Hi, just wondering about rules/regs on lighting such as down lights in cupboards. I'm changing half of my daughters clothes cupboard into a desk study area. looking at putting lights of some kind in. Downlights in the ceiling have to be isolated from insulation. Or are they ok because they are only running off 12volts. Don't know.
We do have an article on the fire hazard associated with halogen downlights (which we're guessing you've read) - although we can see it doesn't really answer your question in full.
12v or 240v doesn't make a difference - the main hazard posed by halogen globes is the result of the heat from the globes themselves - and that'll be pretty much the same regardless of the voltage. The requirements for installation (and necessary clearances) will be the same.
LED downlights don't burn anywhere near as hot as halogens - maybe 80 or 90 degrees Celsius compared to about 300 - but the Wiring Rules (i.e. the law relating to how they need to be installed) currently treats all downlights as the same thing, so the clearance requirements are the same.
Different models are built in different ways, and require different amounts of clearance for installation too...
Best to get an electrician to have a look and tell you if and how you can install downlights appropriately in the cupboard, and what product's right - definitely not a job you can do for yourself.
If it turns out that it'd be impractical to install downlights where you're talking about, maybe consider some LED strip lights and/or a nice big desk lamp as a task light. Where there's a will there's always a way...
Hope this helps,
The BUILD team.