Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ceiling Panels and Spotlights

We get asked quite regularly whether it's alright to use spotlights with wall panelling. Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer as it depends totally on the temperatures involved.

The panels are designed to withstand temperatures up to 60deg C which is sufficient in most spotlight installations but we have had 2 occasions where the lights have generated temperatures in excess of this and caused the panels to degrade.

The first instance was where a customer fitted the lights in a room with an attic space above. The attic was lagged and the lagging was placed on the back of the lights so that there was no ventialtion space behind the lights.

The second instance occurred when bathroom rated spotlights were used which were fixed to the surrounding flange (as opposed to the pivoting kind that only touch the outer flange at the pivot points) . The flange is the only part of the light in contact with the panels and temperature generated by these lights caused the panels to degrade and melt slightly where the flange made contact with the panels.

It is impossible for us to guarantee that panels will not be adversely affected by using recessed spotlights as it it is purely down the heat generated by the lighting in-situ.

There are now LED recessed spotlights available which generate hardly any heat - check with your lighting supplier as to the suitability of your chosen lighting for use in your room, paying particular attention to bathrooms and shower rooms, where extra regulations apply.