Ceiling lights and other accessories needed for suspended ceilings are bit different than the ones required for a normal ceiling. So, before you go to buy lights for your ceiling you should know if the ceiling at home or office is a normal one or a suspended type. Suspended ceilings are also known as false or drop ceilings.
There are many types of dropped ceilings and different reasons encouraging their installation. For instance one design of suspended ceiling called the ‘plenum space’ is installed for HVAC return to facilitate cooling or heating using a duct system. Another reason prompting installation of such ceilings is that they conceal items like wires and cables, pipes and ducts, which could otherwise remain visible if you had a normal ceiling.
Originally, these were developed to cover the bottom of the floor for aesthetic reasons and for achieving 'acoustic' balance because the softer tiles underneath could deliver better sound reduction and absorption. For the first time Donald A. Brown created this design in 1958.
Generally, a dropped ceiling is made of a grid or network of T shaped metallic channels that are snapped together to get a pattern on the ceiling. Each square so created is known as a cell and light tiles that fall in the network go to cover all the cells. Because the surface area of the tile is slightly more than the gap available in the grid, it stays in place due gravitational force. The ultimate look of the ceiling is as if made from squares, usually 2X2 or 2X4 square feet in area. If you tap on any of the tiles from below, it will lift up and only to fall back in place on its own. So, that’s an easy way to know if it’s a suspended ceiling, but they do come in different designs also.
When buying accessories like ceiling lights for such a suspended ceiling, you can get light that will just fit in the cells of the tile. Generally, it’s fine to use incandescent lights with suspended ceilings as bulbs may be too bright and become very hot. Likewise, you can have other items like fire sprinklers and speakers etc. for such ceilings. However, you need to ensure their correct size.
There are other benefits to this kind of ceiling than just the convenience of installation and fitment of the ceiling itself and the lighting or other accessories. For instance, the tiles made from fire resistance materials, like mineral fibers, make them preferable. Further, this kind of ceiling provides easy access to maintenance of plumbing or wiring as compared to a concrete or plaster ceiling.
It is definitely helpful to have suspended ceilings at home or in office. You can also have suspended ceiling lights and such fittings as per your specifications.