LED downlights: cool/warm, 8w or 10w for living areas?

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Momentum, 9th Feb, 2017.

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  1. Momentum

    Momentum Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone! I'm getting quite overwhelmed with all the different choices and brands for downlights so I welcome any recommendations for LED downlights.

    I'm replacing square downlights installed 10 years ago which are brushed aluminium in colour. They have a 70mm square cutout so I need a 90mm cutout to fill the gap.

    I prefer white housing like these which blend into the ceiling. The brushed aluminium colour looked good at the time but are more of a feature.

    [​IMG]
    What colour/strength LED downlights are people using these days? I ordered some 13 watt units with inboard drivers and flex from Ebay but they're way too bright. My research says 8-10 watt in warm white colour is ideal for living areas and cool white colour for bathroom and kitchen.

    I want to avoid Ebay which has lots of stuff not AS/NZS compliant. Any good online places to buy lights? I found this place which looks OK but I need 23 units and prefer to keep cost down to $20 per light.
    Lighting Store Sydney - Pendant Lights, Lamps & More Online

    Also what do people think of putting a low watt LED under a wall hung vanity like this. Not sure whether to use 2 x LED's but think LED strip lighting might look better to spread and diffuse light.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I personally like cool lights in living room, bathroom and kitchen (otherwise everything look yellow under warm tone). Why not look for something dimmable? That way you can pick the brightness.

    LED strip look nice, though sometime I'm not v sure if they're bright enough (hubby installed the blue one our bathroom)
     
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  3. mimosa

    mimosa Well-Known Member

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    Can't help with the housing, but for the globes . . . I always thought I preferred a cool/white light but when I put these in they were too clinical and ended up exchanging them for a warmer light.

    I'm pretty happy with Philips 5.5W (425lm) warm white.
     
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  4. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    I have cool white, my house gets a lot of sun and I think warm white casts a slightly yellow light.
     
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  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Cool or warm comes down to personal preference. I prefer warm. But we have cool (I think) in our kitchen.

    We started off with dimmers but lights flickered in the kitchen/eating area so removed the dimmer switch. There is less need to dim in the kitchen anyway. External patio lights dim nicely with no flicker... go figure?

    That photo of the bathroom cabinet is similar to ours. We have the LED strip under the mirror cabinet that lights up the shelf (as per the photo). I'm not a great lover of the lighting strip under the cabinet itself because any dust on the floor is going to be highlighted.

    Most of the time I use only the under-mirror light to shower. We have a water rated single LED above the shower but I don't use it. (I look much better in the near dark. ;))

    We also have a bright light over the mirror if we need good light and we also have a fan/heat/light combo for winter. This photo doesn't do this light justice. It is quite bright and dazzling. I love it, but don't often turn it on.


    fullsizeoutput_281c.jpeg
     
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  6. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    I have 6000k in the kitchen and it's very harsh. I am not sure I would like it in a living area or bedroom. Why not go natural?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    I prefer warm throughout.
    With the exception being the bathroom - that one I use cool.
     
  8. dmo

    dmo Active Member

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    The LED image used on your original post looks almost identical to the LEDs I just had installed in my PPOR (different tabs, white in yours vs black in these). these ones - STY6510 | Stylelite

    [​IMG]

    They are 10w and I had 16 warm coloured installed. 4 in the living room and 2 in the kitchen which is attached to the the living room (the rest in bedrooms, hallway and toilet). I'm stoked with the way they've come up.

    I chose the warm tone because I didn't want my house feeling a bit 'clinical'. thankfully I was able to plug them in and test the colour before installing them all. Currently I have white walls in the living and a mid blue-grey in the rooms and they don't change the colour of the walls at all and feel natural enough throughout. They are dimmable but I didn't install dimmers. My ceilings are 2.75m if that helps at all.

    The bedrooms also have new 22inch ceiling fans which at it's closest come within about 20cm from the edge of the fan blade. When they're on there is no noticeable 'strobing' from the light if you look at it through the spinning fan. There is some mild ceiling fan shadow created in the smallest room but it's not enough to.

    The loo is super bright. The ceiling is lower in there due to a sloped ceiling in the back 2.5m of the house. The dunny ceiling is flat/level to allow for a fan etc so in a smaller space (1m x 1.5m maybe?) with low ceiling it is crazy lit up.

    Redoing the bathroom later this year i'll probably go with the same LEDs only the cooler tone in there because I want that to feel bright and clean/fresh.

    Definitely would recommend these ones if someone was looking for a type of LED to install.
     
    Last edited: 10th Feb, 2017
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  9. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    I like warm light as it's more flattering to colour tones used and is a more natural shade.

    I also went for white casing so they blended with the ceiling white - otherwise it'd look like silver dots all over the ceiling.

    I wouldn't bother with dimming. Parent's had them and were never used unless us kids were going for party atmosphere. If I want less light I turn the lights off and put on a lamp.

    Beacon lighting do a free consult for placement, style and strength if you take you plans in. I also took a couple of extra coffees for the consultant and staff, which was super appreciated
     
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  10. Momentum

    Momentum Well-Known Member

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    Good idea to use cool/natural white in living room too.. I think only bedrooms need warm white. I'll probably get dimmable lights but prefer to use a lower lumen light because the dimmers are flaky and expensive.

    Do you find 425 lumen too dim? It's probably close to 40 Watt incandescent when you consider 700 lumen is about same amount of light that a 60 Watt incandescent bulb produces.

    I've been reading dimmers for LED are flaky and you need to get the right ones but they aren't cheap and don't look great. To avoid dimmers in kitchen I'll probably put in LED strip lighting under the overhead cabinets like this:
    [​IMG]
    Cheers, natural 4000-5000K is what I'm after.

    Thanks for the info and good to see you have heat-sinks on the 10W because many of them don't have one until you look at 12W+ units. The 10W I've seen all seem to be self contained with no heat-sink like this so they create more heat and more likely to fail:
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    I'm moving to colour changing bulbs. You also get the high IC-F rating which allows them to be covered by insulation meaning downlights are no longer a heat opening. I love being able to have daylight during the day, but in winter using warm light at night. Note the special (and expensive) dimmer needed though, but only one of them for a set of lights.
     
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  12. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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  13. Phase2

    Phase2 Well-Known Member

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    At 10W you're hardly likely to generate much heat. LED's aren't a hot light like an incandescent in any case.
     
  14. Momentum

    Momentum Well-Known Member

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    Thanks they look good for the price. I also found these for $17 with the Samsung 2nd Generation 5630SMD LED chip:
    13w Samsung DIMMABLE LED Chip Daylight LED Downlight Kit - White Fitting

    I've read good things about Philips LED Essential so think i'll get them.. found some on Ebay for less than $12 each.. 10W, 600lm, 3000K
    10 X Philips LED Essential SmartBright Downlight Kit with plug 10W DN024B 3000K | eBay

    Heat is the worst enemy of LED and the reason why most fail. Yes at 10W they don't get too hot but the ones with inbuilt drivers can have a shorter life of say 30,000 instead of 50,000 hours.

    It's a fact that building electronics into confined spaces restricts their ability to dissipate heat for effective long term stability and it's not just the led but other components like capacitors.

    Depends on the light, some are rated for covering, some are not (IC rating) but still a good idea to leave some clearance around the ceiling insulation with these all in one units .

    An IC rated downlight can come into direct contact with, and be abutted by building insulation.

    [​IMG]

    A downlight without an IC rating cannot come into direct contact with, or be covered by building insulation.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Decided to finally replace the downlights in the bathroom today.

    I forgot about that AGM store, so i went by to pick some up given they were only a few mins drive from my house.

    Installed the lights, so far so good.

    In comparing them against the Lanx from Schnap, i would say the Lanx ones are better.

    These ones from AGM have a cheaper feeling heatsink (looks and feels like mould plastic), where as the the Lanx ones feel like a proper heatsink.

    Also the wire wiring to the transformer seems pretty cheap (again in comparison to the Lanx branded one).

    Pricewise, the AGM one is 6 cents cheaper per unit :D

    If i had to buy another set, i'd probably go back to the Lanx branded one.

    Note: I am not an electrician or an engineer. My views probably have no merit to it - so feel free to buy both and test it out for yourself :)
     
    Last edited: 19th Feb, 2017
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  16. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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  17. Indifference

    Indifference Well-Known Member

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    Latest LEDs have switchable setting using nothing but existing switch. You can change between cool & warm with some even having a dim setting as well. Straight bulb swap is all that is required. I believe they have complete downlights with same tech.

    I have one in the bathroom that is 9.5W which is plenty. In my living areas I find cool LEDs too harsh & 13W is way too much for my liking.
     
    Last edited: 19th Feb, 2017
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  18. Momentum

    Momentum Well-Known Member

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    Yes I reckon those Lanx look decent quality compared to the AGM ones. I've also heard Sunny is a good brand but think I'll go with the Philips Essential.

    I haven't seen these in fixed downlights but I'm guessing the switch must have extra settings on it to change colour?

    I had 2 of these Beacon fans installed recently which have something similar to what you describe but it's done through the remote.. I haven't seen them but assume there's extra settings on the remote to change the colour.

    Futura Eco 132cm Fan and Colourshift LED Light in White

    The Futura Eco fan with colourshift LED light technology makes changing the mood of lighting as easy as the press of a button. The fan comes complete with a 3 speed remote control that allows you to dim the light and choose between 3000K Warm White, 4000K Cool White or 5000K Daylight lighting.
     
  19. Indifference

    Indifference Well-Known Member

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    @nambis the bulbs I have are Philips Choose Scenes. No remote & no extra switch. They change by using your existing switch/wiring.
     
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  20. Momentum

    Momentum Well-Known Member

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    Cheers I did a quick goggle and see they have 3 colours in one but can't figure out how an on/off switch let's you choose between the colours.. I'll goggle more later and also check prices.