Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
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Two things I hate to install…recessed cans
Anyway…compact flourescents in a recessed can gives the longest lamp life however they are ballasted fixtures and unless one knows how to replace the ballast…you are probably better off with the incadescent type.
The biggest problems I see with recessed cans are the size of the lamp. These things are only rated for so much wattage depending on the style of lamp you install. This is typically stated inside the reflector of the can. Exceed the recommended wattage and it will surely melt stuff as well as become a fire hazard. Had a funny sometime ago, a tile and marble store called me out because their lighting was smelling bad and some fixtures were smoking. When I got there, a display case that was lit up by 8 recessed cans with eyeballs all had 150 watt incadescent lamps in them. The cans were rated for no more than a 60 watt lamp when using the incadescent style of lamp (ordinary light bulb). The heat generated by that 150 watter was enough to melt the eyeballs which are basically just plastic. Some got so hot that they actually started to smoke ![icon_eek.gif](upload://yuxgmvDDEGIQPAyP9sRnK0D0CCY.gif)
Needless to say I think the guy or gal who put them lamos in these fixtures are probably not employed there anymore.
If the can is rated for IC then it is ok for insulation to touch it. In the case of a old work can that is rated for IC, typically unless you have some sort of access to these cans from above, they are going to sit amongst all the insulation you slide them into. I have yet to see any recessed can start a fire or cause over temperature if it is rated for IC and sitting in insulation.
One fact that happened about 3 years ago specifically pertained to Halo cans (Cooper Lighting). They had farmed out some of their manufacturing to Mexico and what had transpired was that the heat shrink placed on the leads to the thermocell was too short. As the can went into operation, the heat generated by the lamp would shrink this tube more and because it was too short, it would allow the leads of the thermocell to be exposed and in many cases, allow it to short out to the metal part of the can. Well.....WHAM ![icon_eek.gif](upload://yuxgmvDDEGIQPAyP9sRnK0D0CCY.gif) when these things shiorted out it would typically trip the breaker but not before causing the home owner to jump from his easychair. Halo has since then repaired that problem but as far as I know, they did not do a recall on the bad fixtures. So beware of Halo cans specifically...check that tubing on the thermocell! If anyone wants any recessed cans installed call another sparky....oh and I don't do windows either.
This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.