An upgrade of downlight standards was necessary due to increased mandatory insulation levels now installed and retro fitted into new homes.
In 2011,changes to the recessed luminaires standard were made.These introduced new classes of recessed downlights that eliminate clearances and ensure safer installation with surrounding thermal insulation.It aims to ensure that"a downlight with not be unsafe if thermal insulation,which is specified as safe to use with downlights,is installed incorrectly"
What does this mean for IC rated downlight?
All products manufactuered or imported into these markets must be one of the five new classes Only four of the five classes may b used in residential buildings Any residential ciass downlight must be safe if accidentally covered with building insulation.
Air is a good insulator in the absence of convection.Many insulation materials function simply by having a large number of air filled pockets which prevent convection e.g.just like animal's feathers and fur, building insulation mats and biankets use these air pockets to contain heat and this is measured as
resistance values(R values). New housing now requires high mandatory"R"values.Government and Council programmes are also encouraging large scale upgrades of existing homes to the same high"R”values.This means that thicker insulation is now being installed.
What does this mean for thermal insulation in residential buildings?
Buildings will be more thermally efficient Installed insulation must maintain its structural integrity at specific temperatures Insulation material must typically pass Needle Flame Test method on all surfaces Downlight manufacuters must state what building/thermal insulation is safe and compatible to use with downlight.