you can see light through. I would not rely on slots in the can to determine if it was IC or not.

    Corey
    Slots in the can do tell you that the can is not an "air tight" recessed light, and "air tight" recessed lights are required by most energy codes, have been in Florida since the first energy code in 1983 with poor wording, since 1997 with specific wording.

    From the 2006 IECC.

    - 402.4.3 Recessed lighting. Recessed luminaires installed in the building thermal envelope shall be sealed to limit air leakage between conditioned and unconditioned spaces by being:
    - - 1. IC-rated and labeled with enclosures that are sealed or gasketed to prevent air leakage to the ceiling cavity or unconditioned space; or
    - - 2. IC-rated and labeled as meeting ASTM E 283 when tested at 1.57 psi (75 Pa) pressure differential with no more than 2.0 cfm (0.944 L/s) of air movement from the conditioned space to the ceiling cavity; or
    - - 3. Located inside an airtight sealed box with clearances of at least 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) from combustible material and 3 inches (76 mm) from insulation.

    In other words, if the ceiling is insulated and you see open slots, non-air tight recessed lights were used. Whether they are IC rated or not, they are still wrong.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Slots in the can do tell you that the can is not an "air tight" recessed light, and "air tight" recessed lights are required by most energy codes, have been in Florida since the first energy code in 1983 with poor wording, since 1997 with specific wording.

    From the 2006 IECC.

    - 402.4.3 Recessed lighting. Recessed luminaires installed in the building thermal envelope shall be sealed to limit air leakage between conditioned and unconditioned spaces by being:
    - - 1. IC-rated and labeled with enclosures that are sealed or gasketed to prevent air leakage to the ceiling cavity or unconditioned space; or
    - - 2. IC-rated and labeled as meeting ASTM E 283 when tested at 1.57 psi (75 Pa) pressure differential with no more than 2.0 cfm (0.944 L/s) of air movement from the conditioned space to the ceiling cavity; or
    - - 3. Located inside an airtight sealed box with clearances of at least 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) from combustible material and 3 inches (76 mm) from insulation.

    In other words, if the ceiling is insulated and you see open slots, non-air tight recessed lights were used. Whether they are IC rated or not, they are still wrong.


    Hi Jerry,

    Not all areas have adpoted the energy code that require air tight cans.

    They also are not "wrong" when the code changes or becomes adpoted. All those non air tight IC cans installed in the 1970's 1980's and 1990's are not wrong, just old school.

    In the Chicago as an example, you do not have to install air tight cans.

    Corey


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Not all areas have adpoted the energy code that require air tight cans.
    True, but many areas have or have their own energy code.

    They also are not "wrong" when the code changes or becomes adpoted. All those non air tight IC cans installed in the 1970's 1980's and 1990's are not wrong, just old school.
    Yep, just like old a/c units - just old like old gas hog cars, no need to keep them running forever as your "daily driver", but if you want to keep them as a "classic", sure, go ahead.

    Corey,

    Would you also respond to the thread ( http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...ice-panel.html ) regarding anti-oxidant paste at the bottom of the thread? Thanks.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Just to clarify, IC rating (or clearance) and air tightness are two different requirements for two different purposes: IC rating (or clearance) to reduce risk of fire and air tightness to reduce energy loss and moisture movement through conditioned to unconditioned space.

    It's possible to have a fixture & installation that does not meet either one or both of those requirements at the same time:
    • non-IC with too little clearance and not sealed
    • IC or clearance ok and not sealed
    • non-IC with too little clearance and sealed
    Might be low odds of finding that last one but we've seen some wacky things done to homes.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Chew View Post
    It's possible to have a fixture & installation that does not meet either one or both of those requirements at the same time:

    Which is why I wanted to bring up 'the other' condition to be looking for - not 'just IC' but 'IC and air tight' (where there is an energy code).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Understood....just taking your pass and running a bit with the ball.


  18. #18
    John Allingham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Hi Jim,

    You can have IC cans with slots that you can see light through. I would not rely on slots in the can to determine if it was IC or not.

    Corey

    Agree. The white potlight with the slots is not IC rated. The silver one is .

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