Ever wanted to give your home a lighting refresh and wondered if downlights were best? We will make sure you know everything you need to know before you commit to downlights.
What are the Benefits of LED Downlights?
Downlights are ambient light fixtures that produce a downward focused beam. They are typically recessed into the ceiling, so you can only see a part of its bulb, giving you a perfect minimalist look. But besides that, there are lots of other top benefits you can get from installing downlights, particularly LED downlights.
LED downlights may be more expensive initially than standard downlight bulbs. But, the significant savings you can get from energy and replacement costs make LEDs much more economical in the long run. LED downlights last for an average of 50,000 hours; some premium brands even boast up to 100,000 hours. So, if you use your lights for 8 hours each day, LED downlights should work for 17 years.
Even if you pay out for a top-of-the-range standard bulb, LEDs still make a wiser investment, lasting five times longer than fluorescent lighting and thirty times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Did you know that light fixtures make up around 10% of the Australian households’ electricity usage, with figures rising to as much as 40% in commercial areas? So, even if LED lights are more expensive to buy at first, their energy efficiency and longevity say otherwise.
LED downlights help save the environment by using at least 75% less energy than old-school incandescent lights. Because they are more energy-efficient, LEDs mean a reduction in your CO2 emissions. They also lessen your contribution to landfills as you will not have to replace bulbs too often as you would be otherwise with incandescent lights. LED bulbs are also 100% recyclable; one LED bulb lets you save the material and production of up to twenty-five incandescent light bulbs. Moreover, LED downlights do not contain mercury like incandescent lights, giving you minimised health risk.
Versatile Design Solutions
Downlights are one of the most interesting ways to add style to any space. Thus, they’re a constant favourite of many designers due to their flexible usability. They can add depth to any interior design and fit broadly into any style. They also come in a range of designs and have different settings or features, so you’re sure to find one that appeals to your tastes and suits the ambience you’re creating.
LED downlights’ versatility as a light fitting allows us to customise a look with advanced lighting controls. They can be brightened or dimmed, depending on the occasion. So, whether you need a strong light source for work or a warm light for an intimate dining evening, LED downlights should be your go-to fixture.
With LED downlights, you don’t have to get frustrated changing bulbs every couple of months. Instead, these light fittings last for years, demanding less time and hassle in maintenance than short-lived conventional bulbs.
What You Should Look at Before Buying Downlights
Light Design & Location
When shopping for downlights, it’s crucial to visualise how and where you should install them. These will help you determine the power (W) and the specific features you need.
For instance, downlights on a high ceiling need a higher power to produce more light. Should you decide to put them in a bathroom or outdoors, you should consider their IP rate (Ingress Protection Rate), which indicates their degree of protection against water ingress. There are also interior downlighting rules which help style your room. An example is to ‘leave a gap of roughly a metre between the edge of the ceiling and your downlights’. Placing these lights too close to the wall will give you shadows that make your room look smaller than it is. Of course, you decide whether the rules are made to be broken or not. You may intentionally want to break the rules to create more drama or be more creative.
Domestic or Commercial?
Are you shopping for domestic or commercial use? If you’re installing downlights for a public building or a company, you may need to look into the building regulations. This could include the amount of lighting required in certain areas.
While there are typically no regulations for home users, tenants should consult with their property owner to understand their responsibilities and ensure they are not violating any rules. These are primarily for safety compliance, so following them is of utmost importance for your own good.
To ensure safety, choose high-quality downlights that are fire-rated. Downlights are typically installed in cut-out holes in the ceiling, affecting its fire-resistance. A fire-rated product gives you that extra protection, especially when placed in such a vulnerable spot.
Converting to LEDs should already ramp up enough savings. But if you want to be particular about how much your savings are, you should check the wattages and lumens of your current lighting versus the LED bulbs you are buying. Wattage can tell you how much power a bulb consumes, while lumen indicates how bright it will be.
It would help to consider how much your labour cost will be in installing downlights. LED downlights require wiring, which only a trained electrician should do. Ask for quotes from your trusted tradespeople and consider these costs in your total expenditure before buying.
Downlights can be tricky to replace. Changing them can potentially damage your ceiling; that’s why a trained electrician should only fit replacements. Good thing, LED downlights have a very long lifespan. With a running life of around 30,000 hours, LED lights are incomparable to halogen (10,00 hours) and CFL (8,000 hours) bulbs.
Your downlight’s colour temperature, which is measured in kelvin (K), is how the colour of the light would look. You can find downlights in many colour temperatures to accentuate the appearance and purpose of any room. For example, warm white provides a more comfortable light that is perfect for your home, while cool white gives a well-lit and luminous environment that works well in the office.
Dimmable settings can control the brightness of your downlights. Not only do they alter the mood of your room, but they can allow you to reduce your power use and electricity bill. Unfortunately, not all LED downlight bulbs have this setting, so be sure to pick the ones labelled “dimmable”.
Set the Mood in Any Space With MJS Electrical
Downlights do not take up a lot of space in your ceiling yet effectively add a dramatic effect. This makes them versatile tools in staging your home. For instance, they are excellent at creating zones, highlighting key pieces like art, and helping navigate around your home. LED downlights are also usually dimmable and work perfectly to layer light schemes with other architectural and decorative fittings. Plus, they are extremely energy efficient, so you can install as many without feeling guilty about your energy consumption.
Looking for high-quality downlights for your home or office? Get the downlights you need to achieve the look and atmosphere you desire to create. Shop from our selection of downlights now to spark your interior design creativity.