We are converting an attic area into a storage area. In the area over
the living room, there are two recessed canister lights that protrude
about 8" into the attic. The contractor cut holes in the plywood so
they can protrude through.
I am not concerned about the looks, because it's a storage area, but I
am worried that someone (like me) will accidentally step on or bump
the exposed cans.
I thought about building a open-ended box around the cans and putting
some kind of heavy screen over the top. Does anyone have a better
I'm just looking for protection against accidental kicking, stepping,
or bumping while still providing ventilation and protection against
heat build up.
Is attic floor insulated, or are the rafter spaces? If this is a 'cold'
attic vented to outside, there should have been boxes there already, or you
have been pumping cooled or heated air up there since the lights were
installed. They don't really need ventilation, but they do need airspace
around them to avoid hot spots. A closed box is fine, as long as the lid is
removable to get to the junction box on the can. A few years ago, when
people started super-insulating attic floors, they would sometimes put bats
over the can lights, or blow insulation right up to them, and that did start
some fires. IIRC, they changed can designs to double-layer to reduce that
risk. Some builders quit installing flush lights at all. Electrical supply
house probably has pre-made plastic things for the enclosures.
Prior to this project, the attic had a foot or so of blown-in
insulation. The contractor bagged that, reran the electrical so that
it wasn't sitting on top of the ceiling joists, put the loose
insulation back, and put down plywood with cutouts for the cans. The
attic is vented to the outside.
So you think if I have them build a plywood box around the cans with
2-3 inches of clearance on al sides, we will be OK? That would be more
air space than they had with the blown-in insulation before.
Do you know the make and the model # of the canisters? If they are IC
rated then you could build a plywood box around them and not worry
about clearance. If they are not refer to the manufactures specs as to
the amount of free space to allow around the fixture for heat
dissapation usually around 3":
Juno's specs are here
Building a housing around something like this is always a good idea
since they may be subject to physical damage. Especially in a storage
area. What about the wires (BX, conduit) feeding the cans?
On 17 Dec 2005 12:54:04 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
The exposed top of the can (the part in the attic) has no numbers or
labels on it that I can see. From inside the living room, it's a cover
plate with a swiveling fixture that takes a spot light. It's in an
awkward place over the sofa which is hard to get to.
I think I'll be OK if I allow 3" all around. Before this project, they
were covered by blown-in insulation. A box with 3" clearance ought to
give at least as much heat dissipation, no?
I am also happy to put some type of heavy grate or screen on the top.
Certainly did not do you any favors there. Reduced the amount of insulation
you can have in the area of the plywood. R13-15 maybe..... sure hope your
not in cold country
What my brother and I did was to install some 2x8's on top of the rafters
then put the plywood down. Gave us enough room for the insulation. We use
the area for moving box storage and other non essential items that can
Screen and storage does not sound very good to me. Accident waiting and all
Time to make some 2 by something boxes to cover up the lights. Best check to
see if these fixtures are IC rated. If not then the plywood will need to be
at least 3 inches away from the can.
I think we will have better insulation than we had before. They put as
much of the original insulation back as they could under the plywood
and they are adding new insulation between the rafters before adding
sheetrock to the attic ceiling.
We actually used microlams for most of the attic area where there were
longer spans. This one area is fairly narrow so we just did the
plywood and plan to put mostly empty boxes and empty suitcases etc.
Not sure what you mean by "screen and storage". I was considering a
plywood or 2x6 box with an open top covered by a heave screen or
Best make sure those cans are IC rated. Usually you can pull the trim
part straight down (depends on the make) they're held in with stiff
springy wire. You can then compress the wire and pull the eyeball out
off the housing. The rating and type will be inside the can.
Alternately you should ask the contractor what he installed.
Those could be approved trim #s.
Look here at non IC vrs IC rated fixtures:
When you took the eyeball down was there an external housing around it?
The IC recessed lights I prefer are a dome inside a metal box with the
bulb holder inside the dome. Like here:
Alternately just to be safe you could treat it as non IC and follow the
instructions other posters have suggested. You could also replace them
with IC2s as in the 2nd URLS
I pulled a non IC housing out of a clients house last year. There was
less than 1" clearance to an overhead plate of plywood and ceiling
joists within 3" of either side. They were using 100W bulbs. The entire
inside was completely charred and blackened but luckily it had been
confined to the immediate area. They were very lucky indeed.
If in doubt hire a professional!
Those "H" catalog numbers indicate the cans are made by Cooper Lighting
(their Halo line). Check at: http://www.haloltg.com/ Doubtful that you
have "IC" type cans though. They haven't been around that long. "IC"
stands for "insulated ceiling".
On 17 Dec 2005 16:06:05 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Using a Google search, I see that IC means "insulation contact". I
still can't find any kind of "IC rating" anywhere on the fixture.
It is in a metal cylinder. The cylinder itself is 6" diameter and 6"
deep to where the domed top begins and almost 8" to where to top of
the dome. The bulb housing has about 1" clearance at the base. It
takes a 75 watt reflector flood (110), which is 4.5" deep.
So, the bulb and housing has close to 3" clearance inside the
cylinder. I am planning on putting a box around that with another 1-2"
of clearance at the closest point. The original installation had over
12" of insulation in direct contact with the housing, so I can't
imaging that my box will provide less ventilation.
So if it's like that one in the picture that's a retrofit fixture. So
you plan to box in the entire fixture? Well since the insulation
already covered the fixture for all these years you'll probably be ok.
The IC designation would usually be included in the model # and it's
strange you find no makers mark.
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