Ask a Tradesman
Down lights in soffits
I plan to fit down lights (12v - IP65) to the soffits of an extension total 5 X 20w
I believe (please correct me if wrong) but as they will be placed in the Soffit they do not need to be fire rated as they are not breaking a sound or fire barrier.
The soffits are upvc and I have two questions
1\ Will the down lights be two hot for the upvc soffit even though there will be 150mm head height clearance
2\ Can the transformer be placed in the roof void above the soffit to save an unsightly transformer near a 3 amp fused switch in the extension?
The ceiling is vaulted
The lighting circuit it self is on an RCD protected light circuit
Any help would be appreciated and thanking you in advance
Provided that the transformers are accessible for future testing and maintenance then yes they can be concealed within the roof void. Although it maybe worth considering using mains voltage GU10 LED lamps instead of low voltage MR16 types.
The advantages apart from significantly lower running costs and energy consumption are lower heat output from the LED, massive longevity in LED lamp life, and the added bonus of no transformers and additional sets of connections that could cause problems in the future.
Whilst the spotlight fittings do not have to be fire rated for this situation, the fully enclosed fire rated types are generally better quality and easier to fit than open back non fire rated types, so for a minimal increase in initial cost it would be a better job overall.
As this work is outdoors, you'll need to pay for Part P building regulation consent from your local authority so that the job is inspected and then properly signed off.
Answered 30th Sep 2013
Basically you are correct in what you say, but all the advantages of using fire rated fittings and they have no disadvantages, why would you not fit them? Is it because they might cost a few pounds more? Also the eaves can get really dry with 12v halogen lamps burning really hot. You need to make sure insulation or flammable materials are kept clear of the fittings. Electricians would be responsible for choice of materials/fittings as appropriate to each individual situation. Experience tells them what works where. Also outside works are required to be notified to local authority borough council and signed off as compliant with building regulations as per part p regs. Your buildings insurance would also be put in doubt if non compliant works are responsible for causing a fire.
Hope this info is helpful-Kevin.
Answered 30th Sep 2013