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Ultra-Thin Recessed LED Installation Guide

Overview

aspectLED’s Ultra-Thin series of recessed lights are bright, energy efficient, attractively styled, and designed to fit into the tightest of spaces, making them perfect for virtually any residential or commercial application. At under 1” tall, these recessed lights can fit into tight spaces that a traditional recessed can light won’t, such as ceilings with ductwork/piping/obstructions, hot-roof ceilings with limited vertical clearance, and tight soffits. Installation is very straight-forward and is very similar to the same process you would use to install any light fixture. If you have any questions during your installation, please feel free to contact our electrician’s helpdesk at 888-503-1317 option 3 or via e-mail at support@aspectled.com.

Specifications
Ultra-Thin Model SKU Overall (Trim) Size Cut-Out Hole Size Wattage
3.5" Round AL-RL-UTR-3 3-5/16" Diameter 3" Round 3 Watts
4.75" Round AL-RL-UTR-4 4-3/4" Diameter 4-1/4" Round 6 Watts
4.75" Square AL-RL-UTS-4 4-3/4" Width, 4-3/4" Length 4-1/8" Width, 4-1/8" Length 6 Watts
6" Round AL-RL-UTR-6 5-15/16" Diameter 5-1/4" Round 9 Watts
6" Square AL-RL-UTS-6 5-7/8" Width, 5-7/8" Length 5-1/4" Width, 5-1.4" Length 9 Watts
6.5" Round AL-RL-UTR-65 6-11/16" Diameter 6-1/4" Round 12 Watts
9" Round AL-RL-UTR-9 8-3/4" Diameter 8-1.8" Round 18 Watts
9" Square AL-RL-UTS-9 8-3/4" Width, 8-3/4" Length 8-1/8" Width, 8-1/8" Length 18 Watts
Tools You’ll Need
  • Tape measure
  • Wire stripper
  • Scissors
  • Screw driver
Before You Begin

We know how boring it can be to read instructions, so we’ll keep this installation guide as short and sweet as possible. Before you begin with your installation, be sure to fully read these instructions. They contain many useful tips and pointers that will help to ensure a perfect installation, save you time, and ensure your safety.

It is important that this product (and all other electrical products) are installed by a qualified person in accordance with the National Electric Code (NEC) and all applicable local building and electrical codes for your area. If you are unfamiliar with the NEC, your local building/electrical codes, and/or the proper installation methods for electrical devices, you should hire a qualified and licensed electrician to do the work for you.

Before doing any electrical work, always disconnect power at the fuse or circuit breaker.

Choosing an installation method

There are two different methods that you can use to install your aspectLED Ultra-Thin recessed LED lights. The amount of vertical clearance that you have at the light location will usually help you to decide which method to choose.

If you have at least 1.75” of space above your drywall, you will usually choose the conventional installation method. If you have a pipe, wire, joist or other obstacle in your way, you may be able to use the conventional installation method, if you have enough room to get a junction box through your hole. If you have less than 1.75” of space above your drywall, you’ll typically use the low clearance installation method.

Planning your layout

Most electricians space recessed lights equally apart from each other forming a grid pattern on the ceiling. The distance between each light generally depends on the LED wattage of your light. Here are a few rough rules of thumb for spacing when using the lights as primary lighting (if you are using the lights as accent lighting or you have other lights in your room, you can space them further apart):

LED Wattage Incandescent Equivalent Recommended Spacing
3 Watts 25 Watt 3W fixtures are generally used for accent/cabinet lighting and are not usually used as general room lighting. If you do use them as general lighting, you’ll want to space them roughly 2-3 feet apart.
6 Watts 50 Watt 6W fixtures are generally laid out in a grid such that they are 2’- 3’ off each wall and 4-5’ apart from each other.
9 Watts 65 Watts 9W fixtures are generally laid out in a grid such that they are 3’ off each wall and 5-6’ apart from each other.
12 Watts 75 Watt 12W fixtures are generally laid out in a grid such that they are about 4-5’ off each wall and about 6-7’ apart from each other.
18 Watts 125 Watts 18W fixtures are generally laid out in a grid such that they are 5-6’ off each wall and about 8-10’ apart from each other.
Recommended Accessories

Ultra-Thin Extension Cables

These cables are used for the low clearance (remote driver) installation method, to extend the distance between the light fixture and the driver. Ultra-Thin extension cables are available in 2’, 5’, 10’, and 25’ lengths.



New Construction Rough-In Plate/Bracket

These rough-in brackets make installing ultra-thin recessed LED lights in new construction applications a breeze. Simply install the rough-in plates at your designated locations before installing drywall, have your drywallers cut/router the holes for your lights using the rough-in plate as a guide, and then snap your ultra-thin light into place after drywalling is completed.

Important Considerations

This fixture is suitable for use in dry or damp locations When using this fixture in damp locations, it must be installed in a ceiling where it is protected from rain or other moisture by a roof or floor above.

This fixture is IC rated for direct contact with insulation.

This fixture is a Type IC fixture. This fixture is rated and approved for direct contact with insulation.

This fixture is Air-Tight.

When used with the optional aspectLED foam gasket, which is installed between the light’s trim ring and the ceiling material (usually drywall), this fixture is an airtight fixture.

Wire Diagram
Conventional Installation Method

If you have over 1.75” of space above your drywall, or, if you only have a small obstruction (like a pipe or a wire) in your way, this will be the fastest and most straight-forward installation method. If you don’t yet have drywall on your ceiling, please skip to the bottom (new construction applications).

  1. Layout your light locations on the ceiling.
    Using a tape measure and the layout/grid design that you’ve decided on, layout the location of each light on your ceiling and mark the center of each light location with a small pencil mark. The old adage of measuring twice and cutting once is worth thinking about as you’re marking your light locations. No one wants to repair or patch a ceiling because they cut their hole in the wrong spot.

  2. Cut the hole that you’ll install the fixture into.
    Using the table above to find the correct hole size for your Ultra-Thin recessed LED light fixture, draw the appropriately sized cut-out hole (round or square, depending on your fixture) on your ceiling using a pencil. Then, using a jab saw (or optionally, a drill with a holesaw for round cutouts), make a hole in your ceiling that is the correct size and shape for your light. Use care not to make cut-out hole any larger than recommended cut-out hole size.

  3. Run your wire to the light location.
    In accordance with NEC and your local electrical code, run your 120VAC electrical wire from the switch/dimmer location to the location where you will install your LED driver, usually at your light fixture. Use supply wire rated for 90° C or greater. Be sure to check your local code for which type of wire to run, most electrical codes require NM (also called Romex), BX, or MC wire.

  4. Remove wiring compartment plate

  5. Remove knock-out(s) as needed to run supply wiring into wiring compartment.

  6. Make supply connections to driver supply wires and ground wire lead using supplied wire connectors/nuts. Live wire = black. Neutral = white. Green = Ground. If 0-10V dimming, grey = 0-10 signal wire (-) and purple wire = 0-10 signal wire (+).

  7. Install wiring compartment cover and snap shut.

  8. Connect the driver to the light
    Verify that the input voltage of your LED driver matches your source voltage. Verify that the output voltage and current of your LED driver match the input voltage and current of your luminaire. Connect the driver cable plug to the plug on your light. Pay close attention to the arrows located on plug (there is one small arrow molded into the plug on the driver side of the cable). These arrows must point towards each other. Screw the connectors together. It is important to remember that each model light requires its own specific driver and drivers are NOT interchangeable between different model lights.

  9. Place LED Driver through hole
    Carefully place the LED Driver up through the hole. If driver must be attached to structure per code, use screws or other removable fastener to fasten unit using keyholes provided. It is very important that the LED driver remains accessible by removing the light, thus allowing you to inspect the connections or LED driver at any time without physically damaging your ceiling or other building materials. Mount your LED driver in a dry location, unless otherwise marked. For some smaller recessed fixtures, our driver may not fit through the fixture’s cut-out hole. In this case, you will need access from above the ceiling or behind the wall, or you may remotely locate the driver and run class 2 low voltage wire between the driver and the luminaire. In the event that you remotely locate your LED driver, only use aspectLED class 2 low voltage extension cables between luminaire and LED driver, and never connect multiple extension cables together.

  10. Install your luminaire into the cut-out hole.
    After you’ve verified that your light cord is connected to the driver output cord, gently lift upwards on the retention clips on each side of your light fixture and carefully push it into your cut-out hole. Once the light fixture is in the hole, allow the spring-loaded retention clips to come down, holding the light firmly in place against the drywall or ceiling material. Do not install this luminaire into ceiling material with a thickness over 1”.

  11. That’s it! You’re finished!
    Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed the conventional installation process. Once your light is installed into the ceiling, your project is finished. Now is a great time to take a moment to sit down and enjoy your favorite beverage while giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

If you ever need to remove the light in order to access your junction box (or anything in the ceiling cavity above), simply grab hold of the sides of the light and gently pull downwards until the light comes about 1/2” down out of the hole. Before pulling the light all of the way out of the hole, be sure to get a firm grip on the retention clips, so you can hold them upwards in order to avoid getting your fingers snapped in the springs. Then pull the light the rest of the way out of the hole and gently let the retention clips back down. Remember, the retention clips have a similar strength to your average mousetrap! Be careful not to snap your fingers inside of the springs!

Low Clearance Installation Method
  1. Find a place to locate your drivers.
    With the low clearance installation method, you’ll put all of your drivers together (or in groups) in a remote location. Typically this is in a utility room, unfinished room/basement, cabinet, utility closet, or other location. It is important that you locate this spot in a place where you can access it in the future, as electrical codes will require that it remain accessible without tearing apart things to get to it. When choosing the location for your drivers, remember that your drivers should be located within 100’ of your lights.

  2. Layout your light locations on the ceiling.
    Using a tape measure and the layout/grid design that you’ve decided on, layout the location of each light on your ceiling and mark the center of each light location with a small pencil mark. The old adage of measuring twice and cutting once is worth thinking about as you’re marking your light locations. No one wants to repair or patch a ceiling because they cut their hole in the wrong spot.

  3. Cut the hole that you’ll install the fixture into.
    Using the table above to find the correct hole size for your Ultra-Thin recessed LED light fixture, draw the appropriately sized cut-out hole (round or square, depending on your fixture) on your ceiling using a pencil. Then, using a jab saw (or optionally, a drill with a holesaw for round cutouts), make a hole in your ceiling that is the correct size and shape for your light. Use care not to make cut-out hole any larger than recommended cut-out hole size.

  4. Run extension cables or low voltage wire to the light location.
    RunaspectLED Ultra-Thin extension cables, or low voltage wire from your central driver location to each light location. Remember that you must run one ultra-thin extension cable (or run of low voltage wire) for each light. You can not daisy chain multiple lights together. If you are using aspectLED Ultra-Thin extension cables, always purchase the appropriate length cable and never connect multiple extension cables together. If you choose to run your own low voltage wire from the driver box to each light, be sure to use a 2 conductor stranded class 2 wire. Always consult a voltage drop chart that factors the wattage of the fixture (load) and the distance from the driver to the light (run length) in order to determine the appropriate size your wires. If you use the aspectLED Ultra-Thin extension cables, we’ve already done the sizing for you. You’ll need a little bit of slack in your wire at the light location to allow you to install the light (and to remove it if you ever need to), so be sure to leave about 6-8” of wire sticking out of your hole at the light location. Also, be sure to leave some extra wire at the driver location, so you have enough slack to neatly organize your wires.

  5. Mount your drivers and run 120VAC power to this location.
    At the location where you’ve decided to install your drivers (see step 1), securely mount your drivers. Run your electrical wire from the switch/dimmer location to each driver. Be sure to check your local code for which type of wire to run, most electrical codes require NM (also called Romex), BX, or MC wire. Spending a few minutes to neatly space your drivers and route your wiring will be well worth the investment if you ever need to access or service your drivers. We recommend leaving 2" of space between drivers for access and serviceability. Also, we highly recommend labeling each driver with the location of the light that it feeds.

  6. Connect the drivers to the light.
    Connect the Ultra-Thin extension cable plug to the plug on your light. Be sure to pay close attention to the arrows located on plug (there is one small arrow molded into the plug on the light side of the cable and one small arrow molded into the plug on the driver side of the cable). These arrows must point towards each other. Also, if you look inside the plug, you’ll notice a groove on the light side and a bump/key on the driver side. Be sure that the bump/key fits nicely into the slot. Screw the connectors together. If you used your own wire for extending the distance between the driver and the light, cut off the aspectLED supplied connector on the light and driver and strip the black and red wires, then connect to your extension wire, being careful to keep the polarity consistent. We recommend using wire with a red and black conductor, making it easy to keep track of which wire is positive and negative. It is important to remember that each model light has its own specific driver and drivers are NOT interchangeable between different model lights.

  7. Install your luminaire into the cut-out hole.
    After you’ve verified that your light cord is connected to the driver output cord, gently lift upwards on the retention clips on each side of your light fixture and carefully push it into your cut-out hole. Once the light fixture is in the hole, allow the spring-loaded retention clips to come down, holding the light firmly in place against the drywall or ceiling material. Do not install this luminaire into ceiling material with a thickness over 1”.

  8. That’s it! You’re finished!
    Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed the conventional installation process. Once your light is installed into the ceiling, your project is finished. Now is a great time to take a moment to sit down and enjoy your favorite beverage while giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

  9. If you ever need to remove the light in order to access your junction box (or anything in the ceiling cavity above), simply grab hold of the sides of the light and gently pull downwards until the light comes about 1/2” down out of the hole. Before pulling the light all of the way out of the hole, be sure to get a firm grip on the retention clips, so you can hold them upwards in order to avoid getting your fingers snapped in the springs. Then pull the light the rest of the way out of the hole and gently let the retention clips back down. Remember, the retention clips have a similar strength to your average mousetrap! Be careful not to snap your fingers inside of the springs!

New Construction

For new construction applications, we recommend using aspectLED’s Rough-In Bracket/Plates. Before installing drywall, layout your light locations and securely fasten the rough-in plate to your joists at each light location. The rough-in brackets have convenient slots in them allowing you to make minor adjustments to the bracket positioning after you’ve mounted them. Run wire (following the conventional or low clearance installation instructions above) to each of your light locations before drywalling. Before drywalling, double check the location of each light. Once you’ve drywalled, you won’t be able to adjust the positioning. Instruct your drywallers to cut-out the holes for each light using the rough-in bracket as a template. Then, once drywall is finished, install your lights by following the remainder of the conventional or low clearance installation instructions in this document.


More product resources and helpful tips on YouTube.

@aspectLEDlighting