How to Insulate Recessed lighting

I have a bunch (over 70) recessed lights in my house. I can feel cold are coming through the lights. The house was built around 1989 so the lights can not have insulation touching them. Does anyone know of anything I can use to insulate them? I was thinking of something that I could put over them (like a jacket or something) that is heat resistant.
Any ideas??
Thanks.
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I don't believe anything is made specifically for this purpose. If you install any type of insulation close enough to trap the heat, the units may overheat and shut off by an internal high temperature cutout. I've seen people make fairly large boxes to cover them, and then insulate over the box.

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Thanks for your reply. I was thinking about using that foil covered bubble wrap stuff to make housing that would be a few inches bigger than the light housing. What do you think?
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sounds like a good way for a fire. some can's aren't rated to be covered. you should investigate what kind you have before doing something to them.
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wrote:

Agree. If it's not IC rated, then insulation must be kept 3+" away from the sides and none on top. If it's IC rated, then insulation can be placed next to and/or over it. I don't know what kind of product "foil covered bubble wrap stuff is. I would use a conventional product, ie fiberglass, etc. And of course that assumes you can get to the top of the fixture.
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The bubble stuff may not be rigid enough. You want something that would keep a decent air flow around the fixture, and be fixed at least 3 inches away from the fixture. Maybe some type of metal basket, covered with the wrap.

Thanks for your reply. I was thinking about using that foil covered bubble wrap stuff to make housing that would be a few inches bigger than the light housing. What do you think?
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Couple of questions. Are these fixtures "IC" rated? If so, you can place insulation in direct contact.
See: http://www.insulate.org/tech3.html
Secondly, have you removed the trim to verify the openings are properly caulked and sealed? If they were not, that should be this weekend's project.
Cheers, Paul
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 11:42:17 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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wrote:

Thanks Paul. No these are not IC rated. And, no there is no caulking between the light fixture and the drywall. I have read that some where else, but my question is how will caulking between the light fixture and the drywall help? The whole fixture is open to the attic so all the air can go right up through the housing for the lights. I just looked and when I reached up there to look at a light, the metal housing the light sets in is freezing cold.
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wrote:

Some of these housing have more holes in them than Swiss cheese for adjustments and various facing attachment points. Caulk around the edge between the housing and the drywall and use some self-adhesive metallic aluminium duct tape to seal all the perforations and openings inside the can to prevent air from blowing into the house. Until you can work out a way to cover or replace them this should reduce the heat loss a little.
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You are correct there are a ton of holes in them. That is a good Idea. It won't insulate, but it will stop the air from blowing in and or out.
Thanks.
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The problem is, hot air is supposed to rise and escape through those holes. If you are using the maximum wattage lamp in the fixture, and you restrict the air flow, it will probably cause the high limits to cut out
wrote:

You are correct there are a ton of holes in them. That is a good Idea. It won't insulate, but it will stop the air from blowing in and or out.
Thanks.
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I agree. I would be leery of making any alterations to these fixtures, given the potential risk to the wiring and sockets. After several hours of use, my IC-rated fixtures get extremely hot, even when equipped with 25-watt CFL PAR38s.
Cheers, Paul

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I didn't have 70 fixtures, but the ones I had leaked a lot.
It was a lot of work, but I got a bunch of gallon paint cans to slip over the recess fixtures. Bung a hole for the Greenfield to exit. Caulk the paint can right to the drywall and even caulk the Greenfield exit.
That's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some fixtures *might* overheat, though I doubt it; there is a lot of surface area on the paint can to get rid of heat.
If Code compliance is a worry, you better not touch them at all!
YMMV
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On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 14:16:26 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

If these fixtures were IC rated then the caulking would help, but in this case the amount of air leakage within the fixture itself would make this pointless.
A number of years ago, I recall seeing a plastic cover that was intended to be installed over non-IC fixtures as an insulation shield and air barrier -- it was almost the same size as a municipal recycle box, presumably to provide sufficient thermal protection and to prevent the fixture from overheating. I'm sorry I don't recall the name of the product nor the manufacturer, but you might enquire at one of your local big box retailers, or perhaps someone else in this group can fill in the blanks.
Your best option is to replace these fixtures with proper IC housings but at 70+ fixtures, that's a pretty pricy undertaking. =:o
Regards, Paul
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The best thing is to build boxes out of drywall to completely encapsulate the recessed lights. They should be bigger than the lights of course to allow extra air inside of them. You should also allow several inches of air space on top as well. The drywall boxes can be mudded and taped to the backside of the existing ceiling to make it completely air tight.
You didn't mention what size bulbs you are using, but if they are only 75 watt or less, heat build up will not be a concern. If you use bulbs over 100 watts and you find that the fixtures are going off on thermal overload you could make a few tiny holes in the top of the drywall boxes to allow hot air to pass through.
I think that there are companies that make boxes to put behind recessed lights to control air movement, but I couldn't name one off hand.
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I was hoping that there was something I could buy like you mentioned above ...

I might try and make some boxes out of sheet rock. I might be able make a bunch before hand and just set them over the lights. I know, I need to make sure I have a least 3 inches between the box and the light fixture.
I have had problems in the past with these lights overheating and cutting off (they are the 65 watt flood light). I solved the overheating problem by putting Florescent bulbs in those that were overheating and as they burn out.
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air
hot
I was hoping that there was something I could buy like you mentioned above ...

I might try and make some boxes out of sheet rock. I might be able make a bunch before hand and just set them over the lights. I know, I need to make sure I have a least 3 inches between the box and the light fixture.
I have had problems in the past with these lights overheating and cutting off (they are the 65 watt flood light). I solved the overheating problem by putting Florescent bulbs in those that were overheating and as they burn out.
The standard IC lights are rated for 75 watts. A non-IC light is usually rated for 150 watts. If you are having a problem with a 65 watt bulb you may need to replace the thermal cut-out inside the fixtures. Are the lights that were giving you problems covered with insulation?
What brand of fixtures are these? Do you know the model number?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Someone does make a vaccu-formed enclosure for insulating and sealing around non-IC recessed fixtures. I've seen them used on one of the This Old House or Hometime type shows. It was about a 12" cube with an inch or so flange on the bottom that you placed over the recessed fixture and sealed down with a bead of caulk. No idea who makes them, but you can probably find a reference to them on one of those TV program sites.
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rnes1961 wrote:

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/home_improvement/home_sealing/DIY_COLOR_100_dpi.pdf
--
Tony Sivori


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