The New Downlight Wiring Rules and What They mean to You

The new Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules AS/NZS 3000 stipulate a minimum clearance for halogen recessed downlights of 200mm between the downlight and structural members, thermal insulation and any other substance, unless the luminaire has a suitable fire resistant enclosure.

The electronic low voltage (ELV) transformer must be fixed in a well ventilated location, not directly above the downlight and free from direct contact with any insulating material. The minimum distance of the secondary wires is 250mm.

So this really gives you 3 options when considering your downlights

1> Fit after-market halogen down light guards These are quite expensive and hard to fit in low access ceilings
2> Buy fire rated halogen downlight hood kits which have the covers built in
3> Consider fittings that don’t use halogens and there run cooler and reduce the risk of fire

Always consult the safety warnings and installation instructions when fitting all fittings including the fire rated downlights as there are still guidelines for their safe installation.

Eg on the fire rated down light hood kits a minimum distance of 25mm must still be kept (see image below). This is due to the aluminium heat hood and fire guard cylinder is acting as a heat sink and providing fire resistance.

The isolite halogen downlight fire guards can be fitted directly adjacent to the insulation without worry

Halogen Downlight Cover Installation