Sealing Recessed Lighting


Old 02-02-07, 06:16 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 62
Sealing Recessed Lighting

Hi all,

I know you must be sick of hearing about recessed lighting but if anyone could answer a couple of quick questions I'd appreciate it.

My IC recessed lights are really leaky and I'd like to resolve that problem. In the attic the cans are covered by a metal box about 12" long x 9" wide x 8" tall. The box is marked "IC - may come in direct contact with thermal insulation".

1) The box has some small openings / slits / leaky areas around the drywall and where the metal sides come together. Can I seal these with high-temp caulk or foil tape?

2) After that, can I go gorilla with the insulation without worrying about the lights overheating? I know they're rated IC but I'm not sure if that permits piling on the insulation.

In other words, does that metal box need to breathe also or is that box all that's needed to keep the cans safe? The box is warm -- not hot -- to the touch while the lights are on, but the attic was really cold when I checked them.

Thanks for any words,
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Old 02-02-07, 06:32 PM
chandler's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
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John: I think if you insulate it well, you will eliminate your drafts. Sometimes we make cardboard covers to sit over the cans to stop the drafts, then blow in insulation. Being IC, you can "pile on" the insulation, but if it is loose, it may suck into the slits. That is why we make the boxes.
Old 02-02-07, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Just for future reference, next time buy air-tite cans. These are IC cans that are also air tight. Only cost a buck or two more than the IC cans.

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