Monday, 28 January 2013

Can I lay insulation over a downlight?

A question we get asked quite often is 'can I lay insulation directly on top of a downlight'? Downlights are often installed in ceilings directly below loft space and consequently there is usually attic insulation directly above them. The temptation is there to simply lay the insulation over the units however this should never really be attempted. The heat generated by downlights (including fire rated) can be tremendous and with glass fronts on them they tend to vent their heat backwards. This can obviously create quite a dangerous situation when exposed to flammable insulation material. We've had people say 'but they're LED versions which are ultra cool' but the truth is that LED bulbs give off plenty of heat it is just all dissipated out of the back (it is why the backs of LED bulbs tend to be weird shapes to allow the heat to flow away) Some LED bulbs give off more heat from behind the unit than actual halogens! CFLs radiate some heat too. 

We have found the best thing to do is to either cut a portion out of the insulation to allow the downlight to sit in or to use straps between ceiling joists to support the insulation above the downlights so it is not resting upon them. 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Fire rated downlights don't only stop the spread of fire. They block noise pollution as well!

It should be remembered that Fire-rated downlights not only prevent a fire from spreading between 2 floors of a building but they are also designed to stop noise from passing from room to room as well. The actual correct name for these types of products are Fire & Acoustic rated downlights. The acoustic rating on the units helps prevent noise pollution within a building. This is quite useful in the home but when installed in a commercial property with living accommodation above they become a necessity. Imagine living above a shop or a cafe where there is a constant flow of customers below. If your home is like this then chances are the establishment below will have installed acoustic rated lighting. After all theres nothing worse for passing noise between floors than cutting holes in the ceiling. This type of product seals the holes allowing minimal noise to pass. If you are thinking of installing downlights in your home, especially below bedrooms, then it's highly recommended you check that the units you purchase are acoustic rated. All the recessed downlights on our website are currently both fire & acoustic rated