Recessed LED pot lights

Recessed Lighting


Hi guys Ryan with Hauer power electrical here, and today I’m going to talk to you about IC and non IC insulated ceiling rated pot lights along with lumens amount, type of light, and size of pot lights.

As your Edmonton electrician we are here when you need us to perform all sorts of lighting needs amidst all other electrical Services.

As you may know some pot lights are not rated for insulated ceilings. When you’re buying a pot light/recessed lighting the type is what you want to start with. If your ceiling is insulated your pot lights must be labeled IC which stands for insulated ceiling. It doesn’t take a master electrician to spot it on the light but it needs to be addressed. Some will say non-ic, but if they don’t say IC they should be taken as non IC which means that you cannot install legally in an insulated ceiling.

Certain Electrical Codes permit certain distances from combustible surfaces. Here in Edmonton Alberta we abide by the Canadian Electric Code which changes every 3 years.

As a master electrician based company we are very familiar with the code, as one in this industry should be. To understand what we are dealing with we first must define it. Here are a few definitions, and related code rules pulled from the Canadian Electric Code 2018 part 1:

Recessed luminaire, Type IC (intended for insulation contact) — a recessed luminaire designed for installation in a cavity filled with thermal insulation and permitted to be in direct contact with combustible materials and insulation.

Recessed luminaire, Type IC, inherently protected (intended for insulation contact) — a recessed luminaire that does not require a thermal protective device and cannot exceed the maximum allowable temperatures under all conceivable operating conditions

Recessed luminaire, Type Non-IC (not intended for insulation contact) — a recessed luminaire designed for installation in a cavity with minimum dimensions and spacings to thermal insulation and combustible material.

Recessed luminaire, Type Non-IC, marked spacings (not intended for insulation contact) — a recessed luminaire designed for installation in a cavity where the clearances to combustible building members and thermal insulation are specified by the manufacturer.

In section 30 of the 2018 Canadian Electric Code it tells us the following about insulated ceiling rated and non insulated ceiling rated recessed lighting:

30-902 Spacings for Non-IC type luminaires

Except as provided for in Rules 30-904 and 30-908, the recessed portion of every recessed luminaire marked “Type Non-IC” shall be at least 13 mm from combustible material at every point other than the point of support, and thermal insulation shall not be installed closer than 76 mm to the luminaire.

30-904 Spacings for Non-IC — Marked spacings type luminaires

The recessed portion of every recessed luminaire marked “Type Non-IC, marked spacings” shall be installed to maintain a minimum spacing from thermal insulation and combustible material at every point other than the point of support in accordance with the manufacturer’s spacings marked on the luminaire.

30-906 Luminaires designed for thermal insulation contact

The recessed portion of every recessed luminaire marked “Type IC” or “Type IC, inherently protected” shall be permitted to be in contact with combustible material or blanketed with thermal insulation.

30-908 Luminaires designed for non-combustible surfaces contact only

A recessed luminaire marked as suitable for installation on a non-combustible surface shall be installed only on a non-combustible material.

Are you sleeping yet? Essentially what these rules are getting to is just IC rated pot lights can be in contact with insulation and non IC rated pot lights cannot. Pretty simple once you get the details right?

As your Edmonton electrician, we at Hauer power electrical are always happy to give you any lighting solutions that you may need.  When it comes to pot lights, can lights, retrofit lighting, recessed lighting we are a team that you want performing your job. In our lighting experience the best job is performed through accessing the Attic, where we have the right sized individuals for the job and are more than qualified.

At Hauer Power Electrical we purchase a certain brand of pot light from a local business right here in Edmonton Alberta. They are of top quality, and come in both of the more common 4” and 6” sizes. These tip top lights are IC rated, damp location suitable, last for 30,000hrs, are certified airtight, dimmable, AND what’s best of all is you can toggle between both warm white and neutral white light depending on what the customer wants.
This can avoid costly changes when the job has been completed but the homeowner, or customer is not 100% satisfied. As your edmonton electrician we want you the customer to be 100% satisfied. These wafer lights can really go just about anywhere and are a breeze for us due to familiarity. These specific spotlights are perfect for every aspect of a quality job and take a fraction of the time. We have installed nearly every type and shape of spotlight out there and can say without a doubt, these are what you want. Not to say we won’t install anything else for you. As your Edmonton Electrician, Hauer Power is here to give you the power!

Now, getting into the colour aspect regarding the 3 main kinds of lighting. This can be quite a handful for most people when trying to shop for the right warmth of lighting. If you wander into the lighting aisle without knowing what you’re in for you might get lost. Keep in mind these lighting styles we’re talking about today revolve around LED light bulbs. You can still buy the archaic incandescent bulbs. You can still buy the helical CFL light bulbs. Really at the end of the day though you don’t want to spend more time than you have to changing out bulbs for the next 10 years. Set it and forget it. Switch to LED lamps and stay there. So here we go. The 3 kinds of lighting are measured in the degrees kelvin scale. This scale usually ranges from 2700k-6500k. There will be all other kinds all over the spectrum so the key is to commit to one type and keep it consistent. As your Edmonton Electrician we keep it consistent for you.

  1. Warm/soft white refers to the yellowish hue of the typical incandescent bulb. These are common for people making the transition from incandescent bulbs to LED and CFL bulbs. This usually ends up around 2700-3000 on the kelvin degrees scale
  2. Bright White/Cool White is just that. This is the bluish hue that you will often see in these bulbs. On the degrees kelvin scale this usually lies around 3500 – 4100k
  3. Daylight. This is the white look that is the whitest light for bulbs. They usually end up around 5000-6000k on the kelvin scale.

The degrees kelvin scale is not to be confused with lumens however. Any good electrician will know that lumens will refer to the brightness amount of the light, not the temperature or the look. Lumens is a scale of brightness. Often some people will confuse the correlation between watts and lumens as well. Wattage is the power draw from the bulb/device while lumens is how bright. With old incandescent lights the watts was a good indicator, 60W was not as bright as 100W. That just isn’t the case with LED lights and thus we see more commonly the lumen scale. Depending on efficiency of the light bulb these values can be scattered around with no real pattern. Some LED bulbs will sit at 8W and give off just as many lumens as a 12W LED. The efficiency differences between the brands and types will make your travels down the aisle for lightbulbs a chore. So remember, first the light colour, then the lumens, then determine if you want dimmable or not. At around double the cost it can add up. As your Edmonton Electrician we can take the stress out of this for you. We can get into these costs next.

Some of the bulbs you will buy at your local hardware store can run around $80 CAD each for the features of changeability of light style, and to have it dimmable. That’s alot of money for the convenience of choice of light style! Some bulbs being dimmable will run around $8-$20 CAD each depending on brand, and type. Non Dimmable bulbs will usually go for around $3-$10 CAD each. If you want to change out your whole home then on an average 40 bulb home this can give a spread of $120 – $3200 depending on what style you want, brightness, and changeability if you desire. As your edmonton electrician we always insist on consistency. You don’t want to have a closet full of different light bulbs making clutter. At Hauer Power we like to give a customer the option of retrofit recessed lighting and get rid of the light bulb altogether. This results in energy savings, a clean look, and a happier customer. Which is really what we’re passionate about.

In our experience the older homes built here in Edmonton AB often have absolutely zero lighting in the living room, which is the biggest room in the house! They might have a switched plug for a lamp at best. Wow a lamp for the biggest room in your house, great foresight there right? A common practice for us is to install 6 – 12 LED pot lights in the living/dining area in a customers home. This is completely depending on size of living space, and room layout. It isn’t uncommon for a customer to have 7 rooms and 4-6 potlights in each room. That comes to about 28-42 lights on an average floor. We like to put these LED lights on a dimmer to make the space as comfortable as possible. This gives the customer the ultimate control over the level of brightness in a room. With home automated smart switches combined with the option of warm white or neutral white, the house really does become a home!

If this sparks further confusion or conversation about your lighting needs call Hauer Power, your Edmonton Electrician. We have master electricians, journeyman electricians, apprentice electricians all waiting to help you with all your electrical needs. As a local edmonton based contractor, we’re homeowners too.

Call Hauer Power, and see how we can give you power today!


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