08:16AM | 09/01/03
Member Since: 05/29/02
46 lifetime posts
Recessed lighting fixtures are popular these days. But what are some of the cons regarding recessed lighting fixtures? Does not heat from light bulb pose a fire danger to the ceiling?

Joe Tedesco

10:00AM | 09/03/03
Member Since: 07/27/02
140 lifetime posts
Yes, if the following rules are not observed!

410.65 Temperature.

(A) Combustible Material. Luminaires (fixtures) shall be installed so that adjacent combustible material will not be subjected to temperatures in excess of 90°C (194°F).

(B) Fire-Resistant Construction. Where a luminaire (fixture) is recessed in fire-resistant material in a building of fire-resistant construction, a temperature higher than 90°C (194°F) but not higher than 150°C (302°F) shall be considered acceptable if the luminaire (fixture) is plainly marked that it is listed for that service.

(C) Recessed Incandescent Luminaires (Fixtures).

Incandescent luminaires (fixtures) shall have thermal protection and shall be identified as thermally protected.
Because many recessed incandescent luminaires are suitable for a wide variety of lamp sizes and types and finish trims, the temperature close to the lamp can vary widely.

Therefore, many manufacturers have chosen to locate thermal protectors away from the source of heat, such as in the outlet box, and to design the protector so that it will detect a change in temperature resulting from the addition of thermal insulation around the luminaire.

This design prevents nuisance tripping of the protector (as a result of changing lamp wattage, for example) but still provides protection against overheating arising from thermal insulation around a recessed luminaire not designed for such use.

Exception No. 1: Thermal protection shall not be required in a recessed luminaire (fixture) identified for use and installed in poured concrete.

Exception No. 2: Thermal protection shall not be required in a recessed luminaire (fixture) whose design, construction, and thermal performance characteristics are equivalent to a thermally protected luminaire (fixture) and are identified as inherently protected.

Recessed incandescent luminaires without thermal protection are not permitted unless they are listed and identified as providing equivalent temperature protection by construction design.

Thermal protection is provided to deactivate the lamp should the luminaire be mislamped so that it overheats.

410.66 Clearance and Installation.

(A) Clearance.

(1) Non-Type IC. A recessed luminaire (fixture) that is not identified for contact with insulation shall have all recessed parts spaced not less than 13 mm (¬Ω in.) from combustible materials.

The points of support and the trim finishing off the opening in the ceiling or wall surface shall be permitted to be in contact with combustible materials.

(2) Type IC.

A recessed luminaire (fixture) that is identified for contact with insulation, Type IC, shall be permitted to be in contact with combustible materials at recessed parts, points of support, and portions passing through or finishing off the opening in the building structure.

(B) Installation. Thermal insulation shall not be installed above a recessed luminaire (fixture) or within 75 mm (3 in.) of the recessed luminaire’s (fixture’s) enclosure, wiring compartment, or ballast unless it is identified for contact with insulation, Type IC.

410.67 Wiring.

(A) General. Conductors that have insulation suitable for the temperature encountered shall be used.

(B) Circuit Conductors.

Branch-circuit conductors that have an insulation suitable for the temperature encountered shall be permitted to terminate in the luminaire (fixture).

(C) Tap Conductors.

Tap conductors of a type suitable for the temperature encountered shall be permitted to run from the luminaire (fixture) terminal connection to an outlet box placed at least 300 mm (1 ft) from the luminaire (fixture).

Such tap conductors shall be in suitable raceway or Type AC or MC cable of at least 450 mm (18 in.) but not more than 1.8 m (6 ft) in length.


07:53PM | 09/08/03
Member Since: 05/11/03
62 lifetime posts
What Joe just said is yes! The recessed fixtures need to be IC (in contact) rated for any installation where heat can be trapped around the fixture like in insulation. The new fixtures also have a built in safety device called a thermal cut out. These units will cause your fixture to bling on and off if you install too large a lamp, or cover up a non IC rated fixture with insulation. Best to call a professional if non of this makes and sense to you. Mr. Electric
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