In California, does code allow me to install recessed lights in a ceiling which which be inaccessible once closed up? (Such as between floors)

I have seen it done many times but I was thinking that the can contains a junction box, but that box will be inaccessible once finished. Doesn't that create a code issue with an inaccessible junction?

Is there a specific code exception which allows it in this case? Or am I thinking about it incorrectly?

1 Answer 1


Yes -- the junction box of the recessed light must be accessible after installation per the design of the recessed light. The typical design I have seen to accomplish this is that the recessed light's "can" is attached to the recessed light's junction box by flexible cable. The "can" may then be pulled down after installation through the opening in the drywall to allow access to the junction box.

Here are some before and after pictures of a new construction recessed light I have left over from my remodel. enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    I have never realized that cans open like this. I'll check on mine and report back.
    – Matthew
    Nov 18, 2019 at 5:05
  • What do you know.. mine have a few screws which allow access to the jbox. I've put up dozens of these and never knew!
    – Matthew
    Nov 18, 2019 at 16:50

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