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What To Look For When Selecting And Installing Downlights For Residential And Office Buildings

Author: Reena Reeves
Published: November 5, 2019

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Downlights are a commonly used method of lighting that sits recessed into ceilings. One of the main benefits of downlights is their flexibility; they can be installed into high or low ceilings, in small or large rooms and many or few can be used at once. Many retail and hospitality venues opt for recessed downlights as they available in a wide range of colour temperatures, so can add warmth or brightness where needed. They can also be used in a range of different spaces ranging from gymnasiums, bathrooms, kitchens to bedrooms and apartments, and offer a variety of decorative finishes. Depending on the environment there are used in, downlights will need to have certain features to ensure safety and optimal performance.

Fire Rated Downlights

Fire rated downlights are typically found in residential buildings and hospitality venues. The fire rating refers to the amount of time a ceiling can hold back flames before they spread to the next floor in the event of a fire. 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes are the usual fire rating times available to comply with Part B building regulations. In most 2 or 3 storey homes 30 minute fire-rated downlights will suffice whilst in homes or apartment blocks with four floors 60 minute ratings are required. For larger housing developments where the ceiling is between 18 and 30 metres high, 90 minute fire rated lighting is required. Anything above this ceiling height would require 120 minute fire rated downlights.


Unbeatable on price and easy to install, the trimless plaster-in downlight is a great option for a variety of applications and our recommendation for fire rated downlights. It is adjustable for directional lighting, plus 90 minute fire rated, so would be a good option for residential or commercial developments with multiple floors. Available in a great value 10 pack, this versatile downlight is also budget friendly.

Emergency Downlights

Legislation requires all occupied buildings to have adequate escape lighting to allow safe exit in the event of total power failure. Downlights are much more discreet way of adding emergency lighting to your place of work compared with standard bulkier emergency lighting options. They are small, lightweight and can be installed easily in most office ceilings, giving off a bright white light that turns on automatically when used in emergency mode.
Our bestselling emergency downlight is the non-maintained Eterna 1.4W LED Compact Emergency Downlight  which is pre-wired for easy installation and provides a minimum of 3 hours lighting when the power fails.

Quick Connect for Fast Installation

For fast and efficient installation why not opt for downlights that offer easy installation without complicated wiring? The Luceco dimmable warm white downlight features quick connect functionality - an integrated 3P push-in terminal that allows you to simply push the downlight into place without the need for fiddly wiring. It is available in a range of 30 - 90 minute fire rated options and uses an energy saving LED lamp with a 25,000 hour life expectancy.

At Lyco we have downlights for every application whether this be around the home, in the office or in commercial premises. We have highlighted our recommendations for emergency, fire rated and Quick Connect downlights, but we have many more fittings that range from IP Rated, Integrated LED, dimmable, adjustable and even smart. View our full range of downlight options now.