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Why does the TP rating of my LED panel matter?

Why does the TP rating of my LED panel matter?

Hospital Waiting Room

How do you know which LED ceiling light panels are safe for use in schools or hospitals? Check the TP rating.

Compliance is an essential element of every school’s, college’s or hospital’s maintenance programme. When you’re creating or maintaining public spaces, ensuring that the materials you use are safe is vital.

When it comes to LED lighting panels, the compliance factor that matters is the TP (thermoplastic) rating. It’s the rating used in respect of all light panels and diffusers and denotes their ability to withstand heat and fire. There are two ratings.

TP(a)
TP(a) rated ceiling lights and diffusers use a polycarbonate thermoplastic that will self-extinguish and will not continue glowing or flaming for more than five seconds after a flame has been removed.

Because of the swift self-extinguishing properties, there are no restrictions on where you can use these products.

TP(b)
Building Regs place restrictions on the use of certain types of TP(b) rated plastic materials when used as part of a light or diffuser to ensure they don’t present a fire risk.

These lights or diffusers will typically be manufactured from polystyrenes or acrylics and offer more limited protection against fire when compared with TP(a)-rated products.

For that reason, TP(b)-rated products limit your lighting panel layout options, with the regulations explicitly controlling the proximity of one light panel to the next.

Choose TP(a)
If you’re installing LED ceiling panels or diffusers in public spaces such as schools, universities, hospitals or government buildings (or for that matter, any space in which large numbers of people gather or work), you’ll need to use TP(a)-rated products. That’s because i) they’ll give you the fire protection the regulations demand and ii) you’ll have complete freedom of light layout, with no ‘exclusion zones’ preventing you from placing your lights where they need to go.

Order TP(a) rated LED panels and fire retardant diffusers now. If you need advice on which is the right product for your application, please get in touch or call us on 01253 864902.

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