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Lighting Advice

Dimmable LED Bulbs

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Colour Temperature
Most of the LED lights we offer are available in the big 3 colour temperatures which are:

2700K - Extra warm white has a warmer tone, like a halogen, although not quite as orange.

3000K - Warm white is a mid range colour tone. Not as orange as 2700K and not as harsh as 4000K. This is the most popular colour temperature.

4000K - Cool white (or neutral white), although clearer and slightly brighter than the others, it can make a room feel cold and clinical. Used correctly in the right environment it can make a room appear more modern.

If you're unsure about colour temperatures we have colour temperature adjustable downlights available. These downlights contain multiple colour temperatures that can be changed either by a dip switch, wall switch or App. More information about them can be found here.

If you want a brighter light then choose something with more lumens. The brightness difference in colour temperatures is barely 5%.

Finish
One of the best ways to choose the right finish is to make sure that your new downlights match other items in the room. Perhaps you've got brushed steel switches, sockets and door handles? Then brushed steel downlights would be a great match.

Polished chrome is popular for bathrooms as it matches taps and other bathroom equipment.

But matt white is our most popular finish as it blends less noticeably into the ceiling.

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Need help with choosing the right beam angle? Follow this link here to learn about beam angles.

Dimmable

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IP Rating
This is the resistance to dust and moisture. The first digit is for the resistance to dust and the second digit is for moisture.

Anything higher than IP44 can be used in bathroom zones 1 and 2.

An IP65 rating offers a higher resistance and is generally used outdoors. 

An IP68 is fully water resistant and can be submersed in water, up to 1M in depth.

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Our Advice

Dimmable LED Bulbs

Dimming LEDs is made easy at Downlights Direct. All you need is a good quality brand of LED bulb or downlight such as Aurora or Philips. Along with an LED compatible dimmer switch such as Varilight V-Pro which has no minimum load and will dim up to 120 watts of LED.

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Dimmable LED bulbs that can be dimmed with an LED compatible dimmer switch or home automation system. Dimming LEDs is made simple at Downlights Direct with low prices on downlights, bulbs and dimmer switches.

With a large selection of dimmable LED bulbs that includes GU10 LEDs, candle bulbs and traditional LED light bulbs. Or capsule light bulbs such as G9s, G4s from Philips. As well as lamps we also have an extensive selection of integrated LED downlights.

The main types of LEDs to be wary of are MR16 low voltage ones. Not only do you have to ensure that the LED and dimmer switch are compatible but you also have to make sure that the transformer is compatible with both products. Fear not! Varilight offer an LED compatible low voltage transformer that works with their dimmer switches. But by the time you've realised that your transformer also needs replacing its easier to replace an MR16 with a GU10 by converting your existing downlights or fittings. Or just replace the entire downlights with new GU10 downlights or integrated ones.

All you need to make sure your LEDs dim correctly and don't flicker are branded LED lamps and a good quality LED compatible dimmer switch such as the Varilight V-Pro series or Hamilton LEDStat. Each of this dimmer switch brands offer a large choice of finishes and gangs.

Even if you have a relatively low load such as 4W, the Varilight V-Pro dimmer switch has no minimum load and has multiple dimming modes. You can reprogram the dimming mode from trailing edge to leading edge to fine tune it, so it meets the demands of the exact LEDs on your circuit.

Alternatively, if you have a larger amount of LEDs on your circuit we have LED dimmer switches that can dim up to 600W on one switch with the Varilight V-Com series.

Dimming LEDs was once quite difficult to do in the early days of LED lighting but technological advances from British companies like Varilight and Hamilton have made dimming LEDs easy.

The main occasions when you need to be cautious is when you dimming LEDs on a home automation system such as Lutron or smart dimmers like Lightwave RF. It is best to consult with us or the home automation system manufacturer to choose dimmable LEDs that are compatible. Some LEDs dim better on some systems than others. Some combinations will dim smoothly down to 5% or lower, while choose the wrong combination might mean the LEDs start to flicker at around 20% in brightness.

Their are ways of combating flickering and low load issues. Like adding a Danlers resistive to the ciruit. This acts as a dummy load and can provide stability to the circuit. But this is usually only required as your last option when everything else has failed.

The best dimmable LED lamps to buy in terms of dimming performance and compatible are as follows:

  • Aurora 5W GU10 - Compatible with all known home automation systems.
  • Philips LED Candle Lamps - Available in all of the major cap types as well as Dim Tone dimming versions that dim down in colour temperature as they dim in brightness.
  • Aurora MPro downlights - The MPro is a premium quality integrated LED downlight that is regulalry found on the approved listed of compatible downlights for home automation systems.
  • Philips LED Dim Tone lamps - They dim smoothly and become warmer in colour tone, the lower you dim them.

We even have a dimmable LED solution that works with a normal light switch. The Philips Scene switch series can be dimmed without a dimmer switch. This saves you having to rewire or purchase a new dimmer switch. By pressing your light switch on and off in a sequence it will dim the lights to preset levels such as 50% and 10%. Some of the Philips Scene switch series also adjust in colour temperature, switching from extra warm white 2700K to a candlelight 2200K.

No matter if you want to dim an LED or change the colour temperature at the touch of a button, we've got the right products for you.

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