Lights recessed without heat, risk of fire
Sun, 07 Oct 2012 7:22p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
A Christchurch inventor and a local plastics firm that was nearly put out of business by the quakes have teamed up to create a special downlight cover that's a hit in new houses. It's a fireproof dome that keeps houses warm as well as safe.
Cosydome after Cosydome, they've only just gone into production, and the Christchurch factory has been inundated with orders.
“We cap that off, stop the heat loss, and that's what keeps the room warm,” says inventor Paul Hill.
“It's a fire-resistant barrier for covering downlights to stop that heat escaping, but keeping the downlight isolated from anything combustible,” says Mr Hill.
Mr Hill had the bright idea when he was climbing around in his own roof and noticed heat escaping through the downlights.
He joined forces with local manufacturer Plastech Industries, which suffered major damage to its factory in the February quake.
“[It went] from a sketch into a product,” says Plastech Industries general manager Graeme Rikard. “Watching Kiwi businesses succeed, that's the rush I get out of it.”
They've been named as a finalist in the clean tech category of the New Zealand Innovators Awards.
“At 40 degrees, that starts to expand,” says Mr Hill. “When that expands, it pushes on the springs. It pushes the valves. It then allows the dome to ventilate as normal, therefore keeping the whole unit nice and cool.”
A machine produces three Cosydomes every minute and has the capacity to produce 45,000 a month.
They've already sold 3500 at $50 a pop. The Kiwi ingenuity is also attracting interest from overseas.
“We are so proud to see two companies that we've been working with not only re-establish themselves but develop new products, pathways to export and to have some great success,” says Pip Tschudin, spokesperson at Recover Canterbury.
The winners of the New Zealand Innovators Award will be announced next week.
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9/10/2012 5:38:51 p.m.
Did these guys consult with the manufactures of the downlights? How will the lights cope, even though they have that release valve at 45 degrees will it be enough to protect the light and what happens if it fails? All CA Rated Downlights(which along with IC rated downlights are the only ones allowed to be installed in domestic premisis)are not designed to be covered.
All the modern CA rated downlights are all fairly well enclosed so the heat loss through then is far less than the old open back ones of yesteryear.
At 50 bucks a wack you might as well just get some IC or IC-F rated down lights that can be covered by insulation, as long as the insulation can withstand constant exposure to 90 C.
Mike, LEDs do produce heat, it is a myth that they dont, some Philips 12V MR16 LED lamps I have used have small cooling fans in them. Also there is a wide variety of LED down liight now available that work at either mains voltage or via transformers and come in several diffrent hole sizes so rewiring wouldnt be needed. Most LED Down lights, I suspect would be IC or IC-F rated so could be covered with the approriate insulation.
8/10/2012 8:28:47 a.m.
Alternatively one could put in the LED light in the fitting and just cap off the hole completely - no worry about the heat as LED not make the heat, and the LED uses about 1/20th the power of conventional downlight, and about 1/4 of the energy saving bulbs. LED also much smaller, no need for the big downlight hole.The LEDs currently in the $50+ range as not enough demand yet to drive the price down yet, plus they way they have handled the LED is wrong as LED dont need the voltage/amps so basically there is a transformer on each light. What should happen is to rewire from the meter with 1 transformer with lower voltage/amps and one transformer for the whole circuit and much cheaper LEDs.How reliable are the LEDs?They last 20,000 hours plus, ie about 10x the time of energy saving bulbs while using less power.
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