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Lighting Advice

Downlights

Our Advice

Downlights

A downlight or downlighter is a luminaire (light fitting) that emits light in a downward direction with an accurate but relatively narrow beam angle. The beam of light is focused and intense, providing an unparalleled, clear, bright lighting effect to the area or objects directly beneath them.

We offer an extensive range of modern, low energy LED downlights from some of the worlds leading brands and maintain a large selection from stock to ensure a fast, hassle-free delivery.

Video: 8 Top Tips When Installing Downlights In Your Home

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Your Guide To Downlights

Downlights have undoubtedly come a very long way since their inception, which is earlier than 1940. Although nobody knows who invented the recessed downlight, it’s certainly a great invention and something that is used in almost every home and business.

Old, energy hungry reflector style lights with R95, R80 and R63 E27 downlights with big clunky brass trims are now a thing of the past. And in more recent years the now outlawed 50 watt halogen have now been replaced by modern, sleek, energy efficient LED alternatives.

The future of downlighting technology is becoming brighter but physically smaller.

Trim-less downlights, which are plastered directly into your ceiling, are becoming increasingly popular. They offer the brightest light output with the most minimalist appearance possible.

The market continues to be flooded by a deluge of countless downlighting options. At Downlights Direct we try hard to narrow down the options available and only offer the very best downlights on the market. Even with this strategy we still have over one thousand different variations to choose from, with more being added by the day.

We've been providing LED downlight solutions since the very beginning, just as LED lighting technology was first being used in recessed downlights. We were one of the original online retailers to offer integrated LED downlights. Since they first came onto the scene in 2009, details of the very first ones can be found in our blog post here.

How To Choose The Right Downlights For You

If you follow these 5 simple recommendations, choosing the right downlight for your home can be quick and easy:

  1. Buy fire rated; they're safer and can protect your home in the event of a fire. There are instances were a fire rating is not required but for 95% of domestic installations, downlights should be fire rated.
  2. Consider integrated downlights over GU10, they're more reliable and last longer. The price of integrated versions has reduced a lot recently and some don’t cost too much more.
  3. Do you have thermal insulation above your downlights? If so cutting around the insulation renders it almost useless. But if your purchase insulation coverable downlights you can lay the insulation directly on top.
  4. Whether you’re buying integrated LED or replaceable GU10 downlights, buy branded LEDs, in life you get what you pay for. For that little bit extra you'll get a whole lot more.
    Branded LEDs give you more lumens (brightness), longer lifetimes and longer, more reliable guarantees. This is even apparent when you compare manufacturers like Aurora who have their own premium and economy brands. Unbranded LEDs would fall a few leagues below the Aurora economy brand known as Enlite.
  5. Budget, downlights can range vastly in price. Investing in LED downlights is a bit like buying a car. If you're only doing low mileage on them and the operating hours are around 3 hours per day then the economy series would be suitable such as the E5 or E8 downlights from the Aurora Enlite range.

    Many of the higher priced, premium downlights have life expectancies of 70,000 to 75,000 hours, that’s a lifetime of up to 68 years if you only use them for 3 hours per day!

3 Typical Rooms Where You Can Install Downlights

Existing lounge Installation

You're limited to the existing hole sizes and distances between each downlight. Ideally you just want something that matches the existing setup so you don’t have to re-plaster, make the holes bigger or spend too much unnecessary time, money or effort on it.

If you use the filters on the left hand side of each category page you can quickly narrow down your search to just a few downlighting options.

New Lounge Installation

You’ve either got a brand new room or you’re replacing a single light fixture with recessed downlights. This gives you a fresh canvas and the option to install anything you want.

But what if you opted for brighter LED downlights with wider beam angles of 60 degrees instead of the traditional 40? This combination spreads the light out further allowing you to install fewer downlights and potentially saving you a few hundred pounds on installation costs. Your ceiling isn't jam packed with downlights neither so looks much better.

This is the smarter option, although when you compare the one for one price of each unit, the brighter downlights cost more. Because you don’t need as many which can be around 30% less, the overall costs are less and your electrician doesn’t need to wire as many.

View more: Living room downlights and other lounge lighting fixtures

Kitchen Downlight Installation

A kitchen is always the most time consuming when you’re doing lighting designs for homes. This is because it contains cupboard spaces, appliances and worktops which need to be considered as part of the design and each one has to be individually drawn.

If your kitchen is 9 metres by 9 metres you’re going to lose a lot of that area with cupboards and worktops. Depending on the heights of these, they may need to be considered as part of walls especially if the cupboards go right to the ceiling. This reduces the floor spaces and the area of the room that needs to be illuminated.

If you’ve not got much area to illuminate then a wider 60 degree beam wouldn’t work that well. A more intense 40 degree beam would be better. In this situation you could consider the Aurora M7 or Aurora M10.

View more: Kitchen downlights & other kitchen lights

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