How close can CL2 rated speaker wire get to recessed lighting? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-18-2013, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently building a home and have plans to install in-ceiling speakers in my family room when the house is finished. The package that the builder offers is obnoxiously expensive and I can't do it before the walls go up. The benefit though is that I can take copious pictures before the walls go up to help me out.

So I know which joist bay I want to install the speakers in. Unfortunately there is a recessed light there. There's definitely more than enough space to run the wires there, but I'm just a little worried about the heat generated from the light and it damaging the speaker wire or worse. I just had a phase 2/framing inspection on Friday and I asked the inspector how close speaker wire can get to the light and he said pretty darn close.

I just wanted to double check that. Any thoughts? Again, I'll be using CL2 rated cable.

Thanks,
Justin
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-18-2013, 01:11 PM
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What type fixture? It would have to be incandescent to get really hot. Otherwise so long as the wire is secured so that it can't touch the fixture you should be OK.

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-18-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I believe it's an incandescent fixture. This a big problem?
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It all depends on the light fixture. Some have an air gap between the inner can and outter can, therefore making the outter one (the one the wire would touch) cooler. It also depends a lot on the type of bulb being used.

Simple rule of thimb....dont let the wire touch it directly!

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-18-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinmiller621 View Post

I believe it's an incandescent fixture. This a big problem?
It is unless you load it with a compact flourescent. A 60w incandescent puts out about the same lumens as a 15w CFL. That 45 watt difference is all expended as heat. And it costs you three times as much on your electric bill.

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-18-2013, 03:54 PM
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Code is 6" between high-voltage and low-voltage circuits when running parallel to each other. Code doesn't go into great detail concerning heat output from recessed fixtures and running Low-voltage in the same raceway. Best thing to do is to just tack the low-volt wire opposite the high-volt wire and run it past the fixture. This should give you enough clearance past the fixture unless the fixture is huge. If that isn't possible, you could come in on an adjacent raceway and come back in where the speaker will be mounted.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-21-2013, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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jevans, I was considering both of those options. I should be able to do either one of those. Might be easiest to get a cable holder/bracket or something and screen it into the joist. That way it'll definitely keep the wire away from the light. I feel like it may be a little harder and a little more labor intensive to run them down an adjacent raceway. But possible.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-22-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinmiller621 View Post

jevans, I was considering both of those options. I should be able to do either one of those. Might be easiest to get a cable holder/bracket or something and screen it into the joist. That way it'll definitely keep the wire away from the light. I feel like it may be a little harder and a little more labor intensive to run them down an adjacent raceway. But possible.

Home Depot / Lowes have hammer-in staples that have a piece of cardboard/plastic on them to protect the wire. I use these all the time to secure Romex to joists/studs. They are a few dollars for 50 of them. You can get smaller packs. They are usually with the zip-ties, furniture protectors, and electrical twist nuts.

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-22-2013, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the model light I have:

http://www.progresslighting.com/products.aspx?product=P87-AT

The label on the inside of the can says something about having a 90 degree Celsius vapor barrier. I have a pic if necessary.

I went to that site and it says this model (as well as all their models) is IC-rated.

Furthermore, this is the wire I plan on buying:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023902&p_id=2820&seq=1&format=3#specification

And it has a heat shock rating of 121 Celsius.

So I'm reading all these things correctly, the speaker wire can get damn close to this can without any harm coming to it whatsoever.

Granted I still may tack it to the joist anyway, but it sounds like I don't have much to worry about?
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-22-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinmiller621 View Post

The label on the inside of the can says something about having a 90 degree Celsius vapor barrier.
That refers to when there is insulation around it.

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post #11 of 11 Old 03-22-2013, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinmiller621 View Post

This is the model light I have:

http://www.progresslighting.com/products.aspx?product=P87-AT

The label on the inside of the can says something about having a 90 degree Celsius vapor barrier. I have a pic if necessary.

I went to that site and it says this model (as well as all their models) is IC-rated.

Furthermore, this is the wire I plan on buying:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023902&p_id=2820&seq=1&format=3#specification

And it has a heat shock rating of 121 Celsius.

So I'm reading all these things correctly, the speaker wire can get damn close to this can without any harm coming to it whatsoever.

Granted I still may tack it to the joist anyway, but it sounds like I don't have much to worry about?

That is a typical 6" light can. You'll be fine since you'll have at least 4" on either side of the can to run a wire past it. Just run the Romex on the joist that is closer to the light's j-box and run the CL2 on the opposite joist. You could get some 1" thick heat insulation to wrap around the light, but I've seen lights like those just mounted without any insulation at all.

Securing wires to the studs/joists is more of a code-compliant thing rather to minimize EM. Code states that any wires should be stapled to the middle 1/3 of the stud/joist to prevent nail penetration -- within 12" of a box/fixture and at every 36". Horizontal wire runs through joists/studs that are closer than 1-1/4" from the edge of a stud/joist must be protected by a nail plate. This is primarily for folks that notch instead of drilling a hole through a stud/joist. No holes should be drilled in the center 1/3 of a joist span and should be no bigger than 1/3 of the width of the stud/joist. 3/4" is the typical auger bit used to drill holes to run wire and is good for a 2x4. I guess all this matters only if you have to go through an inspection.

I was lucky in the lighting department since track lights work well for my stepped ceiling. I was able to go with very small cans that are only 2.5" in diameter and 3.5" tall. I've loaded them with PAR16 halogen for now but PAR20 will work too. The LED's are $25 a pop but I could go with those as well. I can probably get those smaller CFL's in them as well but I like having " whiter " light in my A/V room. I've got 13 lights not including a ceiling fan. I only use the ceiling fan lights when I'm not watching a movie.


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