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-   -   Airtight recessed lights (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/airtight-recessed-lights-13814/)

sluggermike 11-27-2007 04:47 AM

Airtight recessed lights
 
I'm planning on putting some recessed lights in the ceiling. I noticed at HD that they have Airtight, IC, recessed lights and Airtight trim. What is the advantage of using the Airtight light fixtures?
Thanks

Andy in ATL 11-27-2007 04:54 AM

Energy savings if used in a ceiling that butts up on the attic.

RippySkippy 11-27-2007 06:35 AM

Airtights are "supposed" to seal the conditioned air on the inside of the dwelling from the unconditioned air outside (attic) the dwelling. I have a couple of friends that have them installed and question their effectiveness. No hard facts, just casual observations.

Piedmont 11-27-2007 09:52 AM

Sometimes you need to match them. For example, Halo recessed lights their "air tight" trims usually must be installed in their "air tight" housings. Commercial Electric doesn't really have air tight cans, they just sell air tight trims.

Recessed lights cause huge amounts of energy loss each, changing your lighting to them can cause your heating and cooling bills to skyrocket if this is being installed with an attic above. I install them whenever possible just to minimize energy loss, only time I don't install air tight was over my open porch. Even installing all air tight cans your heating & cooling bill will go up (but recessed lights are awesome!!!). Although they call them "Air Tight" or "Air Tite" and better than non they're leaky as all heck. The air tight cans (HALO) the gaskets are installed carelessly and usually improperly. The gaskets on their cans are often knocked off during shipment or people in the store tossing them back into the box will accidentally knock them off, the gaskets are glued and not particularly well, only a matter of time when the glue will fail and the gasket pop out or off. Often gaskets are adhered to the adjustment screw you slide up/down so making any adjustment causes those gaskets to pop off opening up air gaps. You also have to figure out how to seal the opening between the can and the ceiling, usually I use firestop caulking.

The air tight cans are pretty pointless in my opinion, stick to air tight trims and Commercial Electric's are really rather good. They look like traffic cones you slide into the can, and have just 2 gaskets, the one where the light pulls down to which gets pinched into place... can't move etc. The other gasket is around the base of the trim which adhere's but also gets pinched and can't go anywhere. So, get an IC rated can, and Commercial Electrics air tight trim (again, looks like a traffic cone) and that system is probably 50x better than trying to get an air tight can to be air tight. Also, get yourself a recessed light hole saw to avoid the chance of accidentally making a portion of a hole too big to be covered and leaving a small air gap. Even the smallest of air gaps greatly increase energy use and a recessed light hole saw will not only make life easier on yourself it will most likely pay for itself in energy savings by avoiding gaps.

sluggermike 11-27-2007 02:07 PM

Thanks for the info. Your responses were very informative.
Slugger

myheadspins 01-27-2009 10:54 PM

I gave the solution of foam sealants and sealing trim rings to the person that ran my home through an energy audit and he gave me a better solution. He told me to forget the sealing the drywall and trim rings and put one stryrofoam cooler big enough to allow for 3+ clearance around each light and foam the cooler in place. The lights were barely visible in the infrared camera after this procedure. Before the sealing it was mind blowing how much heat I was tossing into the atmosphere.

I can say my lights are really sealed now not just kind of and it wasn't a big deal after moving the insulation around so the coolers could sit right and be foamed correctly. I had to trim some but that wasn't too bad. The outside doors shut way different now without all the holes in the roof. I have IC lights.. I can't even imagine what the old ones would be like.

mferguson0414 01-28-2009 06:34 PM

wow, that is an awesome idea!

hagak 01-30-2009 11:30 AM

So I went into my attic to see if the recessed cans in our bathrooms are IC rated. What do I find is that the previous home owner decided I guess not to get IC rated cans and just remove the baffle insulation from above the 2 bathrooms :furious:.

So my original plan was to buy some IC cans, however after coming across this post and seeing the use of a "beer cooler" to solve the problem as being a much easier and cheaper solution. If I make sure to have a min of 3" spacing on all sides is there any problem with this solution?

Note each bathroom has 6 6" cans, so I am guessing I am probably loosing a good bit of heat even if they were IC and the bathrooms had insulation.

sansom 01-25-2010 06:15 PM

Yep, easiest is to order some styrofoam 'minnow' buckets. The kind fisherman use to store their bait.

An 8qt bucket is the perfect size and shape. They're about $2.19 each.

Chris

amyremodel 02-10-2011 01:28 AM

I love the styrofoam bucket idea but don't know what to use to seal the bucket (caulk, expandable foam, etc)?

Any suggestion for sealing recessed can lights in cathedral ceiling? There is no room for a bucket over the can lights.

mem 02-10-2011 09:16 AM

I use foil tape used for HVAC ducts (not duct tape!). I tape every seam on every box with this. I also use it to tape up holes and seams on switch and receptacle boxes on the outside walls. When installing vapor barrier I cut the openings about a quarter inch undersized to get a stretch fit around the box protrusions. I think I paid around twelve bucks for a roll but it goes pretty far in this application.

mheslep 04-05-2011 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hagak (Post 221885)
So I went into my attic to see if the recessed cans in our bathrooms are IC rated. What do I find is that the previous home owner decided I guess not to get IC rated cans and just remove the baffle insulation from above the 2 bathrooms :furious:.

So my original plan was to buy some IC cans, however after coming across this post and seeing the use of a "beer cooler" to solve the problem as being a much easier and cheaper solution. If I make sure to have a min of 3" spacing on all sides is there any problem with this solution?

Note each bathroom has 6 6" cans, so I am guessing I am probably loosing a good bit of heat even if they were IC and the bathrooms had insulation.

This is a response to an old post - but some caution and rethinking is due for this solution. When adding an air tight / insulated enclosure to a _non_-IC light, the enclosure needs to be fire resistant. So drywall or duct board are fine, but a cheap styro cooler is not. A styro cooler over an _IC_ rated can is fine. The 3" spacing doesn't relieve you of the trouble, as the housing may well come loose over time and contact the can, melt and even drip into the can housing.

chumley12 01-18-2012 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mheslep (Post 624229)
This is a response to an old post - but some caution and rethinking is due for this solution. When adding an air tight / insulated enclosure to a _non_-IC light, the enclosure needs to be fire resistant. So drywall or duct board are fine, but a cheap styro cooler is not. A styro cooler over an _IC_ rated can is fine. The 3" spacing doesn't relieve you of the trouble, as the housing may well come loose over time and contact the can, melt and even drip into the can housing.

Much to my dismay, I find that I have a bunch of non-ic recessed lights that are leaking like a sieve. I am wondering if I could build a box out of the 2 in sheet insulation, that has aluminum foil on one side and make the box so the foil is on the inside and seal the box with fire retardant foam (I have seen references to it, but don't really know what it is. Some suggestions are to leave the top off of the surround, others say to seal it and some say to even seal the holes in the sides of the non-ic cans or to even replace them with ic cans, but they are not the perfect solution. I am so confused I don't know what to do. A licensed electrician installed all of the cans a number of years ago. Bummer.

brooker 01-22-2012 10:59 AM

1990 juno recessed inccandescent fixtures
 
I have some 1990 juno ic 22 recessed lighting fixture....they are installed in ceiling with insulation...though they have various slots and holes in the cans...i assume that the slots and holes are for other applications...Can I tape them in an effort to reduce infiltration and exfilration????? Currently they have pink( Corning fiberglass) batt insulation around them...which actually does not surround the cans adequately (tightly)....I'm considering packing a loose fill fiberglass insulation ( Guardian e-z fill attic insulation) around them....there ic rated.....like the cooler type closure idea....what do you all think about taping the holes....brooker

SD515 01-22-2012 11:13 AM

Have you considered air-tight trims?


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