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Are you wondering how to calculate your LED downlight spacing to illuminate your house correctly? When it comes to lighting your home, the world is your oyster. LED downlights are trendy because of their flexibility. They also illuminate your house practically and elegantly.
To get the best lighting in every room, you should calculate the:
• Number of downlights
• Distance between the lights
• Distance between the wall and the lights
As a rule, you should divide your ceiling height by two to get the space between each downlight. For instance, if your ceiling is 6 feet high, your lights should be 3 feet apart.
How Many LED Downlights Do You Need?
The truth is that there is no simple way to make this choice as different rooms differ in requirements. A room may need less or more light depending on the type of décor, use, or size. For instance, your living room may need less light than your kitchen.
With that said, here are a few pointers you can use as guidance when choosing the best number of downlights for your rooms.
The first thing you need to do is know how far apart you will space your downlight fixtures. Proper spacing will aid in even illumination of your room. By spacing your cans properly, you ensure that light coming from each luminaire smoothly overlaps. For short ceilings, the downlight should be wide, while tall ceilings should be narrow.
Spacing Method 1: Rule of Thumb
As mentioned above, the rule of the thumb should be considered a general rule but used with caution. You space your fittings according to the room's décor, wattage, size, and purpose of LED lighting.
It would be best to remember that it is better to install more lights than install a few. If you overlight your room, you can always use a dimmer switch to reduce the brightness. However, you may need a trailing edge dimmer as an edge dimmer can damage your LED bulbs or not work at all.
Spacing Method 2: Spacing Criteria
The perfect method to use for spacing your LED lights is known as spacing criteria. It is usually a number between 0.5 and 1.5 that the manufacturer specifies. The spacing criteria value involves specific properties determining how far apart or close you should fix the fixtures for perfect illumination.
Now that you are aware of the spacing of the recessed downlights, the next step is to arrange the room. The first thing you should do is to make a downlight layout plan. Your plan should not be too fancy. Make a simple blueprint of your home on a piece of paper. Doing this simplifies things as you can work out where you want your LED lights to go. Also, include the furniture in your sketch.
You can use the downlights to point out the focal points in each room. Choose the areas that need more lights and make it your starting point. For instance, in a bathroom, you may want the lights above the sink, while in a living room, you may need more light in that corner where you have placed your reading chair.
Position these lights first before the rest of the downlights around your home.
Avoid Corners and Edges
Keep all the downlights 2 to 3 feet away from where the ceiling meets the wall. This ensures that the lights do not create shadows and save on light fixtures.
Ideally, you should leave a space of 3 feet between your downlights and the ceiling. If the lights are too close to the wall, they will create shadows that make your room appear smaller.
A 3 feet distance allows the LED lights to reflect off the walls, and the room feels airier and lighter.
Your first time laying the recessed downlights will be far from perfect. However, this should not be a reason for you to give up or worry you. That is why you have a sketchbook for your trial and error. Additionally, you can still use computer modelling if you are conversant with it. Keep changing the arrangements until you perfect them to suit your space.
Right Beam Angle
A beam angle is when light moves across the floor when you light your LED lights. It is also known as a beam spread. Choosing the right beam angle gives your building visibility and ambience. When making this choice, you should make sure that your room is illuminated. Below are the considerations for a beam angle:
• The type of the building
• The number of LED lights to give the proper brightness
• The type of LED bulb
• The height of your light fixtures and ceiling
It is essential to choose the correct beam angle of LED lights for your lighting project. How do you feel when you are in a dimly lit building? The reason why you get such dimly lit rooms is that they have the wrong beam angles of lights.
Lighting Your Kitchen With LED Downlights
Distance Between Lights
Overall, the wattage in your kitchen should be from 2.5 to 3 feet. Keep in mind that the diameter of the bulb should be consistent with the spacing, i.e., 3-inch bulbs should be 3 feet apart.
For instance, if your kitchen is a 12 x 12 room, follow the rule of thumb where you have 24 inches from the four walls and then a space of 4-5 feet between cans. Therefore, in such a room, you will need two rows of lights.
Size of Can Lights
The standard diameter size used is around 4" to 7". The best way to answer this question is by considering the distance between the ceiling, the light's position, and the area you want to light. Usually, an 8-inch ceiling works well with 4-inch fixtures to provide the best countertop lighting. Pendant lighting completes the perfect countertop lighting.
Outdoor LED Lighting
LED lights are the best for outdoor lighting. Outdoor lights are essential for your safety, whether you are walking home or driving late at night. Most of the time, they are yellow and dull. LED lights are the best option to light up the night.
Benefits of outdoor LED lights include:
• Brighter light - Brighter than regular street lamps which helps better light the parking lots, streets, and sidewalks.
• Longer lifespan - Last for around 50,000 hours.
• Energy saving - Shine brighter while using less energy.
• Instant lighting - Unlike traditional lights, which warm up first before lighting.
• More durable - Can withstand harsh weather conditions.
• Very flexible - Come in different forms including wall-mounted fixtures and street lighting.
You can use LED lights outdoors and your home will not look like a Christmas tree. You can place them anywhere including:
• Stair treads
• Sun umbrellas
• Patio furniture
The only concern you should have is to ensure that you purchase the right LED strip light for the right environmental conditions. For instance, higher areas likely to be splashed with water or exposed to dust get LED lights of an IP 65 or higher.
Interior Design Using LED Lights
LED strip lights are the best for interior design as you can use them for many projects, including backlighting a television, recessed lighting, or illuminating countertops. LED strips are customisable and easily fit in all places. This makes them ideal for lighting odd places that you can only dream of, such as:
Add your LED strip lights in the ceiling cornice of a room to highlight the architectural details. It also does the following to your room:
• It gives your historical building a modern twist
• Creates a warm ambience in your house's entryway
• Acts as a night light in your bathroom
• Highlights complex details in the ceiling in your living or dining room
You can add LED strip lights underneath the tread or below the stair railings to give them a sleek look. It will also help you to move around at night without turning on the overhead light.
Backlighting your mirrors gives even lighting and limits shadows. This makes your reflection bright and on point.
Do you think your furniture needs a little bit of fun? Well, adding LED strip lights to your furniture makes your room glow and appear more prominent. Here are the few pieces of furniture you can add illumination to:
• Tables - Your old table can get a modern look with LED strip lights, and it is perfect for parties.
• Sofas - LED strip lights give your sofas an ambience and make it easier to reach out for something under the chair or simply grab the remote.
• Bed - They illuminate the floor, and you do not wake your children or partner when you wake up at night. They also give your headboard a relaxed ambience.
Cabinets and Drawers
Fixing LED strip lights in your cabinets or drawers can improve the appearance of your room. Setting them under the cabinets also makes the drawers and cabinets easier to work with.
Do you want to showcase your artwork, collectibles, or your favourite books? It is easy; all you have to do is to fix LED strip lights on your shelves. Also, adding the strip lights in your cupboards and pantries makes it easier for you to search through them. To avoid the hassle of lighting the whole room, you can add motion-activated stick lights.
To enhance your photos or artworks, add LED strip lights to your picture frames. This also makes them stand out more. Additionally, your pieces of artwork are safe as LEDs do not give off heat.
LED Downlights Are Versatile
LED lights are easy to attach and perfect for lighting your home and creating ambience. They are available in different shapes, sizes, and attractive designs, and you can fix them anywhere you desire.
In time, more people in Australia will start using LED lights in their homes, security lights, and streetlights. Unlike the traditional lights, they may be more expensive to purchase, but they help pay for the lights over time.