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:

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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?


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    LEDs can still generate some heat, it really depends on whether the can is IC-rated or not. – Preston S Feb 16 '17 at 15:40
  • 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 Feb 16 '17 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/… – user3203425 Feb 16 '17 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. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 16 '17 at 16:24
  • Your LED light trim is effectively sealing your living space from your attic. I wouldn't sweat it. – Knob Scratcher Feb 16 '17 at 20:04

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.

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  • 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 Apr 28 '18 at 19:24

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