When you plan to install lighting circuits and LED light bulbs, we always recommend you consult a suitably qualified electrical contractor. Each year, an average of 10 people die and 750 suffer serious injuries because of poor quality electrics at home.
Part P of the Building Regulations lays down guidance on how to ensure safety. The aim of Part P is to protect people who work on the design and installation of electrical circuits. Part P also obliges compliance with the law.
Part P applies to:
- Houses and flats
- Homes and businesses with a common supply of electricity
- Areas with shared amenities such as laundries
- Common access areas for flats
- Garden lighting and power
LED light bulbs can feature in all of the above.
The original Part P guidance appeared on 1 January 2005. From 6 April 2006, the government made the guidance clearer, and stressed the need for enforcement. Approved Document P: Electrical safety – dwellings (2006 edition) has the details. You can download this free of charge from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Part P makes reference to extra-low voltage circuits. It calls them “special installations”. 12-volt LED light bulbs come under this heading. Guidance Note 7, published by the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE), has further advice about these.
Pre-assembled, CE-marked LED light bulbs are not special installations. Christmas lights, for example, are exempt from Part P.