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Old 12-01-2008, 09:01 AM   #1
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pot lights/heat loss


after 20 years of no heat loss on our home , we installed pot lights, Now we have large icicles hanging on the out side of the room where the lights are. this is a single level house and we did put in the required covers in the attic . What can we do to stop the heat loss?

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Old 12-01-2008, 11:02 AM   #2
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Every home has heat loss.

Why do the icicles make you believe the heat loss has increased?

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Old 12-01-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
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I believe it, these things are like heat vacuums. These are standard pot lights, correct?; not the Energy efficient flourescent ones?
What covers did you use to insulate?
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
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It is hard to realisticlly pin the blame for icicles on the outside of the house on heat loss through can lights. If your attic is properly ventilated, the heat gain from the cans in the attic would be incredibly insignificant. The sun's heat hitting the roof would have much greater effect.

It is wintertime, icicles happen.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
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What you want to do is switch out the trim for airtight trims. They sell them at Home Depot under the Commercial Electric brand. They're not expensive, look like cones (a pic is below)



and fit both Halo & Commercial Electric (Home Depots) brand. They have a gasket at the top where the wires come in (which the gasket is a sticker with a yellow facing you're supposed to remove) and comes with a gasket to seal around the base. Very well sealed if almost perfectly sealed. But, it lowers the allowable wattage of the light installed (I think to 65W or 75W) and as far as I'm aware only for 6" pot lights.

I agree with others, you'd need to install a bunch of recessed lights to cause icicles. Did someone do something silly in the attic and seal the ventilation while they were installing these pot lights? Did someone add or blow in insulation and block the ventilation at the eaves? Blocked ventilation in the attic is almost always the culprit for icicles. The previous homeowners blocked it in the attic of my house and I had icicles as big as the statue of liberty. After seeing all ventilation in my attic was blocked I opened it back up and haven't had an icicle since!

Last edited by Piedmont; 12-01-2008 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:53 PM   #6
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pot lights/heat loss


You don't understand . We have never had icicles before . Only the room where we put in the lights has icicles. The same side of the house has a laundry room and a bedroom. (no icicles)

The further away from the potlight room the smaller the icicles, until you reach the bedroom where there are absolutely none . I am going to have someone look into some of the suggestions that were made . Thank you
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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pot lights/heat loss


Theres no doubt the lights are heating the attic space above. This is a by product of recessed lighting. A natural occurrence. I bet if you can find some suitable CFL bulbs, your icicle problem will go away. The heat is going up to the roof and melting some of your snow, which becomes an icicle as it reaches the eve where it is much colder. Some insulation above the fixtures may also be of benefit.

Ps....What wattage bulbs are you using. The lower the better. Less heat.
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:48 PM   #8
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To prevent the occasional ice dams I have a switch that I can turn on the t'stat controlled attic fan in winter, if necessary.

Maybe you can build a baffle or duct in the attic that recirculates the heat back into the house through an intake and output register in the ceiling. You may need a small fan to do this because of the Stack Effect. That way the lamps are, thermally speaking, in the same room that they are lighting.
For ~$12 + shipping, www.hosfelt.com has a 12 vac fan + xformer. 30 CFM should do it.
Fan noise may be a consideration, which could be minimized by mounting the fan halfway between either register.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
It is wintertime, icicles happen.
Plus when icicles happen it shows there isn't enough heat to make them melt. I would be worried if there were running water coming down my roof when it was 10 degrees outside.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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The bulbs warm up and pull the warm interior/conditioned air through the pot lights. It's not just the bulbs that are warming the attic space.
There's two things you need to do:
Stop the airflow through the lights and insulate around the lights. Be sure to respect the UL listed minimum clearances around combustibles for these lights.

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