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Terri
Terri, Handywoman
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  Masonary construction background, home and commercial, home repair specialist
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Instructions for Insulated Boxes around Recessed Lighting

Resolved Question:

We are hiring a contractor to blow new insulation into our attic. Part of his estimate included building boxes around our recessed lights (to both keep the insulation away from the canisters and to reduce heat loss through them). We agree with this measure but cannot afford to hire him to do this work and are willing to do it ourselves. We know from some preliminary research that we should use fire-resistant wallboard and leave at least 3 inches around all sides of the canisters (and possibly up to 12 inches at the top). We need someone to tell us how to build one of these boxes. Please include in your answer specific instructions on dimensions, materials, hardware, etc. We're novices but can follow directions! Thank you!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.






Halo 5071P Eyeball Trim Satin White: Halo H5T Non-IC Housing
Non-IC thermally protected housing can be used in insulated or ... in ceiling with insulation, 3" air space is required around fixtureAdd to Shopping List $13.15ea. at www.elights.com


I wasn't sure if you needed the part above as well.


Your box will need to be 53cm wide x 74cm long x 30cm high (21" wide x 29" long x 12" high) for a newer fixture. Boxes of these dimensions will, as a rule, dissipate enough heat to avoid a fire hazard or blowing bulbs.


The idea is to create a perfectly airtight separation between the ceiling and the attic. Seal all the joints and seams in the box (this will also hold the pieces of drywall or wood together) and seal the bottom of the box to the ceiling. You will also need to seal where all electrical wires penetrate the box. After sealing, insulation can be blown or positioned over the box.


Good Luck! Let me know if you have any other questions. I would be happy to help.


Please remember to ACCEPT my answer. Thank-you,justerri Feedback and bonus much appreciated!


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Terri's Post: Thanks for your quick response. We appreciate the detail you gave us with the dimensions, but we need further clarification on a few things.

1) How do we actually build the box? Do we use 2x4s to build a frame that the drywall gets attached to (and would it be attached inside the frame or out)? Do we make a box out of plywood and attach the drywall to that? Can the box be made just out of drywall, and if so, how is it secured? (We know you eluded to sealing the pieces together in your answer, which leads to question #2...)

2) What do we use to seal the joints and seams in the box?

OR ... is it best/easiest just to replace our current recessed lights with sealed/insulated ones?

We think that's it! Thanks again for your help ..
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
The answer we received didn't quite address the specifics that we asked for. The expert offered further assitance if necessary, but hasn't replied to our request for additional information. We have tried relisting this twice .. we'd be more than happy to pay our the first expert if she could complete our request.
Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.
Here's the metal box instructions:




If there's no electrical outlet handy, you may want to hire an electrician to run wire to the new fixture. But first have a look at How to Fish Electrical Cables. With a little spunk, you can save a bundle and have the satisfaction of doing it yourself.



Connecting the light

Safety
Buy an insulation-contact (IC) rated fixture. When insulation touches an improperly rated recessed light, fire can result.

If you run cable into a new junction box and from there to the new light, the junction box must be in an accessible place (usually the attic or basement) and not covered with drywall or the like.




Step by Step
1. Cut an opening and wire the light. Turn off the power. Use the electronic stud finder to locate ceiling joists. Trace the outline of the fixture onto the ceiling. Then, with a tarp beneath, use a drywall saw to cut the opening (or enlarge an existing opening) for the recessed light between the joists. A jigsaw with a plaster-cutting blade will make the job easier, but be careful not to cut through existing cables hidden in the ceiling. Another handy tool, especially if you're putting in several recessed lights, is a drywall circle cutter. It's precise and easy to use.

Insert the electrical cable into the fixture's junction box and fasten it with a cable clamp. Strip the wires as needed, then splice them to the fixture wires with twist-on wire connectors. Connect the fixture's black wire to the black house wire, then white to white and ground to ground (green or bare wire). Stuff the wires into the box and fasten its cover.



Mounting the light
Installing the baffle

2. Install the fixture housing. Rotate the fixture housing into place in the ceiling until the mounting tabs engage the ceiling and the fixture is secure. Because the housing and its integral junction box are lightweight, there's no need to secure the junction box to a joist.

3. Install inner baffle and trim. Once the housing clips are snug, attach the inner baffle and any other trim to the fixture housing, according to manufacturer's instructions. The baffle shown is typical of recessed fixtures: it attaches with springs. Install the bulb, restore power and enjoy your new light.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS
Stud finder
Recessed lighting fixture
Drywall saw,
Tarp
jigsaw
Cable clamp
drywall circle cutter
Twist-on wire connectors
Adjustable wire stripper
Long-nose pliers
Screwdriver

I'll send intructions for the wooden one's next so you can decide which ones you'd rather use!Please remember to accept my answer! Thank-you! justerri














Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.
This is instructions for wood or sheetrock box:.

Your box will need to be either 35cm wide x 1.2m long x 30cm high (14" wide x 48" long x 12" high) for an older fixture, or 53cm wide x 74cm long x 30cm high (21" wide x 29" long x 12" high) for a newer fixture. Boxes of these dimensions will, as a rule, dissipate enough heat to avoid a fire hazard or blowing bulbs


If you choose to hire a professional contractor for this project, they will probably use a two-component polyurethane foam sealant. However, this product is not generally available from hardware or lumber retail stores and must be obtained from an industrial supplier. If you plan to do the project yourself, you can choose either a one-component insulating foam sealant or caulking.


The idea is to create a perfectly airtight separation between the ceiling and the attic. Seal all the joints and seams in the box (this will also hold the pieces of drywall or wood together) and seal the bottom of the box to the ceiling. You will also need to seal where all electrical wires penetrate the box. After sealing, insulation can be blown or positioned over the box.


Occasionally, access above the light fixture is very difficult (for example, in low-slope roofing or cathedral ceiling situations). Also, on ground floor fixtures the rim joint around the ceiling space is often not effectively sealed at the time of construction. This particularly applies to older houses without plastic vapour barriers or house wraps for wind proofing. Such fixtures can be sealed from below using a combination of silicone caulking and foil tape, as long as you’re sure that there is adequate space above the ceiling for heat dissipation from the shell of the light.


I hope this is what you need. Please get back to me if you need more info thwn this. Thank-you so much!justerri Remember to Accept my answer!

Terri, Handywoman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 104
Experience: Masonary construction background, home and commercial, home repair specialist
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Terri
Terri
Home Improvement Expert
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Masonary construction background, home and commercial, home repair specialist