Home > Frequently Asked Questions
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 : How many downlights should I install? Or how many downlights do I need?
A : Full article coming soon. In the meantime, please email us some information about your project such as the room type IE lounge, bathroom etc. Room dimensions and which type of downlight you want to install and we will design a lighting plan. Or read our example of a lounge below:
Different rooms require different levels of light as they are used for different purposes. Lighting standards state that living rooms should be 100-300lx. Take a room that is 3.6M wide x 4.8M length and 2.7M high. Using 6x 50W halogen downlights would provide an average of 160 lx. This would be adequate for watching TV etc but if you are doing something else like craft work or other hobbies you might want more light and more downlights. View the example below:
Q2 : Can I lay insulation directly over downlights?
A : Yes but only over special downlights. Aurora Lighting have recently introduced an insulation coverable downlight. This patented product is fitted with a heat sink that transfers the heat away from the downlight and ensures that any excess heat does not pose a fire risk to the insulation.
F Marked Logo
F Capped Logo
Alternatively you could use a loft cap. A loft cap can be fitted over any downlight and acts as a barrier between the downlight and insulation. Loft caps are F Capped.
Q3 : Can I cut around insulation?
A : Yes but Part L of the Building Regulations (energy conservation) now states that continuous loft insulation should be present to retain heat and save energy. This creates a problem because if you can't cut the insulation and unless your downlights are F Capped (see above answer) you can't put insulation directly on them. The way of overcoming this problem is to use one of the products below, Loft Caps, Ibox Insulation Protectors or Insulation Support Boxes.
Clicking on one of the images will take you to the relevant product sales page.
A: There are no right or wrong answers; it's a matter of taste. However, this is a very important decision and should not be taken lightly. Warm white provides a cosy, warmer appearance, like a candle. Most halogen an incandescent light bulbs are warm white so this is the safe option. Cool white is clearer and sometimes appears bluer. Cool white provides a clinical yet more modern feel and can make a room appear brighter. Both colour temperatures can be used effectively in the right room setting. The pictures in the video below compare them being used in the same room:
A: LED is energy efficient and provides energy savings of around 90% when compared to halogen. LED is also longer lasting and better for the environment. Although the initial investment can seem expensive it pays for itself in energy saved within a 1-2 year period.
Then make sure your dimmer switch is compatible. Dimmer switches were not originally designed to dim LEDs. Look out for our 'LED Compatible' image shown below; we have tested many LED and dimmer switch combinations, some work better than others. Using a dimmer switch that is not compatible will cause the LED to flicker and can cause permanent damage to the LED.
Please click on the image below to view our LED dimmer switch compatibility table:
Q8 : Which Beam Angle?
A : Most halogen and LED lights are available in a choice of beam angles. Low voltage halogen and MR16 LED bulbs have the most options to choose from. Ranging from a very narrow 15 degrees spot to a wider 60 degrees flood. A narrow beam angle makes the light more focused and intense. A wider beam angle will distribute the light better to more areas of the room. Knowing how to use beam angles correctly can vastly improve the lighting effect in a room.
Q9 : What is the life expectancy of an LED ?
A: This varies from LED to LED. The shortest is 25,000 hours and the longest is 70,000 hours. To convert the hours into years we usually base the LED on 6 hours per day use. This means that an LED with a life expectancy of 40,000 hours such as the Philips 7W Master GU10 will last for over 18 years.
Q10 : What is the difference between power LEDs' and SMD ( Surface Mount Device ) LEDs' ?
A: Power LED bulbs or downlights contain 3 or 4 high powered LED chips which combine to create a focused beam of light, usually with a 25 or 40 degree beam angle. SMD LED bulbs are made up of a cluster of very small LED chips, usually around 20 per bulb. Each low power LED produces a small amount of light but when added together creates a bright light. The main problem with this type of LED is the extremely wide beam which is usually 120 degrees. SMD LEDs are not very effective in downlight installations as the wide beam angle spreads the light out too thin.
We hope you enjoy our video on 50w halogen VS 7w LED lights below.
Got a tricky question relating to downlights? Try us at firstname.lastname@example.org