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1. AS/NZS Certification

  • Importance: Ensure the downlight meets AS/NZS standards 60598.2.2 for safety and performance.
  • Verification: Check the Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) from your supplier to confirm compliance. Note that CE certificates and Chinese CCC certifications are not substitutes for AS/NZS standards.

2. Cut-Out Size

  • Measurement: Measure the diameter of existing holes in your ceiling. Common sizes are between 90-100mm, but always verify before purchasing new downlights.

3. Light Colour

  • Options: LED lights are available in different color temperatures:
  • 3000K (Warm White): Ideal for lounges, hallways, and bedrooms.
  • 4000K (Cool White): Suitable for laundries, bathrooms, and offices.
  • 6000K (Daylight): Provides a bright, white light.
  • Recommendation: Choose the light color based on the room and personal preference.

4. Lumens

  • Brightness: For residential use, select downlights that produce between 700 to 1000 lumens for adequate illumination.

5. IP Rating

  • Bathroom and Outdoor Use: Minimum IP44 rating is required to protect against splashing water. For areas with direct water exposure, IP55 or IP65 ratings are recommended.
  • Product Example: 10W and 13W dimmable LED downlights are typically IP44 rated.

6. Insulation Contact Rating

  • Safety: LED downlights should ideally be IC or IC-F rated, meaning they can be safely covered with insulation materials that withstand continuous exposure to temperatures up to 90°C.

7. Beam Angle

  • Application: The beam angle affects how light is distributed:
  • 35 degrees: Provides a focused spotlight effect.
  • 90 degrees or more: Suitable for evenly lighting up larger areas such as living rooms.
  • Preference in NZ: Recessed downlights are more commonly used than non-recessed ones.

8. Dimmable Options

  • Compatibility: If you use dimmers, ensure to purchase dimmable LED downlights. These are generally 20% more expensive but offer compatibility with existing dimmer switches.
  • Product Example: 10W and 13W dimmable LED downlights are available and compatible with most dimmers.

9. Quality

  • Components: High-quality downlights should feature:
  • Good quality drivers: Ensure reliable power supply.
  • High-quality LED chips: Provide better light output and longevity.
  • Effective heat transfer system: Prevents overheating and extends lifespan.
  • Indicator: Heavier downlights often indicate better quality due to more substantial heat sinks (aluminum cups).

What are the advantages of using LED downlights?

Energy Efficiency: LEDs consume less power compared to traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs.

Longevity: They have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

How do I choose the right downlight size?

Choosing the right size depends on the size of the existing ceiling cut-out and the area you wish to illuminate. Common sizes include 90mm and 100mm diameters. Measure the existing cut-out before purchasing new downlights to ensure a proper fit .

What is the difference between IC and IC-F rated downlights?

IC (Insulation Contact) Rated: These downlights can safely come into contact with ceiling insulation, minimizing fire risk.

IC-F (Insulation Contact with Flammable Materials) Rated: These are designed to be covered and surrounded by thermal insulation and other flammable building materials safely .

What should I consider when buying downlights?

Light Output (Lumens): Choose based on the brightness needed for the space.
Color Temperature: Select according to the desired ambiance.
Dimmability: Decide if adjustable light levels are needed.
Energy Efficiency: Look for high-efficiency LEDs.

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