Recessed Lights

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Recessed Housing

How To: Choose Recessed Lighting

Updated - 10/24/22

Recessed lighting, also called downlight or can light, is extremely versatile and great for spaces with low ceilings. The fixtures are often inconspicuous and great for all types of illumination. Recessed lighting can offer general illumination to any space; it can also be used as task lighting by providing direct light above a desk or sink, or accent lighting by highlighting artwork or simply highlighting a wall (this is called wall wash lighting).

Since recessed lighting is applicable to many spaces, choosing the right type is important. Picking the right type of recessed lighting is dependent on installation, type of illumination, and aesthetic.


  • Remodel or New Construction – “Remodel” housing is less bulky and used when there is limited space, or little to no access to the space above the fixture. “New Construction” housing is used in newly built spaces where you have full access to the wall, ceiling, or floor space, allowing enough room for bulkier housing.
  • IC Rated or Non-IC Rated – This is a critical aspect in choosing the right housing for your recessed lighting. IC Rated, or insulation contact rated, means the fixture can come in direct contact with thermal insulation. Non-IC Rated, or non-insulation contact rated, like the name says, cannot come in direct contact with thermal insulation and should be 3-inches from any insulation.
  • Line or Low Voltage – Line voltage uses typical household 120 volt current. It needs no transformer or special dimmer. Low voltage is more energy efficient and uses a 12 volt current. A special transformer is needed for this application to reduce voltage; dimmers are applicable if dimming features are wanted.
  • LED – With its long life and energy savings features, most recessed lighting are now moving towards LED as the preferred lamping choice. The lighting output of LED has also improved in recent times that LED can now provide equal or better illuminating performance. 
  • Other factors – structural features, trim size, trim style, light source type.


Fire Rated Recessed Housing : Save Money, Save Labor, Save Time

The International Building Code (IBC), developed by the International Code Council (ICC), is a model building code that has been adopted and used as a base code standard throughout most of the USA. The IBC is a complex and lengthy document with comprehensive requirements, one of which addresses fire prevention in regards to construction and design.  There are currently two types of Fire Rated Housing offered – 1 hour or 2 hour rating that will depend on floor to ceiling assembly fire-rated design.

In today’s lighting world there is a great importance placed on the safety of common entry/exit passageways and the need to provide approved levels of fire protection that enable occupants to safely exit a building in case of an emergency.

Apartment Buildings, Multi-Family Residences, Hotels, Hospitalities, Assisted Living Homes, Health Care and Hospitals are all examples of where fire rated fixture would be required.

Save Money

The extra time and labor effort to construct enclosures at all recessed light fixtures throughout an entire project can be avoided by installing Fire Rated Housing.   There are no required additional parts – such as mineral fiber hats, steel enclosure boxes, or tape.  Installation of fire rated housing will also result in lower instillation costs and a lower budget due to minimizing the use of subcontractors and additional materials

Save Labor

Fire Rated Housing is fully assembled, easy to install and lightweight.  You will be able to maintain fire resistance without any additional installation efforts and is as easy to install as standard recessed light fixture.

Save Time

Fire Rated Housing saves on construction time and the fire rating inspection process.  You can expedite the building inspector approval process by using Fire Rated Housing as it requires only one electrical inspection and eliminates the need for a second inspection as no additional assembly or adjustment is required as with traditional methods.


Available Options

Available in 4”, 5”, and 6” aperture

LED and Incandescent light sources.

New Construction and Frame-In Kit

Indoor and Outdoor

 For more information:

 Recessed Housing | LBC Lighting