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

Views: 101

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

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-


Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconDenise Cooper, Maren Cooke, Steven Antonini and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
4 hours ago
Crosbey Archery joined Allison A. Bailes III's group


HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
12 hours ago
Crosbey Archery commented on Ottawa Furnace Filters's blog post Some Useful Information about Furnace Air Filters
"This post is really helpful especially to those homeowners who are still confused on what to…"
12 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski posted videos
22 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion

Incentives & financing options for home energy upgrades

Energy.gov has a useful database of incentives and financing options for home energy efficiency…See More
23 hours ago
George Kopf commented on Home Energy Magazine's blog post My Fall Into The Smart Home, Lazy Life
"Matt, Another way of looking at this is that by freeing up my time/brain power, I can give more…"
Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post was featured

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More
Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service