The team at Levello look into some of the issues associated with downlighting and how you can overcome these problems.
Downlights using modern energy efficient LED lamps have become the luminaire of choice for consumers – particularly for kitchens and bathrooms. Lighting is one of the areas where the client will have a major input as to the choice of fittings used.
Whilst there are many downlights on the market with varying price points, it’s worth understanding why it’s worth the time and effort involved with ‘upselling’ a more appealing product.
The runway effect
All too often the ceiling has serried ranks of downlight bezels on a regular grid pattern which can spoil the ceiling sight line and, when the downlights are switched on, the ceiling can resemble an airport runway.
This runway effect is caused by the bezels which sit proud of the ceiling level and can be eliminated by choosing downlights that have no visible bezels, are completely ﬂush with the ceiling and can be painted with the same paint that was used to decorate the room.
Here you and your customer should be mindful of the future – over time metal surfaces can tarnish and plastics can turn yellow, whereas if you chose products which are paintable then they’ll always match the ceiling. The Levello system offers all these features whilst remaining flush.
Glare and intensity
Glare is a complex subject and is worth an article topic all in itself. Glare has been documented to induce headaches and other unpleasant side effects and you’ll no doubt have seen installations that, when the lights are switched on, produce so much glare and the lamps are so intense that it’s almost impossible to look at the ceiling.
Glare and high intensity can arise from several factors amongst the choice of LED lamp and design of the downlight. Possibly the biggest contributor, however, is light spill, where the light reﬂected by the LED is spread at low angles to the ceiling.
Some solutions to glare and intensity include:
1. Recessed luminaires which place the lamp above the ceiling level significantly reduce glare by limiting light spill at high angles. The effect can be reﬁned using either black or white baffles or magnet covers.
2. Filters can be used to soften the light beam, though will reduce the light output.
3. A honeycomb louvre is an effective way of removing spill light without significantly compromising the illumination levels below the luminaire.
4. The best solution, in our opinion, is a combination of 1 and 3.
Some suppliers can offer these solutions but rarely are they all available in the same product range and appearance, or capable of being changed after installation without replacing the complete luminaire. Levello’s totally modular design enables components to be freely interchanged and every product can be IP65 rated, simply by adding an IP front plate.