Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

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junestag
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Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby junestag » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:49 pm

Hi, we have recessed lighting in our attic, recently installed during the winter. Now that it's summer it's hot and humid up there. We noticed water coming from the recessed lighting and running down the attic 'walls'. We felt the wall next to the lights and the wall was VERY warm. The rest of the attic walls feel cool and fine. It's just RIGHT around the fixtures that they're very hot. The lights aren't even being used right now, so they're off. It's just super hot inside the cans causing the condensation, I THINK.

So we pulled the lights out of their cans and now they are all hanging up there out of their cans. No more water at least. But now I'm wondering, is there some sort of material we can put in the cans to keep them from getting so hot...or what is the solution to this?


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Shannon
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby Shannon » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:22 am

I would say you have a moisture situation in the attic as well? You may not have enough ventilation?
So the cans are hot when the lights are not being used?? Does your attic have insulation? What area are you living in?
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junestag
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby junestag » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:31 am

Hi, upstate New York area. Cans are hot, or at least the wall area AROUND the recessed lights are hot, even when they are not being used. About 1" of wall around the circumference of light fixture is hot.

There is insulation in there for sure. I don't know if they put insulation around the light fixtures...I didn't watch the contractor install them.

I think I also mispoke in my original post, I believe there was probably some moisture up there during the winter as well from those fixtures, but we didn't go up there much then so didn't notice it. I say I 'think' because I see some moisture marks running from the fixtures. No mold though as far as I can see.

junestag
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby junestag » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:40 pm

Further update. The cans themselves are causing the heat because they are so tight in there, I think, that there isn't any airflow. I say this after having pulled out the lights and let them dangle, unused from the ceiling for 24 hours, and they are still dangling. The cans are still hot (but not sweating right now)...how can i keep the cans from getting so hot!

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Aaron
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby Aaron » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:44 pm

It's not clear to me why your lights would be hot when they're not even on. I think you may have other issues here...

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Shannon
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby Shannon » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:03 pm

I am guessing these lights where cut in and the insulation was pushed back and then nothing else was done to seal the holes to prevent moisture from the house escaping to the attic around the cans all winter. Can lights that are installed in a cavity that has insulation must be rated for that situation and they will be stamped as IC rated. If so they can be installed and a vapour barrier seal installed over them and then covered in adequate insulation. I am guessing yours are not vapour barrier sealed and the bare cans are exposed to the attic area right now.?
As for why the cans are hot? I'm guessing they are maybe warm from the heat in the attic now that it has warmed up outside and because they are not covered with insulation. It is very common for cans to be hot when lights have been on for a while especially if there are bulbs other then LED installed?
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junestag
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby junestag » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:50 pm

I think what you're saying makes sense. I imagine a vapour barrier was not put in place around the cans and the reason they are hot is just because they're in the attic, it's hot outside, and they are metal and conduct heat.

Thank you for your help understanding what is going on here. I now have things I can research and can at least talk more intelligently about the issue.

junestag
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby junestag » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:33 pm

I just looked and the cans are NON-IC rated...IDK if they are touching the insulation or not, I can't see unless I pull one out I suppose. This would probably explain why they're so hot at least.

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emtnut
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby emtnut » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:40 am

junestag wrote:I just looked and the cans are NON-IC rated...IDK if they are touching the insulation or not, I can't see unless I pull one out I suppose. This would probably explain why they're so hot at least.


That's a dangerous install ! :o

As Shannon mentioned, Pot lights need to be IC rated to be in contact with insulation. The non-IC rated DO get hot, and need unrestricted airspace around them for cooling.

I don't know if New York has vapour barrier/boots required in their building code ... but if you do have a vapour barrier up there, a vapour boot with an IC rated can would be your best bet.
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Aaron
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby Aaron » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:23 am

Honestly, I have not seen those large vapor barrier "boots" for pot lights here in MN, which is very surprising because I have used the vapor barrier pockets for single-, double-gang, and octogon device boxes. In fact, they are branded Iberville and exported here from Canada.

Maybe an electrical supply house that electrical contractors use carry the large ones for pot lights.

junestag
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby junestag » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:55 pm

I'm concerned about the install as well. That's why I now have the lights literally hanging down from the sockets and not using them until I sort this all out. At least now the lights themselves are not contributing to the heat inside the cans so the cans are much cooler, albeit still very warm.

I'll take your suggestion into account. A vapour boot and IC rated cans. Thank you.

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emtnut
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Re: Recessed Lighting Cans Getting Hot and HUMID

Postby emtnut » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:10 pm

junestag wrote:I'm concerned about the install as well. That's why I now have the lights literally hanging down from the sockets and not using them until I sort this all out. At least now the lights themselves are not contributing to the heat inside the cans so the cans are much cooler, albeit still very warm.

I'll take your suggestion into account. A vapour boot and IC rated cans. Thank you.


Once you install the IC can, you can top it up with insulation so heat/cold from the attic doesn't penetrate thru the fixture ;)
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