UK Nationwide Professional Snagging Inspections | Getting the Quality You Deserve


Lighting plays a crucial role in the design and functionality of new build homes. It not only affects the aesthetic appeal but also significantly impacts the energy efficiency and environmental footprint of a home.

This page offers a comprehensive guide for homeowners on fixed lighting and downlights, two prevalent lighting choices in modern home design. It covers essential topics like avoiding non-energy efficient lights, adhering to building regulations, and recommendations for using energy-saving options like CFL and LED lights.

It delves into the technicalities of downlights, discussing aspects like fire rating, airtightness, and the importance of using low-energy lighting options to enhance both efficiency and safety.

Understanding these factors will help homeowners make informed decisions, ensuring their new build homes are not only well-lit but also eco-friendly and cost-effective.


Fixed Lighting

Avoiding Non-Energy Efficient Lights

Problems arise when halogen, tungsten filament, or other standard non-energy efficient lights are installed. These types of lights consume more energy and are less efficient compared to modern alternatives.

Compliance with Building Regulations

According to AD(L) building regulations, at least 75% of light bulbs in new homes should be low energy. All traditional filament bulbs have been banned due to their high energy consumption.


  • Fit CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LEDs which provide greater than 400 lamp lumens.
  • Aim for 100% low energy lights. This often means using LED downlights, which are more energy-efficient.
  • Consider integrating smart controls, such as PIR (motion sensors) or daylight sensors, to further enhance energy efficiency.


Fire Rating and Airtightness

A common issue with downlights is that they are often not fire-rated, airtight, or low energy. Downlights should be specified as fire-rated with sealed airtight boxes to prevent warm room air leakage and heat loss, especially in areas with cold lofts.

Ensuring Airtightness

To maintain airtightness, consider installing a ply box or back box seal, or create a sacrificial service zone with an airtightness layer behind it.

Using Low Energy Lights

It’s important to install low-energy lighting options like LED downlights, which are significantly more energy-efficient than halogen lights.

Insulation and Airtightness with Downlights

Use insulation caps and airtight caps over downlights to prevent disruption of insulation and to maintain the energy efficiency of the home.

By addressing these key aspects of fixed lighting and downlights, homeowners can enhance the energy efficiency of their new build home, contributing to lower energy bills and a more sustainable living environment.