Are Recessed Downlight Hoods a good idea?

by Editor on May 28, 2013

Q- Doing a test for a friend and they have 12v downlights in the bathroom without hoods. What should to expect to pay for these? I like the look of the cone more robust ones as they will be in a loft and the fabric ones could just be pushed down.   What are your views on the types of hoods?

What are the best ones to buy?

A- I would think seriously about installing fire hoods. They are not easy to fit correctly and you could probably get new recessed light fittings for about the same price.

Recessed Light Fire Hood


A– Have a look at this guidance from the ESC. Note on page 8 7.2 and 7.7 Hope that this helps. http://www.esc.org.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/industry/best_practice/BPG5_08.pdf

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A– The ESC Guide mentioned above gives good guidance. I always fit fire rated (CEF Starlight or Aurora) anywhere nowdays and quite often LED versions. I’d say that it’s essential to have fire rated or some sort of mechanical protection (such as a solid structure) around any recessed light fitting with an accessible loft above. I’ve seen too many instances in lofts of general rubbish, paper, insulation, cables and dead rodents/insects resting on very hot lamps to make sure I always use enclosed fire rated fittings now they are easily available and almost the same cost as hoods. It’s a no brainer!

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Oh My God, here we go again.
FIre rated fittings and fire hoods are ONLY there to prevent the spread of fire! They are NOT there to prevent insulation, leaves or rodents coming into contact with the lamps. If this is the intended purpose, then get a proper loft brace over each fitting, or an Aico loft cap for this purpose. They prevent dust and debris falling through the fitting, and alow insulation to be laid directly on top of them.
DON’T use Dichroic (Cool beam) lamps only use aluminium reflector bulbs and unfortunately these are not available in the DIY stores or supermarkets, which are flooded with the wrong type of bulb…. the dichroic!
If you have to fit new downlights, for gods sake use mains. You (and your customers) can’t easily get hold of dichroic GU10’s and you are making them future proof for LED’s and eliminating another potential problem, the transformer going faulty, or being covered in insulation.
And finally, you might prefer to fit “cheap n cheerful, non-fire rated” fittings between your bedroom / bathrooms and loft, and you still comply with the regs, but why the hell would you want to do that except for cost???????
There’s a lot of wood up there. You can justify yourself by hiding behind the regs, but basic common sense tells you to be prudent and prevent the spread of fire wherever you can, unless you are the sparks competing against me on cost, not safety!

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