space requirements for recessed lights?

I just picked up a bunch of "Bazz 800" recessed pot lights rated for 50w MR16 halogen bulbs. Started taking apart the ceiling tiles to find some interestingly close joists in some places. I checked the manufacturers website and, like the box, there were no space requirements. How close to the joists can they be safely installed?
I snapped some pics with the digital camera...
http://members.rogers.com/signups/DSCF1979.jpg
http://members.rogers.com/signups/DSCF1980.jpg
http://members.rogers.com/signups/DSCF1981.jpg
http://members.rogers.com/signups/DSCF1982.jpg
Is it ok to install into this space (I'll be adjusting the ceiling panels so that bar wont be in the way)?
Thanks! -Dan
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DS writes:

IC or non-IC? Non-IC pots, according to NEC, shouldn't have anything within three inches of the side, and nothing but air above. Unsuitalbe for all but top floor-with-an-attic use.

I checked your pictures and I wouldn't install them even if they were IC, unless you're planning on using ONLY screw-in fluorescents. The clearance just ain't there. I'd be sweating even a 3" top clearance, and yours appear to be either spot-on or 1/2" max.
50W halogens throw out more light than the comparable wattage incandescents but they also produce more heat.
Best of luck,
Marc
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within
but
just
be
incandescents but

Hi Marc, Where can I find these NEC specs? These fixtures are sold as remodel kits and I doubt that people would only remodel their top floor. Also, I have seen these installed at other peoples houses on middle and basement floors (exactly where there isn't the head-room to install a hanging fixture and where more light is needed).
As for the IC vs non-IC, correct me if I'm wrong, but IC are only to be used when there is direct contact around the fixture with insulation, and non-IC means that insulation must be kept 3" away. Looking at the fixtures, the IC versions are the same thing in a slightly larger, empty box (just to keep the insulation away), and judging from the space I have between the joists, it would be a tight fit, but one of the IC boxes would probably fit there.
As for what is there right now, there is probably 2-4" on the sides (roughly without me grabbing a tape measure) and there is at least 2-4" on top, and once I move the panel T and have it sunk into a panel it will be atleast another 1.5" lower giving 3.5+" on the top.
I really don't mean to contradict or bash you, that is not my intention, rather I'm just saying what I happen to guess or know... I'd welcome another response in light of what I just said :-)
thanks for the input, -Dan
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Hi again Marc, I scanned in the box; check it out at:
http://members.rogers.com/signups/box1.jpg (48.6k)
http://members.rogers.com/signups/box2.jpg (73.9k) ... thats the sum total of all the instructions it came with! Sorry about the large file sizes, couldn't crunch them any smaller.
Notice the second one has a picture of it mounted right onto a joist.. I definately wouldn't do that, but there it is.
I did go and take some measurements while I was down there grabbing the box: Vertical space (top of joist to panel bottom): 11.5" Can/fixture size: 5.5" Space between the joists: 7.25" Can/fixture size: 3 7/8"
so yes it will be pretty close to the sides, but will have 6" of clearence on top.
let me know what you think.
Thanks again, Dan
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DS writes:

Hiya Dan. In response to your question about NEC code it's not online as far as I can tell. Like many other standards (ISO, f'rinstance) it's a print cash cow for the issuing org so they don't put it online. Two suggestions:
-Should be on file at a good county or depository library, such as a University Library.
-Electrical supply house. I use Dominion Electrical in Arlington, VA. They're pretty friendly folks.
And yup, it's the non-IC that require a 3" clear surrounding space. Since you've got IC (thermal protection, from the jpegs you posted), side space isn't an issue. Although I'm kinda curious about the 7+" spacing of your joists. Mine are 16" on-center, and so are almost all I've seen.
[snip]

I did a double-take on that one too. On second glance I think it's poor draftsmanship, the perspective is scrood up. What appears to be clear space is actually meant to be a representation of the ceiling surface.

OK, 2x12 joists, near enough as dammit.

height, right?

As I said, that's an interesting dimension. ;-)

diameter.
OK, it was the original pics you posted where I couldn't see the clearance. 6" headspace is, IMnon-professional Opinion, plenty for IC. I've got ICs in the basement but they're incandescent, not halogen. They're twice the diameter of your fixtures and about 8" in height and nothing's burned up yet.
So, go for it.
BTW, am I reading the literature correctly and this is a 12V system with a stepdown transformer converting the 120v? I'd say that's even safer.
Best,
Marc
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Hello again...

far
cash
University
I'll check it out at school tomorrow :)

isn't
joists.
It is a non-IC unit, but it does have thermal protection.. all the same I don't want the thermal protection to have to kick in (yes it beats the house burning down) and would rather install it right the first time. As for the joists, this small section is to support the concrete for the fireplace concrete above and a few feet over. The rest are at 16" intervals.

space is

I see what you're saying.. still though, it is right beneath a joist, no?

box:
near enough as dammit? Never heard that term before ;-)

Yes.
clearence
clearance. 6"

the
diameter of

That's correct.. it's a low-voltage halogen. Those buggers still put off a ton of heat though!
Thanks for the info :-)
-Dan
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You don't mention it, so I'll ask: What's the manufacturere of the can say? Most have websites.
Given the reason for the spacing, I'd probably just move the one row of cans away from the offending joist and be done with it. Even if it's "allowed" by the manufacturer, it might just be too much trouble to deal with given that you have only "remodel" type access to the ceiling.
Adjust the other rows accordingly for aesthetic considerations.
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"DS" writes:

Hiya -

Lucky you. I've got to trundle over to the main branch of the county library. Of course that's only ten minutes drive. My alternative is to take a five minute walk over to my local bar and buy an electrician his morning drink^W breakfast. :) [snip]

Ah, I see.

I think it's to the right by about half the distance between the joints, or supposed to be. Prolly outsourced the documentation to an Engrish-speaking country along with the manufacture.

Archaic. I'm a logophile in my copious spare time, collect archaic slang and obscure jargon.
[snip]

Eh, as long as it's got an overheat sensor it'll be more of an nuisance than a danger.
The other guy who responded suggested a different spacing? Could you wire in a couple of wall sconces (up-light style) in that area? Might provide a nice visual break.
Best,
Marc
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