How can we have the best outcome for reasonable sound deadening?

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Posted by: from Hendersonville
9/10/2015 at 5:45:44 PM

I do not know what to do-and I hope we have not already made a grave error... installing pot lights in all our rooms in our basement apartment as recommended by our electrician. Now I read how insulation can not be installed near or around them and because of this, the pot lights will cause noise/sound problems between the main level and the basement apartment? I am not getting a clean understanding about if we are creating a hazard because we installed Roxul up into the joist under pot lights. And how do we install the R-19 (over the Roxul) around the pot lights? Yikes!! We have invested in both Roxul safe n sound and R-19 fiberglass insulation with the intention installing the Roxul like I said, up into the joist and adding R-19 fiberglass insulation over top with 1 layer of 5/8" sheetrock to finish the ceiling.

Please advise.

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Date/Time9/10/2015 at 7:18:22 PM

Retro fit LED lights, they can use the pot light housing, eliminate the sound issues, help with your insulation as they are not effected by heat, lower your power costs and have a more pleasing light. It's the only lights I use on my projects.

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Date/Time9/10/2015 at 8:52:53 PM

Jim & Anna,

It depends on the type of pot lights you have. there are IC and non IC. IC type have a metal box covering the unit and with Roxul (Roxul is fire rated)you can cover most of the area up to the metal housing. It isn't fool proof but the more Roxul coverage you have, the better. Sorry we couldn't be more helpful.

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Date/Time9/10/2015 at 11:52:45 PM

Hi Jim and Anna,

5 years ago that would have been a tough problem to deal with but now it's simple and James nailed it. Retrofit LEDs! They don't create as much heat as halogens or standard incandescents so you can put the Roxul all around the cans without fear of tripping the high temp safety sensor. They are usually dimmable and the best part is you will never have to change them! Most are rated for at least 15 years of normal use.

For your application you should be using the "safe and sound" product as it is formulated for sound absorption. You could check with Roxul but I think 2 layers of safe and sound with an air gap between them is the most effective. You could also use a resilient channel (Z channel) before the drywall to minimize sound transmission.

Good luck with it!

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman

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Jim And Anna in Hendersonville
Date/Time9/11/2015 at 10:38:59 AM

Thank you folks! The good news is we are moving forward with our project knowing how to safely work around our lighting fixtures. We appreciate the advise about the LED lights-the unfortunate issue is we bought the and paid for the installation of standard pot lights so we have to do the best we can with the existing lights we invested in for our basement apartment. We will remember the tip about the benefits of using LED pot lights when we are renovating the other half of our basement and perhaps this posting will help others doing similar projects and needing advise from this site.

After consulting with our local building inspector, we are confident that we will receive the answer to our questions regarding installation of Roxul and R-19 around the existing pot lights. Thank you kindly for your recommendations and prompty replies.

James & Anna

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Date/Time9/11/2015 at 11:53:58 AM

Jim and Anna,

I think you misunderstood what we are saying about LEDs. You don't have to change the fixture itself (can or enclosure in the case of pot lights), you just purchase the correct LED bulb instead of halogen or incandescent. Just like a lamp where you put in a spiral fluorescent instead of a 60 watt incandescent. Same idea, same fixture but a different bulb.

Hope this helps a bit.

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman

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Date/Time9/12/2015 at 5:11:41 PM

Hi Jim and Anna,

Just to clarify what I think has been said:

Yes you can buy LED bulbs to retrofit into an existing fixture for energy savings and yes the create very little heat...

HOWEVER...All of that means nothing technically.

If you are installing insulation of any type around a pot light fixture, the fixture MUST be IC (Insulation Contact) rated.

If the fixture(s) are not IC rated, you simply are not permitted to install insulation around them. It can lead to serious problems.

Having said that, there are alternative methods of sound deadening that you could employ to drastically reduce sound transfer such as:

1)Sonopan (

2) Resilient Channel which are essentially metal furring strips that separate the drywall fasteners from direct connection with the structural framing thus greatly reducing the vibrations (sound transfer).

3) Sound Deadening Drywall ( although there are several manufacturers) It is expensive but a lot of this stuff is like installing 6 layers of drywall in 1.

Regardless, DO NOT simply install LED retrofit lights in non-IC rated receptacles that are buried in insulation! They are still a fire hazard and I can promise you at the expense of LED bulbs someone down the road will replace one for whatever reason with a regular bulb and voila, potentially no house and at the least a nice insurance claim...although it would give you the chance to correct that mistake when the whole place is being rebuilt.

Best of luck with your project.


Jason Irving

Cedarfalls Building Consultants Limited

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Jim And Anna in Hendersonville
Date/Time10/5/2015 at 10:20:12 AM

Thank you everyone! We decided to go with Roxul Safe N Sound up into the ceiling and then 3 1/2 fiberglass insulation leaving an air pocket in between the two products. We will see how things go... the advise about the retro fit LED lighting is much appreciated and we may go that additional step in the near future.

Again, We sincerely thanks all who responded!!

James & Anna swiech

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