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Our Top Tips for LED Downlights

The LED light revolution is upon us! And it's now easier than ever to make the switch from traditional lighting fixtures to these modern, energy efficient and eco-friendly lighting solutions.

When planning an LED lighting scheme, the size of the room and its intended use is extremely important. In a kitchen/ diner, for example, sufficient light levels are needed in specific areas in order to carry out certain tasks such as

  • food preparation
  • cooking

In a bathroom, light needs to be focussed in areas for activities such as

  • shaving
  • applying make-up

Once you have considered the use of the room and identified focus points it will become easier to calculate the number of downlights, type of downlights and positioning required. When deciding which rooms to tackle first, the safety benefits of LED lights are also worth considering. LED downlights do not:

  • produce as much heat as traditional incandescent bulbs
  • contain harmful chemicals such as those that can be found in many fluorescent lights

LED lights can, therefore, reduce the risk of hazard and are an excellent choice of lighting in childrenâ??s bedrooms or playrooms. The good thing about planning and installing LED lights is that you donâ??t need to limit yourself to uniform layouts and fixed rows; instead, you can be flexible, and place lights where they are needed most. In comparison to tradition light pendants, LED lights can be placed strategically without disturbing the balance of the room.

LED Options

LED lights are now mainstream on the market and have fast become the technology of choice for installers and end-users alike. For domestic properties, recessed downlights are particularly suitable for installation in

  • kitchens
  • bathrooms
  • en-suites
  • corridors
  • can be effective in most domestic situations if planned correctly

LED light bulbs are available in a range of colours and brightness which enable warmer tones to be created indoors and cool, whiter lighting outdoors. The variety of colours also makes it easy to create decorative lighting around the home. LED lights do not produce UV radiation which makes them effective for installation in areas where works of art or treasured possessions are to be displayed.

Spacing

This will vary according to the light source being used and the area you are lighting. As a general rule of thumb, you need approximately one downlight (equivalent to the old 50w halogen) per 1.2 sqm in areas that require good general light, and bigger spacing in larger areas such as corridors, bedrooms and living areas.

Spacing, however, will much depend on the specific functionality of each room as identified in the planning stages.

The installation of LED downlights must adhere to IEE Wiring Regulations â?? 17th Edition which is the national standard in the UK for electrical installation and the safety of electrical wiring in domestic, commercial, industrial and other buildings. The installation of LED downlights must also comply with current Building Regulations, and for new builds must meet the requirements of the Sustainable Code to which you are building to.

LED downlights have reduced dramatically in price during the years and require very little maintenance. With a shelf life of approximately 10 years, the reduction in energy and maintenance costs can be quite significant. If you want to make the transition from traditional lighting to LED lighting, plan ahead to identify which areas need lighting the most and begin switching to LED light bulbs from there. An experienced electrician will be able to help you plan and install effective LED lighting schemes within the home, making sure LED products are of a high quality and suitable for purpose.