Draft from recessed lights


  #1  
Old 02-02-06, 07:18 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 37
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Draft from recessed lights

There is cold air coming in from the recessed lights in the dropped ceiling in my den. There is nothing above the den; just a crawl space over the den ceiling and the roof with two roof vents. How can I eliminate the draft? Must I replace the recessed light housing, or is it enough to change the trim?

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 02-04-06, 07:58 AM
R
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
http://www.neo.state.ne.us/home_const/details/rcld.htm

This shows a drawing on how to solve your problem. Keep in mind that the recess light must be IC rated.
 
  #3  
Old 02-04-06, 12:55 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 37
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
sealed trim

Thank you Resercon.
My recessed lights are old and, therefore, I expect not IC rated.

Could I use glass shower trim with the existing lights with an insulated seal to prevent air from escaping into the room from the light can through the ceiling opening?
 
  #4  
Old 02-05-06, 08:31 AM
R
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You can try to seal around the fixture from the ceiling below. You would have to careful with the materials you intend to use. Light fixture like these get very hot when in use. They are designed to allow air flow around the fixture to dissipate the heat they generate. Insulation must be kept a least 3 inches away from such fixtures.
 
  #5  
Old 02-05-06, 04:20 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 37
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Incandescebt bulbs

Yes, I understand they should not overheat. Would it help in terms of the heat generated to replace the flood lights in the recessed lights with regular incadescent bulbs?
 
  #6  
Old 02-06-06, 07:24 AM
R
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Recessed lighting is usually task or aesthetic lighting. Which means if you change out the bulbs to a lower wattage (flood to incandescent) and you are using the lighting for general purposes, the room(s) will not illuminate properly.

Unfornately the type of fixtures you have are specifically designed to allow air flow to prevent overheating, regardless of the bulb you install. Furthermore it is not the heat from the bulbs you wish to prevent, it is the drafts you feel coming from them. Keep in mind that the volume of air inside a confined space remains constant. Meaning to say if a certain volume of air leaves the house through the vent holes in your recessed canister, that same volume of must enter the house. Example, the drafts you feel coming in around the cover ring of the fixture. If you were to seal around the cover ring, that would not prohibit the air from leaving the vents inside the fixture and the air would come into the house elsewhere, like your windows and doors.

What I am trying to say politely is that regardless what you do to these lights, they will always be a source of higher energy bills, drafts and discomfort inside your home. Your situation is quite common and it exemplifies the weak link on a chain when it comes to conserving energy.
 
  #7  
Old 02-06-06, 01:58 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 37
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks for the response

Thanks for the response.

Since the lights are for general-purpose lighting, I could do with incandescent bulbs to reduce the heat generated. I expect that the vents in the can of the recessed light would probably be enough to keep the bulbs cool, especially since the can is exposed to the outside air from above. So, I expect that installing a closed shower trim and sealing it against the ceiling would prevent the cold air from getting inside the room below.

Is this reasonable to expect?
 
  #8  
Old 02-08-06, 07:56 AM
R
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Unfortunately most manufacturers' will usually seek minimum requirements and hardly ever seek to exceed them. Though they swear they do when you see their advertisements. This poses a dilema for your situation. In other words the canister design to prevent a fire hazard may include air movement through the fixture at a certain rate. The sealing of the bottom of the fixture to prevent air either entering or leaving through it may increase the probability that condensation may accumulate inside the canister, regardless of the bulb you install.

While most of us understand that the hotter air is the faster it rises, most people overlook the importance of normal conditions. Which will include the fixture being on or off. If the manufacturer knows the average temperature in the attic and inside a normal home they can size the vent holes in the canister to move enough air through the canister not only to prevent overheating but also to prevent condensation inside the canister. Mind you these manufacturer's are well aware that the heat from the house going through these fixtures cause a variety of moisture related problems from structural damage to mold and mildew in attics. However, they will meet the electrical requirement. They refuse to caution customers on this fact, base solely on the fact that they feel it might hurt sales.

I would be remiss as a professional if I were to recommend or even suggest that I agreed with your intentions with these fixtures. The sealing of the bottom of these fixtures at your ceiling to prohibit air flow through these fixtures, regardless if they are on or off, poses too great a risk to your life and property.
 
  #9  
Old 02-08-06, 12:31 PM
Who's Avatar
Who
Who is offline
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Jose
Posts: 2,175
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
If you can get in the attic then pull the fixtures up and replace them with rated units you'll be doing it right and will be able to resolve this and keep your heat in the heated space where it belongs. It's not as bad a job as it seems for any DIYer. Then you can properly insulate above it.
 
  #10  
Old 02-08-06, 10:07 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 37
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
No attic access

Unfortunately, there is no attic above the ceiling. Just the roof. It seems like I will have to open the ceiling to replace the recessed lights.
 
  #11  
Old 02-11-06, 08:50 AM
Smitty
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I have had to replace my units with typical light fixtues that will sit below the ceiling to keep air from rushing in. The recessed lighting are nice to have in certain areas but my experience with them is they cost more than the benefit I gain from them. Just my 2 cents worth.
Smitty
 
  #12  
Old 02-11-06, 11:36 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 37
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Air-tight remodeling recessed lights

Thanks Smitty.

Has any one used air-tight remodeling recessed lights? Do they prevent cold air from coming down from the ceiling into the room? Any recommendations on manufacturers?
 
  #13  
Old 02-16-06, 01:39 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Try compact flourescents ...

Originally Posted by m ben
Yes, I understand they should not overheat. Would it help in terms of the heat generated to replace the flood lights in the recessed lights with regular incadescent bulbs?
I've replaced all my recessed lights' traditional floods with compact flourescent flood. This greatly reduces the heat (thus, lowers fire issues requiring air flow) and has cut the wattage for my recessed lights by over 75 percent (with, in the end, much better lighting).

And, I have built [near] air-tight boxes in the attic five inches removed from non-IC recessed lights to virtually eliminate the chimney effect. (I've built similar boxes above my IC lights as well.)

In this process, I discovered that the previous homeowner had covered the recessed lights with insulation -- thus, I've made this less of a fire risk than before.

In any event, this has had a noticeable impact on the cool air flow coming into my home ... I expect to enjoy a similar benefit in summer.
 
  #14  
Old 01-17-10, 04:11 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: pa
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
m_ben,

How you built the boxes to cover recessed lights?

Thanks
 
  #15  
Old 01-28-10, 04:43 AM
X
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 55
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tt1234 View Post
m_ben,

How you built the boxes to cover recessed lights?

Thanks
This thread is quite old, so I am not sure if the original posters will respond.

Here are a couple of ways to make boxes:

1. get styrofoam coolers from a grocery or liquor store and place them over the cans.

2. Make boxes out of rigid fiberboard; cutting the parts with a utility knife is sufficient, then assemble using duct tape and caulk all seams on the inside.

Then use caulk to seal the edges of the boxes where they sit on the attic floor and place your attic insulation around and on top of the boxes.

Hope that helps. MM
 
  #16  
Old 03-19-11, 10:05 AM
L
Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi resercon,
I have 7 recessed light and will be installing an eight as this is what my husband wants though I do not like them at all. 5 of our existing lights arer non-IC rated. SHould I replace them with IC-rated since we are installing one newIC-rated light?
There are drafts coming from the non-IC rated lights. If we change them to all IC-rated, these would be covered with new insulation. If we remove old insulation and replace with new batts, would dust still come through the recessed lights? Amazon sells TenMat rock wool insulation covers for recessed lights and Owens Smart caps for recssed lights, would these be a safe way to go instaed of replacing our non-IC lights? Can we use such covers for IC-lights also to keep dust from entering our home?
I have astham so this is a concern.
Thank you very much for your expertise.
 
  #17  
Old 03-19-11, 02:03 PM
R
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry for not responding sooner. I am no longer a moderator on this forum and I rarely make any more responses.

Provided the fixture is "IC" rated you can insulate over it. However from my experience they are rarely air tight. Perhaps at first with those caps designed to make them air tight but the repeated changing of these bulbs causes them to move eventually and not be air tight.

The diagram for making an air tight box over an IC rated fixture has been removed from the web or possibly moved. However if you are the least bit handy you can make one yourself. I use 1/2 inch sheet rock or whatever you may have on hand. I insert a piece on each side of the fixture 3 inches away between the ceiling joists making sure the height is 3 inches above the fixture. I the sheet rock extends above the ceiling joists I cut a piece the length and height and insert one on each side. I use duct tape to hold in place then caulk or use mastic to seal the seams. I let this set and then cut a piece of sheet rock for the cover.Seal with caulk or mastic. Let it set and then cover with insulation.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: