IC recessed lights give protection from overheating and fires caused by hot light fixtures. They are specifically rated and tested to be installed into ceilings where the roof space is insulated. Recessed lights are a popular lighting choice for modern houses and refits, but many fires have been caused by lighting fixtures overheating and setting fire to nearby joists and other flammable materials.
Why Buy Recessed Lights
Recessed lights allow for a great feeling of luxury in a room. They can be spread out around a room for subtle and subdued light that is easy on the room, or used to illuminate specific areas and highlight points of interest. There are a huge number of recessed lighting options that can suit any décor and house style.
A recessed light is a light fixture that can be recessed into a wall or ceiling, or even stairs and floors, without sticking up into the outside room. They can be set flush with the surroundings or used with decorating and functional trims for various effects.
What Does IC Mean?
IC stands for Insulation Contact. An ic rated recessed light fitting can be used in an insulated ceiling without the risk that it will overheat and cause a fire in the roof space. IC rated lights are usually rated for no more than 100 watts, often 75 watts, whereas non-IC rated light housings are often rated for 150 watts.
Why You Should Purchase IC Rated Recessed Lights
- Efficiency - IC rated recessed lights are more energy efficient than other recessed lights because the fixtures can be covered with insulation, reducing heat loss through the fixture. They also reduce the problem of ‘blinking lights’ often associated with overheating bulbs.
- Safety – They can be in direct contact with the home insulation.
- Cost Savings – Because IC rated fixtures minimize moisture condensation, they reduce the need for electrician call outs and other repairs.
IC rated lights should also be used if they are being installed in walls which are insulated.
The Problems With Non-IC Rated Lights
Non-IC rated lights must not touch home insulation and need a minimum of 3 inches between the housing and the insulation. You may not even be able to use non-ic rated lights if you have any insulation at all in many areas. Always check the building codes before planning to install these light fittings. One feature of newer non-ic rated light housings is that they come with a self-resetting thermal switch for safety. The downside to this is that they can cause a nuisance with continual switching on and off if they get too hot.
Non-IC rated lights can be used in uninsulated areas like basements and many commercial applications.
They can also be more expensive when installed in insulated ceilings, even if they are allowed in your area, as extra time and expense is needed to affix a baffle to hold the insulation away from the fitting. This gap can allow heat to escape causing efficiency problems with your insulation.