Downlights are nothing new – we’ve been using them in our homes for about 50 years. Up until recently halogen downlightshave beenthe popular choice for modern homes due to their sleek appearance and high levels of light output.
However, with more energy efficient downlights now available, halogen lights are being phased out.
In addition to being energy guzzlers, they are also considered a fire risk.
Why are Halogen Downlights a Fire Hazard?
Halogen downlights heat up rapidly, and can reach temperatures over 350oC. Downlights and auxiliary equipment are installed into the roof cavity, directly near flammable roof like insulation and timber beams. These high temperatures can cause insulation to smoulder and timber to ignite, both potentially causing devastating electrical fires.
Our Top Safety Tips:
The most important step you can take to ensure your downlights do not pose a fire hazard is to ensure that they are installed by an electrician. Also ensure that your insulation is installed by a qualified, experienced tradesperson. The roof cavity is a minefield of potential hazards, so anytime you need work done in that area, hiring a professional is essential. The second thing we recommend is to have your halogen downlights replaced with a more energy efficient alternative, such as LED (Light Emitting Diode )or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp). Although halogen lights can be rated low voltage, people often mistake low voltage for low energy, but this isn’t the case with halogen. Alternative downlights use up to 75 percent less energy, and do not pose the same fire hazard as halogens.
- Downlights and supporting equipment must be installed so that air can move freely around them.
- Did you know that smoke alarms only detect smoke below the ceiling? Installing a smoke alarm inside your roof cavity will ensure you are alerted if there is a fire.
- Vermin often nest within ceilings, and the heat put out by lights is irresistible. Regular checking for vermin damage is recommended.
Replacing Halogen Downlights
We recommend choosing either of these options:
- LED lights are very energy efficient, dimmable and deliver directional lighting well. They last longer ( about 50,000 – 60,000 hours), so even though you will paying more, you save more in the long run because you buy fewer bulbs over time.
- CFL lights are cheaper than LEDs and last for about 8,000 to 10,000 hours, so whilst you save up front, you will replace them more often.Although energy efficient, they do still produce some heat and so are not as efficient as LEDs.
If you’re looking to replace your halogen downlights, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1300 880 761 or book online
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