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How to specify, select and purchase the correct LED downlights for your home or business

This guide is designed to help you choose and purchase the correct LED Downlights for your home or business. LED Downlights are becoming a very popular alternative to halogen and are commonly used in the home and the workplace.

Please use the below product resource table to identify which downlight is best for your purpose.

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LED downlights ranges

Range

Diameter(s)

Colour temperatures(s)

Lamp life

Fire Rated?

Dimmable?

Britesource 6w Eco

69mm

3000k

4000k

6000k

50,000 hours

Yes – up to 90 minutes

Yes

Britsesource 8w

70mm

3000k

30,000 hours

Yes – up to 90 minutes

Yes

Britesource 10w All In One (7w available)

85mm

All major

3000k

4000k

6000k

50,000 hours

Yes – up to 90 minutes

Yes

Osram 7w

70mm

3000k

50,000 hours

No

No

Philips 6w

70mm

4000k

30,000 – 50, 0000 hours

No

Yes

Slim Recessed LED Downlights

105mm

4000k

30,000 – 50, 000

No

No

Range

Britesource 6w Eco

Diameter(s)

69mm

Colour temperatures(s)

3000k

4000k

6000k

Lamp life

50,000 hours

Fire Rated?

Yes – up to 90 minutes

Dimmable

Yes

Range

Britsesource 8w

Diameter(s)

70mm

Colour temperatures(s)

3000k

Lamp life

30,000 hours

Fire Rated?

Yes – up to 90 minutes

Dimmable

Yes

Range

Britesource 10w All In One (7w available)

Diameter(s)

85mm

Colour temperatures(s)

All major

3000k

4000k

6000k

Lamp life

50,000 hours

Fire Rated?

Yes – up to 90 minutes

Dimmable

Yes

Range

Osram 7w

Diameter(s)

70mm

Colour temperatures(s)

3000k

Lamp life

50,000 hours

Fire Rated?

No

Dimmable

No

Range

Philips 6w

Diameter(s)

70mm

Colour temperatures(s)

4000k

Lamp life

30,000 – 50, 0000 hours

Fire Rated?

No

Dimmable

Yes

Range

Slim Recessed LED Downlights

Diameter(s)

105mm

Colour temperatures(s)

4000k

Lamp life

30,000 – 50, 000

Fire Rated?

No

Dimmable

No

All In One LED downlight

The Britesource 10w All In One stands out from the crowd as one of the best LED downlight, because:

  • It’s incredibly durable
  • Comes with 3 different colour temperatures (unlike standard downlights)
  • Fire rated for 90 minutes
  • Dimmable
  • Long life

It comes with 3 finishes, including:

  • Brushed steel
  • White
  • Chrome

The Britesource all In One also comes with three key colour temperatures, meaning that you can find the right lighting for your mood with one single products. The colour temperatures include:

  • 3000k (warm white)
  • 4000k (cool white)
  • 6000k (daylight)

The All In One can be installed in shallow ceiling voids, lasts 50,000 hours and is dimmable via trailing edge dimmers. It has an IP rating of 65 meaning that it is protected against dust and jets of water and is fire protected for 90 minutes.

All that, plus a five year, no quibble warranty.

Why choose LED downlights?

  • They’re energy efficient
  • They save you money
  • They’re protected against water and dust
  • Great for the environment
  • Have an incredibly long lifespan
  • Safer than Halogen

Halogen Downlight vs. LED downlight

 

Standard Halogen

LED downlight

Longevity

  • 1000 – 2500 hours
  • 30,000 – 50,000

Energy uses

  • High watt usage
  • 35 -500 watts an hour
  • 9 times as much electricity used compared to LED
  • Rated A+
  • 7 – 20 watts per hour

Temperature

  • 20% light/ 80% heat
  • Halogen create light by producing heat
  • Heat from halogen can be dangerous
  • Fires have been started by poorly insulated halogen bulbs
  • 80% light/20% heat
  • Runs much cooler than halogen
  • Driver can get warm but rarely enough to cause damage

Environmentally friendly?

  • No
  • High wastage
  • Short life
  • More energy usage = higher CO2 emissions
  • Yes!
  • Long-life
  • Low energy usage

Durability

  • Usually IP20
  • Protected against solid objects up to 12 mm
  • No protection against water
  • Usually IP65
  • Dust tight
  • Protected against water projected from a nozzle (splash proof)

LED downlight switches and accessories

Dimmer Switch

Varilight V-Pro 1 Gang, 2 Way LED Dimming Switch – Chrome/White

  • Can run up to 10 lamps from a single switch
  • Maximum load 120w
  • Can be used with LED and halogen lamps
  • Trailing edge – allows smoother and silent dimming
  • 10 year warranty on components and faulty materials
  • Overload protection

Bezels

Bezels are the ring that goes around the front of you LED light fixture. They can add style and protection to your light.

Some example styles are:

  • Brass
  • Black
  • Brushed Steel
  • Chrome
  • Antique Brass
  • Gunmetal Grey

FAQs

What is colour temperature?

Colour temperature describes the colour of light emitted from different types of bulbs. Different colour temperatures create different visual effects and are appropriate for different environments.

Colour temperature is measured in Kelvin (K) on a scale from ‘warm’ to ‘cool’:

  • The ‘warmer’ the light, the lower the number of Kelvin.
  • The ‘cooler’ the light, the higher the number of Kelvin.

For more information, check out our guide to LED colour temperatures

What’s the difference between IP20 and IP65?

The higher the IP rating the more waterproof and dust-proof the light fixture will be.

IP ratings exist to provide consumers with more detailed information than general terms such as “waterproof” and “dust-proof”.

Using improperly rated light bulbs in places like the bathroom or outside can be dangerous as you could expose electrical components to damage and even risk electrocution.

The IP rating system begins with the letters IP and followed by two digits:

For more information, have a look at our guide: IP ratings for LED lights

Do you need fire hoods with LED downlights?

If you plan to have your lights recessed in the ceiling, you will need to ensure that they are fire rated. When you cut into a ceiling to install downlights, you affect the fire rating of the ceiling. Therefore, the LEDs need to be fire rated in order to stay on the right side of the law.

For more information about fire regulation and lighting visit firesafe.org.uk

Can I replace halogen downlights with LED?

Yes, with ease.

LED downlights are designed to be easily retrofitted in locations previously occupied by halogen/incandescent bulbs. Simply replace the standard bulb with a new LED light and it should work instantly.

The only time you may run into problems is if you are using a dimmer switch. LED lights generally do not work well with classic halogen dimmers. You can purchase specific LED dimmer switches and lights.

Do I need a transformer for led downlights?

No.

LED lights use a driver instead. Drivers are the LED equivalent of ballasts – they regulate the electricity required for optimum performance.

GU10s have a driver built into the bulb at no extra coast.