How do stretch ceilings work with lights and other fittings and fixtures?

May 17, 2016 | Designs, Maintenance, Recent projects

One of the most common questions we get asked by clients new to stretch ceilings is how can you accommodate fittings and fixtures above the ceiling like lights, air-conditioning systems and fire alarm sensors.

I always like this question because the answer is quite straightforward. Stretch ceilings are suspended ceiling systems. They are fitted (stretched) to a room via aluminium rails which are attached to the top of each wall. This leaves lots of room between the stretch ceiling and the original ceiling for fixtures and fittings. Aha you say, but how can you access them? Let me explain a bit further.

Lights stretch ceilings

Lights and stretch ceilings
This basic diagram gives you an idea of how it works. ‘Structural soffit’ is the technical term for ‘original ceiling’. The light is attached to the original ceiling via a bracket. It is then connected to the original ceiling via the bracket ring. It is important to note that the height of the bracket is flexible to fit the gap between the original and stretch ceiling. Strengthening rings are used to further protect the stretch ceiling where it borders the light. The decorative element of the light will hide the strengthening rings so they will not be seen from below.

The image below is taken from a stretch ceiling installation we undertook for Zehnder, the heating group. You can see the circular spotlight brackets before the ceiling is installed.

showroom stretch ceilings

And here’s how the lights look after the ceiling has been installed.

zehnder stretch ceiling

Other fittings and fixtures

So hopefully you now understand how lights are attached to a stretch ceiling but how about other fixtures and fittings? Alarm sensors, as you might expect, are fitted in much the same way as lights. Other systems can also be secured to your original ceiling using brackets. One of the most handy aspects of stretch ceilings is they can easily be used to hide vent ducts. In another picture from our Zehnder installation below you can see two horizontal white panels with large circular holes which are used to neatly accommodate all vent ducts.

showroom ceilings

How I can I access the system if things go wrong?

We use access hatches which can be placed at relevant points on the ceilings so you can easily access air-conditioning or alarm systems to turn them on or off or perform maintenance work. In the finished picture of the Zehnder showroom above you can see a square access hatch on the right hand edge of the ceiling.

Further questions?

I would hope you can now understand how lights and other fixtures and fittings can be easily accommodated with a stretch ceiling. Of course, if you have more questions please get in touch.

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