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I have installed two IC-rated, airtight housings in a soffit in my basement. There is no insulation in this space, I just chose the IC-rated housings because they were available at the time.

I will be boiling liquid below these lights, so I planned to put a wet-rated trim on them even though they will not have any direct contact with liquid. I found a wet-rated trim I like, but it says it's non-IC.

I guess I'm not understanding why I can't or shouldn't use this non-IC trim the IC housing? What makes a trim IC or non-IC?

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Because IC housing are designed to be in direct contact with insulation they run hotter because the heat from the bulb cannot dissipate as quickly as a non-IC housing which will dissipate heat into the space above the fixture. Installing are vapor proof trim not approved for an IC housing, in an IC housing normally results in the plastic around the glass melting and dripping down.

With newer, cooler LED's and compact fluorescent bulbs this isn't a problem that much anymore but its still always better to match housing and trims per the manufacturer.

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