Guide to fire rated downlights

installing lighting

Lighting in your residential or commercial property is really important. From the style and aesthetics, to the practicalities of the lighting levels, there really is a lot to consider. But electrical safety should also be on that list, and unfortunately, many people overlook it. Here at Walker Electrical, we are Preston’s leading electrical experts. As a result, we have produced this guide to fire rated downlights.

What is a fire rated downlight?

Just like any other downlight or spotlight, the fire rated downlight is recessed into your ceiling to give a stylish light that shines directly down. Perfect for commercial shops and hotels.

However, whenever any downlight is installed, a hole is cut into the ceiling. This has a knock on effect on the ceilings natural fire barrier ability. Putting a hole in your ceiling does not allow the ceiling to remain intact, and this means that downlights can be a real fire risk. The hole means that smoke and then fire itself can travel from upstairs into the room below.

This is where fire rated downlights come into the equation. A fire rated downlight uses an intumescent pad. This pad swells up when it reaches a particular temperature, plugging the hole in the ceiling. This can prevent the fire spreading through your building, for as long as the pad can withstand the heat.


Fire rated downlights can offer different levels of protection. The most effective fire rated downlights can offer 120 minutes, while the least effective can offer 30 minutes. However, the level of protection you need will depend on how many levels your building has. In general, the lower the level, the less protection you will require, with 60 minutes being adequate.

Before choosing a lighting option, why not contact a professional and reliable electrical team to discuss the safest options? Here at Walker Electrical, we are happy to help.