• Recessed downlights waste energy by sucking warm air from your living area into the roof space.
  • Downlight fittings designed for non-dimmable CFLs are available. These give good light and minimise heat loss. 
  • If changing your fittings is not an option, replace standard incandescent bulbs with reflector bulbs (incandescent or CFL) – they reduce heat loss.
  • If you’re renovating, don’t specify downlights. Look for other lighting options that don't require holes in the ceiling.

 

Insulation and downlights

Ceiling insulation cleared around a downlight fitting

Adding extra ceiling insulation can improve the energy efficiency of your home. But be careful if you have downlights.

Any insulation must be installed with the correct clearance from the lights and must never be placed over the downlight fittings. Covering the fittings stops air from rising through the fitting and is likely to cause overheating – or even a fire (see Don't cover downlights).

In Australia, house fires have been attributed to covering downlight fittings with insulation.

 

More information

Report by Bill Whitley.

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