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Drafts From Recessed Light Fixtures‏

Question: I have a recessed light in the kitchen - last winter there was a draft coming through the house and going out or in the area that the electrical workings of the light is, into the crawl space of the attic - yes I can get up there but not if to toss a woolen blanket over the whole thing or just pile insulation on top of it some sort of gray metal box.

I was told I cannot cover up that area because when the light is on - the heat needs to be able to escape. Any suggestions?

Answer: Recessed lights have to be rated "IC" by UL labs if you want to put insulation around them. If they are not rated "IC" you could start a fire by placing insulation around them.

You have two choices:

  • Replace the current fixture with an IC rated fixture, if the one you currently have is not IC rated.
  • Use a recessed light fixture shield to prevent the insulation from coming into direct contact with the light fixture.

Additional information on insulating around and over recessed light fixtures.