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 considerably 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 arrival of the 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 fire resistant material that prevents the spread of fire.
The images below show what our older Aico loft caps looked like. However, the Aico range of downlight covers (ALC274 and ALC275 models) are no longer available, but we now stock the Loft Lid version that does the same job.
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 coverable downlights such as the Aurora EFD Pro range (replaces the Aurora Sola range) which are fire rated GU10 downlights. They have been specially designed to allow you to cover them with insulation when a GU10 LED is fitted (as opposed to a GU10 halogen).
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 Hybrid9 or V50 which have replaced the popular Flame Guard series which were insulation covereable as standard. Other brands include the Aurora M series with the MPRO or the Halers H2 Lite T. To view these downlights click on the image below:
[click on the image above to view our insulation coverable downlights]
When you're covering downlights with insulation it is important not to pack the insulation to close around the sides. A gap of around 75mm is usually recommended but can differ from each product. 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 Halers H2 Pro 550T that isn't insulation covereable as standard.