Can I put Loft Insulation over Downlights?
In order to achieve Part L Compliance (energy efficiency) you shouldn't cut around thermal insulation. If you do this your home or building will not be energy efficient as valuable heat will escape through the hole of the downlight. A downlight can act like a chimney and draw out warm, rising air from a room, up into the cold space above, the effect would be worse in upper floors containing lofts.
This poses the question: Can I put insulation over downlights? The answer to this used be no, but with the use of a loft cap you can now have an energy efficient and safe lighting installation. The loft cap creates a barrier between the downlight and the thermal insulation. The insulation can then be laid over the loft cap and packed to the sides if necessary.
Loft caps for downlights can be used with either fire rated or non fire rated downlights. When used with a non fire rated downlight they will provide fire protection as they are made from intumescent material that swells up in the event of a fire and seals off the hole.
The images below show what a loft cap looks like, how it looks when insulation is laid over it and the final image shows the best way to install one. The cable is coming out of the side and some silicone has been used to get an air tight seal. Don't worry, the material that the loft cap is made out of allows the downlight to ventilate and doesn't cause damage, especially to LEDs which don't get warm like halogens.
To view our range of loft caps for downlights follow the link below:
Alternatively if you are starting a brand new lighting installation you could install insulation covered downlights such as the Aurora Sola range which are fire rated GU10 downlights that are fitted with an ICC (insulation cover cap). Or if you would prefer an integrated LED downlight then we now have a selection available that can be covered in insulation. Choose between the JCC Flame Guard series which is insulation covereable as standard or the Aurora M series which requires an additional ICC. To view these downlights click on the image below:
[click on the image above to view our insulation coverable downlights]
When you are covering downlights with insulation it is important not to pack the insulation to close around the sides. A gap of around 75mm should be left, this provides airflow to the LED and will allow it to ventilate.
In late 2014 Hellermann Tyton introduced a universal type of insulation cover cap called the SpotClip. This product can be used with a wider selection of downlights and is available in 3 sizes. This cap offers a more cost effective solution than the loft cap but doesn't provide any fire protection. It can be a great product to be used with certain integrated LED downlights such as the EcoLED ZEP1 or Halers H2 Pro that aren't insulation covereable as standard.