When most people decide to upgrade their lights to downlight anywhere in the house, they are always presented with the same question… “Do I buy non-fire rated or fire rated downlights?” To the average person, this question has no real meaning, except that fire rated sounds better.
The problem is that the different between the two are harsh, buying the incorrect type could cost you your life! It is important to understand the differences between fire rated and non-fire rated downlights.
What is a fire rated downlight?
A downlight that is fire rated is a downlight which is designed to seal off the hole in your ceiling when the downlight is installed. What’s called and intumescent pad swells up in the event of a fire so that fire is blocked from spreading into your ceiling, which has no fire protection so the fire will spread quicker.
The installation of fire rated downlights is almost as easy as non-fire rated, as ceiling are a natural fire barrier when intact, having a hole for the fire to enter is asking for trouble.
To all users of non-fire rated downlights!
If there are rooms that people use above and downlights, make sure they are fire rated. Even if there is a flat above you that you don’t personally use.
You can get away with installing non-fire rated downlights in bungalows, however, it really doesn’t seem worth the risk. If a fire does occur then this will still allow the fire to seep into your roof causing more damage and potentially threatening your loved ones lives.
If you are unsure whether you have fire rated of non-fire rated lights installed the, you can find out by asking Wolverhampton Electricians, even if they are non-fire rated it is possible to convert them to fire rated by fitting a loft cap. In some circumstances, it is easier to install fire rated lights anyway.
So you’ve decided to opt for fire rated downlights. What next?
You now need to decide how long you want the seal to be able to resist fire, generally, you can choose 30, 60, or up to 90 minutes. This rating is entirely dependant on where the downlight is installed and what is above the fitting.
Wolverhampton electricians are able to recommend the most suitable fire rated downlight for your particular needs.
Do non-fire rated downlights require different bulbs?
Fire safety should always be paramount when choosing downlights, however, you need to be aware that not all bulbs will fit all types of downlight. Make sure that the downlight you have opted for is able to support the bulb technology that is in your price range.
Always get certification for work completed!
Downlight installations are covered by Part P building regulations. The contractor installing the downlight needs to work to these specification and present a Part P certification afterward. If this is not supplied it is not only dangerous but illegal as well!
Wolverhampton Electricians for all your electrical needs.