I have a ranch home, in the kitchen there are recessed lights. I want to replace them with these LED ones that home depot sells:

enter image description here

I took a look at the insulation around the recessed light cans from the attic, and there is none. The cans have holes in them, so my precious warm air is leaking right out of these areas.

After I convert to the LED kits, is it safe to insulate around the cans? I currently have fiberglass bats in the rest of the attic, can I seal the cans with silver tape, then put bats on top?


  • 1
    LEDs can still generate some heat, it really depends on whether the can is IC-rated or not.
    – Preston S
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 15:40
  • 1
    Your idea is reasonable (and reasonably safe). The problem is that someday down the road someone may swap back to old-school flood bulbs, and that could be dangerous.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 16:12
  • Ah yeah good points - ok so probably best to just replace the cans, looks like they make air-tight ones anyway, I don't think I could get air-tight by just doing the insulation myself: homedepot.com/p/… Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 16:18
  • Airtight is not the issue, it's being listed to be covered by insulation and still be able to shed heat from the bulb, however their design can do that and still get listed. All fixtures must be built for the worst case of incandescent bulbs, unless it is impossible-by-design to put one in there. LEDs need heat removal as much as incandescents, while they make 1/8 the heat, they also dislike running warm, while incandescents love heat. Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 16:24
  • 1
    Your LED light trim is effectively sealing your living space from your attic. I wouldn't sweat it. Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


In order to cover your recessed light cans with insulation you need to have IC-rated (Insulation Contact) cans installed regardless of the type of light installed in the can. Since you mentioned your cans have holes in them, they are most definitely not IC-rated. You'd have to buy some remodel IC-rated cans and replaced what you have with those before covering with insulation.

enter image description here

  • Some IC-rated cans have plenty of holes. In fact, I have encountered IC and non-IC rated cans which seemed to be physically identical. The only difference was the IC ones had a different label which specified a lower max wattage for the bulb, and possibly had a thermal cutout with a higher setpoint.
    – kreemoweet
    Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 19:24
  • Fine Homebuilding Magazine published a hack using 5 gallon buckets and spray foam - They're typically sticklers for code compliance. Perhaps an oversight on their end? -- finehomebuilding.com/2020/04/07/effective-can-light-cover
    – Aww_Geez
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 17:00

There are IC-rated (Insulation Contact) direct install LED recess lighting, that you can use without the need for a recessed lighting can.

LED driver

Example item above is found at Lowes (Item # 1500773 Model # HLB6099FS1EMWR)

But you can find IC rated led lighting units from Home Depot, Amazon, Lowes, and many other places. They are very commonly sold units.

  • Welcome to Home Improvement! Please provide a proper reference for the image.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 9:48
  • Link for reference (Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon are just a few examples of places you can find them): lowes.com/pd/…-c--prd--lit--google--lia--143--recessedlighting--1001772082-_-0&placeholder=null&ds_rl=1286981&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2tCGBhCLARIsABJGmZ5IBapajRspMF-yVbzulaJ64VyFQ1WyHb84Dduo-DvHroFIO7qVwvoaAhS9EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
    – Jay F.
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 12:29
  • I just installed a similar Cooper Lighting HALO 4" LED recessed light fixture that I bought from Lowe's. They're great. Mine offered 5 selections on the light color (there's a multi-position switch on the junction box). Only the 2700K and 3000K colors were suitable for me, the higher temps are too blueish/sterile. Great to have the choice though. I also like that these are UL listed and IC rated. Don't limit yourself to the selection at your hardware store. Cooper offers lots of different models; see cooperlighting.com/global/product-list#c=cooper-lighting:brands/…
    – MikeOnline
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 2:12

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