What Are Fire Rated Downlights?

02/03/2018
by Chris Bawden
What Are Fire Rated Downlights?

At first glance, the term “fire rated downlights” may seem rather vague, and you may even be tempted to just move on without digging into the potential benefits. This would be a shame, given that fire-rated downlights can be an incredible choice for your home, both in terms of aesthetics and usability.

To bring some clarity to the term, read on for a full description of what fire-rated downlights are and whether or not they may be the right choice for you. First, let’s break down the term into its component parts.

Downlights Explained

Downlights are a lighting choice that provide a downwards beam of light. They are usually installed so they sit flush against the ceiling or are recessed; there is no protruding lamp, cord, or bulb. Downlights can be a variety of shapes, but are most commonly circular.

The vast majority of downlights are LEDs, as these are more energy efficient and last for longer.

Downlights come in a variety of sizes, from single, central installations to dozens of spotlights that cover the ceiling.

Fire Rated Explained

It’s easy to think that the term “fire-rated” applies to how safe a light may be in terms of creating a fire, but all LEDs are considered to be safe in this regard. The term is used when applied to downlights to describe a light fitting that can actively help to inhibit the spread of a fire.

Fire Rated Downlights Being Installed

To understand this, you’ll need to picture the conventional setup for a ceiling light. The light is inserted by cutting through the ceiling, which is in itself a fire hazard. Any time a ceiling’s integrity is breached, the new hole provides a route through which fire can spread more easily. This hole is usually filled by the light fixing, but this can still leave gaps that can promote the spread of fire. Furthermore, if the light fixing is then burned away by the flames, the hole is subsequently open to the fire.

If you choose fire-rated downlights, however, you have an extra layer of protection. Not only are the gaps covered during the installation, but the downlight itself is able to withstand the heat of the fire and will not melt away. Fire-rated downlights are tested to ensure they conform with British Safety Standards, meaning they will protect the ceiling light’s hole for up to 90 minutes when exposed to a fire. This provides 90 minutes of protection, during which time it is highly likely a fire will have been extinguished.

Choosing to use Fire Rated Downlights

Now you’re familiar with what fire-rated downlights can offer, you’re likely wondering if they are suitable for your home. If you like the look and want to provide a little more security for your home, then fire-rated downlights are always going to be a good choice. The GU10 LED bulbs of downlights are long-lasting and energy-efficient, the fire-rating provides fantastic peace of mind, and the downlight function is a beautifully soft lighting choice that never fails to look impressive.

As a result, if you like the idea of fire-rated downlights, there’s no reason they won’t be the perfect choice for you.


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