Like your idea with the exploratory research holes and irrigation flags. I cant tell you how many times a builder triple built roof joist corner has screwed up the placement of a downlight for me. Actually we Tend to use cm115u now. I got tired of wasting time on a ladder trying to place lightoliers within joist cavity'sI'm sure you could google any DIY forum and they would show you the basics. It's pretty simple. Biggest advice I can give you test for ceiling trusses and joists before you cut your hole. Use a small , rigid wire. Something like an irrigation flag wire. If the hole you are cutting is 3" in diameter, bend the last 1.5" over so it is 90 degrees to the rest of the wire. Drill a tiny hole in the soffit just big enough to fit the wire. Slide the wire in past the 90 and twist the wire end in circles gradually pushing it up to the depth of the can. If it doesn't rub or smack a stud, your good to go. If not you will need to adjust by a 1/2". Most of the time any exploratory holes will be cut out with the cut out, if not, it's small and use some color matching putty to fill.
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