Downlights are ideal for giving a room a sleek and minimalistic finish, and are a style of lighting that is especially popular amongst contemporary interiors due to the lights themselves being positioned within the ceiling itself, instead of hanging from it. This provides a perfect, discrete fitting for an unobtrusive presence.
This has caused LED downlights to now become a common sight in most homes. Lighting and style trends almost dictate that LED lighting is a modern home essential. Still, their safety and efficiency are also attractive features. A typical LED light bulb will last for around 50,000 hours. Also, different safety features allow them to be installed near water and moisture sources or even fully submerged. Unique features like this make LED lighting an excellent choice when remodelling a kitchen or bathroom.
For example, an IP65 LED downlight can be placed directly above a shower for lighting up your wet room. Or they can be installed above your stove for safer cooking. These rooms are best suited to cool white lights that provide a sharp and intense lighting solution. However, warmer lighting is available.
Warm white is an excellent option for the bedroom or living room, providing a softer ambient feel to the atmosphere. Additionally, dimmable LED downlights are available. These are dimmable using traditional analogue controls, controlled with your mobile phone or tablet.
But LED downlights aren't just for the home. Advancements in technology ensure that LEDs are now brighter than any other lighting solution currently available. In addition, the versatility of LED downlights makes them suitable for commercial operations as well.
LEDs' minimalist and unobtrusive design mean that they can be installed with minimal disruption to an office space - providing better quality lighting at a lower cost. In addition, the extremely low energy requirements of LEDs will not only reduce your utility bills but also contribute to lowering your carbon footprint.
What is a Downlight?
A downlight is a light fitting that lights in a downward direction to specifically light an area directly below. They are usually recessed into the ceiling so you only see a small part of the fitting below the ceiling. Downlights are a very versatile light fitting, and provide a number of versatile uses throughout the home, in several different rooms. They are a great way to create zones, navigate around the space of a room and highlight key areas, such as artwork or photos.
Downlights often use LED bulbs, as they offer the best light, can be dimmed, and can fit into the ceiling with the light fixture. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are energy-efficient lighting systems that use far less energy than standard filament bulbs, including halogen and fluorescent. LEDs come in various types but LED downlights are also known as recessed bulbs. So-called because they are fitted into artificial recesses or in your ceiling. Because of this, downlights are stylish and unobtrusive, making them a popular choice for modern interior design.
Dimmable LED Downlights
Unlike other energy-efficient bulbs, some models of LED downlights are dimmable. Dimming your downlights allows you to adjust the lighting level of your dimmable LED downlights according to the time of the day. The dimming feature is also helpful for setting a more intimate feel when dining or relaxing, for example. As a bonus, dimming lights accordingly means that they aren't always working at full power, saving power consumption. Note that separate equipment and drivers are required to use the dimming features.
Smart LED Lighting
Another excellent feature of modern LED downlights is that you can now use them with smart devices. Smart home lighting can connect to your hub and smart device (phone, tablet) to be controlled by either. Popular assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google can turn lights on or off, dim or change colours and temperature at the touch of a button or with your voice. Unfortunately, not all LED downlights can connect to other devices, so make sure your LED model can do this to avoid disappointment.
Spotlights are a trendy choice in modern homes. Unlike standard ceiling lights that emit light in all directions, LED spotlights focus a beam of light in one direction. Focus makes them excellent for highlighting a specific area. For example, you could install a spotlight over your favourite works of art or brighten up your workspace. A popular method is to install numerous spotlights in one area, such as under kitchen cabinets since multiple fixtures create effective ambient lighting. LED spotlights are mains powered and don't require drivers.
GU10 LED Bulbs
The most common type of LED downlight is the GU10 LED bulb. More accurately, GU10 refers to the cap that is fitted to the bulb. GU10 bulbs are directional and focused, which means they can apply to almost any lighting project. In addition, modern GU10 bulbs come in a wide variety of wattage, which can apply to any lighting project.
Higher wattage solutions dispel the outdated misconception that they lack luminosity. With the correct wattage selection and installation, GU10 LED bulbs can provide vastly improved lighting over any other incandescent or fluorescent type.
How to Wire Downlights?
Installing LED lighting into your mains is not an easy task for an amateur, and understanding home electrics and electrical lighting is required. Depending on the model, you may or may not need a transformer. Additionally, different types of LED lighting are needed to be wired either in parallel or in series. Connection to a direct current (DC) will extend the life of your LED lighting systems.
Rather than describing how to wire a downlight, we would prefer to advise you to consult the help of a qualified electrician. Electrics are dangerous and shouldn't be touched if you don't know what you are doing.
How Many Downlights Do I Need?
The number of downlights required depends on which room will use them and for what. For example, will they be used as the primary lighting source or for a particular task? You may wish to install LED downlights as the primary lighting source across your living room or to highlight your food preparation area in your kitchen.
Therefore, multiple low wattage bulbs are required as a primary lighting source. In contrast, focus lighting might only need one high wattage bulb. You must also take room size and ceiling height into consideration. A higher ceiling requires fewer bulbs, while a lower ceiling or fixture may need fewer.
A simple formula for calculating the wattage required is ceilingfootage2 x 1.5.
How to remove a downlight?
Removing a downlight is not quite as simple as with a standard bulb but it is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. However, the flexibility of LED downlights means that you can fit them into hard to reach places like under cabinets, cupboards and even under the kitchen sink. Because of this, it can be tricky to remove a fixture, so ensure you take all necessary precautions.
The lighting fixture also plays a role in how you should remove it. There are various mechanisms for downlighting:
This mechanism requires two people. While one person places pressure in the base (push towards the ceiling), another person needs to twist the LED dome to detach.
This fixture type requires you to be a little more careful as the base and dome might be fitted firmly with tightened springs. Tease a flat head screwdriver in between the base and the ceiling and pry it enough so that you can fit your fingers in to pull it off.
Disconnecting from slots is relatively simple as it uses a simple locking mechanism using bumps and grooves. First, twist the dome so it unlocks and then gently pull it away from the base.
Fixtures like this are the easiest to dismantle since it uses a screw mechanism. First, locate the finial (the small screw in the centre of the dome) and turn it counterclockwise to unscrew it from the ceiling.
How to Change a Downlight Bulb?
Your LED downlights should last for around 50,000 hours, but you might want to replace them. Similar to removing a downlight, replacing a LED bulb requires various techniques depending on the type. However, all appropriate methods are simple and don't require any expert knowledge or special tools.
To remove a spring clip bulb, undo the clips that hold the bulb in place. Once undone, gently pull the bulb out of the socket. Note that some fixtures might require an anti-clockwise turn.
To install a new bulb, insert it into the socket and turn clockwise if required, then hold it in place while you reattach the clips to hold it in place.
You need to take a little more care when removing a twist faceplate as it can drop with the bulb still attached. To remove this type of plate, twist the plate anti-clockwise, and it should detach from its fixture.
To replace the bulb:
- Unfasten the clip and unscrew the LED bulb.
- Replace it with your new one.
- Secure the bulb with the clips and then twist the plate back onto the fixture.
This faceplate is probably the trickiest type to replace and it is normally found in bathroom downlights. It would be best to detach the plate from the ceiling using an object like a small flat-head screwdriver.
Carefully insert the screwdriver into the gap between the plate and the ceiling, then apply gentle pressure to relieve the fitting. Next, detach the bulb by unclipping it from the fixture.
You can then insert your new LED bulb by attaching it to the fixture and securing it with the clips. Reattach the faceplate in the same way you removed it.
How Many Downlights Per Room?
The number of downlights required per room depends on firstly personal preference, but also on how large a room is, and what the purpose of the room is. The function of the lights, whether they are used to complement the décor, as ambient light or for utility, all need to be considered. These considerations determine the bulbs' wattage, colour and temperature.
The size of a room, its ceiling height and the height of lighting fixtures are also important considerations to make, as this will affect the impact the downlights will have on the room.
However, you can work out how many lights you require with a simple calculation:
- Measure the square footage of the room - do that by multiplying its depth and its width.
- Multiply the result of the first step by 1.5 - this will give you the wattage needed to light up a space.
As a general rule, lights should also be placed 2 feet away from walls and spaced 3 to 4 feet from each other. If you want to know precisely what the distance between the lights should be, divide the height of your ceiling by two. So, if your ceiling is 7 feet high, the lights should be placed more or less 3.5 feet apart from each other.
Need More Information on Fire Rated LED Downlights?
If you have any further questions about fire rated downlights or any other products, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today. A member of our team will be more than happy to assist you in choosing the right LED option for your project, whether it's at home or in the workplace.
We try to set every price low so that as many people as possible can make a purchase in our shop and make their home safer and more beautiful with fire-rated downlights.
With excellent prices and high-quality products, Simple Lighting will brighten your day!
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