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 put the wires there, 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 close.

I just wanted to double check that. Any thoughts?

  • I would not think it would matter if you have the proper rated shielding on the speaker wire. Do some research on CL rated speaker wire; there is plenty out there.
    – Evil Elf
    Mar 18, 2013 at 13:25
  • They don't allow you to put the wires up before drywall? Or you don't have time? Also you can run the wires without any issues outside of the recessed lighting housing.
    – DMoore
    Apr 17, 2013 at 21:07
  • Sadly they won't allow it. Per code, they'd have to file the plans with the county and I imagine that has to be done by a licensed contractor. Thanks for the info! Apr 18, 2013 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


On most of the non-IC (insulation contact) rated cans I've used, they state a minimum 3" clearance from any insulation. Verify with the inspector that this is an acceptable distance.


It all depends on the kind of light and the wiring you're gonna use for the speakers. If you use LED lights, they are almost cold so you can run the wire onto the light no problem. Check the wire shielding specs.

  • Let's say, worst case, I'm not using LED lights, but regular (incandescent?) bulbs. I plan on using AWG14, CL2 rated speaker cables. I'm not sure how much heat is generated by the lighting, though they have a temperature which they cannot exceed. I'm not sure how much heat CL2 can withstand. Mar 18, 2013 at 19:54
  • The best way to find out is to contact the manufacturer of the wire and ask for their specs. Some online retailers put the specs on their products: monoprice.com/products/… Your details are too broad to get an exact answer.
    – slybloty
    Mar 18, 2013 at 20:59
  • That's exactly the wire I'm planning on buying. Is the 'Heat Shock Test' what I should be looking at? Mar 21, 2013 at 17:42

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