If you or a family member are updating the lighting in your home, you may be wondering if you must purchase lights that are completely fire-rated and approved.

Downlights are some of the most popular types of lighting that are installed in modern-day homes across the UK. Therefore, it is important to know whether you have purchased fire-rated or non-fire-rated LED lights.

Throughout this blog, we are going to be informing you of all of the important things you must consider when buying downlights as well as the importance of having fire-rated downlights.


Fire-Rated Downlights

A fire-rated downlight is a type of light designed to shine lights in a downward direction towards the floor, much like LED strip lighting, that helps to prevent the spread of fire in your home if things go wrong in your home.

These types of downlights are much safer than traditional downlights due to their added fire safety, meaning that you can rest assured of the reduced fire risk when you’re away or even asleep!

When cutting a hole in your ceiling for the use of recessed downlights, you run the risk of decreasing your house’s overall fire rating as the gaps in your ceiling allow for fire to escape and spread through the rest of your home.

Having fire-rated recessed downlights completely blocks off any gap or hole that was there, meaning that fire and smoke can not so easily escape through your home.

You can purchase these downlights with a dimmer switch allowing for great ambient lighting when required. Dimmers are some of the most popular lights on today’s market.


Do You Need To Buy Fire-Rated Downlights?

At Simple Lighting, we would always recommend that our customers buy the best, fire-certified LED downlights to ensure safety in their homes.

Fire-rated lights prevent fire from escaping and spreading to the other areas of your house and are therefore incredibly important to people everywhere.

These types of lights are so important to the safety of your building as well as the overall safety of the occupants that inhabit it – may that be your family, roommates or if you share a flat.


How Are Downlights Fire Rated?

Downlights are regulated alongside other lighting set-ups and lights in part B of the Building Regulations which include the fire testing of recessed ceiling lights.

This rating is ranked at either 30, 60, 90 or 120 which correlates to the number of minutes that the lights will hold back the fire and therefore the amount of time you have to get to safety.

Downlights can also be given IP ratings depending on the room that they are being used. The higher IP-rated downlights are usually placed in areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms and dining rooms due to the elevated levels of moisture in these rooms.


Rules on Thermal Insulation

When planning on covering your lights with thermal insulation it is imperative that you check the manufacturer’s instructions for any information on this.

This is because some manufacturers do not make fire-rated downlights that can be installed or used alongside thermal insulation.

This is a safety precaution because certain models of downlight can overheat and catch fire when coupled with home insulation. However, if your home already has thermal insulation in place, then you will be able to add a displacement box to your new lights in order to prevent them from catching fire.

With this in mind, it is important to note that some manufacturers do not allow for the installation of their fire-rated LED downlights into already insulated homes, so be sure to check for the relevant information beforehand.


Alternatives To Fire-Rated Downlights

As we have previously stated, we would strongly recommend that our customers purchase fire-rated downlights despite the difference in price between the two – the benefits greatly outweigh the price.

If you are not interested in buying fire-rated downlights, however, there are some alternatives that you can consider instead.

The main alternative to think about is buying a fire hood for your non-fire-rated downlights which will protect your home from fires more than without; however, this will eventually lead to being around the same price as simply buying fire-rated lights in the first place.


Can You Install Fire-Rated Downlights Yourself?

Some of the best lighting advice that we can give is that when buying LED downlights, you must purchase them with the knowledge that you will need the assistance of a capable electrician as this is regulated by the Buildings Regulations.

It could be incredibly dangerous for your average, everyday homeowner to attempt to install their own downlights without any guidance or assistance.

This could lead to fires, and therefore immense damage to your property, as well as endangering yourself when dealing with electricity making the hiring of an approved electrician an imperative necessity.

When your electrician has finished working on your property, they will be required to share their Part P certificate with you to follow the Building Regulations and to ensure that you know they have delivered a quality service including technical testing.



To summarise, at Simple Lighting, we believe that it is vital that you should purchase fire-rated downlights if you are planning to purchase any type of lighting for your home.

They are so important for a house’s fire safety while also providing your home with the best lighting on the market for many years to come.

Downlights are perfect for any type of kitchen, bathroom or hallway space and are therefore one of the most important types of lights to have fire-rated to meet standards and regulations.

There are alternatives to buying fire-rated downlights, of course, as you do have the option to purchase regular, non-fire-rated downlights and simply fit them with a fire hood to protect them from fires, however, this will eventually lead to being around the same price of the official fire rated-versions.


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