Do’s and don’ts of Downlights

Home Office:

Do install downlights here. When illuminating workspaces in the home, be it a desk and chair set up or a workbench, the focus is usually on task lighting in the form of lamps or pendants. While these types of fixtures are essential for this space, it’s important to also include downlights in your lighting plan to avoid unwanted shadows.

Don’t overlook the lamp details such as wattage, lumen output and colour temperature, as these all impact your productivity.

Living Area:

Do incorporate other lighting in this area. Downlights alone can make the living space look cold and uninviting.

Don’t worry too much about following the rule book with regard to the position and spacing of your downlights. While there are general guidelines one can follow, each space is unique. Just be sure not to install too many as this will make your space feel more like a lobby than a living room. On the other hand, too few downlights can result in pools of darkness.

Dining room:

Do connect your downlights to a dimmer switch. Lowering the level of light is the easiest way to set the mood for an intimate dinner or cosy family meal. If household admin and school projects take place in this space, then turning the brightness up will assist with these task-oriented activities.

Don’t use square downlights over a circular table. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it does make a difference to the overall look of the room, so avoid mixing shapes if you can.


Do consider the IP rating required for this space. The bathroom is a wet zone, so fixtures used here must meet certain safety requirements. Downlights with an IP rating range of IP44 to IP65 are suitable for bathroom use.

Don’t underestimate the importance of beam angle when selecting downlights for your bathroom. The lower the angle, the more centrally focused the light. A large bathroom will call for more downlights with a 30-degree beam angle, as opposed to a design with a 50-degree angle.

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