The Best Insulation for Recessed Lighting | Ep. 86

Recessed lighting is a stylish solution for the kitchen, living room or anywhere else that needs additional light. But after installation, you’ll need the best insulation to prevent air leaks in the attic.

Most overhead lights are installed below the ceiling line, but recessed lights are installed in the ceiling’s hollow opening. The result is a miniature spotlight that accents the room.

While recessed lighting enhances the home’s design and ambiance, it also raises concerns. If you have 20 of these canister lights — 20 sizable holes in the ceiling — how much air is escaping the living space and entering the attic?

The answer isn’t obvious, but you’ll know it’s happening from your energy bill.  

That’s why your recessed lighting needs the best insulation. Scroll down for how we have tackled this problem, and listen to this week’s Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more on this issue and many others.

  • [2:18] Joe talks about the new Broan SurfaceShield Bath Vent Fan
  • [4:29] How to prevent condensation from building up on A/C vents in the ceiling
  • [6:07] Best New Product: Milwaukee M18 FUEL 16 in. Chainsaw
  • [7:28] The proper way to take care of black mold and dispose of it
  • [8:52] Tips for repairing walls after tearing out wallpaper
  • [10:51] What to do when one portion of a slab is poured incorrectly
  • [14:58] Around the Yard segment sponsored by Pavestone
  • [16:20] How to stain the concrete countertop on an outdoor kitchen
  • [19:19] Tips for repainting a garage floor
  • [20:59] What to do about a sagging bulletin board
  • [22:22] Simple Solution: How to neatly paint a window without using masking tape
  • [24:26] Question of the Week: What is the best insulation method to seal recessed lights and prevent energy loss?

Simple Solutions

Faster Window Painting—When painting a window sash, don’t bother masking off the glass. Simply allow the paint to spread about ¼ inch onto the glass pane. That’ll create an airtight seal between the pane and wood sash.

Once the paint dries, remove the excess by holding a 6- or 8-inch-wide drywall knife against the sash. Then guide a razor scraper along the glass and against the drywall knife to remove the excess paint.

Quicker Insulation Cutter—The quickest way to make cut fiberglass insulation is to use a utility knife that has snap-off blades. Simply extend the blade out 3 or 4 inches, then compress the insulation with a straight board and slice through the insulation in one pass.

Question of the Week

Q: “I have 15 recessed lights throughout my home. I know there is a lot of energy loss through these lights. What is the best insulation method to seal the lights and prevent energy loss?”

A: First, change to LEDs if you haven’t already. This will reduce the amount of heat generated by the lights. Then, enter the attic, pull the insulation back and caulk around where the recessed can penetrates the drywall.
You also can create 1-by-1-by-1 baskets from hardware cloth, pull the insulation back, and set each basket on top of the drywall, encasing the can. Then cover it with insulation.  

Other Products Mentioned

Broan SurfaceShield


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