Installing recessed lighting


  #1  
Old 12-07-03, 01:58 PM
6stringelectric
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Installing recessed lighting

New home owner here looking for some help. I want to install recessed lights in the kitchen. Does this require using flex? if so
do i just use the flex after the dimmer up to the lights? or just when i get in the ceiling. the little metal j. boxes the lights came with say #12 flex required. i assume this is for the heat that will come off the lights. but the lights cannisters do say insulated. they are not in contact lights. i have no insulation up there. so can i use romex? also i am going to attempt to install a new circuit for these lights. i have done some rewiring already and worked in the main panel. my wife bought me a wirring 123 book from home depot. its very helpful. i think i did pretty well. besides killing the main breaker, any other safety advice would be helpful and appriciated by me and my wife.
 
  #2  
Old 12-07-03, 02:44 PM
BuzzHazzard
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6String,

I installed 50+ of these recessed lights in new construction recently. There are essentially four different types:
  • New construction, IC (for Insulated Ceilings)
  • New construction, non IC
  • Remodel, IC
  • Remodel, non-IC

Sounds like you probably want the last type if you are retrofitting to an existing ceiling which is not insulated. So first, make sure you have the right can. You could you an IC type, but they are a bit more expensive and limit the wattage of the bulb you use to a lower figure.

All the cans I installed were by Halo/Commercial Electric and after the integral junction box, a short flex "whip" continued to the actual light receptacle. Not all are this way, but if yours is, you can run romex to the integral JB. If you are continuing to other lights from there, make sure the JB is rated for through wiring and that you respect the max conductors which should be imprinted (stamped) into the integral JB.

Others will have more to add I'm sure.

One safety tip which may sound basic, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of. When you turn the main breaker OFF in your panel, the lugs are still HOT. The lugs are the connection points for the service cable which enters your house from the outside. Touch a lug and the service panel (or neutral bus or ground bus or any bare ground wires) at the same time, and you will get hit with120 volts. Touch both lugs at the same time and you will get hit with 240 volts. Again, the main breaker disconnects power from all your individual circuits. You can still get electrocuted with the main breaker off. Be careful.

Rob
 
  #3  
Old 12-07-03, 03:11 PM
6stringelectric
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recessed

Thanks for the quick reply Buzz!

OK just to clarify. the lights each came with their own jb. THe are stamped MAX OF 8 NO. 12 AWG
 
  #4  
Old 12-07-03, 03:18 PM
6stringelectric
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BUZZ CONT.

OOPS MESSED UP.
ANYWAY THEY ARE STAMPED MAX OF 8 NO 12AWG THROUGH BRANCH CIRCUIT. CONDUCTORS SUITABLE FOR AT LEAST 90"C PERMITTED IN BOX 4 IN 4OUT. CAN YA PUT THAT IN HOME OWNERS TERMS FOR ME JUST TO MAKE SURE I GET IT? AND ALSO
I WILL RUN THE POWER TO MY DIMMER THEN TO THE JB ON THE LIGHT? OR DO I NEED A SEPERATE JB BEFORE THE LIGHTS? I HAVE A SPOOL OF #12/2 CABLE I PURCHASED WILL THAT SURFICE? THANKS MAN
 
  #5  
Old 12-07-03, 03:35 PM
BuzzHazzard
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Sounds like you are all set. Run power to the dimmer and then directly to the JB of your first light, and the daisy-chain to the other lights. No need for a seperate JB, but if you decide to install one for some reason, it must remain accessible.

You didn't say how many lights you plan to install, but in a large kitchen, the wattage can add up, so consider that. And where do you intend to supply power from? An existing switch? Don't tap off one of your kitchen outlets.
 
  #6  
Old 12-07-03, 03:37 PM
J
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MAX OF 8 NO 12AWG
That just means the junction box is big enough to hold up to eight 12-gauge wires. It's just a reference point. It can hold more 14-gauge wires, or less 10-gauge wires. All wiring books will tell you how to compute box fill for any combination of wires and devices. If you have any question as to how much you can put in, let us know and we can tell you.
BRANCH CIRCUIT
A "branch circuit" is just what you would regard as an ordinary electrical circuit. Each of the breakers in your box is connected to one branch circuit.
CONDUCTORS SUITABLE FOR AT LEAST 90"C PERMITTED
All wiring sold in the stores today is rated for 90 degrees. Older wiring (pre 1985) is rated for lower temperatures. This is simply the temperature at which the insulation on the wires melts. Heat comes from a combination of factors: the current flowing through the wires and the heat from the light bulb itself. It's a race between heat buildup and heat dissipation. Heat dissipation is a function of the number of wires in the box, the proximity of building insulation, etc.
4 IN 4 OUT
That's just another way of counting the eight wires.
I WILL RUN THE POWER TO MY DIMMER THEN TO THE JB ON THE LIGHT?
Yes, that's the normal way. There are other ways, but I suggest you do it this way.
I HAVE A SPOOL OF #12/2 CABLE I PURCHASED WILL THAT SURFICE?
Yes, assuming it has a grounding wire and was purchased in the last decade or so.
 
  #7  
Old 12-07-03, 03:38 PM
6stringelectric
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RECESSED

Nope. Gonna install new circuit. Plenty of room in panel. Im installing 4 lights rated at 75 watts max.

[size=1](edited to remove all caps)[/size]
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 12-07-03 at 08:26 PM.
  #8  
Old 12-07-03, 04:36 PM
6stringelectric
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recessed 1 LAST THING

Do I need flex? Should I worry about overheating from the recessed light? If so, how do I run flex from the dimmer to the lights? Just want to clarify that. Thanks for all your help guys. I really appreciate it.

[size=1](edited to eliminate all caps)[/size]
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 12-07-03 at 08:24 PM.
  #9  
Old 12-07-03, 04:52 PM
BuzzHazzard
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Do you have a short flex from the integral JB to the receptacle itself? I bet you do. An emerald brand I used in my old house did not, and I had to run flex from an external JB.

Just run NM-B (Romex) to the recessed light JBs. The type I used had two ways to connect the NM-B. Punch out the round "punch outs" and use NM-B connectors, or punch out the smaller oval looking "punch outs." The latter type have an integral metal spring-type device designed to clamp the NM-B in place.

Personally, I prefer the former over the latter. I never got used to using the latter, though it may have been my technique.

As for the heating issue, don't put insulation within 3" of a non-IC can and respect the lamp wattage limitations which should be listed on the interior of the can (where you screw in the light bulb).
 
  #10  
Old 12-07-03, 05:20 PM
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Emerald????? Arrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhh!!!!!

RUN AWAY!!
 
  #11  
Old 12-07-03, 05:41 PM
BuzzHazzard
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Originally posted by Speedy Petey
Emerald????? Arrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhh!!!!!

RUN AWAY!!
Yeah, NOW you tell me
 
  #12  
Old 12-08-03, 03:03 PM
6stringelectric
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recessed

Yeah its me again. Whats easier, install before or after sheet rock in ceiling? i have the option of both. my lights can be installed either way. and do you have to worry about existing wiring heating up. i have quite a few lines up there. just want to get all my facts straight to make sure i do it right. im kinda anal like that.
 
  #13  
Old 12-08-03, 04:49 PM
J
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Installing the cans before the sheetrock is much easier. Cutting the drywall opening for a can in place is a piece of cake with a rotory cutter. Make up all the connections in the junction box before the drywallers get there.

Yes, you always have to worry about wiring heating up. That's why you follow the code. If the wiring was installed according to code, and if it's not ancient, then you don't have that worry. If the wiring is ancient, then you should replace it while you have the chance.
 
 

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