Canless recessed LED lights. Fire Hazard?

Old 01-27-20, 05:55 PM
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Canless recessed LED lights. Fire Hazard?

We are building a home and will have around 75 can lights. I have been researching can lights and came across the canless LED lights. They look way easier to install and cheaper overall than regular can lights with the housing unit. After ready a lot of reviews on Amazon, they seem to be a great alternative. The description says IC rated but I just dont know if I trust that. One of the reviews made me nervous by saying the junction box is IC rated but the light is not. Therefore a fire hazard. We will have blown in insulation over the top of it Are they safe? Any experience with them over heating? I have attached a link to something similar we have been looking at.
Old 01-27-20, 10:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

As an electrician I've installed quite a few of the "canless" recessed fixtures recently. The customers have supplied the fixtures and I've just installed them. One thing I always look for is a UL rating or UL listed. That means the lights have been thoroughly checked to operate where listed.

The lights you linked to are IC rated and UL listed..... that's good.
The junction box is listed as thermally protected in case the LED driver fails. I would cover the top of the lights in the attic because when you need to replace them...... and you will sooner or later..... you don't want to lose all your insulation. The light fixture itself won't generate much heat.
Old 01-28-20, 01:58 AM
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I think those lights are great for old work but if I were building a new house I would install conventional cans and keep the ability to change to any type of lighting that was available.

All LED lights contain electronics which are subject to failure so it's not a question of if but when some of them are going to fail and then you have to worry about comparable replacements in the future!
Old 01-28-20, 03:29 AM
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You will still have to have some type of box above them so you can seal them.
I have seen on the net cardboard boxes for this but do not know if they are coated so that they provide a vapor barrier.

The boxes should be large enough to take the fixture and the hook up box.

This type of fixture is becoming the norm so I think you should be future safe for replacement.
Just get a couple extra.
I do not think the problem in the future will be getting something comparable. The problem will be that it could look different re: trim ring etc.
So if you have run out of extras you could put up with one looking different or replace all of them in one room and then you would have lots of spares.

My place is all LED's. I have been using them for at least 5 years and in that time have only had to replace one and that was a motion sensing bulb that did not want to shut off.

Old 02-04-20, 07:05 AM
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Yes, you're right. Chances are that the heat may be trapped inside the can, especially the dropped ceiling is enclosed, so many electricians would recommended us to use IC rated recessed light. But it seems to me that if you are using LED recessed light, then it should be fine as LED doesn't emit heat when compared to fluorescent and halogen, so it is safe to use LED.
Old 02-04-20, 08:20 AM
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But it seems to me that if you are using LED recessed light, then it should be fine as LED doesn't emit heat
Yea, but you never know what someone else will do in the future!
Old 02-04-20, 10:13 AM
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I would have no issue with installing the wafer LEDs in my home. If 20 years from now they have gone by the wayside for whatever the new best thing is, you can always install remodel cans in the holes that are already there.

I would recommend buying a few extra fixtures though. If one or two go bad, you don't want to have a slightly different LED color temperature in its place.

The one part I am on the fence about is the no-name brands on Amazon. I've gotten a set that said they were IC rated, but had no IC specification on the sticker on the device itself. Which also makes me start questioning whether they are actually CE or UL approved. I haven't decided on when I need to buy the next set if I'll go with a brand name like Lithonia or Halo, or continue with the much cheaper versions on Amazon. Since they are most likely all manufactured similarly anyway.

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