looking for recessed cans that can be in contact with insulation

jaansuOctober 10, 2012

I have a ceiling in which I would like to install 5" diameter cans. Unfortunately, there are rolls of insulation between these joists and no access to get to the area from above. The only cans I found at the big box stores are not permitted to be in insulation contact unless they are 6" cans and these don't seem to permit installation into a finished ceiling (or am I missing something?).

Are there 5" cans that I can use that would allow use of 23W CFLs while being in contact with the paper of the insulation? They would have to be shoved up a little or perhaps I will cut out room for the can but in any event, they must not allow fire danger.

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What you're looking for is what's call an insulation contact (IC) retrofit housing. Halo (Cooper Lighting) makes them but most people use some kind of flood light in recessed cans, so I don't know if you could use an ordinary compact fluorescent lamp with one of the 5" models. Halo does make an IC retrofit can with a built in fluorescent ballast and you'd just plug in the lamp.

If you can't find what you want at a big box store, you'll need to try a electrical or lighting supply house.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:57AM
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Ron Natalie

You can usually find someone online that will sell you the HALO stuff for less than the big box by about 20%, of course you usually end up paying for shipping so it often comes out as a price wash.

As mike says, 5" IC housings are available in both regular incandescent or designed for non-retrofit CF bulbs. In fact, there are some straight downlights I've seen that are LED fixtures.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Thanks guys, this looks like what I need. If the can is not particularly tall, I thought I would install it so that it pushes against the paper vapor barrier of the insulation batts above. It that more of a fire hazard or is it better to cut through the paper and cut a 'hole' in the insulation roll?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Ron Natalie

An IC fixture is allowed to touch the paper, wood framing, the insulation, or other structure.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:06PM
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