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Can anyone tell me about downlights please?

(21 Posts)
Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sun 28-Jan-18 09:46:41

Posted in chat but here might be better?

Hi all. I would appreciate any help about maybe replacing our LED downlights or just observations about your own if you have any.

We moved into a new build which has icy white LED downlights. Super bright, super ugly. We want warm light but we thought we’d wait until these ones start to go rather than spend the money now, but SPIDERS!

The lights have a gap around them (which I believe is necessary for this design for air flow) and we had been getting some pretty nasty spiders turning up in the house (I’m not in the UK so when I say nasty believe me, they’re nasty). We couldn’t figure out how they were getting in, particularly to the upstairs bedroom, then I saw some dust poking out around the rim and realised the gap just goes straight up into the roof! Today we had the worst spider ever and I have kids and really don’t want these things dropping into our home.

So! My research suggests that downlights with no gap through to the ceiling are more common in residential properties these days. I actually wonder if they’ve installed industrial grade ones here to save money as they are so bright and unpleasant.

My questions are, if you have downlights in your home do they have a gap around them? If you have changed your lights, do you think there’s a noticeable difference in heating or cooling? I’ve read this is a thing.

Any other thoughts are most welcome!

johnd2 Sun 28-Jan-18 10:22:33

The insulation standards are the same whether you have down lights or not. So either your house is very old and never insulated, or the builder fitter has removed the insulation.
Having great gaps through to the loft will lose your heat very quickly and cause condensation in your loft.
You can get special hoods to go over down lights to keep the insulation off them and provide airtightness too.
You won't have industrial ones, usually domestic things are built on price and usually look good but function poorly. Industrial would not look as nice but be excellent quality and cost a surprising high amount.

Spam88 Sun 28-Jan-18 10:26:46

We don't have gaps, haven't in any property I've lived in.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sun 28-Jan-18 11:19:09

Thanks for the information! I’m beginning to get an idea that hair around the edges of these lights is not that common. DP has agreed to replace them all so the next thing is to find a suitable replacement. Again, all advice welcome!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 01:08:22

If anyone’s around and still wants to discuss the exciting topic of LED downlights, i’m your woman!

I’m thinking 2700k in the living room and bedrooms and 3000k with 90+ CRI in the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and hall. Does this sound ok?

Looks like the ones we have are 5000K. Not sure who thought that was a good idea. confused

Plumsofwrath Mon 29-Jan-18 01:14:55

I’ve just got rid of 27 halogens for the living room, kitchen, hallway, dining room and replaced them with 2700K LEDs. We first bough 4 5000K bulbs in error and yes, they were too blue. Awful, not homely, just not nice. The 2700K shed warm by bright light. Love them.

Don’t know about the air gap thingy though. Those spiders sound grim confused

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 03:22:24

Thanks Plums! That’s what I was hoping to hear. DP thinks 2700 would be fine all throughout including bathrooms. Are you happy you have enough kitchen light with yours? It does sound so beautiful and warm. Must make winter feel so cozy.

wowfudge Mon 29-Jan-18 06:41:29

I recommend you speak to an electrician, preferably one with known certification wherever it is you live, as they should be experienced enough to know what will work, what local regs are and your best options.

If your new build is part of a larger development, what do your neighbours have? Sounds to me as though some idiot cut the ceiling holes too big and the builder has tried to cover up the errors rather than the holes.

whiskyowl Mon 29-Jan-18 08:43:18

If the issue is spiders, you just need some downlights that are the right size for the holes that have been drilled, and then maybe some clear silicone around them in the roof to ensure that they are fully sealed. Ikea actually do some really nice, slightly larger-than-average downlighters for larger spaces.

The quality of light is just a bulb issue - but a softer bulb, or better still, a smart bulb where you can calibrate the colour with an app.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 09:22:56

No, it’s definitely the part of the light design where the gap is. It’s a circle that allows the light to tilt, but also goes straight through to the roof cavity to allow air flow.

I should ask the neighbours if they’ve changed theirs. I’m sure it was all the same when it went in.

I’ll definitely be getting someone professional to have a look and install them. I want to have an idea of what’s best first though. I don’t want to be taken for a ride. I’m sure it’s going to cost a small fortune as is.

whiskyowl Mon 29-Jan-18 09:26:54

I have tilty downlighters, but the space for the bulb holder to rotate is tiny. I don't think it's big enough to let a spider in. So you can definitely get a different design.

Is the rest of your house sealed? Under skirtings etc? I mostly have spiders coming up from under the house, not down from the roof, and I have literally had holes poked straight through the plaster for about 2 years, which are only now being fixed. However, I'm in the UK and maybe spider behaviour is different here smile

Downlighters are cheap and quick and easy to install. It should cost a fortune to swap them.

whiskyowl Mon 29-Jan-18 09:27:14

Sorry, that should say it SHOULDN'T cost a fortune to swap them!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 09:27:45

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 09:35:32

Sorry, trying to post a pic of a similar design but fail.

Actually we apparently had some fairly big holes in the roof. We’ve had a few leaks fixed and last time the roofers were pretty shocked at what the builders had left undone. Definitely a haven for creepy crawlies up there.

The gap around is definitely big enough for spiders in these ones. One of the varieties we get is a hunter and they tend to wander at night/drop into the upstairs bedroom all too frequently. sad

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 09:36:11

Can you see this?

wowfudge Mon 29-Jan-18 11:46:47

Yes and your link works.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 29-Jan-18 12:20:51

Thank you! That’s very similar to mine. The spiders just drop through the gap next to the light. Apparently it sucks all the warm air up through there in winter too. I thought the problem was overstated and then I realised that there are 9 holes in my living room/kitchen ceiling. 9! No wonder we lose heat so quickly.

Plumsofwrath Mon 29-Jan-18 22:50:18

Well I think it’s a question of placement, number, kelvins and whether you have alternative sources of light.

In our kitchen we have white countertop and under cabinet lighting, so that bouncing light already makes a difference. We also have white gloss cabinets. (With the 5000k bulbs the cabinets looked pale blue! Now they look warm yellow.) We have a big window over the kitchen sink. So for our room size and all the above, the 2700k bulbs we have are adequate.

We chose to stick with the halogen bulbs in the bedrooms. They can hide a multitude of sins grin

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Tue 30-Jan-18 00:43:03

We have white in the kitchen too. Agree the 5000K are just so harsh in there!

I think I’ll go 2700k all around and just get some task lighting where I need it. Thanks everyone for your input!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sat 10-Feb-18 02:11:02

Just to update, got 3000K throughout. Electrician said the lights we have should never have been installed in a residential property and our energy saving rating will have gone up dramatically. And no more spiders! It looks so beautiful now. So happy my kids can grow up with that beautiful warm glow. I feel so much calmer!

Plumsofwrath Wed 14-Feb-18 00:04:14

Glad to hear it’s all sorted! Lighting makes such a difference to mood.

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