I'm finishing my basement (exposed ceiling, will be putting in roxul safensound) and I have a dilemma. Home Depot just released these new 4" puck/panel lights with integrated LED driver. I'm considering using them as they throw out decent light and are dimmable and IC rated. I threw one up last night for testing and think it's alright.



Should I go with these or traditional can (halo) type installation? They are so new that I couldn't find many reviews online regarding these. I did find that the integrated driver junction box had very little space to work in, especially connecting lights in series. How would I rough wire my basement if I was using these and pass inspection?

thanks so much.


update: As per request, I'm attaching the photos I took when I was at HD.


junction box

  • Your asking if you'll experience early adopters regret, it's too early to say... Either your okay with being an early adopter and risking unknown failure rates, or your not and are okay with sticking to proven tech. As a commercial UL product it's not likely to catch on fire and burn, but it may fail to provide the light you want early.
    – cde
    Nov 28, 2015 at 6:32
  • Dolph, I've been looking at these as well for a kitchen reno. Have you installed these yet? Any observations to share? FYI these are made by DALS Lighting in Montreal and are distributed through HD under the Illume brand name. If you have not already purchased these, please note that the one currently sold as a 4-inch is NOT 4-inches! It requires a hole 5" and a bit. I contacted the company and they informed me that a "true" 4-inch model will be available at HD in mid-to-late Feb. 2016. This larger one will be relabeled as a 5" unit.
    – doozit
    Jan 9, 2016 at 22:30
  • I've had one installed as a test in the ceiling for a month or so now. It throws a lot of warm light and I'm pleased with it. I've noticed that it has a very slight delay (like 500ms) when turning on the switch. I haven't hooked it up to a dimmer either yet, which I need to do. It's pretty good. But the real test is how long it will last. Yes I noticed that it's larger than 4 inches, but it's the panel body goes quite far, the light itself is closer to 4 inches.. I'll have to measure that. I'm not overly concerned though as my wife likes the look of it ;)
    – Dolph
    Jan 10, 2016 at 17:09

3 Answers 3


full disclosure here. you may be looking at a product that is similar looking but fundamentally different than what i think it is.

what you are looking at is a bulkhead light for furniture only. meant to be used inside a cabinet box or some other structure that is classed in the NBC as "furniture". even though many places sell these, you cannot legally use these for potlighting where they are submerged into a drywall ceiling, even I have seen these installed so many times in the wrong way. its disturbing. you cannot just cut a hole and clip these into the hole. I have worked on multiple different residences where these have caught fire outright or been smouldering when they were turned off finally.

1) there is no way to connect to the unit in a way that makes the connection compliant with the OEC. the connections have to be in a metal enclosure, and these don't come with it. I have seen every type of disturbingly mis-thought arrangement with these things.

2) the fire code requires that any penetration into the rooms fire barrier (the drywall ceiling) must be in an appropriately fire rated enclosure. since these have a power supply board either onboard or in a little separate module (with a molex connector usually), that part also has to be installed in an approved enclosure.

3) even if you want to do all your connections in an approved rework pot or some other device, they are a weird diameter that doesn't match any pots that I have ever seen.

4) ESA will not pass these in any installation I have ever seen, and I have had inspectors tell me that ESA is still working on getting the legislative clout to have them banned outright, so that they can't be sold at all in Canada without the aforementioned warnings. just remember that you can run electrical cable through a drain line, but its not legal. caveat emptor.

do yourself a favour and get led refit assemblies from cree or greenlite. I buy them by the skid from greenlite for about $15 ea. they are not that much more if you buy just a case of them. they have a 5 year warranty, honoured by a Canadian company, and they are bombproof, commercial grade lights.


  • Ultra complete answer PPA. Another question, and I should have put this in my original question. I have several areas where I have bulkheads running. This makes it challenging for deep can installations. Do you have an recommendations for that? What IC rated can type would you recommend for the retrofit lights? Also, these ultraslim lights are ETL (c) rated, why would HD be selling these if they are so dangerous and sketchy? Thanks again for your answer!
    – Dolph
    Nov 26, 2015 at 21:01
  • if the home depot units are indeed ETL-c rated, that means the power supply is a class 2 unit. this is a major difference from any of the ones I have seen previously. its possible that you could install them as designed as long as you put your line voltage termination, connection, power supply and output power connector into a grommetted and approved device box (junction box or whatever). just remember that the box has to be accessible within the mounting hole for the luminaire. I don't think that the LED luminaire would meet the firecode requirements, but maybe it does. ESA would know Nov 27, 2015 at 14:59
  • I would also do yourself a favour and verify with ETL that the ETL-c mark on the unit is for the supply as well. The rules here in Ontario are pretty stupid, so its entirely legal to sell the unit, but still have its installation be illegal. End use and compliance with the OEC is up to the end user. do me a favour, if you do end up using these, send me a photo of the unit, its power supply, and a close up of the approval sticker/technical lablelling. if someone has come up with a legal way that's approved to do this, i am interested to know Nov 27, 2015 at 15:07
  • I've updated the question with the photos. Note that the package has ETL verification. Also, the 2nd picture with the aluminum metal enclosure. This enclosure is a clam shell style box with hot, netral, ground wires. Two entry ports on each side of the box for running Romex in and out. My problem with it is how freaking tight it is in the box.. I'll try and upload another pic of the inside of the box later tonight.
    – Dolph
    Nov 27, 2015 at 18:26
  • okay. this is definitely a better setup than I have seen previously, the power supply is (I assume) in the little galvanized box in the center of the mounting plate. it probably has 2 1/2" knockouts for connection and pass through. there seems to be a cable harness that's rigid to the LED and probably plugs into the PS enclosure. sound about right? if this is all correct, it would all meet code, assuming ETL-c approval. you can contact ESA field evaluation (1-800-559-5356) or one of their technical inspectors if you want to verify the fire code compliance of the luminaire assembly. Nov 28, 2015 at 18:15

When I opened up the junction box and saw what's inside, the cheap quality and the number of screws they use, plus that it only has a 1 year warranty, I returned them. No confidence whatsoever and because its still so new and I don't trust that electronic stuff they put in to last very long.

  • I ended up going with this product instead as it seemed way sturdier: lowes.ca/can-lights/… product is solid and puts out a strong beam.
    – Dolph
    May 31, 2016 at 16:24

The currently accepted answer from 'personal privacy advocate' is mostly wrong.

These are not "bulkhead light for furniture only" and the electrical connections are enclosed within a metal box, it's just not in the picture the OP posted.

  • If an answer is accepted the OP is happy with the advice saying an answer is wrong is not really an answer.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 29, 2016 at 14:01
  • I don't have enough points to do anything else then a new answer. At least I'm helping the community by letting everyone know that most of the information is wrong and the whole premise of the accepted answer is flawed. Others could be misled by it. Now what purpose does your comment serve? Jan 5, 2017 at 15:30

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