LED Downlights – Economic Lighting Solution for Modern Homes
Downlights are one of those rare all-purpose lighting fixtures. They are most often used to provide general lighting in the room. However, when strategically placed, they can also complement the existing décor and design in a stylish way. LED lights are the most common type of fixtures used for downlighting. The main reason for this is the fact that they have a number of advantages over traditional lighting solutions like halogen and incandescent.
The Benefits of LED Downlights
LED downlights use less energy to run, or more precisely, around 70 – 80% less electricity than traditional light bulbs. What’s more, they don’t emit any heat, unlike other lighting sources. This means that they won’t heat up the space, and as a result they can reduce the need for the air conditioner to work harder. That being said, using quality LED downlighting throughout your home can be a great way to lower the cost of your energy bills.
LED downlights don’t contain hazardous solids, liquids or gases and are safe for the environment and your home. They produce cool light, which makes them great for indoor plants, but also for improving the air quality in your living space. According to some research, LEDs help to lower your carbon footprint up to a third. Also, it’s good to know that LED downlights are recyclable and you can dispose of them efficiently.
Smart Directional Lighting
When using standard lights, the only way to direct the light is to use a shade or reflector. LED downlighting is the ideal choice for directional lighting as the LEDs can be easily pointed to a specific area and create a comfortable ambience in any room.
LED downlights switch on immediately and most of them can last up to 50 000 hours of use. So. not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you’ll also won’t have to buy replacement bulbs that often. Good quality LED downlights usually come with a 3 to 5 years warranty.
LED recessed lighting fixtures have powder-coated surface finishes that protect the LEDs from corrosion. Thanks to this feature, they can be installed both indoors and outdoors and will maintain their sleek look for years to come despite the conditions around them.
They’re lightweight and smaller than most traditional lighting fixtures, which makes them easily adaptable and versatile. They can fit in any corner of the room, making them perfect for illuminating tricky spots. And as we’ve already mentioned, LED downlights can be installed both indoors and outdoors.
LED lights are silent and don’t emit any radio interference. Also, LED downlights won’t flicker, which is a great advantage for people that experience photosensitivity.
How to Choose LED Downlights
When looking for the perfect LED downlight fixtures, or an entire LED downlight kit, there are a few key points to consider.
LED downlights are the best choice for energy-saving lights that produce a high beam. They can range from as low as 4.5W to 14W. For example, if you used to use a 60-watt incandescent bulb, then the right LED alternative for it would be one that’s 8 to 12 watts.
Lumens (lm) measure the total amount of brightness a fixture can deliver. The higher the lumens, the brighter the LED light. However, this also means that it will require more energy to run. Lumen output doesn’t vary with wattage linearly. High wattage doesn’t necessarily mean high lumen output. LEDs with 800 lumens are considered to offer a decent amount of ambient lighting.
A natural white (around 4000K) is a good all-rounder, it’s cool, clean, feels warm and doesn’t overpower your eyes. Cool white, below 400 K is ideal for rooms like the kitchen, office or the laundry room, where you need better visibility and focus. If the colour temperature is below 4000 K, then it’s called warm white. This type of light is best reserved for areas for relaxation, such as the bedroom.
CRI (Colour Rendering Index)
CRI is the ability of the light source to reveal the colour of objects in comparison with natural light. The index is measured from 0 to 100. Most commonly, a CRI of 80 – 90 is within the range of excellent colour rendering.
Efficacy is the measurement of the amount of useful light output per unit of electricity. It’s measured in lumens per watt, calculated by taking the total lumens released from the fixture by the total wattage consumed by the light fixture.
IP (Ingress Protection) Rating
The IP rating is important as it reflects the suitability of the light fixture to specific environmental conditions. The first digit of an IP rating refers to the level of protection against things like dust particles, mosquitoes, flies, moths, and more. The second digit indicates the level of protection against liquid. An IP rating doesn’t correlate to vandalism or other physical protection.
The cut-out size stands for the hole needed in the ceiling. It is some really helpful info and can save you money and time, especially if you already have a hole cut into the ceiling.
Keep in mind that not all LEDs are dimmable. So, if you would like to dim your downlights and have better control over the ambience make sure to select a kit that is marked dimmable.
Downlight Beam Angle
The beam angle is the amount of light that spreads from the LED downlight and is measured in degrees. Regardless of the room’s size, it will look better with pools of light instead of glaring light into your eyes, and also it can create ambience in the space.
Tips on Installation
When using LED downlights for general lighting purposes, it’s important to install enough of them to illuminate the room properly. Before installing your LED downlights, consider how far apart to space them. If you’re using a wider beam, you could only use a few lights and space them from 1.2 to 1.5 meters away from each other. For a concentrated beam, it’s better to leave 1 meter between each one of them.
And finally, always make sure to buy from trusted Australian brands with a genuine warranty and quality. You can find a lot of cheap imports online, but they do not necessarily comply with Australian standards. And this can cost you more later on in case something goes wrong with the downlights.