Light up every nook and cranny of your home
Downlights don’t just look good, they’re also super flexible. From your lounge, kitchen or hallway to recessed bookcases and the underside of cabinets. Wherever you install downlights, they’ll brighten every nook and cranny of your home.
What distinguishes high-voltage downlights from low-voltage downlights?
The main difference between high (230V) and low-voltage (12V) downlights is that high-voltage downlights don’t require a transformer to work.
As with all downlights, the individual spots are interconnected, i.e. there’s a line from one light to the next. With high-voltage 230V downlights, there is no limit to how many spots can be connected in the chain.
The decision of whether to choose high or low-voltage is also dependent on their place of use. For example, only 12V low-voltage downlights should be used for above or around showers, bathtubs and sinks.
Where are 230V downlights used?
High voltage downlights can be used in almost any room in the house, from the living room to the hallway, kitchen and conservatory. And if that wasn’t enough, bookshelves and kitchen worktops receive a whole new lease of life when illuminated by a stylish downlight or two.
The bathroom is an exception - only 12V low-voltage downlights should be used for above or around showers, bathtubs and sinks.
And, as many 230V downlights can be swivelled, you can finally wave goodbye to those frustratingly dark corners spiders love so much!
The other advantage of 230V downlights is their compact design. After installation, the spotlight disappears into the furniture, ceiling or wall, leaving only a decorative ring visible. As a result, small rooms appear larger, like compact kitchens or short hallways.
How are 230V downlights mounted?
Please note: If you're looking to install 230V downlights in your home, we urge a trained and certified electrician carry out that installation.
After the electrical installation, a hole is drilled into a suspended ceiling. The product in question determines the dimensions for the hole. To install the high voltage downlight, the retaining clips on the back are usually pressed together, and the downlight is inserted into the drilled hole.
How deep must the cavity be for high-voltage downlights?
The depth of the cavity will depend on the product. There are downlights with shallow mounting depths where a hole of 30 mm should be sufficient.
If you don’t want a suspended ceiling to make the ceiling in your chosen room unnecessarily low, then downlights with shallow depths are an absolute must.
Which light source do 230V downlights use?
As a rule, 230V downlights use a GU10 reflector bulb with halogen technology. But there are versions with permanently installed LEDs and LED retrofits for classic GU10 bulb holders available too.
If you’re switching from GU10 halogen bulbs to GU10 LED bulbs, the LED bulb should still have a:
- comparable brightness in lumens
- similar colour temperature in Kelvin
- good colour rendition starting from Ra 80
comparable beam angle, e.g. 40° for a defined light cone or 110° for wide-area lighting
Is it safe to install downlights in bathrooms?
Compared to any other room in the home, the bathroom attracts a lot of moisture. So it’s doubly important you have your installation carried out by a fully-trained and certified electrician.
For installation in the bathroom, the ingress protection rating of the bulb you need to use will vary:
- Bulbs above bathtubs, showers and sinks have to be IP67 rated and should only be operated on 12V
- Up to a height of 2.25 m around shower head and bathtub, the bulb must be IP65 rated and 12-volt operated
- Up to 60 cm around bathtubs, showers and sinks and up to a height of 2.25 m, bulbs need to be IP44 rated
Would you like to learn more about 230V downlights? Or any other topic related to high-voltage and low-voltage downlights? If so, our friendly team of experts would love to answer any questions you may have. Call today on +353 1 699 2138 or contact us via email.