According to an article by the American Lighting Association, improperly insulated downlights and recessed fixtures have the chance to increase heat flow via convection (heat traveling through a solid) to a roof during winter, contributing to the formation of ice dams. These frozen formations can cause roof damage and create leaks in ceilings. “When combined with the heat given off by recessed lighting, there can be more heat in the attic area than normal,” warned the article. “To prevent ice dams, the roof needs to at least remain an even temperature, if not cooler than the rest of the house.” The article prescribes several solutions to reduce the heat downlights emit. “The easiest way to remedy this is to either replace the current fixture with an IC-rated [insulated contact] light, or to reconfigure parts of the insulation.” Choosing other lighting options such as LED lights that give off less heat can also help prevent your roof from warming up.
Have questions about your downlights and fixtures? Reach out to Tracy Leeper King, Indiana Lighting Center.