There has many different LED downlights in the market, you probably don’t know how to choose the right product for you, here, we make an easy and complete guide to help you.
Wattage is an important electric parameter for traditional light, in general, higher power means brighter light. However, as for LED lights, higher power doesn’t always mean brighter light, which will be explained in #3 Luminous Efficiency. When buying new LEDs, you should check the lumen output of each LED downlight or fitting to make sure you obtain the brightness you need. Lumens, which are a measure of total light output, should be listed on the product packaging. Higher lumens mean brighter light. The comparison chart will be made in another post that help you find a suitable replacement.
Can we say wattage is useless for LED downlight? The answer is no, wattage is an important parameter so that people can count how much energy can be saved.
Lumen is a unit of light measurement otherwise known as luminous flux. It is equal to the amount of light fitting one square foot of surface one foot away from the light. In general, the higher the lumens, the brighter the led downlight.
Lumens is the total output of a lamp so the usual method of measurement is an integrating sphere – a spherical chamber that is painted with a reflective white coating on the inside. The sphere collects the light from all directions and a photocell measures this. It is easy to get the result of lumen for each led downlight by using integrating sphere.
#3 Luminous Efficiency (Lumen per watt)
This truly shows the efficiency of the LED product. For example a 300lm product consuming 3 watts of electricity = 100 lumens per watt. Lumens per watt vary from product to product depending on the LED chip used, energy efficiency of led driver, how hard the product is being run, and the construction of the fitting and how effective the heat sink is at removing the heat.
The higher luminous efficiency, the smaller watt led downlight uses for replacement (Save more energy-electricity). For example, a standard halogen downlight uses 50 watts, but you can purchase LED alternatives ranging from 4 watts to 7 watts.
#4 Beam Angle
The beam angle is something you need to pay attention to when choosing the right LED lighting for the space. This is as important as the Lumens. Beam angle indicates the spread of light from the light source. A narrow beam gives a concentrated light which is better for accent lighting. A wide beam gives a more general, softer light.
The angle of the beam of light emitted from the lamp or tting can be important for your application. Check to see
if you require a wide or narrow beam angle. A wider beam angle gives a more even spread of light and a beam angle of 60o or more is recommended for general lighting from downlights. A narrow beam angle can result in bright spots and shadowing which is not usually desired. However, a narrow beam can be suitable for highlighting a picture, display piece or other feature.
#5 Light Quality (Color temperature & Color rendering)
The colour temperature of a product is a linear scale of measuring the colour of light. Measured in degrees, Kelvin, warm light is measured in lower numbers and cool white in higher numbers.
Personal preference and use dictates choice of LED colour temperature.
• Warm white light is shown as 2700K to 3000K, is close to traditional incandescent and halogen lamp colour and is typically used in living rooms, bedrooms and hallways to create relaxed, warm ambience.
• Cool white light is shown as 4000K and is typically used in the kitchen, study, bathroom, cupboard, of ce (for alertness) and retail displays.
• Cool daylight white light is shown as 6500K and is typically used in commercial applications, hospitals, retail displays and art studios.
Cool white is ideal for task-orientated areas like kitchens and laundries and areas that have a warmer climate as the lighting will help to make the rooms feel cooler. Warm white helps to create a more intimate atmosphere suited to bedrooms and living rooms and these colour temperatures create a more relaxing and comfortable environment. A tip is to stick to just one colour throughout an open plan living area, otherwise the mixing of colours will be distracting to the eye.
The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of a lamp or tting is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colours realistically or naturally. A CRI of 80 or above should be thought.
#6 Dimming Function
Your traditional halogen led downlight might be dimmable, if you want to replace the original light, you must purchase a dimmable led down light.
- Make sure that LED downlight replacement ttings come with a matching power supply (also known as a driver). Some will claim to operate on existing halogen transformers but such claims should be treated with caution especially where compatibility with existing dimmers is required.
- Dimmable LED lamps, ttings and downlights are now available. “Dimmable” should be marked on the product packaging.
- Compatibility between existing wall switch dimmers and dimmable LED lamps, ttings or downlights cannot be guaranteed. Universal dimmers are available but even these are not guaranteed to operate all LEDs. Reputable brands provide compatibility charts that list the popular dimmers compatible with their LEDs. Most installed dimmers were originally designed to dim low voltage halogen lamps and it is unlikely that these old dimmers will dim LED lamps in a similar way. Check with the LED supplier for a list of dimmers compatible with their LEDs.
#7 Installation Way
There has mainly two types of installation way for led downlights:
1) recessed led downlight
2) ceiling led downlight (surface mounting)
It is very easy to figure out which type you need.
• Take an old lamp to compare with the new LED. Check the type and size of the base, beam angle, voltage, overall size and shape of the lamp. Some LED replacement lamps are larger than traditional lamps and may not be compatible with some ttings.
- When buying complete downlight replacement kits you will need to know the hole cut out size. Shop around until you nd the right sized LED replacement fitting.
#8 IP Rate
Some LED downlights will be installation in wet places, such as outside area, or bathroom.
So the led downlights should be waterproof or weatherproof.
What does the code actually mean? Well, each part of the code is designed to give you information and help you decide if the fitting you are looking at is suitable for where you want to put it.
Firstly – IP
The IP in the code is short for Ingress Protection – as in how well protected a fitting is.
Digit 1 – Solids
The first digit tells you how well protected a fitting is against solids – such as dust, and other objects. The higher the number the more protected it is. On occasion you may find the digit represented by an X. This means the value has not been determined, usually because the product hasn’t been tested for protection against solid objects.
Digit 2 – Liquid
The second digit is used to tell you about the level of liquid protection: 0 being not protected and, the highest value of 8 being safe to submerge in more than 1 meter of water.
#9 Compliance with regulations
Different countries or area require different regulations. EU market require CE, USA require UL or ETL. The Regulatory Compliance Mark4 (RCM) is an important safety mark from Australia’s electrical safety and electro- magnetic compatibility regulators and should be visible on the product. In addition, the brand must be registered on the Australian Government National Equipment Registration System. Unregistered brands and suppliers may be supplying equipment that does not meet Australian standards and regulations.