Some of the best fire-rated downlights, tested and approved according to the highest UK standards, are those manufactured by Aurora Lighting.
Recently they have posted a blog post concerning the requirements, the specifications, and the testing of their fire rated lights, and we deem it necessary to glean bits and pieces of very useful information for you, our customer and visitor.
Stay tuned as you read the article: the best bits are at the end!
Why do we Need Fire Rated Downlights?
First of all, why do we need to install fire rated downlights?
The Building Regulations in the UK require fire protection for certain types of premises. You can check out the Document B (fire safety, approved document, see it online here), where we see that residential homes, flats, sheltered housings, health care premises, schools, universities, student accommodations, shops, assembly and recreational buildings, etc all need to have fire protection recessed lights.
Depending on the building construction, most ceilings in houses with more than one floor needs to have fire rated lights.
What’s so Special about Fire Rated Lights?
So, what do the fire rated downlights do? If there’s a fire on a certain level of a building, the principle of the fire rated downlights is that they don’t allow the spreading of the fire to the floors or spaces above.
This means that the downlights have a special construction that blocks the spreading of the fire and, instead of weakening the fire protection of the ceiling, it “fills the hole” in the ceiling to protect the space above. Read more about the fire rated downlights here.
What Fire Rated Downlight do I Need?
There are different types of fire rated downlights, and there are different requirements for the various types of buildings and type of construction. The basement for instance, if it is residential, needs 30-60 minutes fire rating, while the basement in a flat or any other residential building needs 90 minutes fire protection.
When it comes to the ground level and above, depending on the height of the floor, in general in the residential buildings you need 60 minutes fire rated downlights, and in flats and other residential buildings you sometimes need a fire protection for up to 120 minutes.
Check out the diagram supplied by Aurora above to find out more precise details.
How do these Fittings Work and How are They Tested?
The fire rated downlights contain a special intumescent material which, in case of fire and extreme heat, expands and enlarges until it bridges the downlight can’s ventilation hole.
The maintaining of the fire resistance of the ceiling is integral when the intumescent material expands and blocks the expanding of the fire on the floor / space above the ceiling. In a nutshell, see below a picture describing this process.
How does Aurora Lighting test their fire rated downlights? Check out the picture supplied by them below and see a little about the process of testing: the test furnace, inside the furnace, the ceiling construction, the installation, board the ceiling, begin the testing, test monitoring, the success of the test, and the final results – PASS!
In conclusion, a big thank you to the good people at Aurora Lighting for their explanations (follow them on twitter here), and don’t forget to visit the fire rated ceiling lights section on our website at to see a complete range of fire protection downlights from Aurora.