The issue of fire rating is much debated in the lighting industry at the current time, so here at Northgate Lighting we have released a guide to fire rated LED products on the market and the importance of having fully fire rated luminaires.
The industry standard is for LED downlights to be fire rated. They are designed to be able to keep the integrity of the ceiling, in case of fire, for a certain amount of time i.e. 30/60/90 minutes. The rear of the downlight, which contains intumescent materials, expands when under heat, thus creating a seal in the ceiling which delays the time it takes for the fire to breach.
In order for luminaires to be certified fully fire rated they must comply with Building Regulations BS476-22.
In order for a ceiling to keep its integrity in case of fire, the lighting within the ceiling must also be fire rated.
Although it’s industry standard for LED downlights (See our SOLO + Value 8) to be fire rated, the same cannot be said for LED panels, a popular choice in office spaces, retail units, schools, hospitals, corridors and communal areas within accommodation.
Fire resistance of LED panels concerns the diffusing material that is used in the luminaire and how the diffuser reacts when it comes into contact with a fire; the diffuser is a plastic sheet, the purpose of which is to evenly distribute the light from LED’s across the panel.
There are two ratings that are used to classify the ability of the Thermoplastic (TP) materials that are used within the diffuser to withstand an increase in heat e.g. during a fire.
These are TP(a) & TP(b)-
TP(a) rating relates to polycarbonate diffusers and states that the material that is used will self-extinguish and will not still be glowing or flaming for more than five seconds after a flame has been removed.
TP(b) rating usually relates to acrylic or polystyrene, and concerns the spread of the flame if the material combusts. The spread of the flame must be no more than 50mm per minute, therefore a minimum of 12 minutes to engulf a 600×600 panel.
See the video below which demonstrates how TP(a) & TP(b) materials react in a burning trial.
Source: Kosnic Lighting
Using LED panels that are TP(a) or TP(b) rated does not deliver the certified fire-rating of an LED panel, thus the integrity of ceilings which are fitted with LED panels is not assured
There is only one LED panel that is certified as fully fire rated in the UK and that is compliant with BS476-22, Pyropanel.
Not only is Pyropanel fully certified for 30 minutes, it also ensures operators’ compliance with:
Building regulations Part B (2013)
Building Regulations L2A & L2B
Tested to British Standard BS476-22
Low Glare UGR <19 in compliance with EN12464-1
Pyropanel is the first and only LED light panel on the UK market to offer certified fire-safety compliance in addition to premium quality LED lighting. Click the Pyropanel image below for more information.