what are fire rated downlights

Downlights are a great choice for task lighting throughout a house, whether that's over a kitchen worktop, garage or work space. They should only be used where you really need and want to create an even, bright spread of light. So, you've decided what rooms you need them in, but, what about choosing the right downlights? There are many different specifications to consider and understand. You might also be wondering, what are fire rated downlights? And, is this important?

The fire rated specification is an incredibly important part to understand when purchasing downlights for your safety. Let's explore what fire rated downlights are, and what to look for in the buying process.

What Are Fire Rated Downlights?

Downlights are a form of recessed lighting which means they are embedded into your ceiling. Downlights can be placed on the outside of a ceiling, but they are generally embedded where a hole is cut into the ceiling and the downlight is placed.

When a hole is cut into a ceiling/plasterboard this creates a potential channel for fire to quickly spread upwards. This is where a fire rated downlight becomes incredibly important. The fire rating restores the fire integrity of a ceiling once the hole has been cut for the downlight to be fitted. It basically blocks the potential passage and risk by sealing the gap, and slowing the spread of a fire.

To achieve a fire rating, the downlights will have had to have passed a fire resistance test that replicates the behaviour of a fire. The Electrical Safety Council recommend that fire rated downlights should be used in all buildings. They are not legally required, but it is strongly recommended to do so based on the resistance that they provide if a fire was to break out in the property.

what are fire rated downlights

Different Fire Rated Downlights

Downlights come with different fire ratings, fire rated to 30, 60, 90 minutes, or all three. The rating of the downlight must match the fire rating of the ceiling, and structure of the building. Generally, fire resistance for a standard home you should be looking for downlights with a 60 minute rating. Whereas a top floor flat may require at least 90 minutes.

Next time you are choosing downlights, take a look at the fire rating specification. If you are not sure what fire rating you need, always consult your electrician beforehand so they can advise.

Whilst fire rated downlights are not legally required in a home, they are strongly recommended to be used, and will provide appropriate measures should a fire ever occur. Explore our full range of LED fire rated downlights.