Downlights are one of the most common light fixtures you will see in any modern home. And it’s because of its versatility and unique style of lighting, which made it popular for plenty of homeowners.But before you buy one, there are some considerations that you need to make first. So below is a simple guide to help you choose the best downlight for your home.
LED Downlights or Halogen?
With inflation happening and prices rising, it would be best to opt for lighting fixtures that can illuminate your house but still save energy. So, for this reason, it’s highly recommended that you choose LED downlights instead of halogens. A 10W LED light can be twice as bright as a 55w halogen.
Color temperature has a significant role in deciding the functionality of a room. For rooms like kitchens or workshops, cooler lights are perfect. So you can see more clearly. But if you want a room to be intimate and warm, opt for warm light instead.
Energy Efficiency – Lumens vs. Watts
Back then, people used watts to measure to determine the brightness of a bulb. For some, like halogens and fluorescent bulbs, this is still true. But because LED lights use less energy, this can be confusing. So, now people use lumens to determine the brightness of a light bulb. The higher it is, the brighter your light.When choosing LED downlights, strike a balance between energy efficiency and brightness.
Downlight Beam Angle
You use beam angle to determine the spread of light by downlights. A regular light bulb would typically have a 360-degree beam angle. But since most downlights are recessed, they would only have a 45-degree angle. If you want to use downlights for rooms like your living room, use a 60-degree angle beam for diffused lighting. If it’s used for task lighting like in your kitchen, a 25-degree beam would be better. If you are unsure of what beam angle to use for a room, anything between 60 to 120 degrees will work fine in most cases.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
CRI means the ability of a light source to reveal the colors of an object as close as natural light. It’s measured between 0 to 100, with 100 being the perfect light to reveal the true colors of objects, just like natural light.If you want your light to reveal the vibrant colors in your interior, a CRI of 90+ combined with a temperature of about 4000K would be your best bet.
This will depend entirely on the type of downlight you use. If you use halogen downlights, their average lifespan will only last 2000 hours or about 12-18 months. On the other hand, LED downlights have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, which would be around 27 years if you use them for 0nly 5 hours a day.
Insulation Contact (IC) rating
The IC rating determines whether your downlights are suited for the insulation of your building when it comes to contact with it. It ensures that your lights are not a fire hazard, especially if your ceiling is timber. When looking at the IC rating, ensure that it has a warranty of 3 years and never buy downlights with no IC rating.