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Installing downlighters above a wood-burning stove

Postby jamesamor » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:43 am

Hi All,

I'm currently installing a wood burning stove into a builders opening, and am hoping to get some advice over the installation of downlighters above the stove.

My plan is to install a heatproof board into the chimney opening (below the register plate, but out of sight) and then put downlighters into this board.

The wiring will run above the board and out through the chimney breast (so will never come into contact with radiant heat from the fire itself)

My main question is which downlighters should i use? I know there are 'fire-rated' downlighters, but I think this is burn-time rather than 'heatproofness'. I am thinking about using halogen lights, just because their ambient running temperature is much higher, but have been told that their PVC housing can turn corrosive if heated for long periods of time.

(I am also thinking that I am thinking too much!!)

Any advice/suggestions gratefully received.

Relevant points:
- The clearance from the top of the fire to the downlighters would be 0.75m
- The clearance from the flue liner to the wiring&lights would be ~25cm
- The fire is a small 5kw fire
- Not sure what temperature will be maintained at the underside of downlighter... maybe I'll wait to measure this before I do anymore thinking!
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Simply Build It

Postby TOPSPARK » Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:33 pm

Hi jamesamor
I did once fit downlighters above a woodburner but this was in an old farmhouse but the distance between the wood burner and the lights was about 4feet perhaps a bit more the distance you are quoting is realistically a good 2feet lower than what i installed about 8 years ago.My advice would be goto a good electrical wholesalers and seek their advice on the downlighters but if it can be done then i would wire them up using fp200 which is used for fire alarms. In the mean time i will check the current regulations on this type of design and post further information for you on this matter
all the best
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:40 pm

The word down lighter covers a lot from little tungsten halogen GU10 units to the much larger 2D units. In broad terms heat producing lamps need to be cooled in some way and for example the bulb in an oven is a special de-rated bulb to stand heat.
Discharge lighting (Florescent, low energy) and LED lighting produce a lot less heat and are more suitable but where some form of control gear is required then the lamp and control gear may be separated to keep control gear cool. Again with an oven there is often a florescent tube lighting up the dials at the front but the control gear is placed else where out of the way of the heat.
PVC which is flexible does contain plasticizer which can leach out with heat and some old cables had some problems with this but the newer cables use different plasticizer and are not as affected. Using XLPE instead of PVC cables will help and now the BS 8436 cables like Flexishield are also to FP200 standard so will both take the heat and do not require protecting with RCD’s when buried in walls at under 50mm.
With some of the LED versions you can get allsorts of effects like changing colours you really need to visit your local supplier the options are near limitless.
All best Eric

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