View Full Version : Recessed light

01-27-2005, 03:22 AM

I retrofitted a recessed light into the basement ceiling (drywalled). The housing for the light is between a copper pipe and a floor joist. I am concerned about the heat from the housing being so close (I think its actually is touching) the floor joist. What would be the bet way to make this less of a fire hazard? Or am I just worrying too much? Any advice is appreciated.


01-27-2005, 12:15 PM
Move the light.

01-27-2005, 04:15 PM
The copper pipe and the floor joist run parallel to each other - if I move the light forward, the pipe is in the way (3" from pipe to drywall). So I can't move it without taking out the pipe.

01-27-2005, 06:18 PM
Move the pipe too?

The can light should have a minimum distance to a combustible material in the installation instructions, if not printed onto the can itself. Follow these directions to the letter.

As someone with 10+ years firefighting experience I can tell you that many fires are caused by people not following the directions.

01-28-2005, 03:22 AM
Can you put insulating material around the can?

I am trying to find out what to do about this because I don't want a fire. Right now, the light cannot be turned on until I get this figured out. If there is no safe way to leave the light in, then I am prepared to pull the light out completely, but it is at the end of the stairs in the basement, and a recessed light is perfect for this space. I just wanted to know if there is a solution that I am unaware of.

The instructions were pretty useless.

01-28-2005, 10:53 AM
I hear asbestos is pretty fire resistant.

Tom R
01-28-2005, 02:27 PM
Use an 'IC' rated recessed light, - - it's basically a can within a can and can be installed with '0' clearance. Sold at HD, - - the price difference is minimal enough to use them exclusively.

And no, - - I don't remember what IC stands for, - - Insulated Can, maybe?

Check your light, - - you may already have it and not even know it.

Also, - - even 'with' an 'IC' light, - - I would still 'isolate' it from the adjacent wood, - - with either a piece of thin metal or asbestos shield, - - to dissipate some heat.

Tom R
01-28-2005, 05:51 PM
I looked it up, - - IC stands for insulated ceiling.

Insulation can be run right up to an IC light, - - whereas with non-IC, - - the insulation needs to be kept 3" away.

Do note though, - - I believe the electrical code states there must be a minimum of 1/2" of clearance to the floor joist, - - period.

01-28-2005, 06:10 PM
Yes - we have IC rated lights also. Damn big things too. The backboxes on these things are 15x10x8 - not easy to fit anywhere. Ours are made by Iris. These are so big because they have fully adjustable housings which allow you to not only adjust it but not have to re-adjust to change the light.

01-30-2005, 05:17 PM
Thanks - I will check out HD in my area to see if they carry IC lights. The one I installed was a NextLite product, and the only installation instructions were 8 steps on connecting the wires and pushing out the clips - it said nothing of minimum distances from anything! I've got an electrician coming next weekend to hook up power to my workshop, so I will ask him what the code is for this type of installation.

Thanks for everyone's advice!


Tom R
01-30-2005, 05:27 PM
I believe the 'brand' nameones I've been using (from HD) is HARO (or something like that).

But the brand doesn't matter, - - as long as it's rated 'IC'.

I believe the 'IC' will be part of the model number.