To downlight or not to downlight that is the question?

19 Nov 2007
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United Kingdom
Well it's not really.

It's more i want to use downlights as the start up time on CFL's is annoying and dimming them doesnt actually save any money.

SO, I was going down the hallogen downlight route, I was looking at 13 for the kitchen. 3.2m x 5m in a 3 x 2 x 3 x 2 x 3 formation.

BUT, I know this is going to use a fair bit of electricity and although expensive im wondering whether to go down the LED route.

I've seen these

but would like peoples opinions, pro's and con's please.
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thats nearly £600 and 121Watts on lights that you cant change the lamps on so you will need spare lights incase some go and they dont make them anymore, question is how many do you get??

2 x pendants - £5.00
2 x 60W GLS lamps - £3.00
I didnt take the vodka and tonic into consideration :eek:

The real question is how many extra's do you buy. How muich do you spend initially to limit how long they may be there before having the ceiling reboarded and skimmed again because you cant get replacment lights any more.
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Pendants, erm, no way, lighting of this type in a kitchen is so so poor.

In a living area, bedroom etc, yes fine, I will not be blitzing the house with holes!

However in the kitchen I want good work light.

I could go down the hallogen downlighter route and fit it all out for a hundred pounds or so, but this would equate to 650 watts of power and although im not an eco warrior, I would like to think i'm doing my bit by installing LED's and at least I would be meeting part L?
On another note, I do agree with your "spares" comments.

Do you think it would be better to go down the standard fitting route with a 9w LED GU10 / MR16 which CAN be replaced.
can you not just have lights to illuminate the work surfaces (i.e. under the wall units)

Then a surface mount or two for general illumination?
The main part of the kitchen doesnt have any wall units as there are two large windows.
Why not just use a couple of nice reccessed luminaires with GLS lamps in them? Pendants aren't the only form of "non-downloghter" light fittings you know.

Far be it for me to agree with Banal-sheds, but he is right on this; downlighters are not good at lighting a room, hence the reason that you need to use feckin' hundreds of them.
In what other installation design scenario would you go "Hmmmm, I can use one or two XXXXXs, or 13 YYYYYs...?" :rolleyes:
What ever you choose should be able to have replacment parts, a light fitting in which you cant change the bulb is a bad design from the outset.

If you must use recessed fittings and want LED then I would go for a GU10 type fitting where the lamps can be replaced and they are sold everywhere.
What are the warm up times like on those though, the ones I have in my shop although brighter take a time to warm up. I want instant light.

And even so, they are still more expensive to run than the LED's although I can see that you wouldn't need as many.

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