Insulating old light fixture

Old 12-08-16, 09:47 AM
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Insulating old light fixture

Hi folks!

Would appreciate some help.

Have an old house with a ceramic lightbulb fixture that has a pull cord, and a 60W bulb in it. The fixture is located in a small closet (2'x3').

There is a draft coming out of the closet, and I am presuming it is from the light fixture. I cannot get to the attic. How can I safely insulate this fixture from the closet, and what kind of insulation can be used? I would even entertain replacing the fixture.

Thanks for your help!Hi Hi
Old 12-08-16, 11:19 AM
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Rather than presuming that the draft is from the light, check it out. Use a smoke test by lighting a candle, and then, as soon as you blow it out, hold it near the fixture and observe if the smoke is being blown away from the fixture. A good cigar would also work but the health police would be on me for recommending it.
You will have to remove the ceramic base to see how the junction box is mounted. (Turn off the power to that circuit first). You may be able to shove plain fiberglass insulation between the box and any gaps in the ceiling. Let us know what you find.
Old 12-08-16, 12:13 PM
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Not sure where this closet and light are located, first floor or second floor. Normal air leakage comes in low and exits high. In a 2 story house the ceiling of the first floor may still be at an entrance level. But air leaking in at floor level under the baseboard is a possibility.

Old 12-08-16, 02:05 PM
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You can caulk any gap between the sheetrock and the electrical box (after temporarily removing the fixture, but you can't put anything flammable in the electrical box itself, which is often where air leakage occurs. If the fixture doesn't fit tight against the ceiling, you can caulk that area as well.

A lot of newer fixtures have fiberglass insulation behind the fixture which can help a lot.

But agree with goldstart that you should verify that's where the draft is coming from.
Old 12-08-16, 07:21 PM
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The bare bulb fixture is not allowed in closets. It is too easy for a material to come into contact with a hot bulb and start a fire.
Old 12-09-16, 10:14 AM
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Thank you all for the replies! Much appreciated.

The house has a main floor, an attic, and a basement. The basement has block walls and a cement floor. There is vinyl siding around the house.

This weekend, will start by checking where the draft is coming from, and from there, will check out fixtures with fiberglass insulation if the draft truly originates from the fixture.

This house was built in 1950, and there are 3 closets with bare bulb fixtures. Might use this opportunity to replace all of them with something covered/contained and insulated.

Thanks again for all the info!

Have a great weekend!!

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