Tackling Downlighter Draughts: A Simple Solution

Tony recently found himself frustrated with downlighters when asked to help change a lightbulb at a friend’s house while collecting some tools for the library of things. As he removed the old bulb he was shocked at the draft that was coming out from the ceiling.  It was almost like having a window open and it was just one of 16 downlights in that room.

It’s not difficult to draftproof downlighters if you do it before they are installed because it is possible to provide a box or enclosure to house them in. Sadly there is little or no possibility of doing that once they have been installed. In the past, with incandescent bulbs, downlights required careful handling due to the heat they generated. However, the advent of LED luminaries has made it easier to fit boxing over them without risking overheating.

So what can be done to prevent draughts from downlights?

Well, it is quite a difficult question to answer. Tony thought about it for a few days and eventually decided that he was going to buy some glass or plastic discs that could go over the underneath of the downlighter. Not only would these discs be effective in cutting out drafts around the bulbs or between the bezel and the ceiling, but they also wouldn’t compromise the room’s aesthetics.

Here’s a number of pictures of downlights, the second one you can see clearly that there is a gap between the bezel and the ceiling and as it looks blackish it is likely to be allowing draughts into the room.

Below is a picture of what was decided to use to prevent drafts coming in, it is a lid off a single-use plastic pot.

In many cases single-use plastic is to be avoided, but in this case, it is going to save a lot of energy and easily seal up the downlighter. There may be a new business opportunity for making draft-proof seals that go underneath the lighters made from glass perspex or plastic. These could fit snugly to the ceiling in a draftproof way, rather than the way the downlights fit currently, which is with the draft coming in around them and around the bulb. They could be designed to be easily opened to facilitate maintenance and changing the bulbs.

Sustainable Functionality

In the end, Tony’s makeshift cover, though temporary, successfully stopped the draughts without compromising the functionality of the lights. This journey highlights the need for innovative solutions to common household issues and sparks a conversation about the potential for sustainable and effective alternatives in the world of downlighters.