JD Lighting Official Blog

JD Mastertip: The Practical Guide to Buying Downlights

Downlights have become a common sight for many Australian homes in recent times. The basic light fittings that come standard in most new homes nowadays are simply insufficient for good lighting. This is where downlights come in, to fill the gaps left wide open from the basic lighting layouts offered by home builders.

How to choose the right downlight?

Choosing the right downlight may be daunting at first, which is why JD Lighting has created the following step-by-step guide to help you through the selection process.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right downlights for your home.

1.Brightness Level

Lumen is the standard unit for measuring the mount of light produced by a downlight. This essentially means the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.

Wattage is another important factor to consider, meaning how much energy must be burned to produce a set amount of light output. For energy saving purposes, the lower the wattage to produce a similar light output, the better.

Lumens per watt is the true measure of the efficiency of the LED product. For example, the excellent Eglo Bruno downlight produces 1100 lumens and consumes 13 watts of electricity = 85 lumens per watt. To recap, the higher the lumens per watt, the better.

2.Colour Temperature

The colour temperature measures the colour of the light output and is measured in Kelvin. Warm White has lower Kelvin numbers while Cool White has higher Kelvin numbers. Many people prefer to use cool white downlights for task lighting such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry while warm white downlights for bedrooms, dining and living areas.

3.Beam Angle

The beam angle is the spread of light from the light source. A wide beam creates a wider, softer light while a narrow beam produces concentrated light which is ideal for accent lighting.

Wide beam = 60 degree or more
Narrow beam = Less than 60 degree

4.IP Rating

IP rating, or Ingress Protection Rating, classifies the degrees of protection against both solids and liquids in lighting products. Downlights with good IP rating is required for areas with exposure to water or steam such as shower room or outdoor areas.


Dimmable downlights have the ability to adjust the level of light output to suit different circumstances. We highly recommend adding dimmer switches for living, entertainment, theatre, and bedroom areas.

6.Gimble or Fixed Frame

Gimble frame is a frame designed to allow for adjustment of downlight position. Gimble downlight is very useful for task lighting such as kitchen, bathroom and study areas. Fixed frame on the other hand does not allow for any adjustment of downlight position. Fixed downlights are usually cheaper and well suited for general lighting.

JD recommends using Surface Socket Outlets for your downlights.

Surface socket outlet allows downlights to be plugged-in just like any standard power outlet point. Our electricians recommend using surface socket outlets during your downlights installation for ease of future replacement and warranty purposes.

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