PE catches up with Kyle Gamble, owner at KG Electrical Contractors in Hertfordshire, to find out why Integral LED’s new Multi-Fit downlight is taking the pain away from traditional downlight replacement.
When you’ve quoted for a job that involves replacing LED downlights, how often has the size of hole you have to work with caused you issues and how do you overcome this ordinarily?
When replacing downlights the size of the existing hole(s) is literally the bane of my life. No downlights are ever the same size, so each job requires us to spend time trying to find the most suitable unit for the project.
If the hole is too small we’ll generally have to spend time widening the opening for each and every light. This is often very time-consuming and, once we get over a certain size, we’re unable to use hole saws, meaning the process needs to be done by hand.
If it’s a grid ceiling in a commercial installation they’ll usually have plyboard behind each ceiling tile, meaning each tile will need to be removed from the ceiling, taken outside and cut using a jigsaw – a very time and labour intensive process.
Have you ever been delayed on a job because you’ve had to re-order fittings as the originals didn’t fit the existing cut-outs? What did this mean for you and the client?
Yes! As much as I ask my engineers to make sure their measurements are correct, I still get some instances where the downlights don’t fit. This usually means a few things:
- We can’t finish the job on time.
- The client isn’t happy as we can’t finish the job.
- I have to pay over the odds for other light fittings to get them ASAP or just have to pay more than originally allowed for in the estimate to get a light fitting that will fit.
- There can be lots of chopping and changing in the diary to try and fit the customer back in.
In your opinion, how important is it to have a consistent, uniform set of downlights installed in a premises?
Personally I am ‘OCD’ about having the same uniform set of lights used all the way through a building. It provides a much better, more professional finish and it also means that should any light fittings fail or be faulty, you know straight away what you need to take with you to replace it, instead of taking multiple light fittings and sending most of them back to the wholesaler.
What have been your first impressions of the new Multi-Fit product from Integral LED?
The Multi-Fit light fittings look very professional and are clearly well made. I love the fact that you can move the springs to suit nearly any size hole as well as surface mounting the light fitting, should you need to. The fitting is smart and slimline considering it can be used as a surface light fitting.
Integral claims that the product is the most versatile luminaire available to installers. Why is versatility important when fitting downlights and what features of the product have particularly impressed you?
I would agree with Integral’s claims here. The spring clips allow you to shrink the fitting down to fit holes from 65mm upwards and the main fitting is large enough to cover any hole up to 205mm, along with the ability to surface mount the light fitting. This means it can cover a multitude of sins. It also comes in 3000K and 4000K versions.
Is the Multi-Fit product something you’d recommend to other installers?
I certainly would! It makes life far easier for installers as they’re fitting the same product throughout, meaning they’ll get quicker at it over time. It will also enable us to price jobs quicker because the one fitting can cover a multitude of jobs, and this obviously makes the ordering process easier and more consistent at the same time.
For more information about the Multi-Fit downlight range from Integral LED visit: www.integral-led.com/multi-fit