If you’re looking for a discreet way of illuminating the living spaces of your home and creating a contemporary style, downlighters can be an ideal option. Inset in ceilings, downlights can create clean lines, save space in rooms and are exceptionally versatile. You might require an equal level of ambient light or wish to showcase key features around your home but either way, how you position a downlight is paramount.
In the following sections, we’ll explore how you can place your downlights perfectly to achieve a wide range of lighting objectives, as well as how to prepare for an installation project.
Consider Some Key Questions Before You Begin
The first step when preparing to fit downlighters is with a comprehensive assessment of the space you plan to install them in. Take into consideration how large your room is and how high its ceiling is. Are you adding lights to an enclosed room or is it an open plan area? Once your new downlights are successfully in place, how will the room be used? Finally, ask yourself if there are any parts of your room that you’d like to showcase - this might be a favourite painting or your family dining table, but adding downlights above will draw attention there.
How Many Downlights Do You Need?
To work out the right number of downlights for your room, here are some basic steps you can follow. Remember that this is only a rough guide and one you can tailor personally to your individual tastes. Additionally, a qualified electrician assisting with your installation will provide an experienced eye over the best number of lights for your living space.
First, you must measure your room’s square footage by multiplying its depth by its width. Secondly, you must multiply the total by 1.5 to give you an estimate of the total wattage needed to light a room of this size. Finally, choose the bulb and the dedicated wattage you wish to use. Divide your figure for total wattage by the bulb wattage you want to use, and this will show you how many individual fixtures you will need for your project.
If the space you want to light up is not an enclosed room but an open plan area with an unusual shape, don’t worry, you can use the same method. Simply divide the open plan space into separate sections first and then start making your calculations.
Why Ceiling Height is Important
Light from a recessed fixture is cast down from your ceiling in a cone; narrow at its origin, it widens as it extends towards your flooring. Typically, each cone of light will cross the path of another at a point around 30 inches above the floor. If your ceiling is high, the lights will then intersect at a higher level. This doesn’t mean you’ll need more downlights, simply bulbs with brighter wattage.
How To Space Your Downlights
Positioning your inset downlights around two feet of distance from the edge of your room’s walls is always a wise place to start. Try your best to not create shadows where possible, before spacing the downlights you’ve selected evenly across the ceiling to achieve balanced lighting. The best practice is to divide your room's ceiling height by two as this will give you the space needed between each individual downlight. However, this is only a rough guideline, depending on the look you are trying to create and your personal preference, spacing may need to be different.
Consider Dimmable Downlights
Selecting downlights that can dim is always a wise move. Using dimmable downlights allows you the greatest level of flexibility for your installation, creating different moods by adjusting your room’s lighting levels. They can be particularly useful in open-plan living spaces with dimmer switches controlling different areas individually, offering an impressive level of lighting control.
Focused Lighting Solutions
Finally, for task lighting like illumination for kitchen worktops or to highlight a specific element you wish to catch attention to, like a table centrepiece or artwork, select a downlight that has a narrower type of beam angle. Remember that downlights in an area where contact with water is possible should be an IP65-rated solution for safety reasons.
Downlighters To Suit All Installations
If you’re planning to keep your home current by fitting downlighters in some of your rooms, you can rely on Arrow Electrical for premium quality lighting solutions. For advice on the ideal option for your installation, contact our expert team today with all your questions or browse our diverse range of recommended downlighters here on our website.