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Guide to installing halogen downlights

Picture of halogen downlights installed in a home

Halogen downlights are increasingly specified and installed in dwellings and domestic extensions, but these popular downlights can generate significant levels of heat when they incorporate halogen fittings, so it’s vital to follow good practice when installing them.

It's important to ensure the installations are not only safe, but specified to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations where fire safety, sound insulation, conservation of fuel and power and potential condensation issues are concerned.

Our guide to the safe installation of downlights in dwellings, which is available to download from the LABC website, looks at the issues mentioned above and gives both specifiers and installers all you need to get the job right.

Key points to consider when installing downlights

  • Downlights can generate significant heat when fitted with halogen lamps. Maintain a safe clearance from any combustible materials – check with manufacturers’ guidance
  • Consult manufacturers’ details when installing lights in separating floors
  • Heat loss in roofs can be substantial. Ensure fittings are suitable for this location
  • Use light emitting diode (LED) lamps wherever possible to minimise energy use and heat build up
  • Carefully specify downlighters where they penetrate ceilings to insulated roofs to prevent air leakage
  • Fire resisting hoods may be required in some instances to maintain the integrity of the floor, particularly where 60 minutes or higher fire resistance is required, or where webbed joists are used
  • Properly seal light fittings to minimise the passage of water vapour to the roof space.

More details can be found in the revised FREE Guide to the safe installation of downlighters in dwellings.