What are the regulations around the installation of downlights?

Ever wondered what the exact code of practice for installing down lights in New Zealand is?

Hint: It's not this.

Hint: It's not this.

Here is a link to the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for the Installation of Recessed Luminaries and Auxiliary Equipment.

It's not exactly bed time reading, but covers the installation of interior residential and commercial down lights. It states that the installation of down lights:

  • Should not be installed in a way that degrades the structural integrity of buildings (i.e. a notch cut into joists so a down light can fit)
  • Not cause combustion of building materials
  • Not cause moisture to flow up into the roof cavity

It states that if down lights are not installed correctly, they may pose a fire risk; "When combustible building elements are exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time, it can cause them to spontaneously combust." (Section 2.1.4)

"Recessed luminaires shall not be installed in loose, sprayed insulation or flammable insulation (such as macerated paper) unless a purpose built box or structure is mounted over the recessed luminaire." (Section 2.6.3)

"Where no manufacturer’s installation instructions are available for specific recessed luminaires a minimum distance of 500 mm shall apply to thermal insulation clearances." (Section 3.4.2)

Direct Energy Solutions can check your home for you to see if you are compliance with these regulations. This is a free service we provide. If you're interested, Click here.

To read the rest of the Code of Practice, click here.