Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Insulation and Light Fixtures for Dummies

recessed lighting, can light
It's quite common for the Antisocial Network's staffers to mutter under their breath as they surf the 'net in search of freelance dumbassery (a commodity of which there seems to be an endless supply). Many of the blog and content farm posts they turn up are of the same variety: some greedy character tried to research a question and ended up attempting to reword what they think is the most useful answer. Unfortunately, knowing jack about the question in the first place means that 1) they don't know what's a good answer and 2) they don't know what the terminology of the answer means. Heck, in some cases, they don't even know what the question means! Brenda Priddy, crafting consultant and prolific eHow freelancer, is a classic example of that type: witness her post "Light Fixture Insulation"¹ for proof.

We doubt that Residential Lighting 101 was on the curriculum as Priddy picked up her AA in English. Of course, plenty of people who know something about home building and repair have English degrees (OK, probably not). In Brenda's case, however, her unfamiliarity with the topic is clear from the get-go, as she opened with a throwaway introduction:
"Light fixture insulation is a problem facing any new home builder or remodeler. Not all light fixtures are safe to use with insulation, and not all insulation is safe to use around light fixtures. However, there is a way to determine what insulation is safe for what light fixtures."
OK, Brenda, we'll buy that last sentence, though we aren't convinced that the first one is true -- it's not a "problem," at least for someone who has a vague notion of what he or she is doing! Which, based on your later statements, does not include you.

Oh: someone wants an example of some of Priddy's more knowledge-based statements? OK:
"The use of insulation with light fixtures can be a tricky business. Usually, insulation is only safe for contact with insulated contact (IC) rated light fixtures."
A "tricky business"? Well, no, it's pretty simple... as Brenda managed to say in the next 329 words, including 91 words of warning about how "light fixtures carry a large electrical current" (large? 110 volts?) and how it's risky to work in attics.

When you come right down to it, however, Priddy's lack of knowledge about her topic is obvious not because of what she says, but because of what she doesn't say: the word "recessed" appears nowhere in her post. Yes, people, Brenda appears to think that her "advice" applies to all light fixtures. Is it any wonder we're giving her our Dumbass of the Day award today?

¹ The original has been deleted by Leaf Group, but can still be accessed using the Wayback machine at Its URL was
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