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Fire Rated Recessed Downlights For Kitchens
Have a browse through our hand-picked selection of fire-rated recessed downlights.
If the question in your head is, "Do I need fire rated downlights?" or, "Do I need fire rated and acoustic downlights?" do scroll down to our Tips and Advice guidance at the bottom of this page.
Fire Rated Recessed Downlights For Kitchens - Tips and Advice
What is the background of fire-rated recessed downlights and why do they exist?
When cutting holes into your ceiling to install downlights, you are effectively creating a route by which a fire could enter the ceiling and potentially lead to damage of the building's internal structure. Fire-rated downlights provide 90 minutes (or more) protection from fire entering the ceiling cavity.
Do I need fire rated downlights?
Some suggest that downlights installed into a building with timber joists should be fire rated to protect the structure. The ESC (Electrical Safety Council) recommends fire rated downlights throughout domestic properties but it is not a requirement, and poorly installed lighting of any type can cause more issues than it solves. Often fire rated downlights and fire protection is not necessary.
Think about your own safety and the safety of the people around you.
Here are our recommendations... take a look at the ceiling or cut a hole:
If it has a double layer of plasterboard, it’s either a fire rated "compartment" or it is there to reduce noise. You must use a fire hood, or install a fire rated (or fire and acoustic) downlight.
If it is single layer of plasterboard coated in white paper it is not providing a fire compartment and you do not need to use fire-rated downlights.
If it is single layer of plasterboard coated in pink paper it is fire rated plasterboard and you must or install a fire rated (or fire and acoustic) downlight.
Also, consider these points:
If you are putting lights in an integral garage with accommodation above - use a fire hood or fire rated downlight.
If you live in a 3-storey house (especially with only one flight of stairs) - use fire hoods or fire rated downlights.
If you live in a conversion i.e., a larger Victorian or Edwardian house that has been converted into flats - use a fire hood or fire-rated downlight if there is a separate dwelling above your accommodation and hope, if you have neighbours below, that they use fire hoods or fire rated downlights too.
This is not an exhaustive list, there are other areas where you could use fire hoods or fire rated downlights. But here are some spaces where they are not normally required... Bathrooms, bedrooms, and other spaces with only the roof space (loft) above them. Hallways - if there is no fire door between levels in a house there is no fire compartment. It is laughable to suggest that fire will wait to burn through a downlight when it could simply rush up the stairs!
Lastly a very important note:
Fire-rated downlights are not designed for use in hot areas or for use in insulation. Be clear about this point! If your roof structure is plasterboard with bonded rigid phenolic or urethane insulation (i.e. Kingspan) you cannot cut a hole through the plasterboard and insulation and install a downlight. The heat from lamps has nowhere to go and will "cook" the fitting, wiring and insulation and create a fire hazard through short circuit or combustion of other materials. In this type of installation, you should cut a void at least 200mm² square in the insulation (300mm² for fittings where a driver needs to be in the void). If you do not want to cut a big void in your insulation your only choice is an insulation safe fire-rated downlight. 90-minute fire rating Part E Acoustic Compliant Tested to BS476 Part 23 Ventilated to reduce heat build-up.