Everything you need to know about downlights

Downlights have become a key part of Australian homes in recent years, thanks to a broad range of benefits that they offer. They serve a critical role in many Australian homes because they are often seen as the foundation of a sound lighting plan. Typically, the primary purpose of a downlight is to provide functional ambient lighting throughout your home.

Downlights are now available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and finishes, and thanks to their state-of-the-art technology, their incredible brightness and colour can easily be customised to suit your needs and requirements. Their discreet appearance, versatility and their amazing ability to complement well with other lighting options make them a fantastic addition to any home’s decor.

What are the benefits of installing downlights?

Though the upfront costs associated with the initial installation of downlights can be relatively expensive, they carry with them a whole host of potential benefits. Check out below for the compelling reasons why you would want to add these fantastic fixtures to your lighting options.

They are versatile

If you are looking for the most effective and modern way to light your home, there is no better choice than having downlights. They can be installed in any room in your house without compromising the originality of your indoor ambience.

You can install them in your bathroom, living areas, underneath benches and cabinets as well as in your kitchen. What’s more, they actually don’t occupy the space of your rooms because they are installed in the ceiling, which is a huge bonus.

They are energy efficient

Apart from looking good and more modern, these lighting fixtures are equally more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts. In addition, they require little maintenance. It is also imperative to note that they have a relatively long lifespan as opposed to traditional lighting, and this implies that you’ll spend less on replacements.


LED downlights offer safe lighting because they produce far less heat compared to the other traditional lighting methods. They are less likely to cause any significant damage to the fixture itself. There are actually many benefits to having LED lights over CFL lights.

They just look good

It is quite easy to understand why downlights have become so popular. They are not only clean and streamlined but are equally lightweight thus great for homeowners who do not want those bulky or pendant lighting fixtures in their premises.

Additionally, they offer many different options for lenses, trims and reflectors to serve just about any function. They are very blendable, allowing you to change your home decor with much ease because you don’t have to entirely alter your light fittings to create a new atmosphere in your room.

Now that you’re convinced that you need downlights for your home, what should you know before purchasing them?


Do’s and Don’ts when choosing downlights

Do – Choose a downlight featuring a wide beam angle. Typically, the beam refers to how the light is spread from the initial source. A beam angle of 60 degrees or more is considered wide whereas a beam angle less than that is considered to be narrow.

Downlights that feature wide beam angle usually create relatively wider and softer light, which is ideal for general ambient lighting. Consequently, downlights with narrow beam angle are known to produce sharp, concentrated lighting which is great for spotlighting.

Do – Go for a downlight with a high-quality supply of power. Most homeowners get disappointed to find their downlights fail completely after one year of installation.

It is critical to note that these lighting devices feature capacitors that have a maximum temperature rating of between 80 to1300C. The higher the rating the more expensive the fixture. When you operate your downlight at a maximum temperature on a regular basis, this will have a negative impact on its lifespan.

Do – Choose a downlight with a CRI of 95 and above. CRI is the acronym for Colour Rendering Index, and tells you about the quality of light offered by a particular downlight fixture.

Typically, it is a measurement of how well the light source can potentially reproduce a decent balanced colour range of the object it illuminates. This means that if you have an amazing red leather couch or bright cushions and you’d want them to look good, you’ll have to install downlights with high CRI ratings.

Do – Install wall-mounted downlights on either side of the mirror to enjoy the best lighting when you apply your makeup.

Do – Choose LED downlights over incandescent halogen lights because they are not only long-lasting, but provide adequate brightness levels as well as being energy efficient.

Don’t – Ignore the light intensity of your LED downlights. In that regard, use bulbs that have the right wattage, beam spread and lumen output and you’ll achieve balanced levels of brightness.

Don’t – You are also highly advised not to have all your LED downlights on the same circuit.

Don’t – Avoid using your downlights in vaulted ceilings because this can potentially impact on your insulation.

Choosing the best downlight that fits the bill can be a tricky prospect at times. As always, you should seek the assistance of highly qualified electricians. They have the industry knowledge and experience to help you make the best decision.