On the market, LED downlights have different shapes, uneven quality, and various performance parameters. For home lighting or commercial lighting, what aspects should we start to choose the LED downlight suitable for us?

What is a downlight?

Downlight is a hidden luminaire embedded in the ceiling, which does not occupy indoor space and can achieve the overall unity and perfection of architectural decoration during installation. All its light is projected downward, which is a direct light distribution. The lamps are all CFL/incandescent bulbs with E27 and G24 bases. The LED downlight is an improved product developed on the basis of the traditional downlight. It uses a new type of LED lamp bead as the light source while eliminating the rectifier inside the downlight housing. Its design is more beautiful, lightweight, and similar, with only embedded Style, and surface-mounted style.

Why choose LED downlights?

Compared with traditional downlight benchmarks, LED downlights have irreplaceable advantages

  • More energy-saving: The current luminous efficiency of LED downlights can reach 90lm/W, which can save more than 50% of energy than traditional halogen downlights and CFL downlights.
  • More environmentally friendly: LED downlights do not contain harmful substances such as mercury, and no pollution to the environment. The protection of the global environment is more beneficial.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of LED lamps is 50,000 hours. According to six hours of daily use, one LED lamp can be used for 20 years.

The following 7 points will be helpful when you want to choose correct led downlights

1.Choosing a downlight with a high-quality LED driver(Most important point)

The main function of the LED driver is to convert AC voltage into a constant current power supply, and at the same time complete the matching of the voltage and current of the LED according to the requirements of the LED device. From industry experience, the current quality of LED driver determines the quality of LED downlights. 80% of the quality problems of LED lamps are caused by the LED driver. Therefore, no matter what specification of LED downlight you choose, the LED driver must be of high quality. The life span of high-quality LED driver is generally more than 5 years. The well-known LED downlight driver brands on the market include philips, osram, Meanwell, DONE, LiFud, Eagleries, Greenso, Boke etc. At the same time, the selection of flicker-free drivers is more conducive to creating a comfortable light environment.

2.Choosing the right type of LED downlights

  • From sizes:The led downlight can be divided into, 2.5 inches, 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches.The hole size is a key point you need to pay attention to.For home decoration, 3 inches and 4 inches are more popular .For commercial lighting such as supermarket lighting,hotel lighting, generally 6 inches 8 inches downlight fixtures will be much better.
Inches of downlightsOutcut size of downlights
2.5inch75mm
3inch95-100mm
4inch120-125mm
5inch140-145mm
6inch165-175mm
8inch195-205mm
10inch285mm
  • From waterproof grade: LED downlights can be divided into non-waterproof downlights and waterproof downlights. Generally, waterproof downlights are mostly used for environments with water vapor, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and toilets etc.
  • Installation method:Tere are embedded downlights and surface mounted downlights. Surface mounted downlights are suitable for installation on concrete ceilings, while recessed downlights are mostly used for ordinary ceilings that are convenient to open holes. 80% of downlights on the market are embedded downlights.
  • Types of frame: It includes downlight with frame and trimless downlights. The frameless downlight can be much better to integrate with the ceiling, but it needs to fix the embedded parts before painting the ceiling.

3.Choosing the right LED downlight color temperature

Different color temperatures of lamps often give people different psychological feelings and visual effects.

LED downlights generally include three color temperatures:2800-3000K warm white; 4000-4500K natural white; 6000-6500K cool white. The lower the color temperature, the warmer the light, and the higher the color temperature, the colder the light. Low and medium color temperatures make people feel relaxed and warm, while high color temperatures make people concentrate and feel deserted. Therefore, for residential downlights, most of them is with 3000-4500K color temperature. For commercial downlight lamps, you need to choose a suitable color temperature according to different places of use. For how to choose the appropriate color temperature of the lamp, you can refer to this article.

4.Choosing the right downlight power (brightness)

The common power of LED downlights generally includes 5W, 7W 9W 10W, 12W 15W 18W 20W 24W 30W 50W. These powers can almost meet all application scenarios. The lumens (brightness) corresponding to different powers are different. In choosing the appropriate power (brightness) of any LED can give people a comfortable feeling. The light efficiency of the downlights on the market is basically 85-90lm/W. It can not only meet the basic lighting needs, but also give people a comfortable living environment .The 7W-9W (about 600-800lm) downlight is working for some places where is about 3meter height, such as living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. For some large indoor space,like supermarkets, shopping malls, or railway stations, generally 24W 30W 50W is more appropriate.

5.Choosing the right CRI LED downlight

CRI refers to the ability to express the original color of the illuminated object. The larger the value, the higher the display index and the better the true color of the object can be restored. Generally speaking, the higher the CRI, the more expensive the product. Therefore, for different places, when choosing LED downlights, you can choose the appropriate display indicators; of course, for customers or engineering projects that can afford the cost, it is best to choose CRI90 downlight fitting.

  • 90-100 1A Excellent Places that require precise color contrast, such as museums and clothing stores;
  • 80-89 1B Good Places that require correct color judgment, such as living rooms, shopping malls, and hotels;
  • 60-79 Ordinary Places requiring medium color rendering.

6.Choosing the right function for the LED downlight fixture

LED downlights have many additional functions to choose from, such as dimming downlights, emergency downlights, CCT Changing led downlights and so on. These downlights with additional functions can often better meet customer needs. In large shopping malls, by using the DALI dimmable downlights system, the power and brightness output of all downlights in the entire mall can be adjusted at the same time, which can achieve more energy-saving effects than non-dimmable LED downlights. For the entrances and exits of some large buildings, the use of emergency downlights is a more reasonable choice, which is conducive to the lighting needs during power outages.

7.If possible, it is best to choose anti-glare downlights

There are many different designs for the appearance and structure of downlights. Ordinary, cheap downlights generally have a simpler design, and the diffuser of the light-emitting surface is mostly flush with the outer ring of the downlight, and the anti-glare effect is not good. The structure design of the anti-glare downlight is more sophisticated. The light-emitting surface and the light source are hidden deep inside the lamp body, UGR<19, which is not easy to produce glare, which is beneficial to protect people’s eyesight and create a more comfortable environment. Of course, the price of anti-glare downlights is generally higher than that of ordinary downlights.

Conclusion

Before choosing the right LED downlight, you need to know your specific needs, such as whether you need to choose embedded installation or surface installation, household or commercial. Then determine the required downlight power and related functions. Finally, according to the project budget, choose the right downlight that meets your requirements.