Understanding AS NZS 5110 can be quite hard and confusing. This is a page dedicated to simplifying this barrier standard for everyone. Contact Efficiency Matrix should you have any further questions.
AS/NZS 5110 is a safety standard which is called up by AS/NZS 60598 when insulation clearances are required to be reduced:
- for fire rating requirements,
- sound proofing or
- energy efficiency.
If none of the above features are needed:
- 200mm clearance of insulation is required from incandescent/halogen lighting and
- 50mm clearance of insulation is required from LED lighting
and everything complies because 5110 is not required to be adhered to.
In the case of you needing to cover your downlights for any of the 3 reasons listed in red above, here are the potential solutions…
Firstly, here is a good example of a solution which does not comply to AS/NZS 5110
1. GU10 & MR16 with 50W Transformer (Iron Core or Electronic) fixed Fittings (65mm – 95mm cutout)
Fixed head Fitting temperature at the plasterboard with no enclosure reach 90˚C (this is the Limit for compliance to AS/NZS 5110) In order to keep this downlight cover at this temperature the compliant barrier would need to be very well ventilated.
Halogen Globes reach extreme temperatures of 350˚C + and with a fixed head fitting can reach 90˚C without an enclosure. Fixed head fittings may benefit your home energy efficiency due to reduced air leakage rates compared to a gimble fitting, but they are uncover-able and they require the 200mm insulation clearance stipulated in AS/NZS 60598.
Because these fittings can be installed with 50W Halogen Globes they must be tested with 50W Globes, even though the GU10 Fitting maybe sold as an LED Fitting. Beware to check that these fittings are labelled with AS/NZS5110 before thinking about submerging them in insulation. (Again GU10 LED’s need to be tested with GU10 50W Halogen otherwise they dont comply with AS/NZS 5110)
Critical in case your house is sold to someone who isn’t aware of the difference between Halogen and LED’s who undertakes replacing of LED with a halogen globe.
These types of fittings are extremely restrictive to cover and insulate due to the ability to retrofit them with Halogen type globes. These types of fittings/combinations should be avoided for new homes.
2. MR16 Fitting with a Gimble fitting and LED Control Gear (82mm + Cutout)
Compared to a Fixed fitting, a gimble has significantly reduced temperatures at the plasterboard when installed with halogen Lighting.
The Loft Mitt & Downlight Mitt (DOWMIT04-02) Downlight covers are capable of complying to AS/NZS5110 for energy efficiency, sound proofing and with an up to 2 hour fire rating.
3. LED Full Fitting with LED Control Gear built into Fitting. (No GU10 no MR16)
LED fittings that cannot be retrofitted with a halogen globe
The Loft Mitt and Downlight Mitt (DOWMIT02 & DOWMIT04) Downlight covers are capable of complying to AS/NZS5110 for energy efficiency, sound proofing and up to a 2 hour fire ratings with an install from below the ceiling.
4. MR16 Fitting with LED Control Gear
LED MR16 Fitting cannot be retrofitted with a Halogen Globe due to the use of an LED Driver
The Loft Mitt and Downlight Mitt (DOWMIT02 & DOWMIT04) Downlight covers are one of the only downlight covers capable of complying to AS/NZS5110 for energy efficiency, sound proofing and up to a 2 hour fire ratings with an install from below the ceiling on the market.
Benefits for covering LED’s
Loft Area temperatures can get to temperatures of 70˚C. LED’s that are designed to be enclosed in a cover and ventilate with cooler living area air can benefit from an air tight barrier.
Building envelope extension in summer protects the LED from excess temperatures
Covering an LED downlight with a Quality downlight cover can save considerable money on heating and cooling costs, but don’t forget about keeping control gear safe and out of the way of insulation. Efficiency Matrix downlight covers have a built in loop for cable tying control gear.
LED downlight fittings installed with a building envelope extension (Recessed Lighting Barrier AS/NZS 5110)