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  1. #1
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    I was about to buy new LED bulbs for our kitchen recessed lighting, but then I saw the retrofit kits that are both a bulb and (mostly) airtight trim piece. I'm also about to re-insulate the attic space above the lights. Would one of these kits make the can above it IC if it wasn't? I wasn't sure if the lower heat of the LED would prevent the heat up of the can that prevents it from being IC.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    LED retrofits do not make a unit IC rated. It's more than just the heat build up that makes the difference.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    Any opinion on whether it would be easier/cheaper/safer overall to either install covers over the recessed light can (such as the Tenmat covers) or switch to retro-fit IC lights? I don't know much about wiring...

  4. #4
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by bcemail View Post
    I was about to buy new LED bulbs for our kitchen recessed lighting, but then I saw the retrofit kits that are both a bulb and (mostly) airtight trim piece. I'm also about to re-insulate the attic space above the lights. Would one of these kits make the can above it IC if it wasn't? I wasn't sure if the lower heat of the LED would prevent the heat up of the can that prevents it from being IC.

    Thanks!
    What you bring up has become a real issue in the electrical industry. Nationally recognized testing Labs (NRTL) like UL, CSA etc. will test entire assemblies to see if they meet required standards.

    When a company sells a component that will go into another companies fixture, like a LED assembly in a recessed can all sorts of questions come up. Liability, compatibility, patents, copyrights etc.

    Chances are a foreign LED retrofit manufacturer will not go to the expense of submitting his device for listing in a fixture which may be discontinued or modified at any time. And if they did they would have to submit it for perhaps hundreds of combinations of cans.

    Having said that bulbstock.com (one of many) has LED retrofit kits that are "UL approved for damp locations" (actually NTRL's list not approve products). This tells me they spent the money and got an IFFX, or similar listing for their LED's in some Halo cans. They have a compatibility list for many cans.

    They also say their LED's comply with Title 24, which is an energy efficiency standard, not a fire rating like IC. And, as stated in an earlier post will not change the can from Non-IC to IC.

    My gut tells me you're correct about the reduced heat and would be fine using their product in a Non-IC can since the LEDs only consume <20W and the can is listed for a 65W lamp, especially if you rake the insulation away (3") from the cans, in the attic. You might try one and see how hot the can gets.

    Also, many of the cans have thermal cut-outs set for 90 deg C, Which is a UL listing for Inherently Protected fixture (IEZX).
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    One of the factors that makes a recessed fixture IC-rated is airtightness. A non-IC fixture can will allow air to escape from conditioned space to unconditioned space. Once you bury a non-IC fixture can in insulation, it's nearly impossible to make it airtight. The aforementioned fixture boxes provide the necessary airtightness where non-IC fixture cans are installed in unconditioned space.

    Another factor is the temperature rating of the socket and insulation on the wires must be high enough to withstand the higher temperatures experienced by IC-rated cans.

    The retrofit kits may make it effectively airtight, or may reduce the internal temperatures to a safe level, but that's not enough. From a testing lab's perspective, a light converted with an LED kit may at some point be reverted back to an incandescent lamp, so they are unlikely to list any conversion as making a non-IC fixture IC-rated unless the retrofit permanently changes the fixture so it can be reverted. Since that would be a modification of the original manufacturer's design, that raises the barrier to listing even higher.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New London County, CT
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    99

    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    I have several of these LED lights although they are all in J boxes. I can tell you that a light that has been on for hours is not hot enough to make you take you hand off of it. They provide great light with good color and save every hour they are on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    1

    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    I'd give second thought to LEDs at all actually - we spent an insane amount of money on kitchen lighting for LED pot lights and under cabs in a reno and have had problems with under cabinet lights and colour match (called binning). We also had problems with one of the pots working at all and then a wrong part was sent and then what was sent didn't match colour (again). Now less than two years later another pot has gone on the fritz. And we've been at it for a couple of months of emails and phone calls trying to get attention to this but Juno doesn't seem responsive to this round of problems, at least through the dealer in our city. So overall LED's are probably not ready for prime time in my opinion. It's a joke.
    We had seen these under cabs on TOH some years ago and thought they'd be the cat's meow for the amount of NRG they use and low heat but so far big disappointment and no more lifespan that a plain old bulb!
    Our sordid saga continues. For the price Nada is my vote!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Columbiana, Alabama
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    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    Reading the new 2014 NEC.

    Art. 410.6 now reads "All luminares, lampholders, and retrofit kits shall be listed".

    UL requires all parts be be assembled into a kit and carry UL "Classified" labels, which is almost as good as a "Listed Label".

    This rule will include all lighting conversion; LED, CFL, flourescent lamps etc.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    Reading the new 2014 NEC.

    Art. 410.6 now reads "All luminares, lampholders, and retrofit kits shall be listed".

    UL requires all parts be be assembled into a kit and carry UL "Classified" labels, which is almost as good as a "Listed Label".

    This rule will include all lighting conversion; LED, CFL, flourescent lamps etc.
    The million dollar question: considering that a particular fixture may be designed for use with incandescent bulbs (such as a PAR30), would a screw-in "equivalent" CFL or LED of the same or similar form factor be considered a "retrofit kit"?
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
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    644

    Default Re: Do LED retrofit inserts change IC rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    The million dollar question: considering that a particular fixture may be designed for use with incandescent bulbs (such as a PAR30), would a screw-in "equivalent" CFL or LED of the same or similar form factor be considered a "retrofit kit"?
    The same thought prompted me to look at a PAR 30 LED from Home Depot. It had a UL label so I suppose it was examined properly as a "complete system" to earn the listing.

    Since it draws only 22% of the power most recessed light fixtures are rated for I assume It's fine.

    As the new Code is adopted by various jurisdictions starting 1 Jan 2014 we may hear otherwise. It may turn into a fight between the Feds pushing energy conservation and the UL/NFPA pushing safety.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

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