Further Wrestling with Recessed-Can Lights

September/October 2005
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 01, 2005
How do you air seal IC-rated light fixtures that aren't accessible from above? Do the air sealing from below.
        Since my first article on recessed-can lighting (“A Recessed Can of Worms,” HE Jan/Feb ’01, p. 42), there have been great strides in the development of new and improved insulated ceiling airtight (ICAT) recessed-can light fixtures for new and remodel construction. And new compact fluorescent models have become more available for reducing electricity use. The driving force for these developments may be new building codes mandating the use of the safer and more efficient lighting. What concerns me as a private consultant is how to deal with standard IC-rated recessedcan lights that were installed in cathedral ceilings or attic spaces that are not accessible and therefore cannot be air sealed from above. Standard IC-rated fixtures are still being installed in new construction, as well as in remodel projects, by some contractors and by homeowners themselves. (Non IC-rated lighting fixtures are another story all together.)         Yes, I still get calls from homeowners every winter when they notice holes in the snow on their roofs above the locations of all their recessed-can light fixtures. Even better yet, the calls I truly love: “Why is my house the ...

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