recessed lights

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Old 12-02-06, 05:29 PM
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recessed lights

I plan to replace two fixtures in my kitchen with recessed lights. I have put up fixtures before but not recessed. The lines are obviously in the ceiling already so I was just giong to pick up remodeling cut-in-cans so I don't have to tear the ceiling apart. I read to make sure the line can handle recessed lights. I'm only swapping out each fixture for a recessed light, not adding more lights to the line. Shouldn't I be fine if I get 120v lights? My house wiring is the norm 120. How would I find out what the lines can handle anyway? Thanks
 
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Old 12-02-06, 05:59 PM
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You need to be concerned about the maximum wattage of the old light verses the new lights and whether the new lights can handle the wiring, if the wiring is old.
 
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Old 12-02-06, 06:08 PM
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Since you are replacing existing fixtures with recessed there will be no problem if the circuit can handle the load. Most recessed light max out at 75W. What you need to consider however, is the type of recessed light. to purchase, relative to the location it will be installed. There is IC, Non-IC, Air-Tite, Non-Air-Tite, "IC" is Insulation Contact. If insulation will contact the recessed light you need to purchase an IC rated can.
 
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Old 12-02-06, 06:29 PM
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the wiring is 20 years old. I would think that is not old for wiring. What you said about watts is interesting. The one fixture has only one bulb and is 75w max but the other has 2 bulbs 75w max. This is what confuses me about fixtures and house wiring. If an old fixture is only rated for 60w that doesn't necessarily mean that's what you have to put back up does it?? What about when fixtures are replaced with ceiling fans that have 3 60w lights on them. They have to be drawing more power than a simple light.
I am picking up IC cans rainbird. thanks
 
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Old 12-02-06, 06:36 PM
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What you need to be concerned about is the current draw on the circuit. What else is on the circuit? If you have a 15 amp circuit that is loaded to being almost full, then you would not want to replace a single 60 watt fixture with one that draws 180 watts, as that extra 120 watts is a full 1 amp.

As for the wiring, take a look at it. It is probably okay, but look at it anyway. You want it to be NM-B cable. The "B" is a temperature rating. Without the B, the cable is only rated for 60 degrees. Many new fixtures (most, in fact) require 90 degree wire. Installing a fixture requiring 90 degree wire when you only have 60 degree wire is asking for a fire.
 
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Old 12-02-06, 07:06 PM
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I completely forgot to ask about the temp rating for wiring. Thanks. Have a good weekend.
 
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Old 12-02-06, 08:05 PM
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Just checked the cables and they only have NM on them. I didn't see a B anywhere. Guess regular fixtures will be going back up.
 
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Old 12-03-06, 06:41 AM
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Don't be so quick.

I am not intimately familiar with remodel cans. You may be able to find them that can accept your existing wiring. Or there are other possibilities. What is just above the kitchen? If it is attic space then you may be able to add junction boxes and transition the cable to newer NM-B cable.
 
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Old 12-03-06, 07:45 AM
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Most of the newer surface mount fixtures also require the higher rated NM-B. You may not find this warning until you open the box and read the instructions or a label on the fixture.
 
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Old 12-03-06, 09:05 AM
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there is second floor above the kitchen. Most of the remodeling cans I've seen have a arm that extends from the can to it's electrical box about 6 to 8" with BX cable. I would think this is to keep non B rated romex power supply from getting too hot. Basically keep it as far from the can as possible. I don't know if this is true but I read that back in the day electricians would cut sheeting off 10" of romex and slide flexible conduit over the conductors when they installed light cans.
 
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