All Attic Protrusions Need CanCoverIt
Utilizing some Physics 101 and a dose of common sense will help explain why airtight IC rated can lights are ineffective and why ALL fixtures need CanCoverIt…
Conventional thinking within the home efficiency industry has focused on making homes more airtight and, in particular, making can light fixtures airtight. Unfortunately, just fixing the fixtures does not remedy the problem and in fact, creates more unintended problems.
Can light treatment problems are not best solved at the lighting fixture, but rather are best solved around the fixture!
A typical can light may appear small from inside your home, but on the attic side it has over two square feet of metal surface area. Metal is extremely conductive, which is great for fry pans but not so good for coffee mugs or in your attic.
When metal is the barrier between two environments of different temperatures–in this case, the attic and the inside air–energy will transfer through the metal until the temperatures of both areas are the same.
The dominant environment will prevail at raising or lowering the temperature of the other system or, more importantly, it will never stop trying!
For example, your cold can of soda (or beer if you prefer), lacks the energy necessary to overpower the outside air. So on a hot summer day your beverage will warm up quickly to match the dominant outside air temperature.
Likewise, your home’s air conditioner and heater cannot overpower a blistering hot or freezing cold attic, but unlike the soda can they will keep trying. So therein lies the problem: to reach your desired room temperature these units will keep pumping energy through that metal fixture no matter how much energy is wasted in the process.
But there’s even more happening: conductive energy loss is not the only problem.
Back to the cold soda example; the different temperatures of the two systems, namely, the hot outside air and the cold beverage inside the can attracts moisture to the metal surface continually forming condensation until the temperatures of the two systems equalize. (That’s why Mom makes you use a coaster).
Adding an insulating cozy around the can will help slow the energy transfer process, but it can’t stop it. Eventually the outside air temperature will prevail and warm up the beverage.
These basic physics are happening in your attic as well. While covering the can light with insulation may seem logical, doing so does not effectively stop conduction or condensation because the insulation itself is permeable, air and moisture still travel through it. In fact, the moisture within the insulation will even accelerate the energy transfer process and can contribute to the harmful growth of mold.
Unlike your soda can, can lights have an extra energy dynamic: the light bulb that generates varied degrees of heat. It is this heat that poses additional performance and safety challenges contributing to much of the confusion surrounding can lights.
With electronic devices generated heat must be diffused in order to ensure proper performance and to avoid damage to components and the risk of fire.
Making can lights airtight by covering them with insulation also destroys the one useful “heatsink” application of conduction that is needed: diffusing the light bulb heat to prevent overheating.
In other words, if the metal is covered then during hot attic conditions the can light may become hot enough to trigger a safety circuit causing the lights to flicker or even shut off completely. Besides the visible inconvenience, overheating can degrade a light bulb’s efficiency and even shorten the lifespan of expensive LED bulbs.
In conclusion, Airtight IC rated fixtures don’t solve conduction problems because they are in the attic. The highly conductive metal transfers heat between attic and inside wasting both energy and money. Their insulation contact creates overheating and degrades light bulb efficiency while allowing both air and water to pass through attracting condensation and creation of mold. They compromise the comfort and efficiency of your home.
We developed CanCoverIt to solve these problems so that can lights will continue being the #1 aesthetically pleasing option for interior lighting while maintaining a safe, environmentally conscious, and cost saving addition to any home or business.
CanCoverIt removes can light fixtures from the harsh attic and brings them into the envelope of your home. CanCoverIt fixes can lights, and upgrades your home’s efficiency and comfort.