Dedicated Music Room Recessed Lighting (High Hats)?

The music room is down to studs.  Rewired the entire room and in the process added 7 high hats.  They were to be used to make the room very bright for cleaning, playing with wires etc.  I also have four sconces that will get the old style low wattage Edison bulbs for lighting during listening (as well as a lamp or two).  It did not occur to me that although the "cans" won't be used during music the "cans" may buzz. I've been told this by three audiophiles and a home theater guy.  Two emphatically tell me to "rip them out while you can".  Others have told me just go get the automotive sound deadening sheets (cut and stick on the cans). The room has been insulated with Roxul SAFB (Sound Absorbing Fire Barrier) in batt form 6" in the walls 9" in the ceiling. Does anyone have any experience with cans rattling or buzzing?
Should I rip them out?  Yes I do listen to music very loud at times. Thanks.
Regards, barts  
Mine never rattle, and with 5 subs there's enough bass to rattle my freaking projector screen! If you're truly worried, go to each one, tap tap tap it real good, and you will find out real fast if it rattles. My bigger concern would be each can is a hole cut in the wall you spent so much time and money trying to make stop sound. So you need to seal around each can making it just as solid as the rest of the wall. Ditto outlets. Ditto door seals..... 
It's very situational, and depends on more than the lighting fixture alone.  I'd leave them in for now and consider replacing later. 

Be more aware that old style dimmers and LED power supplies can be VERY noisy for the AC line. Make sure you don't run your audio on the same circuit.
Resonance is real ... the stick on damping should be quite adequate a bit of work to go in and remedy an existing installation.
Good post ... has me adding to the list in my room.
Thanks MC.  I would figure the Tektons alone could rattle just about anything.  The cans are in the ceiling and surrounded by Roxul packed in well but not real tight.  And everything will be sealed up real good.  At this point the room is kinda spooky, almost anechoic chamber.  My wife won't spend more than a minute in it...she says it freaks her ears out!  
Eric, the only problem with leaving them in is after sheetrock I very well may put stained pine boards on the entire ceiling.  That would a problem to try and rip them out.  They are not on the same circuit and will not have dimmers, they're just to really light up the room when necessary. Thanks.
Rego,  The cans are exposed at the moment (no sheetrock in the room yet) so now would be the time to either take them out and replace with another type fixture or attempt to remedy a problem that I don't know I have yet. Thanks.
MC, I forgot to ask...did you do anything to your cans so they won't rattle/buzz?
I've installed hundreds of recessed lights. The most vibration noise that would come out of them would be from the connection box where the cable comes into the box for termination. It was the cover plates of the boxes. Another location is the sliding bars that hold the fixture up in between the joists. Its a bit flimsy and can rattle at a certain frequency, I'm sure. 3rd is the socket that holds the bulb in place. Some are adjustable and can get loose if not securely fastened. 

I suggest, if you'reworried about it, , before finishing, fasten all those spots and then some, and you should be good. Some kind of super  tape or wire that won't get loose over time.

Good luck

Fwiw, my recessed lights don't rattle and I didn't do any if that stuff. I have an all in one flat  cover with led inside. 
So, when installing a light that was next to another one, you could hear the vibrations as you were hammering of the light that was already installed. If you could tape them, fasten them, etc... and they would stop vibrating before the gypsum board, then you'll probably be fine  
cissado, thanks for the suggestions much appreciated.  I will address all of those areas.  The sheetrock is going to be glued and screwed, so maybe some Green Glue on the supporting braces between the joists is a good way to go.  Along with taping and wire on the other locations. 

Perhaps you could spot check the ceiling/walls/room by hooking up an inexpensive tactile transducer to an amp and sound source (they are $10-$20 @ Parts Express)?

A CD with sound sweeps, like the one by Ayre, should do the trick (along with a long run of lamp cord/speaker cable).


OP, do something now, you sound like you want to. Just do it.. Get some high temp stick on stuff and seal the heck out of it.. Silicone is expensive, There is expanding fireproof, soundproofing foam. Tightens EVERYTHING up... Easy to apply.

Put that stuff ON and let it air a bit.

Tighten all the wires in the rafters too, a little dab will go a long ways for for rattling cables laying on rafters

No huffin the fumes OP, that's a no no!

Enjoy the new room... It won't be spooky for long. VERY quiet with no wall board up though, only insulation. It is spooky, no room bounce..

"Glued and screwed" is the route I took but with a couple extra steps a long time ago converting my garage to an audio room. Used double 1/2" sheetrock along with 3 headers between each stud. Along with concrete slab this room was solid.
Here's a little story from a few years ago.
During a period of sanity I temporarily left audiophileville and the structure was modified to function as a garage again.
One night three years ago a young drunk driver decided my house was a street and plowed right into the outside corner of my garage. The siding, the corner, corner of the garage door, fence, and landscaping were pretty messed up. The interior a couple cracked studs and a little drywall wrinkling. The insurance company could not understand initially why the garage did not partially collapse. Not a common building practice that our kind strive for I guess.
Anyway, pertaining to your vibration concerns Herbie's advised me about Permatex Blue. Stuff is used for gasket sealing and is also great for vibration control. It is the consistency of toothpaste and solidifies in about 30-60 minutes. I have it in many components with excellent results. Maybe it can be a benefit in your project.


I should have mentioned that the entire room was sprayed with commercial sound absorbing open cell foam.  Then Roxul SAFB to fill up all the cavities, so the wires are all or nearly all are foamed into place.  I have yet to pull some of the Roxul out from around the "cans" mainly because I hate that stuff.  To round out the picture for you the floor is concrete slab. Not very much sound energy can get in or out of the room. Thanks.
Funny how I never ran into the tactile transducers before.  I took a look and the few I looked at only go down to about 100-300hz.  My rig is really full range.  Took quite a bit of work in the last iteration of this room to stop random buzzing (think opening of DSOTM).  That's why this time it is a full rip out and start from scratch. Thanks.
I’ve used permatex for gaskets. I’m thinking that its essentially a hi-temp version of RTV sealant as well as unaffected by petroleum products. Did not know it was good for vibration control. Thanks.
In the industry, we have mostly moved away from the ‘can light’ housings and trims. Almost all our projects use the new LED fixtures that look like recessed fixtures. They are cheaper, small and shallow (can actually fit into a 1/2 space, which makes them extremely versatile as you don’t have to worry about HVAC, plumbing, or even the joists or rafters to place them), so can fit practically anywhere, and have no parts that can ‘rattle’ at all.

look at those, that is what the industry is moving towards. I have not used a standard recessed ‘can’ fixture in over two years.
I can’t address the concerns around electrical interference from lighting but I can tell you I just installed some phillips hue bulbs in all my music room lights, cans, sconces and one lamp and they are 2 million colors all dim-able and controlled by an app while you are listening....i hear no interference or buzzing with lamps on vs off but they are also on different circuits.
IMO, recessed lighting is not ideal for either resonance or soundproofing. I used rack lighting instead with two 6 foot rods holding 6 lights each, rotating up and down and a full 360. I can direct light exactly where I want to anywhere in the room. 300 watts per rod. You can see one on the last picture of my house of stereo system. If you really want recessed lighting I would suggest a heavy dose of soundproofing/ fire retardant putty as I installed behind all my outlets as also pictured in my system. That would improve soundproofing and also lessen any vibration the recessed unit may have. Enjoy the journey.

I agree with your opinion. My next and final room will not have recessed lighting. I plan on using low profile track lighting to reduce perforations in the ceiling. I spent a lot of dinero in current customized room (33x19) to realize that all of that Quietrock Sheetrock, Roxul safe and sound insulation, resilient channel, and spray foam did excellent in sound abatement, but, it could be better without the cutouts for recessed lighting. Next time. 
I also used the puddy on the outlets too. can always fix a rattle. 

I'd spend time listening to the room with the insulation exposed with many tracks, taking notes. Then after your sheetrock goes up think back to the dampened room. Use your notes and analyze what's going on. Speakers AND room/wall interactions create the music. Seldom does one get a real chance to experiment like this.  
I have 4 cans with led bulbs and they have never buzzed.  I also have a center light that had CFL’s.
they did buzz and were replaced with some leds and no more noise.

All the best.
Shoot OP, sounds good, you know give the the broom handle tap test. If you find a noisy one couple screws, silicone.. there is gonna be other stuff in the cans too? A fixture. A little creative, rattle proofing, so to speak. 

Some serious boom boom to rattle the roof.. BUT you know.. LOL
Every now and then...

Have fun, your not going to have any problems, it will sound great..:-)

I was working on a 16 X 20 X 8 today.. one of 2. Bigger :-) fun being retired..

I looked but didn't see, how big is your room?

I have 10 4 inch recess.  No buzzing or rattling.  2 dimmer switches so I can have front lights or rare on and dimmed when watching movies.   I have 2 subs.  7.2.4 and no noise from the cans.  Use good switches and bulbs, should not have a problem.  

oldhvymec, My room is 15 X 17 X 8, not ideal, but its what I have to work with. I too am retired, coming up on 7 years now!

bkeske,  I didn't specify the LEDs to my electrician.  And I just had him put in six 3"  LED "shallow" lights in a fireplace bookshelf surround.  Unfortunately I wasn't here when the cans went in.  So, now I'm going to take the cans out and replace with the LED shallow solid fixtures.

baylinor, I guess I'm old school because I like the look of recessed lighting. Great job on your "stereo house".  I would have to sell this house where we've been living for 40 years and move to a larger property, we have expanded as much as zoning allows.

audioquest4life, That's a big room you have there...don't even want to think about what that quietrock costs.

jimofmaine,  The room is completely empty and with the way my voice sounds and smacking two wood blocks together is very very dead.  I'm not sure what it would tell me at all to move all the equipment in there. 
Maybe if was familiar with my gear in a true anechoic chamber.

Thanks for all the responses, much appreciated.  Maybe one day it will end up on the systems page.


Sounds ideal to me.. One of the rooms is 15X20X8 with built in closets 3 foot deep. BASS traps, sub placement and equipment placement. 3 32" wide pocket doors.  That's the plan anyways..

It makes the room, 15X17X8 same size... :-)

It's not just old style LED's that make noise. When I built my music room last year, I tried out some fixtures that stopped radio reception. God knows what it was doing to the AC line, and I didn't want to know how it was beating against signals in the audio chain.

FWIW, I use only quartz or tungsten lighting (that is, strictly resistive) while listening. The LED's are there strictly for maintenance or when the room is used as a study.

I had good results with Quietrock 545, but it sounds like you're past that stage.

bkeske, I didn't specify the LEDs to my electrician. And I just had him put in six 3" LED "shallow" lights in a fireplace bookshelf surround. Unfortunately I wasn't here when the cans went in. So, now I'm going to take the cans out and replace with the LED shallow solid fixtures.

Good idea. I’m an ‘older fart’, and dismissed the new technology early on, for good reason IMO. Heck, I’m one of those guys who bought 2 large cases of incandescent bulbs before they became ‘outlawed’. Since, I’ve actually replaced all the bulbs in my home with dimmable LED’s recently (all very ‘warm’ bulbs that mimic incandescent). I’ve become much more accepting of the new LED technology and their benefits. The shallow LED lights are actually pretty nice for a variety of reasons, and will reduce almost all your sonic concerns.

In terms of sound deadening drywall, ‘sound insulation’, and the like. Yes, those products might have some effect, but it is rather small. The science and technology of creating a true sound dampened/diffused space for high end audio takes a lot more than simply  utilizing those types of products. Check out Acoustic Fields on YouTube. That guy knows what it takes to make any significant impact in a dedicated listening room.
Just finished up my listening room and using led 2700k cans.  Airtight unlike the old style cans. Good dimmer and you are good to go
i have a couple of cases of green glue and s few tubes of acoustic caulk if you need them. 
From an architect:
I don’t know about physically/mechanically buzzing, but if you have not already done so, wire the cans on their own circuit.  Especially important not to mix LED and incandescent on the same circuit.  Separating the can circuit will allow you to change dimmers, and troubleshoot if you have problems.  Matching the dimmer model to the cans is important to keep them from buzzing or flickering.  
From my original post:  Rewired the entire room and in the process added 7 high hats. They were to be used to make the room very bright for cleaning, playing with wires etc. I also have four sconces that will get the old style low wattage Edison bulbs for lighting during listening (as well as a lamp or two).

All of the insulation is to keep the sound in the room and exterior noise out. I live in a quiet neighborhood with plenty of trees (800 acre state park is my back border).  But the A/C compressor is right outside the left wall and essentially can't be moved.  I am well aware that what I've done so far is only the beginning.  And have watched many of Acoustic Fields vids. 

Well I must say that is a helluva offer. I'll PM you.

There are three separate lighting circuits in the room. The cans are arranged with 3 in a row across the front on one circuit and then a square of 4 on another circuit.  Finally, 4 wall sconces on their own circuit. (read my reply to terry above).

Thanks for all the good suggestions.  I am very pleased that this post didn't "off the rails" as seems to happen quite a lot around here.