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Four Questions You Always Wanted to Ask About Fire-Rated Ceiling Lights

Four Questions You Always Wanted to Ask About Fire-Rated Ceiling Lights

  2012-10-04         sparksdirect         Safety » Fire Safety

In our store you may have noticed that we have a range of fire protection ceiling lights. You may also have some questions about these items, and we are happy to answer a few of them right now on this blog.

This article tries to answer four simple questions you always wanted to ask about the fire-rated ceiling lights, but maybe you were afraid to ask...

1. What is a Fire-Rated Ceiling Light?

A fire-rated light fitting completely seals the opening that was made in the ceiling when it was installed.

That means sealing even the tiny hole that was necessary in order to pass electrical wires through.

To achieve this, many fire-resistant ceiling lights incorporate an amount of intumescent material which expands in response to heat and completely seals that opening.

This fully protects your house in case of a fire.

2. Why should I invest in a fire-rated light?

Regulations state that any multi-storey building must incorporate fire-proof materials between its floors to slow the spread of fire. Plasterboard is sufficiently fire-resistant: a single sheet will withstand a fire for around 30 minutes.

This offers a longer time to escape.

Further, plasterboard sheets can be layered together for an extra 30 minutes per sheet: in most domestic properties, the ceilings are fire resistant for up to 60 minutes, but in high-rise buildings and commercial buildings, 90 minutes may be necessary.

So fireproof light fittings need to be rated for installation in 30, 60 or 90-minute ceilings.

Be warned, however, that a 90-minute rated fitting may not be suitable for use in a 30 or 60-minute-rated ceiling, and vice versa.

If it is not rated, the manufacturer has not tested the light for that use.

Light fittings should only be used in the situations for which they are specifically rated.

3. What official standards are available?

BS 476-20 (1987) outlines the method for testing fire-resistant construction materials and covers most of the important facts.

However, a couple of additions have since complicated matters.

Part E also mandates resistance against sound, so fire-resistant ceiling lights are also acoustic rated, which means they prevent the passage of sound through the opening as well as fire.

And since 2010, Part L has required at least 25% of the lighting in a property to be energy-efficient.

4. Where can I buy fire-rated ceiling lights?

Luckily, we sell both acoustic-rated and L1-compliant ceiling lights! We also stock waterproofed IP65-rated fire protection lights that can be used in the bathroom and kitchen, as well as a lot of other items.

Where can you buy the most advanced Fire Protection Ceiling Lights? [in the picture: the Aurora Sola i9 fire protection downlights]

Above: Aurora Sola i9 range of fire-rated ceiling downlights.

Visit the Fire Protection Ceiling Lights section to see the full range available, some of which come also in a different finish while others have a high IP rating for water and dust protection.