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LED downlights have become the mainstream for general purpose lighting throughout Australian homes. With the latest innovations in LED technology, LED downlights are much more energy efficient, reliable and long lasting compared to its older CFL or halogen downlight counterparts. The commercial and industrial sector are now adopting these LED technology as another way to save on electricity costs. There are many important factors to consider when comes to buying LED downlights, below are some guidelines to make your job easier.
Many of us are used to growing up looking at wattages in the era of incandescent light bulb. A bulb’s wattage expresses the quantity of power necessary for it to operate, however it has no connection to the light it emits. The illumination of the LED downlight is measured in lumens (lm). The brightness of the downlight is one of the important factors to consider which can have a big impact on a room’s look and feel. A downlight for general use around the home are commonly anywhere between 300 – 800 lumens.
The next step to keep in mind is the light appearance provided by the downlight, also known as the colour temperature. Colour Temperature is measured in Kelvin (K), and comes in a number of shades from warm white, cool white to daylight.
Warm white colour temperature ranges between 2700K – 3500K, producing an orange to yellowish colour giving it a cosy, calm, inviting and intimate ambience. Best suitable in areas like the living rooms, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, restaurants or decorative outdoor lighting.
Cool white colour has a neutral white light with a blue tint appearance and the temperature is in a range of 3500K – 5000K. It produces a bright and vibrant ambience and most suitable for basements, garages, bathrooms, task lighting and working environment.
Daylight colour has a blue-white light appearance and the temperature range from 5000K to 6000K, giving off a crisp and invigorating ambience. Highly suitable for display areas, security lighting, garages and task lighting.
Dimmable or Non Dimmable
By having a dimming feature with your downlights, it allows you to freely alter the brightness/light levels of the room, thus saving you energy. When changing existing track lights, downlights or accent lights, please note that some transformers are made for older, less efficient light source causing the light to flicker or dim poorly.
The angle of the light spread is as important as the light output or colour temperature, ensure to have the right beam angle when comes to choosing the correct LED downlight for your space. Narrow beam angle between 15 – 45 degrees gives off a concentrated light that is suitable for accent lighting and wider beam angle of 45 – 60 degrees is recommended for general lighting.
Electrical fire is one of the common concerns homeowners and business owners have in mind when comes to fireproofing their property. Fire-rated downlights are becoming more attractive as consumers are well aware of their fire safety. Any standard downlights in Australia are rigorously tested for its quality, however having it fire-rated will meet stringent fire safety requirements. Fire-rated downlights gives an additional peace of mind that can make a difference in the event of a fire, whether if it’s a property, surroundings or insurance.
Transformer and LED Driver
If you have an existing halogen downlight, this means your transformer is incompatible with any LED downlights installed. The low voltage LEDs doesn’t meet the minimum wattage load of the transformer. One way around this is to install an LED driver. This will solve the wattage load problem and provide a constant current for maximum usage while gaining some safety features to allow the LED downlights running without complications. All LED downlight requires some kind of driver, whether located externally connecting to the downlight or built within the housing. The LED driver needs to meet the Australian Standards, you can check this by SAA Approval number, easily located on the driver itself.