Here are the key points:

  1. Condo in NYC with concrete ceilings
  2. Recessed lighting
  3. "Exactly"
  4. The ceiling is to be dropped by only 2-1/2"
  5. The light in mind is a 1-1/4 LED light (Extremely low profile) Ex: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-Ultra-Slim-3-in-Color-Selectable-Canless-LED-Recessed-Kit-91274/306079876

... my question is, what is the NEC code on drop/suspended ceilings like the one explained here? (if they exist at all) The low profile LED lights are a fairly modern invention so I'm not even sure if there's any word on if this meets code.

I'm also curious on NYC or NEC code for the suspended ceiling structure, steel or wood under ultra light 1/2 gypsum board for ceilings with wiring and maybe a "mini" junction box (that might be a stretch). I know 5/8 FR board is the norm and certain for meeting code, but would anything change for this application?

*Please reply only on NEC and NYC code. I really want to keep this thread free from alternative lighting suggestions, they've all been considered (yes, all including fabric ceiling options), but I would like to explore this option.

  • 1
    Please re-read the post you just posted and make sure it says what you want it to say. It seems incomplete to me, and/or missing an important link. Please edit as necessary. Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 3:03
  • No, it's clear. The question is even introduced in the 3rd paragraph following the bullet list.
    – Kantan
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 3:05
  • 1
    Did you really re-read it in less than 1 minute? Did you click the link to make sure it worked? Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 3:09
  • That light is not a ceiling light. It is a cabinet light. It may not be legal to install them in a ceiling.
    – Dan D.
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 9:44
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. You haven't started a "thread"; you've posted a single question looking for a single best answer. Please take our tour so you'll know how better to contribute here. Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 10:56

3 Answers 3


With concrete ceilings/floors between levels, you can install any rated or unrated suspended ceiling. (The concrete ceiling/floor assembly provides the necessary fire rating between floors and between units.)

However, there are height restrictions (which you didn’t ask about).

  • Hi Lee, Thank you for your comment. Would you happen to know the section # that mentions this. I would like to read about the height restrictions.
    – Kantan
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 17:25
  • @Kantan The section you are looking for is R306 of the ICC 2017 Residential Code. For habitable spaces the minimum is 7’-0”, except bathrooms can be 6’-8”. If any of the ceilings slope or there are beams, etc., then there are exceptions.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 21:37

NEC doesn't care how tall your drop ceiling space is. Bender might.

The only thing I can think electrically is that you're not allowed to use cord-and-plug connections above a drop ceiling, (400.7 and 400.8), unless your locality gives you a waiver. But I don't gather you plan to, since the box + receptacle + plug combination would be taller than your drop ceiling space.

  • Hi Harper, Thank you for your comment. I'll think about this and check if there's anything else I should be looking into for this project.
    – Kantan
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 18:32

Since the plug connection is on the low voltage side I would say it is code compliant by the NEC.

The Code does prohibit plug connections above drop ceilings but that is for the high voltage side of this light or 120v plugs. The low voltage side would fall under a different part of the code.

These lights are becoming quite popular and I wouldn’t figure the Code has just ignored them.

Your local inspector will have the last say though.

Good luck!

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