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Community and Q&A

How to air seal “wafer” canless LED recessed lights?

Studlier | Posted in General Questions on

I just installed “wafer” (canless, recessed) LED light in the ceiling of our kitchen, and the insulated attic is above. It is this model: It has the two spring clips on the sides to hold it against the ceiling, and it has a thin foam gasket to supposedly make it air tight. However our ceiling is textured, so I’m pretty sure it’s not really air tight.

What’s the best way to air seal wafter LED lights like these? The easiest thing to do would be to caulk between the light and the ceiling, but then it will be difficult to remove and replace when I have to do that in the future. So I’m looking for other ideas. Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks for the helpful replies everyone! The other idea I recently thought of was to not further seal the lights, but instead to remove the texture on the ceiling under where the light contacts the textured ceiling. This would likely allow it to sit flatter and the gasket may work better. But is it tough to remove texture in just a small area? I’m thinking spraying it with water and then using a putty knife to scrape the texture off. Anyone tried this before?

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  1. matthew25 | | #1

    Look for airtight “backer boxes” often used for audio speakers or recessed light “covers” that you install above the LED light. You can seal them to the drywall ceiling with fire foam or sealant and then you can remove and replace the puck light without damaging the air seal.

    1. Studlier | | #11

      Thanks will check into that. But due to rolled insulation and joists and other things above it, may be difficult to enclose it from above.

    1. Studlier | | #10

      No, didn't find that with my past searches. Thanks.

  2. freyr_design | | #3

    Considering they are rated for 35000 hours of life I would just use a little silicone caulk if your worried about if. An enclosure over them seems like a bit of diminishing return.

    1. scorown | | #4

      I have seen them die in a year or two. Usually the LED is fine but electronic voltage driver dies out.

    2. Patrick_OSullivan | | #6

      > Considering they are rated for 35000 hours of life I would just use a little silicone caulk if your worried about if. An enclosure over them seems like a bit of diminishing return.

      I would not do that. On an individual basis, LEDs may be reliable, but given a large enough cohort (e.g. a house full of them), the probability that at least one fails way sooner than you'd expect is actually pretty high. (This is similar to the birthday paradox, in a way.)

      Silicone is tenacious and removing silicone from drywall without peeling the paper or, in the poster's case, removing texture, is likely to be difficult.

      1. freyr_design | | #7

        True, I was thinking a utility knife would do the trick but have certainly not tried it, I also have yet to see a wafer light fail within a year or two so if this is the case perhaps another route.

        I suppose another case against this would be quick access to jnc box

        Edit: alternatively why don’t you just smooth texture where gasket is.

    3. Studlier | | #9

      Thanks for the reply, but yeah all my past LED lights have never lasted anywhere close to their "up to" hour rating.

  3. Deleted | | #5


  4. yesimon | | #8

    The clips+gasket are pretty tight compared to traditional canned recessed lights (designed to be leaky to prevent incandescent light fires) or any wall swtich/outlet junction box. I wouldn't worry about it.

    1. Studlier | | #12

      Thanks for the feedback on those.

  5. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #13


    As long as the ceiling texture wasn't painted over at some point, it's really easy to remove with a putty knife. Don't wet it too much as you can get some staining on the surrounding texture.

    1. Studlier | | #14

      Thanks for the tips! Not sure if it has been painted over, but maybe I'll do a little test with the water on a small area.

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