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Sealing the air barrier to IC recessed lighting

tina81 | Posted in General Questions on


I have a couple of IC recessed lights to seal to my air barrier (membrain). Can I tape the air barrier to the bottom of the IC light with house wrap tape? I’ve attached a picture. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Q. "Can I tape the air barrier to the bottom of the IC light with housewrap tape?"

    A. Yes.

    It may be too late in your case, but I'd like to point out to other GBA readers that it is a very bad idea to install a recessed can light in an insulated ceiling, for at least three reasons: (a) Even if you do a careful air sealing job, it's hard to make this type of fixture completely airtight. The stack effect will defeat you. (b) The recessed fixture takes up volume that should be filled with insulation. (c) When the light is on, it will create a "hot spot" in your ceiling that accelerates the stack effect even more, creating a little chimney. In a snowy climate, this type of hot spot can cause ice dams.

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