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Replacing a recessed can light with a chandelier gives the room a stylish focal point and Mount the cover to the chandelier chain, following the chandelier manufacturer styles with only have a flat cover over the light bulbs. This article describes exterior lighting for residential & light commercial properties. We begin with a discussion of how to install recessed lights in an exterior soffit or roof overhang.
Also see our discussion of lighting requirements over stairs, at Lighting over Stairs and see LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE for details about lighting fixtures, bulbs, and indoor requirements.
I've used your website many times to find trusted advice on building and remodeling practices. I know it is fine in aluminum soffits, but I am concerned about the effects of the heat on the Vinyl soffits. Photo (above left) of recessed lighting installed in a roof soffit overhang, courtesy of Paul Galow. Here are the installation considerations that you should keep in mind when buying & installing outdoor light fixtures for a roof overhang or soffit. IC-rated refers to lighting fixture housings rated for installation in contact with insulation, typically rated for handling up to 100 watts.
Spacing - Clearance for Non-IC-rated light fixtures: these housings may not be installed in contact with building insulation and typically require a 3-inch clearance between the fixture surfaces and the nearest insulation.
Non-IC-rated fixtures may be able to handle higher light wattages, but are currently more likely to be replaced with "IC Air-Tight light fixture housings. Spacing - Clearances for IC-rated air-tight-rated lighting fixtures: these housings are IC-rated (as above) and are air-tight rated.
You may not need air-tight rated fixtures in an outdoor building soffit, but see our notes below about ice dam effects of warm or hot light fixtures in an outdoor roof overhang or soffit. Thermal overload (overheating) protection: currently all UL-listed recessed lighting fixtures sold for installation in North America include a thermal sensor device that will turn the fixture off if its temperature exceeds its design temperature. 3-inch and 5-inch recessed light fixture sizes are design alternatives to the 6-inch system. Angled surface or adjustable-angle recessed light fixtures may be desirable if you are installing recessed lighting into a sloped soffit or ceiling rather than into horizontal soffits or ceilings.
Angled or adjustable-angle fixtures allow you to set the angle of the bulb in the housing to point at an angle different from the position of the fixture itself. Watch out: if your roof slope is very shallow or if the soffit follows the underside of roof rafters, the space for a recesed light fixture may be limited, even using IC-rated devices (and depending on rafter size).
Before buying your light fixtures to use in the soffits, I'd give some thought to the bulb type alternatives that we describe below. Do not try to support a recessed light fixture by simply cutting a hole in the soffit covering and securing the light to it. If the roof eaves are enclosed with a horizontal soffit cover, you may need to install a short, horizontal support that is secured to the building wall at one end and to the inner face of the fascia or the rafter tail-end at the outer end.
If the roof eaves are enclosed with a soffit that is secured to the underside of the rafters, you will have still less installation space (and a 4-inch box will surely be needed), but the installation is otherwise simple since you can secure the fixture to the side of a rafter.
On the installation sheet for your pot lights you'll see and follow any clearance and support details given by the fixture manufacturer.
Most recessed light fixtures allow for a range of adjusting of the can position, but I'd pay some attention to locating the face edge of the can just above where you expect the upper surface of the soffit covering to reach when you are reinstalling that material. No surprise, all of your electrical wiring must comply with local electrical codes, for which the National Electrical code is usually the starting model. Even if your town permits do-it-yourself wiring, the results must meet the requirements of the electrical code. GFCI's (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection is not required by the NEC for outdoor overhead lights.
120V recessed lighting housing & fixtures will operate the entire circuit, switches, any timer or dimmer option, all on a 120V circuit. 12V (low voltage) recessed lighting housings & fixtures use a low-voltage transformer to provide power to 12-V lighting fixtures that typically use LED or halogen bulbs.
Low-voltage recessed light fixtures are more economical to operate and generally involve lower temperatures - something that may be a consideration even in outdoor use if you have a snow and ice-dam concern for your roof edge. Watch out: It must be remembered that a lower voltage signifies a higher current in amperes. LED bulbs are the least costly to operate, most costly to buy, and are cooler in operating temperature. You might consider LEDs (or the much less costly CFs below) to keep the temperature coolest in your soffit lighting, not only out of respect for the vinyl soffit covering but in snow-climates, to minimize the effects of heating the roof overhang and contributing to ice damming up-roof from the lights. Also, in our OPINION, because some roof eaves are high, making changing bulbs a risky ordeal, the prospect of installing very long-lived bulbs in these fixtures such as LEDs or the CFs below is appealing. Compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs, typically in 9W to 42W ratings, are less costly to operate, less costly to buy than LEDs, cooler operating temperatures than the bulbs below. We found conflicting reports, some saying these bulbs work fine outdoors (we use them here in New York at our place), and a few claims that these bulbs may not last well in very cold outdoor environments. Halogen bulbs and fixtures of course offer brightness, and these are often used in weatherproof outdoor floodlights or areas lights. Incandescent (conventional light bulbs), most costly to operate, shorter life, hotter temperatures, my last choice, but incandescents are often chosen for interior recessed lighting where a warm bright lighting color is desired. Some new (and expensive) LED bulbs and color-corrected CF bulbs can also provide bright and warm interior lighting.

Metal halide bulbs are very high performance (very bright) lights used in special applications such as museums, building lobbies, showrooms.
Cutting the hole for recessed lighting fixtures: use the dimensions or template provided by the fixture manufacturer. Watch out: the size of the fixture opening for recessed lighting may vary significantly depending on whether the installation during new construction (the fixture housing is installed before the ceiling or soffit cover is installed) or a retrofit installation. Reinstall the soffit covering: If you managed to remove your soffit covering intact, then its' ready for reinstallation. Do not allow the soffit covering material to contact the can surface, especially if you are using vinyl soffit covers. At below left our photo illustrates a surface-mounted outdoor light fixture installed beneath a building overhang.
We inspected a home that caught fire after the owner installed an over-watted incandescent bulb in a plastic coach light fixture like the one at left. Below left we see an indoor light fixture screwed to a vinyl sided wall, and added to that unsafe installation is the use of an extension cord adapter on the fixture. At below right we illustrate a closer look at a wall-mounted floodlight that includes cracked unsafe electrical wires, an opening into the box missing a weather cover, and exposed electrical wires almost touching the metal light fixture. Similar to the plastic light fixture fire we cited above, even in a well built metal light fixture such as the coachlight at left, if the bulb and wiring become loose and damaged it is possible to short-circuit the wobbly bulb simply by touching it. Continue reading at BULB COLOR TEMPERATURE COMPRARISONS or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.
Dale, it makes sense to me to have an electrician inspect wiring and all connections for corrosion or water damage, repairing as appropriate.
Do you need to have a fire proof or limited combustible ring between the box and the vinyl soffit?
Monte, if you are using a lighting fixture rated for outdoor use and if we are talking about the light fixture itself - the clearance requirements vary and are read on the fixture label.
If you are asking about an electrical junction box, as those are normally affixed to wood framing (itself combustible) I'm not sure that there would be a different requirement for proximity to vinyl. I want to install a floodlight on the exterior of my home to illuminate the American flag I display. My homeowners association is forbidding me from drilling though the wall to properly install the fixture.
I have unsheathed 14 gauge conductor and will run it through conduit to a dedicated circuit in the electrical panel. What's the difference between permanent installation of the extension cord, verses just using one?
The concern in part is that the insulation properties, heat resistant properties, and weather or other exposure resistant properties of extension cord wire are not suitable for permanent installation and in such use risk breaking down, leakage, damage, electrical shock, or fire.
Extension cord wiring is not designed nor rated to withstand foot traffic, added heat loads that come from being enclosed or hidden in a wall cavity or under a carpet, etc. I installed model# P5661-71 motion light on my porch,it's night outside and the light stays on all the time. In older homes that may have existing recessed lighting fixtures, homeowners sometimes cover these fixtures with insulation. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Handi Foam M10003 M 10003 Attic Insulation Recessed Light CoverHandi-Foam M10003 allows you to place attic insulation around recessed lighting fixtures. Compare Prices Read Convert Your Recessed Light To A Beautiful Hanging Chandelier As Easily As Changing A Light Bulb. 120% low price protection guarantee Recessed Lighting Track Lighting All Track Type Lighting Monorail Systems Shop by Room Shop for beaded crystal lightbulb covers and chandelier shades. We provide lighting installation suggestions about the type of light fixture to use, light fixture support, clearances, fire safety, moisture resistance, switch location, and electrical code citations for exterior lighting on buildings.
In particular, can regular IC or non-IC 4" or 5" can lights be installed in the eves in Vinyl soffits? These points include addressing your worry about the effects of heat on vinyl roof soffits as well as other installation advice we found while researching the question. In some building electrical code jurisdictions, Non-IC light fixtures are not allowed if insulation is present at all. Because an air-tight light fixture housing will run hotter, the wattage in these fixtures and the trim selections may be limited - do not violate the manufacturer's instructions. Arcadian Lighting warns that if you install a Non-IC fixture in a building where insulation is nearby and the sensor detects insulation, the fixture may continue to shut down even if you remove the insulation (as its sensor is now contaminated). In most jurisdictions your electrical code compliance inspector will insist on an IC, damp-location-rated fixture. Two fixtures of different diameters will permit the same lighting output provided that they are rated to accept the same bulb and wattage.
If you have not already done so, remove one of the vinyl panels from your soffit to inspect the interior area for space, clearances, and also to see how the soffit was constructed. So in a sloped roof overhang whose soffits are affixed directly to the rafter under-sides, an adjustable-angle recessed light fixture allows you to still aim the fixture straight down if desired.
Usually we can do this by pulling out the L-channel or J-channel at the bottom of the fascia board, leaving the J or F channel on the building walls in place.

Often for getting power to lights in a roof soffit, you can find an available circuit in the building attic, or in a nearby garage. Remember when planning wiring routing that you will want to locate a switch for these lights at a convenient spot indoors, preferably by an exit door. We installed motion-sensing surface mount lights under an outdoor soffit that covered the approach to a building door - they have been much appreciated since.
120-V systems are usually less costly than a 12-V low-voltage system, are less energy efficient if using incandescent or halogen bulbs. The conductor on the secondary side of the [low voltage] transformer at 12-volts must be sized for the full load amperage.
Halogen bulbs are energy efficient and deliver pure white light in both wide and spot beam patterns.
You will want to measure twice and cut once to get your round openings properly centered below each light fixture. We're not concerned about airflow as we would be with indoor recessed ceiling lights, but we like to discourage insects and small birds from making a home in the soffit or in the fixtures themselves.
This fixture, one of a pair along a walkway beneath the overhang, lights the passage to the building's front door. It will probably entail replacing some of the soffit covering material and running some new wire to avoid the violation of leaving any buried junction boxes in the old locations. They want me to just run an extension cord down the wall and under the garage door to an outlet inside the garage.
In those applications conventional electrical wiring (armored cable or non-metallic cable) of proper conductor size should have been used. A related example of bad use of extension cord wiring other than running it through a wall is the routing of extension cords under carpets. Check that the sensor is not pointed at something that keeps the light on - constant motion, people, etc. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Recessed lights can create open cavities into attics & are major contributors to heat escaping and entering your building envelope.
Change up your plain recessed lighting with this Comparison shop for chandelier fabric cord covers Home Lighting in Home Garden.
No tool required, only Chandelier lights at Del Mar Fans and Lighting ship Close to Ceiling Lights Lamps Recessed Lighting Landscape The various colors, finishes and chandelier styles covers Every lighting fixture for your home. If you use directed light (eyeball recessed lights, “opaque” lamp shades, etc Chain Cover, Silk Chandelier Chain Cover, Tartan Plaid Silk Chandelier Cover Attach the recessed lighting covers from the kitchen. Related to chandelier lighting How to Install a Chandelier Recessed Lighting Guide Ceiling Lights Design Ideas. Change up your plain recessed lighting with this styles with only have a flat cover over the light bulbs. Lighting Chandelier Shades and Lightbulb Covers Chandeliers Cord Covers View Recessed Lighting and get ideas for Recessed Lighting. You won't be insulating your soffit outdoors, at least not normally, but using an IC fixture there means that issues about fire clearances are just about eliminated. Note that by choosing CF or LED lighting you should be able to increase the light output while keeping the fixture temperature down.
Special fixtures and trim are however, available for wet locations.[14] including Dekor's waterproof 12-V LED lighting fixtures[15]. Incandescent or halogen bulbs, some up to 150 watts, can be installed provided that you accept a more limited trim choice (possibly allowing more air movement through the fixture). These instructions also describe the requirement for selecting an electrical wire (conductor) size based on the distance between the light fixture and the low voltage transformer. It is still possible to turn the switch off, leaving the plastic switch-block in place but prying it away from the switch with your thumbnail, or better, by loosening its mounting screw. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission to use illustrations from their publication, The Illustrated Home which illustrates construction details and building components.
Attic air sealing using low pressure spray handi foam around your can light covers keeps your home properly insulated without fire hazard risks.
LED lights, ceiling lighting, chandelier lights, bathroom lighting, kitchen lighting and exterior lights. You can also install CFs or LED bulbs that are designed for installation in a 120V bulb socket. Carson Dunlop provides home inspection education including the ASHI-adopted a Home Inspection Home Study Course, and publications such as the Home Reference Book, the Home Reference eBook, and report writing materials including the Horizon report writer, and home inspection services. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.

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