We're putting lighting into an existing loft conversion. The ceiling is
pretty low so we had hoped to put in recessed spots. The rooms are not
very big and won't need a huge amount of lighting. Without thinking
about the consequences, we were in one of the sheds and decided to buy
mains halogens (GU10s, I believe) - yes, I now know the folly.
To overcome some of the problems associated, we were thinking about
replacing the bulbs with GU10 CFLs - less light shouldn't be a problem
and we're hoping they'll be much better in terms of efficiency and the
heat they throw into the loft proper. We've also looked at LEDs, but
these don't seem to be as good a solution. We were planning on putting
earthenware flowerpots, inverted, above the lights to keep the
insulation above them away from the heat.
Normally we're quite good about keeping receipts, but the ones for the
spots seem to have eluded us. Given that we are unlikely to be able to
exchange them (although they are still in packaging) is there a better
solution? Indeed, what would be the ideal solution?
Thanks - Adam
B&Q would normally take them back.
Be careful with recessed lighting in loft conversions. The depth of
insulation is usually very thin compared to the space between floors or
above the ceiling of a non-converted house. There may well be no room for
them, or if there is, the lack of insulation would be against building
regulations and might make the room uncomfortable. Perhaps you should
consider wall based lighting.
Thanks for the advice Christian, but wall lighting will be difficult in
We are reinsulating the loft at the same time as we do this, and will
be putting in a considerable depth of something like Rockwool. We'll
also be laying vapour barrier (over the joists, as we can't be arsed
taking all the ceiling plasterboard down and starting again). I'm not
sure I made clear in my OP what I was intending to do (unless I can
come up with a better solution/suggestion), so I'll try again and
additionally include what we're doing wrt insulation:
- Remove existing, hopelessly inadequate insulation (that has no vapour
- Install downlights, replace halogen bulbs with CFL (GU10s)
- Lay vapour barrier with holes for downlights.
- Place earthenware flowerpots inverted over downlighters, seal at
rim/ceiling interface, cabling through hole in bottom (top?) of pot,
hole subsequently sealed (to prevent moisture ingress).
- Insulate with suitable depth of rockwool - probably leave tops
(bottoms?) of pots exposed.
Does this seem sensible? Is there a better alternative solution?
The only other alternative I can think of is to use appropriately
low-profile ceiling lights (we have something like this in the
but I prefer that solution less for aesthetic reasons...
Cheers - Adam...
Personally, if I had a loft conversion with low ceilings and enough space
above the ceiling to shove rockwool, I'd pull down the ceiling, insulate
with Kingspan instead and replasterboard and gain myself a foot or two. I
wouldn't install downlighters for room lighting as they are an environmental
abomination. If there still wasn't much room and wall lighting was
inappropriate, I'd consider a flush mounted fitting with CFLs.
Sorry - lack of information on my part...
In this case, it's a loft conversion inside a pitched roof (I think
that's the right term, but may be wrong). Raising the ceiling would
mean removing and replacing the joists to which the plasterboard
ceiling is fixed, which would be more ambitious work than we are
prepared to take on. Above the plasterboard ceiling is the (pitched)
remains of the loft - about 2m, I guess, at the highest point. Horrible
ascii diagram that will only work in fixed font follows:
/ \ <- Remaining loft
/JJJJJJJJJ\ <- Joists to which plaserboard attached
/pppppppppppp\ <- Plasterboard ceiling - Rockwool
/ I I \ to go on top of this
/ I I \ <- Loft conversion with low ceiling - I indicates
100mm of board-type insulation
Rockwool insulation intended to be placed on top of plasterboard.
I guess the alternative is to continue to insulate the entire loft with
the insulation board we are currently using for the pitched
ceiling/wall inside the conversion - then we could use whatever
bulbs/lights we wanted...
Cheers - Adam...
Christian - apologies - went off on one without, apparently, reading
the last few words of your posting at all!
Thank you for the advice - we'll go with low(ish)-power CFLs in the
downlighters, still surrounded above by earthenware pots as per other
advice for halogens.
Thanks - Adam...
You have almost the entire range of ranges of lighting to choose from,
not sure what you want specifically. I agree the halogens would be an
CFLs are a good option as long as you use decent quality bulbs. Not all
are equal by any means. And be aware the published power equivalances
are not entirely realistic.
Retrofit CFL spotlight bulbs may be larger than the originals. LEDs I
I've actually seen some properly small ones now. In Ikea of all places.
Almost as small as an incandescent golf ball and much smaller than an
incandescent GLS. The light quality is quite good. A better spectrum that
the bulb it replaced, which was a GE.
Thanks NT and again Christian - will try Ikea for bulbs. We'd sourced a
few on tinterweb, but would rather buy locally (even if it is Ikea).
Was aware of the largely fictional nature of equivalent wattage
estimates, but I don't think this will be a problem - in fact, the 50w
halogens they came with would probably have been overkill - these are
small, loft bedrooms with coombed ceiling/wall.
Cheers - Adam...
Sorry to come back to this one after such a while...
Looked in IKEA (Edinburgh), but no luck. Do you have a catalogue number
or similar? Which store did you get them from?
Thanks - Adam...
IKEA in Brent Park (just off North Circular Road) has had them.
However, their stock of compact fluorescents varies widely on
different visits, and I would not suggest a special visit for
those alone just on the off-chance (especially not from Edinburgh;-)
We've just completed loft conversion and replaced every other ceiling in the
BC officer very difficult to deal with. Decided loft lighting in same
position as OP, then found from RTC, fire rated downlighters approved for
about £10 each. No need for flowerpots which incidently BC wouldn't
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