Downlights, particularly recessed downlights, are fast becoming a common fixture in modern bathrooms and kitchens. However, though unique and stylish, there are a number of factors to consider when installing downlights in your home.
Due to their design, downlights will only cast light in a specific area, much like a mini-spotlight. In short, you have to position them correctly to ensure an even coverage of light around the room. For the best possible results, your recessed downlights should overlap one another to ensure that there are no dark spots. Alternatively, experiment with different lamp positions to find the best angle for adequate lighting.
As mentioned before, you need to overlap downlights to ensure an even spread of light. However, they also make perfect spotlights which can highlight and accentuate certain features of the room. Also, when used correctly with other types of light, downlights can help to create an ambience to suit any room. Alternatively, they can be used during the day to help bolster the light provided from natural sources as a form of “touch up” lighting to help keep shadows and dark spots to a minimum.
Having an adjustable dimmer switch can make for a great atmosphere, especially in a dining room, but you must ensure that you get the correct switch for the correct form of lighting. Switches that cater for various wattages are available so be sure to ask your supplier whether they will be suitable for the job at hand.
If you are considering using LED bulbs remember that LEDs are not designed for typical dimmer switches and this can cause flickering or buzzing. Some LEDs have been designed to be dimmable, so be sure to do your research or ask your supplier. However, despite this minor detail LED light bulbs are incredibly eco-friendly and can actually help to reduce your energy bills; a major advantage with the recent price rises.
With the technical aspects out of the way, we can now focus on making it look smart; ideally fitting in with the current décor of your room. With recessed downlights you have the option of finishing the surroundings, or exterior casing, in a variety of materials. For example, if you have satin chrome sockets & switches then you should consider finishing your bathroom downlights in the same material to provide a consistent look between fixtures.
Fire rated downlights
Finally, and most importantly, there are two types of downlights currently on the market; those which are fire rated and those which are not. In short, fire rated downlights are specially designed to help slow the spread of fire as they do not compromise the structure of the ceiling in any way at all. They have been known to prevent the spread of fire by up to 90 minutes which can be the difference between escape and disaster. What’s more, the installation of these fixtures over the standard ones can be the difference between fire damaged houses being demolished and rebuilt or merely repaired and refurbished.