Safety and style can go hand-in-hand as long as it's balanced. Once you tip the scale, you'll either have a safe but boring lighting design or an aesthetic but hazardous setup. Research is the key to finding that safe zone to maximise your styling options. So, before buying and installing anything, find out what fixtures you can use that are trendy and safe for your home or building!
Introduction: The Importance of Fire Safety in Modern Buildings
Fire is destructive, damaging and hazardous. Once it strikes, it can destroy properties, eliminate jobs, and cause injuries and death. Most buildings swept away by this tragedy are often not rebuilt, leaving people without a source of income or a roof over their heads!
The best way to prevent this devastating occurrence is by implementing safety protocols and ensuring all standard regulations are met. Fire safety can reduce damages to your home/building and the risk of injuries caused by fire. Plus, it's mandated by the law as it's crucial to the safety of everyone residing or working on the property.
So, what is the simplest way to go about this?
Benefits of Fire Rated DownlightsFire rated downlights are one of the safety features you can add to your property. Here are some benefits you can enjoy if you have them in your space!
Fire SafetyWhen installing recessed downlights, you must cut a hole in your ceiling. Unfortunately, its fire integrity is compromised because of this, allowing the fire to spread faster throughout the walls and ceiling void. With a fire-rated downlight, the ceiling's fire integrity can be restored. It's designed with an intumescent pad that expands at a specific temperature, completely sealing off the hole you cut to install your fixture.
Stylish DesignAlthough fire rated downlights are known for their safety features, they also do not come last in terms of design. With their simplistic and minimal appearance and all the various sleek and trendy finishes, fire-rated downlights have captivated many into choosing them over fancier alternatives.
Insulation and Acoustic RatingsDepending on the model that you'll come across, you'll find fire rated downlights that comply with Building Regulations Part B (fire safety), Part C (moisture protection), and Part E (acoustics).
Also, there are fire rated downlights that are insulation coverable.
Reminder, not all fire rated downlights can be covered with insulation. Unless it's clearly stated, don't wrap your fixtures with insulation. It may cause more harm than good.
Energy Efficiency with LED TechnologyThere are various types of downlights that you can buy and different kinds of bulbs that you can fit. To ensure that your fixtures are energy-efficient, pairing an LED fire rated downlight with an LED bulb is the best combination.
You'll experience outstanding brilliance with an LED bulb without sacrificing your finances. Also, if you use a dimmable LED fire rated downlight with a dimmable LED bulb, your lighting system will be even more energy efficient since you won't use your fittings at 100% constantly.
Types of Fire Rated Downlights
If you've already decided and are starting to plan your approach to upgrading your current lights to a fire rated downlight, you need to learn the types you'll come across. By knowing this, you'll be able to purchase the best fixture to accommodate your requirements!
- Fixed Downlight – As its name entails, this downlight has a fixed head, producing soft illumination downwards. Since it's stationary in one direction, you must be sure about its placement because once it's installed, there's no moving the light beams.
- Adjustable Downlight – This type has an adjustable head that you can tilt to change the direction of the light beam. Its more flexible trajectory makes it an excellent choice for multi-functional spaces.
- Insulation Coverable Downlights – Not all downlights can be covered with insulation except for this type. An insulation coverable fixture accommodates the additional layer placed on top without overheating. Still, there are warnings and instructions on what kind of bulbs are acceptable.
- Bathroom Downlight – Unlike the other fire rated downlights, a bathroom downlight has a higher IP rating (IP65 rated and up). Because of this protection, you can install them inside the bathroom's zone one without worrying about water splashes.
Features to Consider When Choosing Fire Rated Downlights
Now that you know about the types of fire rated downlights, it's time to determine the features that you may wish to have. Each type still has its unique quality that you may find more beneficial than the other.
- Fire-Rating – Fire rated downlights are classified into various fire ratings. The most common are fire rated to 30, 60, or 90 minutes of protection. When choosing the fire rating, the farther the room to the exit, the longer the fire rating should be.
- Insulation and Acoustic Ratings – If you need to put insulation over your fire rated downlight, having this feature is necessary. Otherwise, you cannot cover the fittings with anything as it can potentially become a hazard.
- IP Rating – This determines if you can use your fire rated downlights in areas exposed to liquids. The higher the IP rating, the more protected your lights are. So, if you plan to install it inside your bathroom shower area, look for a fire-rated downlight with at least an IP65 rating. Otherwise, if it's only for your living room, bedroom or dining room, an IP20 rating will suffice.
- LED Technology – There are halogen, CFL, and LED fire rated downlights. Among the three, the most energy-efficient and fire safe are LEDs. So, if you're debating which of them you should buy, get the one powered with LED technology!
Installation Process of Fire Rated Downlights
Precision is critical when installing recessed lighting fixtures like a fire rated downlight. If you're not accurate with the measurements, there's a chance for your beautiful vision to turn into a disaster!
Before anything else, a reminder, if you're not familiar with installing lighting fixtures, please call for an electrician. They know the dos and don'ts, so they can mount your lights correctly, and you don't risk getting electrocuted.
On the other hand, for experts who have done lighting installations before, here are some tips that may be useful when mounting downlights!
- Planning and Measuring – Before trimming holes, mark the placements of your downlights and measure the correct cut-out hole. The position is particularly crucial if you're using fixed downlights. Also, as mentioned before, be accurate with the cut-out hole to guarantee that your lights will sit flush on your ceiling!
- Wiring and Power Source – It'll be easier if your fixture has push-fit terminal blocks where you can loop in/out the wires. In addition, before wiring anything to the mains circuit, switch off the breaker to ensure your safety. Most fire rated downlights are mains powered, so you don't need a driver or transformer to make them work.
- Mounting and Attaching – After establishing the placements of your light, trim the cut-out hole and connect the wirings as instructed in the installation manual. Once all the wirings are connected, insert them inside the hole, and secure the downlights into your ceiling using the spring clips.
- Testing and Certification – if you're installing fire-rated downlights in your building, you need to have them tested and certified by professionals to comply with all the necessary building regulations.
Safety Features of Fire-Rated Downlights
When you get a fire-rated downlight, you'll notice all the safety features of the fixture. Here are some!
- Fire Hood and Caps – Depending on the model, some fire-rated downlights can be covered with fire hoods and caps that heat guard the fixture.
- Self-Extinguishing Materials – Fire rated downlights mostly come with a diffuser to distribute light evenly. Sometimes, this diffuser is not self-extinguishing. However, there are fire rated downlights made with self-extinguishing materials. This is a better option for building owners because it prevents further damage to the structure of your establishment.
- Thermal Cut-Off Switches – Fire rated downlights with this feature can cut off the power supply when it reaches a specific temperature, helping protect other parts of the circuit from getting damaged.
Using fire rated downlights for buildings and homes with multiple levels can ensure the safety of everyone inside. Also, fire safety for establishments is mandated by the law. Therefore, if you own one, guarantee that you follow this, as it can save lives in case an accident occurs. So, if you're looking for high-quality LED fire rated downlights, visit our website, LED Supplier! We have a comprehensive range of LED products, including downlights, panel lights, strip lights and other lighting solutions!