Over the past few decades, can lights have become increasingly popular in homes due to their stylish design and targeted light benefits around the home. Can lights, otherwise known as recessed lights, are commonly used in new both builds and renovations. These lights are used for both general lighting and accent lighting in all different types of rooms—virtually any room in the house. Despite their popularity, however, they may be contributing to home energy loss and even in some extreme cases, may compromise of a home’s structural integrity.


As with most any penetration made to a ceiling or wall, installation of can lights has the potential to contribute to air leakage. For instance, these penetrations can cause conditioned air from one area to leak into an unconditioned air space, such as an attic. This could result in the loss and waste of a lot of expensive energy for your home.


If improperly sealed, these lights can lead not only to air leakage and increased utility bills, but potentially much larger problems for a home. The large, rough openings required to install recessed lighting could lead to moisture issues in a ceiling between conditioned and unconditioned air spaces – which could ultimately jeopardize the integrity of that portion of a home or lead to mold and mildew problems. There’s also potential for ice dam problems if heat is released into an attic during colder weather.


Because of these issues around can light installation and maintenance, manufacturers have developed airtight can lights to provide a more sound seal. In fact, these have become standard code and requirements in our home state of Washington. Not only must these can lights themselves be airtight, they must be used with an airtight trim ring, and must still be installed properly to be effective at minimizing air leaks. Unfortunately, the airtight nature of the can lights themselves doesn’t mean they can just be installed quickly and without care.

Existing can lights can be sealed through a lengthy and careful process, which can get tedious and expensive. By checking with a professional, you may actually be able to save money and be comfortable by deciding to replace the can lights with new models completely.


Again, given the potential problems surrounding can light installation, it’s best to consult with a professional before installation begins. Our team at BelRed would be happy to help you decide what lighting options are best for you and your home.