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Community and Q&A

Best recessed lights for insulated ceiling?

gotime88 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I recently moved into a 1 story ranch home. There are preexisting 6″ recessed lights in the kitchen and bath (8 total) that I would like to replace with airtight lights. I also like the look of the lights and would like to add more throughout the house. There seems to be a ton of housings and trims out there. Which are the best for your buck? Also, if I have the patience and time, can I just buy the cheapo non IC or airtight lights and build enclosures for each light?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Your plan to add more recessed can lights to your ceiling is exactly backwards. Most people interested in energy efficiency or green building are going to opposite direction: trying to figure out the best way to remove their recessed can lights and replace them with surface-mounted fixtures.

    Recessed can lights leak tremendous amounts of air, and they undermine the thermal performance of your ceiling insulation. I strongly advise homeowners and builders to avoid recessed can lights.

    For more information, see Recessed Can Lights.

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