LED Downlight Buying Guide

If you’re looking for a new way to light up your home or business, try LED downlights. Downlight fixtures are small enough to be tucked into the ceiling and use powerful LED lights to illuminate different spaces. Read on to learn more about how using these light fixtures can help brighten your rooms while giving them a touch of modernity.

What Are LED Downlights?

LED downlights are powerful lights typically recessed in the ceiling to give them an understated and elegant look. Downlights are powerful enough to illuminate any room yet versatile enough to use for outdoor and indoor lighting. While many of these fixtures offer the illusion that light is being cast directly from the ceiling, there are different types of downlights available for other environments.

LED Downlights vs LED Spotlights: What’s the Difference?

LED downlights are typically directly installed into the ceiling and concentrate the light downward, while spotlights are fastened onto a wall or similar surface and provide multiple beams of light. Downlights used for home lighting are usually not adjustable since many people install them in kitchens and living rooms where they just need general lighting.

Spotlights allow you to direct light directly onto an object, which is why many production companies use them on stage and in other similar settings. Surface-mounted downlights function similarly to spotlights because they can be placed in a variety of different locations and direct light onto a specific item.

What Different Types of LED Downlights Are There?

LED downlights come in many sizes and have different features depending on what type you get. For example, customers unable to use recessed lights in their ceilings can install surface-mounted downlights on their walls or other surfaces. At e-conolight, we carry an array of different downlights to fit any project or room.

Fixed Downlights

Fixed downlights are LED fixtures that direct the light beams downward. While they are powerful and capable of illuminating most spaces, they are somewhat limited in their applications because they are not adjustable. These LED downlights are perfect for rooms like kitchens, dining rooms, and lounges.

Adjustable Downlights

Adjustable downlights allow users to direct the light in directions other than downward. With an adjustable downlight, you can determine which angle the light shines in. Generally, adjustable LED downlights can move between an angle of 20 to 40 degrees, but it depends on the manufacturer. This light fixture is perfect for customers who want to direct more light onto a specific area or put a spotlight on an artistic piece, like a painting.

Surface Mount Downlights

Surface-mounted downlights are great for people who cannot use recessed lighting in their homes. For example, businesses with concrete ceilings might prefer to use surface-mounted downlights because they are versatile and easy to place on walls and other surfaces.

Recessed Downlights

Recessed LED downlights are one of the most popular types of downlighting because of their modern look. Recessed downlights are easy to hide in almost any ceiling and are generally used to provide general lighting. Customers who want to give their homes or businesses an updated look while saving money on energy expenses should consider investing in recessed downlights.

Downlight Sizes

Many residential downlights range from 4 to 7 in diameter; however, the most common fixture size for downlights is 6 inches. The size of the LED downlight you need will vary depending on what room you are looking to illuminate. Large rooms with high ceilings normally call for light fixtures with a wider diameter. Downlight fixtures larger in diameter will provide a wider wash of light for your space.

Where Are LED Downlights Most Commonly Used?

While recessed LED downlights are popular in homes across the country, many offices and businesses are quickly adopting them as well. In commercial settings like stores and warehouses, you can find surface-mounted LED downlights almost everywhere, providing workers with enough light to work during the evening. Many businesses are switching from traditional light sources to LED downlights because they are more energy efficient and cost-effective. Here are some of the places where LED downlights are most commonly used:

  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways and corridors
  • Kitchens
  • Living rooms
  • Lounge areas
  • Restaurants
  • Stores and retail spaces
  • Waiting rooms
  • Warehouses

How to Choose the Best LED Downlights

Finding the perfect light fixture for your space is a process that takes many factors into consideration. Some things you will want to keep in mind while shopping for downlights are room size, ceiling height, and dimming features. For more tips on how to achieve the perfect lighting in any outdoor or indoor space, check out our lighting layout calculator tool.

Room size

To calculate the number of downlights you will need to install, measure the area of the ceiling in square feet and multiply it by 1.5. You now know the total wattage that is required to adequately light up that space. Afterward, you'll want to take the total wattage and divide it by the wattage of the lighting units you were planning to use. Finally, that number will tell you how many fixtures you will need to buy for the room.

Ceiling height

When taking ceiling height into consideration, keep in mind that LED downlight fixtures that are wider in diameter widen the wash of lighting in the area. Taller ceilings generally require downlight fixtures that are wider than 6 inches on average. A higher ceiling doesn't necessarily mean you will have to purchase more lighting, but it may require you to increase the wattage of the lights.

Dimmable vs Fixed Brightness

The difference between dimmable and fixed LED downlights is that dimmable LEDs allow users to adjust the brightness, while fixed LEDs stay at the same brightness at all times. Dimmable lights are perfect for rooms like entertainment centers, where you'll want to watch movies or entertain guests. You can turn most LED downlights into adjustable lighting by using a dimmer.

What Are the Benefits of LED Downlights?

There are many benefits of using LED downlights instead of traditional light sources. LED lighting consumes far less energy than traditional lighting, meaning it will save you money in the long run by cutting down on energy consumption. These light fixtures also last longer, preventing you from buying replacement bulbs regularly.

Another reason consumers are turning to LED downlights is that they look more modern than other light sources. Recessed downlights are becoming a fast favorite among homeowners because they are easy to hide and blend in with the ceiling. LEDs also provide some of the brightest lighting available on the market.

LED downlights offer an elegant and cost-effective way to light up the rooms in your home or office. These light fixtures are versatile, compact, and have a variety of different applications. If you’re interested in learning more about how downlights can upgrade the lighting in your home, give us a ring, and we’ll be happy to help.

Article Written by Don B.

Don is a Product Marketing Manager. He focuses on customers’ needs and wants through market research, incorporating their feedback into product features and benefits to bring value back to the consumer. His work on behalf of customers allows their feedback to make a real difference, resulting in a safer environment and a more eco-friendly place to live.