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Choose the Best LED Downlights for Home and Business

Choose the Best LED Downlights for Home and Business

9th Feb 2024

LED downlights are energy-saving light fixtures popular in residential and commercial settings. Their discreet appearance, practicality, and ability to blend in with other lights, such as pendant lights, make them excellent lighting basics.

Recessed LED downlights are versatile and used for general and task lighting to highlight specific areas in a room or premises.

When choosing downlights for your home or commercial downlights, you must consider several key factors, including brightness, quality, reliability, colour temperature, beam angle, and more. Here are our tips to help you choose suitable downlights for your abode or premises.

7 factors to consider when choosing ceiling downlights

Domestic downlights became very popular in Australia in the early 2000s with halogen varieties. However, they have since been eclipsed by LED lights, which have ramped up their popularity for homes and business premises.

But don’t be fooled; because most downlights look very similar, many are available on the market, and you need to choose the right ones for your application.

1: LED downlight lumens is what matters

Many people mistakenly think that Watts is a measure of brightness, but it’s a measure of power output. Lumens indicate the total amount of visible light emitted from a bulb. The more lumens, the brighter the light.

Wattage, however, measures how much energy is burned to produce a set amount of light output (lumens). This helps explain why LED lights are much more energy efficient than older fluorescent or halogen lights. You need fewer watts to produce the same amount of brightness.

When choosing your downlights for residential or commercial applications, you need to decide what lighting level you require and select the right level of lumens. Despite lumens being a more correct measure for LED lighting, the lighting industry still quotes most downlight fittings in watts, but be aware of the differentiation when making your choices.

2: Downlights LED need quality & reliability

As a leading lighting wholesaler, we focus on the build quality of our downlights. The product's design, the merit of the materials, and the manufacturing quality are all critical to a long-lasting and reliable light fitting.

When purchasing downlights for your home or commercial premises, you should understand some key parts like the electronic chips, the drivers (integrated circuits), the heat sink, the electromagnetic compatibility, and the fire-rating of the materials.

3: Colour temperature of downlights

Choosing the right colour temperature for your LED downlights at home or in your commercial premises significantly impacts the atmosphere your lighting will create.

The colour temperature, measured in Kelvins (K), ranges from warm white to cool white. Warm white is yellowish and is less than 3,000K. Cool white is bluish and is more than 4,000K.

Generally, cool white LEDs are better for commercial premises, and warm whites are better suited to homes.

Some models, known as tri-colour downlights, include LED colour-changing light technology to let you switch between three colour temperatures (cold, cool and warm) to suit your mood or needs. The popular COMET 12W Slimline Tri-Colour Downlight from Lawell Lighting is one such model of tri-colour LED downlights.

4: Beam angle of energy-efficient LED downlights

The beam angle is another essential attribute to consider when discussing fittings with your LED downlights wholesaler. It simply refers to the spread of light. With a wide beam angle (60 degrees or more), you get a wider spread of soft light suitable for general ambient lighting. Downlights with a narrower beam angle (less than 60 degrees) produce a sharper, more concentrated light, which creates a spotlight effect. The spotlight effect particularly benefits commercial downlights for venues like art galleries and retail settings.

5: Dimmable LED downlights or non-dimmable

Having a dimmer on your LED downlights provides the flexibility to crank up the downlights to maximum when you need to see clearly and to dim them when you want a more relaxing vibe. This is a significant feature for domestic downlights.

Dimmer switches can be added to dimmable downlights to control their light output level.

6: Gimble downlights or fixed

Yet another choice is whether you go with fixed or gimble (adjustable) downlights or a combination of both. Adjustable downlights allow you to alter the direction of the light, which is very useful for task lighting in kitchens, bathrooms, and study areas. While fixed LED downlights make great general-purpose lighting.

7: Flex and plug LED downlights

Many LED downlights come equipped with flex and plug (also known as surface sockets), allowing these fittings to be plugged in like any standard appliance. This means that broken or faulty downlights can be easily replaced without being rewired by an authorised electrician.

What other types of LED Downlights are available?

Downlights fit into several specialist categories or types of lighting, including smart and emergency downlights, also known as spitfires.

Smart downlights

Downlights are very popular in both commercial and domestic applications in Australia. Smart downlights can be set up to work independently or in groups. Many, like Lawell’s Alpha 13W Smart LED RGB/Bluetooth Downlight, are dimmable, and the colour can be adjusted.

Emergency downlight

Emergency lighting comes in different styles, including downlights, battens, oysters and spotlights, and each is suited to other locations and applications. One popular option is the emergency downlights known widely in the industry as spitfires.

Emergency lights are required in commercial buildings at regular intervals to illuminate the area so people can find their way to an exit in an emergency or when the electricity is cut off.

Lawell Lighting has a wide range of emergency lighting to suit all Australian requirements, including weatherproof, vandal-proof, and more.

LED Downlights from Lawell

As a leading wholesale lighting company in Australia, Lawell Lighting has a range of commercial and residential downlights to suit many applications.

Contact Lawell Lighting’s expert team on 02 8740 8936 for more information about downlight suppliers.