I've been searching the web, including sites dedicated to energy efficiency in residential building, and I cannot find substantiated facts related to how much energy Recessed Can Lights consume.  I'd love to see comparisons of non-IC, IC, and ICAT cans regarding measurable facts on how their air leakage contributes to energy usage.  The only study I can find is from Penn State University that was done maybe 10 years ago, and it was short on details.  I'm not asking about electric consumption; only about energy consumption regarding air infiltration.  Can anyone help?

Tags: Recessed, air, can, infiltration, lights, recessed

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I am trying to understand your question properly... are you asking what the potential "energy/heat loss" would be through the recessed cans cut-outs? Do you have the article link that you had mentioned?

Hi Caron,

Yes, here is the link to the article: http://arizonasolarwave.com/docs/recessed-lights-air-leakage-phrc.pdf.

Here's a relevant quote from the article that hints at the information I'm looking for: "As part of the inspection protocol, blower door testing, done in conjunction with infrared imaging, has revealed that out of all the possible air leakage sites in a house, can lights are responsible for the worst leakage."  But they don't give numbers, except for claiming that one can light can be responsible for transmitting up to 1/3 gallon of water per day into the attic, and between $5-30 per year in energy costs.  The study was done in 1992.  Surely we have more recent data with more numbers. 

When we do pressure pan testing with the Blower Door running, we also check can lights to show the home owner.  Invariably, we find most can lights to test at 35-50 pascals while the Blower Door is running at 50 pascals.  Quite a lot of air infiltration, but we're not running a study with publishable numbers.  Are there any updated data out there on recessed can lights?


 Good luck getting the lastest #s Let me add to your list of variables , beyond

talking about the thermal attributes of the various popular LED lights - something that should be considered is

the air infiltration and exfiltration though the ventilated fixtures designed for incandescent lamps & their heat output.

 Changing to appropriate, and contemporary SSL including Oleds means that these holes in folks ceilings, would

need to be re- thought as they may be wholey unnecessary for 21st century lighting schemes-


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