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I have an unfinished 2-story detached garage (20x24). First story is the garage and the second story is a studio like apartment. I am considering using recessed lighting on the first floor. I understand that the ceiling is a fire barrier to protect the occupants on the second floor. One sheet of Type X 5/8" is rated for 1 hour and two sheets of Type X 5/8 is rated for two hours.

Any penetrations though the ceiling degrades the ability of the fire-barrier (ceiling) to be effective. I searched for Fire-Rated Recess Light Housing and found Cooper Industries Halo (H750FR2ICAT). So I go to Womack Electrical Supply (WES) Website to order one. It says: "Your Price $240.00 each". That does not seem right.

Anyone know of any reputable resellers willing to sell to a Por-DIYer like me? HomeDepot / Lowes do not appear to carry any product like this in my area. And I prefer to do business with local shops when I can.

Side Question: Do the resellers like WES even want to do business with the likes of me (Pro-DIY).


Revised base on "Lee Sam's" Answer:
Area = Pi * r(2).
Area (6" hole) = 28.27 sq inches
Ceiling Area = 20 ft x 20 ft = 400 sq ft
4 * 144 sq in / 28.27 = 20 each 6" holes.

I suspect I will only need 12-16 each 6" holes for recessed lights.

After further thought, I still would want to install light fire-rated recessed lighting housing or some other method. My kids might be sleeping in the second floor one night.

I am also evaluating creating a recessed channel between the i-Joist within the gypsum board to install lighting.

I liked recessed lighting in a garage with 8 foot ceiling because I want to avoid the glare and I want to keep from hitting a light fixture with a 2x4, plywood, pole, etc. If I had 10 foot ceilings, I would just mount the lights on the ceiling.


Revised: July 21, 2020 Garage lighting needs/requirements/brainstorming.

  1. General Lighting: Soft Lighting (3500K-4000K color range) will automatically turn on with enough light so that the family can get into and out of the car safely, move around the garage, etc. The general lighting would would be on a motion/sound sensor and turn off automatically after 20-30 minutes. (I found a brand/model used in my office at work).

Note: When the garage door opens, I don't want there to be so much glaring light flooding out of the garage that it looks like an alien invasion (like "Close encounters of the Third Kind").

  1. Party Lighting: More Soft (3500K-4000K color range) lighting that General Lighting for a birthday party, family gathering, covered space for BBQ, etc. I would clear out and clean the garage for this type of event. Setup of food tables, etc.

  2. Work/Task lighting: This would be a third set of lighting that I can turn on as needed for working on the car, small wood working projects, kids school projects, etc. The color of this type of lighting would be in 4000K-5500K range. Unsure about the amount of Lumens (or how bright) needed.


Cooper Lighting Solutions - Halo - Fire Rated Recess light Housing - H750FR2ICAT

Website: http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/lighting/products/recessed_general_purpose_downlighting/fire-rated/_1066527.html Cooper Lighting Solutions - Halo - Fire Rated Recess light Housing - H750FR2ICAT

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  • Why do you wish to use recessed lighting for the garage lights? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 21 '20 at 1:35
  • Also, are you planning to do most of your work in the middle of the garage, or around its edges? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 21 '20 at 1:53
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    Womack is literally my favorite electrical supply, precisely because they are so nice to respectful novices (and have insanely great prices), and even let me have the run of their warehouse (although it is set up a bit better for customer browsing than the average electrical supply). So yes, definitely! – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 21 '20 at 2:01
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    For $240/downlight you can install a false ceiling of drywall, and use cheap/normal down lights. I also think downlights are for ambience/mood lighting, and are wildly unsuitable for work lighting. In a garage, you want work lighting. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 21 '20 at 2:29
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    Based on your lighting plans, consider smart bulbs that can change color temperature. With most of the smart lighting systems, you can even group the lights so you can have 2 or 3 come on for "garage door open" at 2700k, all on at 50% brightness at 3500k for "party" and all of them on at 100% brightness at 5500-6000k for "workshop". One set of cans, one set of wiring, multiple uses. Also, more dimmable light is better than less, especially when you get older... I've got 30,000 lumens in my 2-car garage plus more in the workshop portion - mine eyes don't see quite as well as they used to. :( – FreeMan Jul 21 '20 at 17:35
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This website isn’t setup for recommendations on purchasing items and equipment.

However, you’re missing a better question: How large of hole can I cut in a 1-hour fire fated ceiling before I void the rating?

Yes, you need a 1-hour Fire rated barrier between your garage and a habitable space. However, you are allowed a 6” diameter opening provided the aggregate area does not exceed 144 square inches in any 100 square feet of floor area. (See ICC 712.4.1.1)

If this doesn’t work for you, you can always extend the gypsum board up a few inches between joists and then install a surface mounted light fixture up in that recessed space. (You’ll need a different type light. Rather than a recessed can, maybe use a surface mount fluorescent.)

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  • Area of a 6 inch circle = Pi * r(2) = 28.275 sq inches. – Turtle Turtle Jul 21 '20 at 1:23
  • Please check my math. Area of a 6 inch circle = Pi * r(2) = 28.27 sq inches. 20' x 20' = 400 sq feet of space. 4 * 144 / 28.27 = 20.39 (20 each 6-inch recessed can lights). I am speculating that I will only need 12-16 recessed can lights. That might work out. – Turtle Turtle Jul 21 '20 at 1:32
  • @TurtleTurtle I get: 20’ x 20’ = 400 sq. ft. Then divide by 100 = 4 units. 4 x 144 sq. in. each = 576 sq. in. total allowed. 576 / 28.275 sq. in ea. = 20.37 total 6” diameter holes. Looks good to me...but that seems like a lot. I have 6 fluorescent 4 foots in mine...with none over the cars. – Lee Sam Jul 21 '20 at 2:25
  • Wow, we have to seal any holes here in NZ, even if <10mm. No fire barriers in most domestic though. – SomeoneSomewhereSupportsMonica Jul 21 '20 at 10:09
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    You said it yourself, Lee, this is a purchasing recommendation question. You answered the better question, but it was never asked. @TurtleTurtle is more than welcome to edit the question to match your answer and this will most likely be reopened. – FreeMan Jul 22 '20 at 19:11

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