Downlights: Everything you need to know!
By RLAdmin | 31 Jul 2020 | 0 Comments
Downlights are the foundation of any good lighting plan, as their primary function is to provide both functional and ambient light throughout a space. Put simply, a downlight is usually recessed into a ceiling and provides light downwards, they are extremely versatile and can be used for a number of different reasons both commercially and residentially.
Downlights can be installed just about anywhere and if chosen correctly they will improve the light quality of any space. Downlights with wide beam angles create soft ambient lighting, perfect for high traffic spaces such as living rooms. On the other hand, downlights with a narrow beam angle produce a sharper more concentrated light; which is perfect for accent lighting and highlighting specific areas of your space. Alternatively, there are also linear downlights, such as our Faze Dash, which are perfect for wall washing or for areas where you don't want to use multiple individual downlights.
How to choose the right downlight?
With so many options out there, how do you know what type of downlight to choose? In this blog post we will aim to help you with all the common questions regarding downlights and give you a better idea of how to incorporate them into your lighting plan. First you need to ask yourself a few questions about both the space you are illuminating and the qualities of the downlights on offer. For example, how big is the space do you want to light? This will determine the power you require and also the size of the fitting itself. Or perhaps there is a certain function this downlight needs to provide rather than just general ambience, which will direct you to whether you require warm white or cool white and how important things like Colour Rendering are to your plan and budget.
Correlated Colour Temperature
The Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) of a downlight has a strong influence on the overall mood of your space. CCT is a number, expressed in degrees Kelvin, which represents the colour of a light source. It is measured on a scale of 1,000K to 10,000K and indicates the warmth or coolness of the light. Choosing the colour temperature of a space is mostly about personal preference, although it is worthwhile noting that warm lighting is not always functional and therefore more suitable for rooms you would like to be calm and have a relaxing glow, whereas cool lighting is perfect for rooms where you would like to enhance concentration and improve focus levels.
Colour Rendering Index (CRI)
Arguably one of the most important features of a downlight is Colour Rendering Index (CRI), which is the accurate measurement of the capability of a downlight to exhibit the true colour of various objects. The metric scale of CRI is from 1 - 100, (with 100 being the closest to natural light) therefore the higher the CRI, the better the light source is at rendering colours accurately. A high CRI is crucial when designing your lighting plan (whether residential or commercial) as it will make sure that all of the architectural features in your space are enhanced exceptionally. At Radiant Lighting we always make sure to communicate to our clients the importance of CRI, because at the end of the day it is fruitless to spend time and money on certain materials or features in your home and have sub-par or incorrect lighting that does not complement or enhance them to their full potential.
Where possible, we also recommend choosing downlights that are dimmable, as this gives you much more flexibility with your lighting. Dimmers put you in control of the mood in each space, for example, when completing a task such as cooking, cleaning or entertaining, you may want your downlights at full brightness. However, later in the evening when watching a movie or reading, it might be nice to dim your downlights for a cosier atmosphere. If you have an open plan space, it’s also wise to use dimmer switches to control different zones, as this will add even more flexibility.
Quality of materials
Lastly, with any product, the quality of materials used in its production are crucial. Good quality downlights are made of aluminium frames and heatsinks, while cheaper downlights tend to use plastic frames and heatsinks to keep costs down. Another important aspect is the quality of the diffuser, poorly made diffusers can feel flimsy and often diffuse light poorly compared to better quality diffusers. Our Faze Lighting downlights collection incorporate not only the highest quality components, but extensive research and design plans go into each and every fitting, this ensures that the end result for every project that they are a part of is of the highest calibre, both at the time of installation and for years to come.
For any further information regarding our collection of Faze downlights, you can click here.
Or to get in touch with one of our experienced lighting consultants for help with incorporating downlights into your lighting plan, click here.
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