Securing retrofit recessed light housing


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Old 10-24-10, 02:28 PM
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Securing retrofit recessed light housing

Hi,

We are trying to install 'old work' recessed light housings (halo H7RICAT) in the kitchen ceiling.

We've got everything ready, holes cut, wires are in their junction boxes, but we cannot get the housings to stay clamped in the ceiling. What are we doing wrong??

These housings have mounting tabs that I though were supposed to clamp to the upper side of the plaster ceiling. So we pull them into the housing to fit the can in the hole, and then once the can is up there, we thought we would just push the mounting tabs out of the housing and voila, but no.

All instructions I have found online say to "Rotate the fixture housing into place in the ceiling until the mounting tabs engage the ceiling and the fixture is secure." Pictures show the mounting tabs left hanging on the outside of the housing, so it sounds like they are suggesting that the tabs are supposed to fit between the housing and the SIDES of the plaster ceiling? Is that so? We did try this, but it seemed impossible to get housing with the tabs still hanging out to fit into the ceiling. Are our holes not big enough? they are big enough for the cans...

our ceiling is about 5/8" thick. does that make a difference? The halo website says that "Four remodel clips secure housing and accommodate 1/2” and 5/8” ceiling material"...so it SHOULD be ok....

We feel like we almost have to screw these clips to the housing some how to keep them splayed out...but then i dont know if our lamps would fit past the screw heads. argh.

Any help would be appreciated! hope this rant is intelligible!
 
  #2  
Old 10-24-10, 05:44 PM
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If those are the clips I think they are you need to push the clip near the bend tight to the housing and it should snap into place.

1/2" or 5/8" should make no difference.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 10:43 AM
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Here is a link to an image of the housing -

Halo - Remodel Housing for Non Insulated Ceilings 6-Inch Aperture - H7RICAT - Home Depot Canada

and yes, I think we are talking about the same clips, pcboss.

we pushed and pushed the clips and nothing.

these are 'airtite' cans, and the foam pieces on each clip might be making it more difficult to snap them in place, but when we have a can out of the wall, we can push the clip tight to the housing, and at least then we get a little bit of a 'snap'; however this lock doesnt hold well at all, so i imagine this locking mechanism is no match for the resistance from the plaster once the housing is in the ceiling.

well, finally we got one housing secured, but it took my better half a very long time and alot of force, using a screwdriver and a hammer, to push the bottom end of the clips upward toward the horizontal opening in the clip 'slide'. while the part of the clip that still remains in the housing is now flush against the side, i really dont think this is how it is supposed to be done and im not exactly sure what is locking the thing in place at the moment.....argh.

has anyone else had problems installing these remodeling cans? should it really be this difficult?
 
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Old 10-25-10, 12:06 PM
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That is the style I thought you had on the fixture. I smack the clip with a pair of pliers to seat it into place if finger pressure is not enough.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 12:23 PM
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That style of recessed can I useally use the lineman's plier and give a quick swat that useally seat them in good I know sometime it will take a effort to get it seat in but that useally do the trick.

Merci,
Marc
 
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Old 10-27-10, 01:36 PM
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glad I found this. I am having the exact same problem with the same can! I'll go home and try wacking it with pliers. If that doesn't work, can I just zip in a couple of drywall screws to hold it in place. I was an easy install up until this point! BTW, I'm using dimmable LEDs and they look cool. (and feel cool too.)
 
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Old 10-27-10, 01:51 PM
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Make sure the part of the clip on the inside of the can is pushed up all the way to the top of the slot. I like to use a flat screw driver on the little tab on the clip.
 
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Old 11-03-10, 10:16 AM
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i thought i would let you know that my stronger half finally got all 6 of our cans installed. and the last 5 were alot less painful than #1.

here is as best as i can explain it - based on what he told me - any tricks he used:

on the inside of the can at the top of the clip slot - he bent the can inward a little tiny bit by putting a screwdriver into the clip slot. - this helped the clip lock in place.

then depending on how well the clip bends in and slides down, he put the linemans pliers in the notch in the clip (this notch is behind the foam on our cans) and used that to leverage the clip up and into place.

also, he found that the bottom piece of the clip outside the can (between the can and the opening in the ceiling) sometimes gets hung up on the cut edge of the plaster opening - and he said he had to work with the clip to overcome this. no specific instructions for this.

anyway, we did not have to resort to any screws. hope that this helps anyone else with the same problem.

2reverb, what sort of dimmable leds are you using? i am looking at the cr6 or lr6 but havnt picked one up to try yet...
 
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Old 11-25-10, 06:00 PM
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I just installed four of the Halo remodel cans, and wanted to share my experiences with getting the tabs to cooperate.

The first thing I'd do would be to remove the tabs from the can, and bend them outward to flatten them out a bit. This made it a lot easier to get them to snap into place. Then, I'd follow sahric's advice below and use a screwdriver to bend the cans inward at the top tab notch - this helps greatly as well. Then put the tabs back, put the can in the ceiling, and wrestle with the tabs to get them into place. I found a 12" flathead screwdriver worked best for me, but YMMV.

Finally, it took me a while to realize this, but the tabs don't just sit flat against the housing on their own - you have to slide them UP in order for them to lock into place. I think this was the thing that confused me the most - I could eventually get the tabs to sit flat against the housing, but they'd just pop out again after I let go. Sliding them up about an eighth of an inch is what locks them in place. I know the directions say this, but I was confusing the sit-flat step with the slide-up step.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 11-25-10, 06:57 PM
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Ezray, welcome to the forums. Thank you for your helpful tips.
 
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Old 08-09-12, 04:30 AM
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Thanks to all above. Like others I could not get the the tabs to lock up into place. The direction sheet is pathetic. So I was thinking that there must be some part of this process I don't understand. The posts above showed me I was on the right track, I just needed to put some more force into it and it would go. The idea on bending the top of the slot out to ease the fixture capturing the top of the tab was brilliant. Thanks again.
 
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Old 08-09-12, 05:08 AM
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Glad we could help. Thank you for the feedback.
 
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Old 04-19-13, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for the help

Until I read you had to move the clips up, I was stumped. Once you know this the rest is a piece of cake. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 04-19-13, 08:56 PM
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Welcome to the forums, Jim, and thanks for the feedback.
 
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Old 07-15-13, 11:06 AM
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I wanted to post something I wrote up that might help people that are having the problem with these clips:
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 07-15-13 at 11:13 AM. Reason: no links to blogging sites
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Old 12-30-13, 08:01 PM
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Recessed lighting housing tabs: SUCCESS!

Yes, all of the threads here are helpful. I bought the HALOs from HD and had trouble clamping the tabs in. I thought it was because I have thick ceiling drywall (plaster and lathe 3/4 in thick). Simply do this: 1) push the housing up in your hole 2) take the tab out of the housing and bend it as if you are trying to straighten it out. 3) Put the tab back in and see if it takes 4) Once it takes, push up on the little black notch (behind the airtight cushion) and the tab should lock into place. It's not easy and you may have to try step 2 and 3 a couple times until it goes it. Bottom line, the tabs must be flush with the inside of the housing when you are done....
 
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Old 02-17-14, 11:48 AM
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Thumbs up This thread saved my bacon

These stupid Halo cans, and the lack on instructions, had me saying words I don't care to explain to my grandson (who, thankfully, was not around). I spent a good couple of hours diddling around with those stupid tabs. I even tried to resort to screws, which, since the tabs are spring steel, did not go all that well. The tip about bending in the top side of the slot did the trick. I even went back and re-did the cans I had (very tentatively) in place.
Who came up with this design!? Why couldn't they just dimple the sides of the cans as they manufactured them? I KNOW it's not a big deal to do that.
I've got 10 more can lights to go in my remodeling project. I was seriously considering changing my plans because the Halo cans were such a pain. Now I can proceed as planned.
Thanks a million!
 

Last edited by BigErn; 02-17-14 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Edit wording
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Old 02-17-14, 05:57 PM
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I just got done installing these. I had the same issues as others. After much frustration, I used a flathead screwdriver pressed at a 45 degree angle and hammered on it (upward). As others have said, the clip moves up about 1/4". You can't see how this looks like when the unit is not actually installed. Once installed you'll know what everyone is talking about.

I also found that every now and then a clip that has already been seated, pops back out when I hammered in the next one. If that happens, go to the clip on the opposite side and then come back to it.

Halo should've included better instructions on how to install these clips. The install sheet makes it seem like a simple push of the screwdriver will do it but it actually takes a fair amount of force. Use a hammer.

Goodluck
 
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Old 09-14-14, 01:32 PM
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success the 9" linemans pliers to give a good wack on the clips gets them flat with the housing followed by a 3/8 screwdriver tap at 45 degrees up gets the clips locked quickly. like many things there is a trick to making it an easy task.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 01:21 PM
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Thank you all! Reading this thread helped tremendously!
I'm an electrical engineer, but with a lot of mechanical experience. The designers at Halo should be shot!
 
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Old 01-22-15, 03:26 PM
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I think this will solve the "thick ceiling" clip problem

I am installing new recessed lights, using the Halo HR550RICAT cans and large retrofit LEDs (21 watt) from Costco.

My ceiling is about 7/8" thick (not 3 inches, thankfully) and the clips in my HR550RICAT cans won't work as they come. I found that two modifications to the clip seem to solve the problem. One, I re-bend the "foot" that pushes against the ceiling so that it is, in effect, about 1/4" shorter to allow for the greater ceiling thickness. Secondly, and possibly more significant, with pliers I bend the part of the clip that is inside the can (when the clips are in the properly secured position - the rubber coated section) to be STRAIGHT, not bent near the top where the clip exits the can. This allows the clip to better "click" into place and stay put. What you'll then see on the inside of the can is that the clip is flat up against the can (when secured) as a result of bending this section straight. Of course, all the clip bending is done with the clip removed from the can.

One other issue is that pushing the clips hard or banging on them can bend the aluminum on the top side of the slot that the clip feeds through. You will need to bend this back into position with a screwdriver blade before the clips will lock in place properly.
 
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Old 01-22-15, 04:16 PM
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Thank you to ALL the contributors to this thread. I can see by the thread views that this is a common problem and actually since I'm an electrician I'm well aware of the problem too.

You should read thru the posts and adopt the method that works well for you. Take your time and experiment with one fixture first.

I only bend the clip so it doesn't bear down on the sheetrock as hard. Then using a flat screwdriver to push the clip up to lock in place.

This thread will always be available in our searchable archives. If you have further questions or a problem.... please feel free to start a new thread.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 01-22-15 at 10:12 PM.
 

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