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Old 06-15-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


I need some advice on how best to do this.

I have existing soffit lights around the perimeter of the property, 38 of them. All of soffit panels are T1-11 2" OC - which they don't even make anymore, 4" and 8" I have seen, no more 2".





Anyways, these lights were originally installed in 1972. I had a few of them died. When I removed the can, some of the guts were corroded, and the wiring frayed.

The lights were made by Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. model E-15522, which they no longer made. I have a feeling most of these lights are living on borrowed time and I need to have them replaced.

Obviously I do not wish to pull down all the soffit panel and put on new ones. Some of these panels are angled and up high. So I am looking for ideas on how to replace them.

Here are the constraints.

#1, The way it's wired, is by hard pipe, EMT conduits. They have three circuits supplying power to these lights, running through the same conduits, one circuit powers light 1, 4, 7, 11...the next circuit powers lights 2, 5, 8, 12... and a third circuit powers corner lights and main landing lights. There is a 4"x4" junction box within a few inches of each light in the attic, and the pipes jumps from JB to JB to JB. If I remove a can the wire from the can to the adjacent JB is an armored cable.

#2, those are new construction lights, so when I pulled down one can, there is a rectangular metal frame around the hole. The hole is 6-3/4" in diameter. If I can find remodel lights that work, I might have to mark the locations of the clips and use a plier to flatten the circular "fins" of the existing metal frames.

Seems to me the easiest way is to find a remodel can that requires a 6-3/4" knock out hole, and run new wires from each nearby JB to the remodel JB. So far I am unable to identify one. Too small a hole, the clips won't catch the soffit. Too big a hole, I can't cut a bigger hole without running into the new construction metal frame.

The existing wires are #12 solid. They look fine. I can reach these JB by sticking my hand through these corresponding holes. However, from examining three of these boxes, the wires in the boxes are quite short, like 3" to 4" from where the conduits meet the box. So it looks like if I rewire a new light, I would have to do it at the box with one hand reaching through the knockout hole, practically blind. Is this possible? If not I would have to use new wires, long enough to pull outside of the hole so I can make the connection outside.

Most important question are there recessed lights that fits a 6-3/4" knock out hole?


Last edited by miamicuse; 06-15-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


Those look like typical 6" cans. Halo H7 type cans.

You should be able to replace just the can and leave the frame-in kit in the soffit. You would have to buy the whole can however, but at around $7/ea that is not the end of the world.

And get rid of those silly glass trims and get you some open trims and flood lamps. You'll be MUCH happier with the light they give.

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Old 06-15-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


Speedy Petey those are Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. model E-15522 cans, discontinued for a long time now. The knock out hole diameter is 6-3/4", while the Halo H7 series hole diameter is 6-1/4". So a halo remodel can definitely can fit through, but in looking at the clips I am not sure a 1/2" extra diameter to me seem like it would to too much "play"?

I wish I could use a different trim, down here this being outside, they won't allow it, at least my inspector didn't.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


Well, Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. is not the manufacturer. They are the testing lab that performs product safety testing and certification.

What I mean is you can remove the can itself and replace it with the can from an H7T or H7ICT. Only problem is you would void the UL cert for both lights. IMO it is a safe replacement though. The H7 cans have the thermal cut-out inside the can itself so you would retain that mandatory safety feature.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:59 PM   #5
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


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Originally Posted by miamicuse View Post
Speedy Petey those are Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. model E-15522 cans, discontinued for a long time now. The knock out hole diameter is 6-3/4", while the Halo H7 series hole diameter is 6-1/4". So a halo remodel can definitely can fit through, but in looking at the clips I am not sure a 1/2" extra diameter to me seem like it would to too much "play"?

I wish I could use a different trim, down here this being outside, they won't allow it, at least my inspector didn't.
Then you should ask your inspector to show you the local code why it is not allowed.

The recessed can for outside purpose is not a issue at all and I have done this often in both Wisconsin and in France.

The under the soffet is a damp location so you can use the coventail open trims avce PAR 30 ou 38 verison they will throw good amout of light per wattage.

You can peel off the T-11 sliding as long you can find the nail holes and take your time to remove them and you can save them and use the new housing and mount the same way as the old one is there.

Otherwise do as Pete suggest that will be next step.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


These trims are rated for wet locations...Big Orange...30 bucks

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Old 06-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


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These trims are rated for wet locations...Big Orange...30 bucks

And about 1000 times simpler.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


I can't use these trims.

The fundamental problem is the old cans and it's parts. They are rusting out, the socket that you screw the light bulbs into, are now as delicate as chalk. The conductors from the top of the can to the nearby JB have nylon or cloth jackets, they are literally turning to dust. One time I pull down a can to examine it the wiring without any strain just snapped in two. I guess 40 years in a long time for these cans.

So getting new trims to screw into a crumbing socket inside partially rusted cans will not solve the problem.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


I am not entirely sure how do I replace the existing can whose knockout hole diameter is larger than the Halo H7 cans. It's not going to be secured.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:33 PM   #10
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


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I am not entirely sure how do I replace the existing can whose knockout hole diameter is larger than the Halo H7 cans. It's not going to be secured.
It will be secured as long the oringal housing bracket is still good shape you will need longer sheet metal screws and use the shorty nutdriver ( this will work the best ) and screw it down a little until you get in about dead centre that will be good place ( you may want to build some kind of washer or spacer between the old housing frame and new can itself.)

So that one option you can do that.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:47 AM   #11
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


So the job isn't just about replacing the lights, it's also about replacing the soffit board. Or at the very least taking it down to remove the old boxes. Which could either be replaced with new boxes or you could use old work replacement assemblies. Which would presumably be easier to replace the next time the job is needed.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:50 AM   #12
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


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It will be secured as long the oringal housing bracket is still good shape you will need longer sheet metal screws and use the shorty nutdriver ( this will work the best ) and screw it down a little until you get in about dead centre that will be good place ( you may want to build some kind of washer or spacer between the old housing frame and new can itself.)

So that one option you can do that.

Merci,
Marc
OK let me make sure I understand what you are saying.

The old housing frame has a metal ring above the soffit, there are three "tabs" sticking from this ring towards the inside of the hole. The can was secured by pushing the can up and it stays in place from the friction of these three tabs and the outside of the can.

I removed the can by slowing nudging down little by little.

What you are saying, is to slide the can up, which would be easy since the can is now 1/2" smaller than the hole, then at the bottom of the can, drive three long sheet metal screws from the inside of the can into the space beyond. The screws will not catch onto anything, but will just act as three "extension arms" to hold the cans above the soffit board?
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #13
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


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So the job isn't just about replacing the lights, it's also about replacing the soffit board. Or at the very least taking it down to remove the old boxes. Which could either be replaced with new boxes or you could use old work replacement assemblies. Which would presumably be easier to replace the next time the job is needed.
Exactly what I am trying to avoid having to do hence this thread.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:00 AM   #14
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


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Well, Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. is not the manufacturer. They are the testing lab that performs product safety testing and certification.
I looked again on the inside of one of the cans and this is what's said.

AT Lite Lighting Equipment
E-15522
Underwriters Laboratory, Inc.

I noticed "AT Lite" is now Cooper Industries but they do emergency exit lights. So may be 40 years ago they were doing down lights?
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:08 AM   #15
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Replacing existing recessed soffit lights


Well, look at it this way, they're all the way up there and it's not easy to do. So you make the job harder by trying to do it through the holes and hope to hack together something.

Or you punt, take down the wood, have easy access to everything and do the job right. Sometimes what seems hard is a lot easier in both the short and long run.

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