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I have a 2 story house and I have been adding recessed lights in the kitchen and after measuring and marking the ceiling for the optimal placing of the lights I decided to make a 2' x 2' hole in the ceiling because my stud finder kept getting hits at every location I had marked. I thought there may be something wrong but after looking through the hole I confirmed that the trusses ran above every marked location. So I have had to offset the lights to get around the trusses - not the optimal placing of the lights (someone will look at them as ask "why is that light not centered on..." - and I likely won't be around to say "Well that's because there is a truss that runs there that prevented me from doing that.")

I was able to place 5 lights in but on the 6th one, I ran into another board, but not a truss. It runs perpendicular to the trusses the full length of the kitchen. I don't know what its purpose is. It looks like it may have been put there to keep the spacing of the trusses in place as they were building the house. Picture added.

My question to the DIY community is: Can I cut this board to give myself the space to added the recessed light? Or is there a purpose to this board and I should not cut it?

In the picture you will see the AC duct is right above the board, but the space that I need to put the light in is on the next space (between the trusses) to the right and the AC duct runs off to a side so it doesn't continue along the top of the board, and would therefore not sit on top, or impede, my recessed light canister.

Thank you in advance to the readers of this post and for feedback.
 

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That looks like a flexible vent.?

Move it to one side or the other as long as your can doesn't contact it.
Then make sure the vent doesn't sag by putting something under it like another board.
 

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I just helped put some “can” lights in my son’s house. They are LED and only a half inch thick, the same as the wallboard. Cut a hole with a 6” hole saw, wire it up, and snap in place. It didn’t matter that some overlapped ceiling joists.
 
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LED Puck lights for the win, they make em 1/2" thick so you can practically install them under a truss/joist/board - not quite though cause you gotta get the little fins into the 1/2 space :/

That said my bet would be that it's just a board to hold that HVAC tube off the drywall so it doesn't condense on it/sag/whatever. I highly doubt that's structural given it's laying "on the flat" - if it's intended to provide tension structure (like to take out some deflection/bounce on the second story), then I don't believe moving it over a few inches would be a problem.
 

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Looks like the board is there to support the vent. Odds are it's nailed down and it doesn't look like you have a lot of room to work there, so the chances of moving it are probably nil without a lot of repair work.
 

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LED Puck lights for the win, they make em 1/2" thick so you can practically install them under a truss/joist/board - not quite though cause you gotta get the little fins into the 1/2 space :/

That said my bet would be that it's just a board to hold that HVAC tube off the drywall so it doesn't condense on it/sag/whatever. I highly doubt that's structural given it's laying "on the flat" - if it's intended to provide tension structure (like to take out some deflection/bounce on the second story), then I don't believe moving it over a few inches would be a problem.

The lights we installed would fit under a framing member, as they were only 1/2" deep.
 
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