What are the regulations for fire-rated downlights?
UK fire safety regulations state that for all recessed downlights installed into ceilings, fire-rated downlights should be used. This is because recessed downlights can hinder the fire rating of your ceiling, as the holes placed in the structure allow fire to spread more easily. Surface-mounted downlights typically don’t need to be fire-rated as they do not compromise the fire rating of the ceiling.
Electrical Safety First recommends that users install fire-rated downlights that are fitted with aluminium reflector lamps, as these help to ensure that any fires that occur in the space below are kept out of cavities and this helps to minimise the heat build-up above and within the fitting.
Do I need fire-rated downlights?
If you’re installing LED downlights in a space where individuals could live or inhabit the area above, fire-rated downlights should be used. Unless you are installing lights which are surface-mounted, fire-rated downlights must be used to restore the fire integrity of your ceiling.
What is the difference between fire-rated downlights and non fire-rated downlights?
The difference between fire-rated downlights and non fire-rated downlights is that fire-rated downlights are manufactured to help slow the spread of fire. Contrastingly, non fire-rated downlights are not designed to assist with fire safety.
Fire-rated downlights feature an intumescent pad which swells up when a certain temperature is reached, the light fitting then blocks and delays the spread of fire. Fire-rated downlights have ratings which relate to the amount of time they can delay the spread of fire. For example, the apartments in blocks of flats may require fire-rated downlights which offer fire delays of around 120 minutes to allow people to escape the building.
What is the difference between spotlights and downlights?
Downlights are often mistaken for spotlights, however there are some key differences between these two types of light fittings. Downlights are typically recessed into the ceiling, whilst spotlights are surface-mounted. Spotlights tend to be most suitable for directiona