Spot light help for newbie

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Hi everyone,

I have a bit of a problem....

I have decided to have spotlights in a loft and then heard all these strories about spot lights being dangerous etc etc

Unfortunately I cant go back cos the wiring is in place and ceiling has been plastered.... in addition I have extra thick insualtion installed.... AND its way too late to be able to cover any down lights with terracotta hoods or anything similar....

I am trying to rescue the situation and install the right type of downlights etc to minimise fire risk etc....

I have wired up for 16 downlightd in a 4x3m room.

Should I

a) use 12V MR16
b) 240v GU 10
c) 240v low energy lighting

My biggest worry is fire risk.... Having read a couple of threads etc...

I THINK the right answer is c) ?

Am I correct?

And if so, I have a few follow-up questions...

1) Can I use a fire rated low energy lightbulb together with insulation - ie with the insulation sitting directly on the downlight

2) Do I have to use something to pull out the insualtion so that there is space around the downlight

3) Do I have to pull down my entire ceiling to put up terracotta spots ( I hope not)

The fire rated down light I have seen is this... Is it any good?

http://www.screwfix.com/p/halolite-fixed-round-polished-chrome-240v-low-energy-downlight/65979#

FINALLY - How does the lighting on a low energy light bulb compare?

Can I use a 15 low energy lightbulb with the downlight I have linked above...

Your help would be appreciated as the electrician is coming in a few days and I dont know what to do.
 
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1) Why doesn't the fact that you're going to need 16 lights in a 4x3m room tell you that you've chosen a type of light which isn't any good at lighting up rooms? If a light was OK for that you wouldn't need more than 1 per square metre. In fact, those types of lights are actually deliberately designed to not light up rooms - they deliver a light only to a small spot directly beneath them - that's why they are often called spotlights.

2) A fire rated light contains a intumescent material - it expands if there's a fire and it fills in all the holes and gaps etc in the light to stop the fire spreading up through it to the floor or roof above. Being fire rated does not mean that the light can be covered in insulation.

3) What is the room? You're planning on making 16 holes in the ceiling, and there's a cold loft above - didn't you think about draughts coming down through all those holes? The insulation won't stop that if it has to be moved out of the way to stop the lights from overheating.

Also, if warm moist air from the room below gets into the loft, you can get condensation leading to rotting of the roof timbers.

Really you should have a sealed enclosure over the lights which will keep the insulation away from them so they don't overheat, support insulation over the top so that you keep the insulation you need, and act as a barrier to draughts and condensation.

You can either buy a pre-formed cover like this:



Note - it's not the same thing as a firehood - they won't do what you need.

Or build something yourself out of plasterboard, as per the details here: http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublicati...ical/StandardsExtra/filedownload,16553,en.pdf

The ceiling won't have to come down because as you can see, you need to work from above to be able to seal them to the plasterboard.
 
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I have decided to have spotlights in a loft
Do you mean as in a loft conversion, so no access or space above, and the ceiling is already finished?
If so, then cutting holes in the ceiling for downlights will inevitably contravene multiple sections of the building regulations, and lead to a variety of problems.

a) use 12V MR16
b) 240v GU 10
c) 240v low energy lighting
C would be the lesser of the three evils, but really, none of those options are suitable.

Surface fixed lighting would be a better option, you can still use the wiring that you have, just have fewer light fittings.
At the positions where the cables won't be needed, either leave them in the ceiling or if they have been cut already, have them crimped together and covered in heatshrink, then put back into the ceiling.
 
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Thanks all for your help

In answer to some of your questions.

1) I cant now get access into the space above the ceiling as the room is the "loft room" and its all sealed up from top and bottom. I cant now put that nice hood over the top, cos I cant access the space

2) What regulations etc will it breach? How bad is the breach?

3) There isnt a cold loft above - its a loft conversion that the spots are going to be in. There is celotex in the ceiling and then further regular insualtion has been added between the celotex and the plasterboard.

5) I cant work from above - everything has to be done from below.

6) The wires have been cut and the idea of the heatshrinking worries me also...

What about LEDs? Are they better? I think they produce less heat than the CFL variety also.
 
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If you haven't cut out the holes for the spots yet, and the wiring can be discarded, you may at this stage be able to settle for wall lights (tho doubtful in a loft) or 5 amp sockets - where you plug in portable lamps which can be controlled from the light switch. :idea:
 
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If you haven't cut out the holes for the spots yet, and the wiring can be discarded, you may at this stage be able to settle for wall lights (tho doubtful in a loft) or 5 amp sockets - where you plug in portable lamps which can be controlled from the light switch. :idea:

Not sure this would work.. wall lights wont illuminate the room.

And sockets with portable lights also sounds like a big compromise....

Are LEDs any good these days? Better than CFL?

i'm less fussed about the light, more about fire risk.
 

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