Which is Best for Downlights, LED or Halogen?
Halogen lights were a huge technological leap forward in their day, however they are only about 30% more efficient than old fashioned incandescent bulbs and will only last about 2 years (based on 3 hours usage everyday). They also get hot so consideration needs to be given to ventilation.
LED lights offer the same light quality, are 90% more energy efficient than old fashioned bulbs, and will last of 25 years when used 3 hours a day. They are a little more expensive, but well worth the extra cost. For us it is LEDs everytime.
Should the Downlights be Fire Rated?
As we mentioned above, the ceiling is an important fire barrier to slow the spread of a fire to upper floors. Peppering this with holes will not help, so you should fill these holes with fire rated lights and in many cases the regulations will ensure you have to – see more information in the Building Regulations Approved Document B all about fire safety.
What Other Ratings for Downlighters do you Need to Consider?
You must consider the safety zones in bathroom where the lights are going to be fitted (which you can find all about here) as you will need to use IP rated lights in these zones. You need to ensure that you are using the right IP rated light in the zone you are planning to have the lights fitted.
There are acoustic rated downlights which you can consider using if there is a problem with noise from the floor above.