Kitchen downlighter advice - Confused???

chandd_t9

Standard Member
We're having a new kitchen fitted and are having eight downlighters fitted.

I've recently been converted to LED technology by using a couple of really good LED torches for mountain biking so was interested in using LED for the ceiling lights, however, having seen the price of LED kits and bulbs and already having broken the kitchen budget, I had resigned myself to putting basic halogens in with the possibility of replacing the bulbs with LED versions at some point.

Having just been told by the electrician that down lighters are really prone to the bulbs blowing due to the heat generated in an enclosed space, I'm now thinking that they'll be a real pain, but also that there are then so many options:
* transformer (bulbs cheaper),
* 240v bulbs but each time you replace a bulb, (you are effectively buying a transformer with each bulb too), but much easier to install and no need to worry about replacing awkwardly hidden transformers.
* LED - efficent & last ages, differing quality of light from different brands and types.
* Halogen - thirsty and have to replace very often
* traditional Energy saving - take a while before they become bright enough.

Now, as we will have energy efficient under counter lighting and pelmet lighting, I'm less concerned about efficiency as they won't always be on when the room's in use, but was wondering if there is a better alternative or if anyone has had any experience of certain cost friendly LED systems that give a good quality of light.
I originally budgeted around £80 - £100 for the lights but could double this to get the right lights if they were a long term cost effective option.

I've read a lot of threads on here about various bulbs etc but am still confused and with the technology moving on very quickly, I don't want to invest in something that'll soon be superseded by something better and cheaper ?

Any advice would be appreciated
Thanks in Advance
 
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joe.skids

Novice Member
I installed 10 downlighters in our lounge and went through a similar dilema. I decided on 12v lights with an external tranformer on each.

Lower energy consumption than the 240 ones was a bonus but the main reason was they were £5 each for light, transformer and bulb from an electrical wholesale place.

They were installed in august 2005 and I am yet to replace a bulb or transformer so reliability hasn't been a problem.

Just my thoughts and experiences.

Cheers
Joe
 

SparksCW

Novice Member
I work for an electrical contractors and am currently researching into energy efficiency... I've just won a big project at a school to change their 200 GU10 and GU5.3 (240 and 12v) lamps to GU10 LED replacements.

Because of this we've been tested numerous different LED lamps and the benefits etc.

Despite them being expensive to buy, you'll get 90% savings on electricity compared to standard 50W lamps, low heat output means less fire risk.. cooler in the summer and cheaper if you have air conditioning. Coupled with the fact the average LED lamp life will outlive 15 standard 50W's... 1 x LED lamp £25.. 15 x cheap standards at £2 each = £30... thats not even taking into acount the energy savings or hassle in changing them. And it's also not taking into account replacing transformers on 12v systems which will cost you even more over the long run.

I'm currently favouring Deltech Warm Whites 5W.. they are easily comparable to a standard lamp, look good and seem reliable.

The downsides?

One word, Dimming.

The only reliable, good and safe to dim LED's we've come across are the Phillips 7W ones... but at £30 each they are even more expensive however they are the only LED lamps we've found that dim properly! Others say they dim, but no where near as good as the Phillips.

Unfortuately with almost all energy saving methods its a speculate to accumulate thing!! If your lights are used often then you'll see your moneys worth in a year or two.. plus knowing you're lowering your carbon footprint!

If your lights are hardly ever used then obviously it's going to take long to become worth doing, other than the thought of lowering your carbon footprint...

All in all, LED technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past year or so.. it's now easily comparable light outputs to standard lamps, they are reliable and will save you money and hassle in the long run, especially in schools, shops, clubs etc as they'll pay for themselves just in reduced maintenance costs!

Hope that helps a little..
 

intelligentav

Standard Member
Just look out for the cololur rendering that you get with LED's.

This is measured in 'Ra' and if you are used to 230v or 12v downlighters, you will be sorely disappointed by the colour output of Led's.

Depending on which manufacturer and the price you pay, you will find that the cheap Led's give a very sterile and "cold" light output.

Fill a room with Led downlighters and you will notice that everything takes on a blue / grey tinge.

Without a doubt, Led's are efficient, but to live with them I would suggest a good mix of both Led and LV or MV halogen.

Hope this helps.
 

Tfish

Novice Member
am i right in thinking to change your downlighters to LED all you do it buy a LED bulb? you dont have to buy a specific Downlighter unit?
 

SparksCW

Novice Member
Just look out for the cololur rendering that you get with LED's.

This is measured in 'Ra' and if you are used to 230v or 12v downlighters, you will be sorely disappointed by the colour output of Led's.

Depending on which manufacturer and the price you pay, you will find that the cheap Led's give a very sterile and "cold" light output.

Fill a room with Led downlighters and you will notice that everything takes on a blue / grey tinge.

Without a doubt, Led's are efficient, but to live with them I would suggest a good mix of both Led and LV or MV halogen.

Hope this helps.

I disagree, Deltech 5W warmwhites are almost identical to normal 50W's.. I've got a test rig side by side and yes you can tell a difference but over a room it's not that noticeable at all.

Normal white LED's are indeed a bit sterile though, good for display lighting or ultra modern houses maybe but Warm white's are the way forward for the majority of domestic applications.

And tfish, yes you just buy a replacement LED lamp.. either in GU10 or 5.3 for 12v.. but I'd reccomend converting 12v's to GU10 240v if you're going to upgrade to LED's.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Very appropriate for me as (like the OP) I'm starting a new kitchen project myself.

I've replaced lights throughout the house with low energy versions, though I agree that some have given side effects (slow startup -CCL- or bluish light from some LED types). I bought some single LED 12v bulbs from a place called 'Ecoshop' (think they've new gone bust) and they are really bright but are only 3 watts each. We have 3 on the landing (which the kids always leave on :rolleyes:) and 4 in the hall. The slight blueish colour isn't so bad in those areas as it's not like you sit out there, but I'd prefer something a little 'warmer' in the kitchen, so those Deltech warm white ones sound like the kind of thing we want. :smashin:

Presuming I can google for a supplier, but if you have a link it would be good too.
 

SparksCW

Novice Member

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