halogen downlight hazards

Halogen Downlight Hazards

ONE of the many reasons to upgrade to LED downlights is to eliminate the very real and common dangers halogen downlight fittings can pose.

A fire hazard

Various governments and regulatory and safety organisations throughout Australia have issued warnings about the use of halogen downlighting due to the very high operating temperatures which can be up to 250°C and over time can cause objects in contact to ignite and burn. Other sources cite an operating temperature of 370°C to 500°C which is the temperature close to the point where some timbers will instantaneously ignite. Woah.

An inspection of halogen downlight installations will often show melted and short circuited wires, burnt insulation and/or timbers. With these conditions, the roof space can became a raging fire at any moment. A study in Melbourne identified that 57 Melbourne homes over a period of 18 months had been lost to fire with the likely cause being downlights coming into contact with flammable materials.

The NSW Fire Brigade also make a good comment that “Smoke alarms will only detect smoke below the ceiling…”

We suggest replacing 50W bulbs with 7W to 10W LED light fittings which emit considerably less heat and save a huge amount off your power bills.

There are now strict guidelines and rules for the installation of halogen downlighting such as the new wiring rules in AS/NZS 3000:2007. However, for older homes (pre-2007-2008) an inspection is recommended to ascertain if the halogen downlights have been installed correctly and are safe, particularly where paper based insulations have been used.

The safe and money saving alternative

With LED lighting, fire is not a concern since the maximum temperature of LED globes reach only approximately 70°C depending on the ambient temperature. If an LED globe was to heat up further for some reason, say 100°C to 150°C, the LED globe would rapidly fail leading to an open circuit and will automatic turn off well before dangerous temperatures are reached.

Call us today for professional removal of halogen downlight fittings and installation of new energy efficient LED globes.