Recessed Lighting Questions

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Old 02-20-10, 06:27 AM
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Recessed Lighting Questions

We had a contractor install 42 of the Utilitech 3" Non-IC White Gimbal Recessed Kit from Lowe's, Item # 16059.

In almost all the spots, it's in a ceiling with attic and fiberglass insulation above, touching the top of the can housing. I just realized he installed the non-insulated cans. There is insulation touching the cans above. I called Lowe's and they said there isn't supposed to be insulation within 3" of the fixtures.

They said there's not a kit to install an insulated shroud around these, and they are designed for suspended ceilings.

Is this a fire hazard? I know we're losing tons of heat through these also & need more added above. I'm at a loss as to what to do now.

Thanks for your help in advance.
 
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Old 02-20-10, 06:55 AM
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Welcome to the forums! It is a heat/fire problem. There is not supposed to be any insulation in contact with the fixture can. In addition once heat builds up the thermal breaker will cut out on the lamps and they will extinguish until they cool down. PITA.
Have Lowes send their guy back out and remove the insulation from around the can, or install IC cans (preferred), at their expense.
 
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Old 02-20-10, 07:13 AM
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The person that picked a non-IC rated housing for use in an insulated setting should have known better. Installing them with insulation above would violate the electrical code as it is not the way the fixtures were listed to be installed. It was also a very poor choice from an energy conservation standpoint. You will continue to leak conditioned air, whether heated or cooled, as long as these fixtures are installed. This will also add to your bill to heat or cool your house.

In addition to IC rated fixtures, some areas require the use of air-tight fixtures to minimize the heat loss or gain.
 
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Old 02-20-10, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dhindublin View Post
We had a contractor install 42 of the Utilitech 3" Non-IC White Gimbal Recessed Kit from Lowe's, Item # 16059.
In almost all the spots, it's in a ceiling with attic and fiberglass insulation above, touching the top of the can housing. I just realized he installed the non-insulated cans. There is insulation touching the cans above. I called Lowe's and they said there isn't supposed to be insulation within 3" of the fixtures.

They said there's not a kit to install an insulated shroud around these, and they are designed for suspended ceilings.

Is this a fire hazard? I know we're losing tons of heat through these also & need more added above. I'm at a loss as to what to do now.

Thanks for your help in advance.
Who hired the contractor to install the fixtures? Was it a Lowes contractor or did you hire your own contractor? If you selected the contractor and supplied the fixtures or if you accepted a contract/proposal, with the non-IC rated cans specified, for Lowes to have the work installed, you might be on the hook for the expense to change it. Could be an expensive problem due to oversite or just not knowing. Remember this, the thermal protector is a mechanical safety device. When it finally fails, it could fail in the open position (off) or the closed position (on). Failing in the closed position could cause a fire.
 
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Old 02-20-10, 03:38 PM
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I wonder if one could use CFL bulbs in all of them? granted the issue is they are not allowed to be contacting the insulation a CFL wouldn't have that problem. I also realize an unknowing person could easily replace these with Halogen or incandescent light bulbs which would again be a serious fire hazard

as others said the safest thing would be change the lights
 
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Old 02-20-10, 05:06 PM
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Thanks for the welcome.

We hired the contractor. He's an old friend of the Mrs. who does this kind of stuff for a living. He said he had installed these lights in a couple of other houses, our bad for not checking out the product more thoroughly. I assumed they were insulated until I was stringing phone line through the attic right after he installed them & saw they were non-insulated.

Good thing is we still owe him money. Bad thing is he's an old friend of hers. Should be interesting. lol

I was wondering myself if there were any 3" CFL's that would work. We have other cans with the natural light indoor floods in them & love it. How is the light on the CFL's? Then we could just insulate over the cans. Wouldn't be air-tight, but would bury it. Was going to add more to the attic regardless.
 
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Old 02-20-10, 05:40 PM
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You have limited options, either change the fixtures to IC and insulate them or place a cage of some sort to keep the insulation 3" away from the housings. This is regardless of the bulb type installed.

IMO anyone that installs these for money should have known the proper housing to install. Causing a constant energy loss is no way to perform a service for a customer, especially a friend.
 
 

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