Can anyone recommend a low cost method for dealing with square recessed lights?   We find them often in soffits above kitchen sinks on eave exterior walls. In our experience:

  • There usually isn't enough head room to build a drywall or cement board box around them.
  • The prefabricated covers don't leave enough clearance around the larger housings and the headroom factor often prevents sealing covers anyway.
  • We've replaced the units with air-tight housings but they are expensive, often require new expensive trim, and since we can't find remodel housings, the headroom makes installing them very difficult.
  • We've also replaced them with surface mounts but that usually involves installing a junction box to extend the wiring, patching the ceiling hole, and drywall finishing since the surface mounts haven't been wide enough to cover the old hole.

Has anyone found air-tight inserts to fit square lights?  What about air-tight remodel housings?  Other suggestions?

Tags: Air, Lights, Recessed, Sealing

Views: 988

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I don't think there is an easy answer for this. It might be cheaper to cut it out and replace with a can IC AT can and do the repair.

The other idea which I do not even know if I would recommend it is to remove the trim cover remove the glass spray paint the trim replace the bulb with an LED caulk or silicone the glass to the trim and caulk the trim to the drywall.

you mitigate air but not insulation. the unit itself is still functioning as it was but is now airtight. 

I like your second idea although there is still a fire hazard potential if we insulate around the fixture and someone replaces the bulb in the future.

agreed

Can you create an air barrier (5/8" drywall or 1/2" ply) at the ceiling level? eliminating the soffit, and the need to air seal, baffel, and insulate around the fixture?

This makes allot of sense access in those areas is always tight but if it could be done it makes everything easy.

As I mentioned with sealing the light and you point out lack of the ability to insulate is an issue. I would not insulate around it, but in the future will others show this reservation? The bulb would not bother me as the fixture has not been altered significantly and can still bleed heat into attic space. Will whomever cuts the caulking to access the bulb reseal it? Unknown and therefore not the best solution long term.

However as a cheap way to stop convection thermal bridging it works. Radiant is another story of course.

At times during these processes we need to weigh what is the best way and explore less effective methods based on budget.

for cost effectiveness and speed Georges suggestion is the best one. 

If it was my house, I'd be completely comfortable with the LED and insulating over the housing.  In fact, I'm debating offering it as a solution for clients so long as they are willing to accept the risk.  In this case, the days of incandescent lighting are numbered so the future risk is pretty negligible.

I think we try too hard to make everything idiot proof and risk free...it limits options and makes jobs too expensive.  Our window of opportunity to prevent climate catastrophe is short.  We need to make weatherization more affordable and part of that may require clients to accept some responsibility.  That could mean they can choose to have insulation blown over LED converted light housings, forgo dams around unused chimneys, have their house tightened beyond BPI standards without having to install continuous ventilation, streamline combustion safety to backdraft tests under normal conditions, etc.  Who's house is it anyway?

That's our standard approach but it's just too difficult in the eaves with a 3/12 pitch roof.

always hard to solve what you cannot see.

I use a method which for lack of a better term I call a Popsicle in tight areas such as this. I cut a piece plywood or drywall wide enough to cover most of the hole but slim enough to get between rafters. The length long enough to cover the hole plus about six inches. I attach a 1 x 2 to the board long enough to push to the edge on one side or the other which ever has better access. I crawl to the space bringing caulk, mastic or foam with me and a screw gun and some screws. Once I get to the area I load up the edges and run a bead on the far side as close to the opening as I can. I push the piece as far to the plate as I can squish down with stick and then run a screw into the Popsicle handle to secure it to the ceiling joist

It is not perfect but is ready for blown in insulation now.

I think, LED caulk is one of the alternative and best option which will be suitable for our budget. As per your interest you may select it. If I found any alternative options, I inform you at any time.

led reflector design

Extend the wire, remove box, insulate and use track wiring?  move to round recessed lights,   or look at some of the 2'x2' LED panels....

RSS

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.

Latest Activity

Alfie Davis posted a blog post

Tiles Flooring – A Better Choice than Concrete Flooring

This article can change one’s perception about flooring and can act as an excellent guide in…See More
28 minutes ago
Charlie Hewitt posted a blog post

Residential Electric Load Disaggregation

“What gets measured gets managed” is a quote often attributed to the venerable management expert…See More
11 hours ago
Kurt Albershardt replied to Larry Schaffert's discussion How to correctly insulate exterior wall in a 1900 house?
"Balloon framed houses make for easy upgrades IME.  We cover the open bays from the sill plate…"
12 hours ago
Kurt Albershardt replied to William Fisher's discussion Can tankless water heaters provide hot water even when the groundwater is fairly cold?
"There are a number of approaches that can work depending on the specifics of your situation. What…"
12 hours ago
Bob Mariani joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
22 hours ago
Bob Mariani replied to William Parlapiano's discussion Equipment for Sale Updated April 9, 2015 in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"I would be interested in a package deal for the items marked as "Available"  Email…"
22 hours ago
Steven Lewis replied to William Fisher's discussion Can tankless water heaters provide hot water even when the groundwater is fairly cold?
"Look at reducing the ambient humidity in the home.  The dew point is the key to the…"
Friday
Olivia Taylor posted blog posts
Friday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service