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Soffit lighting is a great way to illuminate the outside of your project discreetly and the reflected light is good enough to provide low glare general lighting. Some questions we are often asked
Do these soffit lights need to be fire rated?
Yes, you will need to use fire rated lights if you are cutting holes into a fire compartment. In the UK most constructions do not have a fire compartment. So most of the time you do not need fire rated lights.
I am worried about the heat from the light so should I use a fire hood above the soffit downlight?
No, fire hoods and fire rated lights are designed to protect in the event of a fire. They do not protect anything from heat, in fact heat can damage fire rated lights and shorten lamp life.
Everything is plastic, soffit eaves etc. Can I still use soffit lights?
All the fixtures here are 'F' marked meaning they can be used in normally flammable mounting surfaces like wood. Plastic can deform and discolour before it melts so you should consider using a LED fixture. This will also give you a long lamp life.
Because of varying roof designs not all properties have soffit boards. Soffit refers to the material forming a ceiling from the top of an exterior house wall to the outer edge of the roof or fascia board, i.e. bridging the gap between the external brick, block or cladding and the roofline. Soffit boards or planks are often fixed to the underside of the eaves.
When lighting is fixed into the soffit boards great lighting effects can be created that wash the walls with light. Narrow beam lamps and coloured lamps can also be used to make more of a decorative effect if desired.
Some soffit recessed lighting can be relamped from above and below to make maintenance easier. Wiring regulations would suggest that a ingress protection of IP23 would be sufficient in this location but using a fitting with a higher IP figure can only ensure extra protection in exposed locations.