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Installing recessed lights - best way to cut holes in drywall

Installing recessed lights - best way to cut holes in drywall

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Old 10-23-06, 06:08 PM
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Installing recessed lights - best way to cut holes in drywall

Just wondering if a few of you could suggest the best tool/technique for cutting round holes in drywall ceiling, for purpose of installing recessed lights? I've used key hole saw for this in the past and also have a "compass-like" manual tool that you position in the center of the hole and then the arm has a circular blade that scores the drywall when rotated. Either of these would work for me, but I would like to ask what a professional electrician uses for these holes, to get a "perfect" hole without breaking or weakening the exposed edge of the drywall? For example, I have heard of hole cutting attachments for a power drill. Are these made specifically for cutting drywall? Is it worthwhile to invest in one of these? Brand? Thank you.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 06:26 PM
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unless I am doing a large number of lights, the methods you use are exactly what I use.

The circle tool helps to avoid from cutting the hole too large and helps with nice edges but the actual cut is with a keyhole saw.

If I am doing a large number of lights, the boss will get a hole saw (if the correct size is available)

I know there is some sort of hole cutter (similar in basic design as the hole "marker" of above. I haven;t used one so I can't comment on that.
 
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Old 10-23-06, 06:47 PM
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I do hundreds of recessed cans a year. I do not even own a power hole cutter attachment. I use a keyhole saw 90% of the time.
10% I use my Rotozip.
In wood ceilings it is 100% Rotozip.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 03:01 PM
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Thanks, Speedy Petey and Nap. Since you both seem to do a large number of these installations, I can't resist asking one more question:

I am installing small "remodel" cans (50-watt bulbs) in areas where I do not have attic access (due to the low height of the roof). The attic has about 4-6 inches of blown-in insulation. I am a little concerned because all of the "remodel" cans I have found are for non-insulation contact. Is it OK to use these in my situation if I take care, after cutting the holes, to reach into the attic and push the insulation several inches away from the hole? What should I be aware of to make this a better installation? For example, since my insulation is the fluff blown-in type, I was wondering if there is anything on the market to isolate fixtures from the insulation - a small circular fence or something like that? Or am I OK if I just push the insulation out of the way.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 03:07 PM
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Same here, 95% are with a keyhole saw. The rest are with a "RotoZip," the DeWalt 18V version.

I tried that 2-blade, adjustable Greenlee recessed light sheetrock cutter bit for a drill. It was worthless and almost made an unrepairable hole. I would get a full-sized hole saw if I needed to do a bunch on the same job.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 04:09 PM
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I would NOT use non-IC cans in that ceiling. The insulation WILL fall back around the cans.
Without access I doubt you will make any kind of effective "dam" to keep the insulation away.

Halo makes remodel IC cans, as do all major manufacturers.
Stay far away from Commercial Electric and especially Emerald (absoulte junk!) fixtures that you find in home centers.
 
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Old 10-24-06, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Halo makes remodel IC cans, as do all major manufacturers.
Stay far away from Commercial Electric and especially Emerald (absoulte junk!) fixtures that you find in home centers.
ooo, thanks for the tip! was looking at Commercial Electric just the other day (as an alternative to Halo) ... this comment definitely made up my mind on which to go with!
 
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Old 10-25-06, 06:23 PM
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I also appreciae the warning about Commercial Electric. I saw their kit (six recessed lights) at Home Depot the other day for something like $46. Very cheap but understandably so if it is junk. I will also avoid Commercial Electric.

Speedy Petey (or others) - regarding the availability of IC remodel cans, are you aware of any in the smaller sizes; for example where only a 4 inch hole is needed? I am aware of a Halo IC remodel can but I believe hole diameter is something like 6 or 7 inches. I may need to go with this, but would appreciate knowing if anyone is aware of IC remodel can in smaller size? (Wife prefers smaller size as a matter of taste, if available.)

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 07:00 PM
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Halo has the H5RICAT which is a 6" cut out. It is much smaller looking than they typical H7 series can.

Their old work H99RT 4" can is not available in ICT.

Lightolier's 1004ICR 5" old work ICT can is a 5.25" cut out. It is comparable to the H5 Halo.
 
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Old 01-23-09, 09:39 AM
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round holes in ceilings

I just purchased an inexpensive ($9.99) set of hole saws (3/4 to 5 inch diameters) from Pricess auto that work fine for a few holes in drywall and wood. As for recessed lighting in top floor ceilings, I would be concerned about insulation and heat loss.
 
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Old 01-24-09, 08:14 PM
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I bought a box of the commercial electric IC remodel housings at Home Depot a few months back and just now got around to installing them. I just just put two up this afternoon to test fit them and then discovered this forum tonight. So what is it about them that makes them junk? I would like to know what problems I might have before I go through the trouble of installing the rest of them and wiring them. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-07-09, 11:15 AM
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Commercial Electric low voltage housings

I used these in my house. I put lots of these in 3 rooms in my house when I remodeled 4 years ago. Every couple of months, one dies. All 5 in my bedroom have died, 5 or 6 in my office have died, now 2 of the 6 in my living room have died. And of course I tried changing the bulbs. Now i have to cut them out..

Originally Posted by silas718 View Post
I bought a box of the commercial electric IC remodel housings at Home Depot a few months back and just now got around to installing them. I just just put two up this afternoon to test fit them and then discovered this forum tonight. So what is it about them that makes them junk? I would like to know what problems I might have before I go through the trouble of installing the rest of them and wiring them. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-07-09, 11:29 AM
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I don't like how tight the trims pull up to the ceilings on some of the brands. The trims can allow you to see up into the housings past the bulb too.

I prefer the Progress P87 or P187 housings.
 
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Old 03-07-09, 05:31 PM
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I just picked up a sprial saw (basically a Roto-zip) for cutting drywall holes. It's a cordless 19.2 volt Craftsman model. Comes with a circle cutter attachment for making perfect circles up to 12" in diameter. I've used it for making cutouts for switch boxes and for making access holes to run wiring in spaces with no attic access. I'm going to install some cans in a couple weeks and I'll use it for that, too.

I can't recommend these tools enough. You get no tearing of the drywall paper and you get a perfect circle, so you won't ever have to patch your boo-boos.
 
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Old 03-09-09, 05:48 PM
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Unhappy Commercial electric recessed lights

Regarding the Commercial Electric recessed lights (6"). My contractor just installed these lights and the sheet rock is up.
Will I have to cut these out or can I remove them and install a different brand in the same bracket/housing ?
 
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