Recessed Can Light and Suspended Ceiling


Old 04-06-09, 12:42 PM
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Recessed Can Light and Suspended Ceiling

I want to use can lights in the suspended ceiling I plan to install in my basement (standard 2' square panels). I've looked at the lights in Home Depot & Lowes and haven't seen any info on which lights should be used and how they are mounted.

Is there a specific can that I'll need and how do they work with the suspended ceilings?
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Old 04-06-09, 01:12 PM
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It's really easy to do -- the same tabs that you can nail to the joists on the end of the can rails will also snap down on top of the suspended ceiling T-bar. If your cans do not have the multi-mounting rails, you can order rails which will lock on the T-bars. The instructions should have a step for mounting on joists or mounting on tracks.
Old 04-06-09, 01:16 PM
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Any of the recessed lights will work. Your best bet is to use "new work" housings which normally be installed before the ceilings are sheetrocked. The legs on the housings (which would usually be nailed into the ceiling joists) have a nifty little clip on them that snap into the ceiling grid.

I found the easiest way to install them is to wire them up in place but not snapped on, cut the hole and slide the tile into place, align the can into the hole, then snap the legs onto the suspended ceiling frame.

If you are using smaller cans, you could use remodel cans... they have little clips that will hold them to the ceiling tile. But I wouldn't recommend this approach as the weight of the fixture will cause the tile to sag over time. It's also likely against the ceiling manufacturer's instructions.

I'd highly recommend Halo if you're getting them from one of the big box stores. Stay away from Commercial Electric. Granted, they all work, but the CE ones tend to cause the bulbs to hang too low, so they actually stick out from below the trim ring!

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