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Recess Ceiling lights causing dust

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Tenant456, 10 Jul 2021.

  1. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    Hi ive been having bad Allergies and have just discovered dust is coming in from the ceiling it is coming in between gaps in the recess lights in ceiling (I live in top floor flat) . Took a couple of photos, I pulled one light down. Seems very old. Is this how you install a ceiling light? It looks bad to me and the board just flakes off and filters into the room around edges where light does not fit hole. Is this dangerous? I put my camera up and took a photo of the ceiling and it is dusty so all this dust is coming down though the gaps where the lights are not sealed 100%. I'm renting so need to know what to say to landlord. Any help appreciated. 20210709_231256.jpg 20210709_231414.jpg 20210709_233518.jpg Thanks.
     
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  3. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    As unbelievable as it sounds, what you have is quite normal and acceptable.

    Downlights are a terrible design, especially when it comes to the time when you need to remove the entire fitting and the edges of the hole begin to crumble.

    I really thought by now they would have designed a special ring to fit round the hole to allow the rest of the fitting to be removed.

    You could get your landlord to replace the fittings for more enclosed ones, with a GU10 LED lamp. LED is far more efficient, the bulbs you have are old hat now.

    Alternatively you could have new integrated LED fittings where there is no bulb to change, but these don't last forever.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2021
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  4. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    Hi thanks for your response and confirming this is normal (bad design I agree!) I've sellotaped some paper over the lights for now where there are gaps to stop dust coming down and see if this will help with my allergies but I think lots of dust has come down over time. One light had even fallen down in my bedroom by itself which means a lot of dust could have come through there. cheers.
     
  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I look at the landlord - tenant relationship as a two way thing, the lamp does say 0.3 meters upload_2021-7-10_16-10-55.png but to be frank if swapped to LED then heat really reduced and reasonable to seal lamp to ceiling, as they last so long. Well I say that, I have not lost a LED bulb to date, but son has, as to why not sure, maybe because I have a surge protection device in the consumer unit and he doesn't?

    But as said it is common to fit these lights, the worry is although a L2 version is made (will only take LED bulbs) many of the LED bulbs have not got the dimple in them so it becomes a pain having to get GU10 L2 bulbs, and if you put any seal, then if bulb replaced with halogen it could burn the seal, so you need an agreement with landlord that he knows you have fitted LED lamps and sealed them, so should you leave he can warn new tenants only LED to be used.

    The landlord is doing nothing wrong having those lights, so can't really force his hand, but I have seen tenants charged with council owned houses for altering the lights, so you do need his blessing.
     

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  6. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    Hi thanks for the help. Sorry but what does it mean by 0.3 meters on the light?

    The lights swivel and can be angled which I think is bad as it leaves gaps for dust I would not think this is ideal for ceiling.you can see in the photo I took dust around the inside of the light so even if edges are dust tight dust will come down.

    Also when I moved into the flat many of the bulbs were blown and I had to replace them which was not easy. I had to unscrew the light, pulling it down. (like in the first photo I sent) undo the mechanism. Replace the bulb. Put it back together then using the clips push it back up into the ceiling. (with dust from edges crumbling) and after multiple attempts getting them to stay up.

    I think by doing this maybe I left gaps that weren't there before that have contributed to the dust and in hindsight should not have attempted it myself.

    Also don't cover lights with paper. The paper can burn as I found out. Baking paper I think will work.
     
  7. Adam_151

    Adam_151

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    0.3m minimum between the light and any surface in front that it is shining on, otherwise it could set fire to it....
     
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  8. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    Oh interesting thanks. I was stupid to put the paper there. I wasn't going to turn on the lights but forgot.

    Unrelated to electric but looking at the photo of the ceiling there is no insulation on the ceiling top just dust. Long shot but I wonder if anyone can tell me if this is normal or not. Maybe another forum is better. Hygrometer showing 65% or so which is bad.
     
  9. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    It seems that you live in rented premises and you have problems with
    poor installation of old halogen down lights
    and
    the space above them (the ceiling) being un-insulated.

    You are paying the electricity bills for the relatively inefficient lighting,
    any heating (or cooling) for which you are paying is leaking through the un-insulated ceiling
    and
    air currents (via the un-insulated ceiling) seem to be causing you problems with dust from that area.

    So, you have many problems, which can only be fixed by persuading your landlord
    properly to have installed modern LED down lights (See https://www.screwfix.com/c/electric...ategory=cat840836&page_size=20&page_start=140 for a range of that which might be selected)
    install appropriate insulation in the ceiling
    and
    prevent the ingress of drafts through the ceiling space.

    Good luck with all of that!


    (Concerning the inefficient halogen down-lights, I wonder how BAS is these days?)
     
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  11. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    wow thanks for your response you summed the problem up very well!

    I'm just thinking how to approach landlord/letting agent. I was wondering if the landlord has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for the property, looking back I don't think I've seen it. (going through emails now, maybe i'll find it) As a tenant I wonder if I could request it as a first step, does the landlord have to share this with the tenant? I know by law they need one but it seems they only need to get to a certain standard and then from then on anything the tenant has to pay for which seems like I'm stuffed (unless the landlord is generous).

    edit: I just realised can see EPC online, the result is a D which is pretty bad. it's actually 57 which just scrapes into D category. here is the summary

    Feature Description Rating
    Wall
    Solid brick, as built, no insulation (assumed) Very poor
    Roof Pitched, no insulation (assumed) Very poor
    Window Fully double glazed Average
    Main heating Boiler and radiators, mains gas Good
    Main heating control TRVs and bypass Average
    Hot water From main system Good
    Lighting Low energy lighting in all fixed outlets Very good
    Floor (another dwelling below) N/A
    Secondary heating None N/A

    edit 2: found this which is interesting, but years away :(

    "The new EPC regulations would mean that from 2025, your rented property would need to have a certification rating of C or above."
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2021
  12. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Well I did a hunt for my old house, now my son lives in it, I know I have never had an EPC done, neither has my son, but there is one on line, also father-in-laws old house was next door but one, and the two houses were nearly the same, but results did not match, and it seemed knowing the two houses it was a drive past survey and bore no relation to the actual house.

    I would say you need to consider if the roles were reversed. The landlord of late has had a hard time of it, told he can't evict people due to Colvid19 as if it is a one way thing and the landlord can survive without an income. I know my son has rented his house and all it does is mean it does not cost him double council tax, he makes nothing, he is living in my house, which had he not been living in it would have been sold, so we are strapped for cash, we have loads of assets, but does not help with day to day living.

    I would prefer it if my son sold his old house and bought my old house so I had some cash, but have not forced the issue, I am saying this to say how although some landlords may be coining it in, some are also on the edge, so the last thing you want is for your landlord to be forced to sell, what you want is an arrangement where you both get some where near what you want.

    So be frank, tell him you have a problem, and see what he says, he may be able to do some thing to help, last thing you want to do is get his back up, you want to get him as a friend, so he will bend and do things to help. I know if I had some one laying the law down with me, I would do all I could to get rid of him. Far better to be frank with the landlord and see what he says.
     
  13. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Having an uninsulated loft is shocking.

    You can get fire-resistant hoods to put over downights, but if you are at all handy you can make an open-ended box out of plasterboard and put over them (plasterboard is a fire barrier)

    You can snap it to size with basic tools, and although you could nail it together or make a wooden frame, I think it would be sufficient to glue the pieces together with builders adhesive.

    Hoover out the dust immediately before fitting.

    Insulation can go over the covers.

    Avoid the old yellow fibreglass which sheds irritant dust and fibres. You can get brown mineral wool treated with Ecose to prevent it. It is made by Knauf but widely sold as an own brand. Ecose is marked on the wrapper.
     
  14. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    Here is another pic I took with more light. Looking again there is insulation called "Kingspan" against the top of the roof rafters but nothing on the flat part above the ceiling. So I guess you could say partially insulated. It is pointed out in epc it is very poor. But still can get D rating.
     

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  15. ericmark

    ericmark

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    If I was landlord I would do all in my power to get you kicked out, I am not saying that is right attitude, you are likely a great guy, but looking for faults is not the way to get a landlord to help.
     
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  16. Tenant456

    Tenant456

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    I've got a dust allergy due to something in my flat, dust is coming down and I just want to know if the setup is normal that's all. if it's normal setup then fine I can look elsewhere for cause. haven't even spoken to landlord
     
  17. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    They also make over-sized down lights which are designed for larger holes in ceilings.

    They won't help with dust getting through where the bulb goes, but they are big enough to sufficiently bridge the gap between the edge of the hole and edge of the fitting, as it will overlap a few inches.

    You need to talk to your landlord. Forget covering the lights - it's dangerous.
     
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