What is an LED Downlight?
An LED downlight can be a completely integrated unit, or it can come in two parts. Ultimately, it's a low energy LED light source fitted inside a downlight housing.
Are LED Downlights as Reliable and Long Lasting as They Say?
Throughout our history, we’ve maintained our relationships with premium branded lighting manufacturers such as Aurora, Collingwood, JCC and Philips Lighting. Even these top-quality brands have had problematic versions of downlights.
The most consistent and reliable downlight of all-time is the Halers H2 Pro. This product was a game-changer for integrated LED technology. We’ve experienced the fewest failure rates with this product, its successfully outlasted its 7-year guarantee period and still remains a market leading product.
The least reliable downlights we’ve sold have been the Aurora I9 and possibly the JCC FGLED6. These particular downlights had a few ‘bad batches’ and unusually high failure rates. However, these brands have learned from their mistakes and gone on to develop more reliable products with the Aurora MPRO and JCC V50.
The truth about integrated LED downlights is that some models come and go quite quickly. This can be a problem if you get a failure and need to replace it. If your particular product has been discontinued then the latest version won't fully match the others.
On occasion, integrated downlights do fail and do need replacing but they are more reliable than the traditional GU10 LED and fire can combination which is the housing of the downlight structure shown in the image above.
If you buy downlights that don't have a wiring cable connector block you'll also have to disconnect them by rewiring them which will mean getting an electrician involved. If you've got downlights with proper plug-in wiring connectors shown below, you can easily disconnect them. Then you can usually reconnect the new one as it should have the same plug-in connector.
These connectors make integrated LED downlights work in a similar way to GU10. Instead of removing the lamp from the fitting, you're removing the fitting from the ceiling. No additional tools required!
What are the Best LED Downlights?
Integrated LED downlights with wiring connectors are considerably better. Collingwood and Aurora downlights are particularly good quality with an especially low failure rate. Integrated downlights have a more modern appearance and feature vastly advanced technology.
If you put a GU10 LED inside a traditional fire can downlight housing and have it on for long periods per day (3 hours+), you'll most likely discover they don't last for very many years and you'll be forever having to replace the LED. Overheating is the #1 cause of LED failure. If you're going to go for GU10, then choose a downlight with airflow like the Aurora EFD Pro, Ansell Edge or Integral EvoFire.
Integrated downlights feature advanced cooling capabilities. They have a dedicated heat sink that dissipates the heat more effectively, which helps to prevent heat from building up like it does inside a fire can.
Benefits of LED recessed lights
Recessed LED downlight produces less heat, use less energy and are more effective at guiding light to its intended destination than other traditional lighting technologies such as incandescent. Since LEDs have a longer lifespan, you’ll save on maintenance costs over time.
LEDs are also available in a wider variety of colors and shades, whereas incandescent bulbs only come in a yellow, warm hue. Popular LED bulbs for downlights in homes usually come in bright, soft or warm whites, but if you want to get creative, you can install smart bulbs that change colors.
Recessed lights are also perfect for outdoor settings. Outdoor downlights can enhance the visual appearance of your home while also boosting security. If you want to add light around the perimeter of a home, you may want to consider installing LED downlights in eaves or overhangs.
What about harsh winter weather? LEDs actually work best in cold temperatures. And as long as you don’t leave them burning all day in the summer, your LED downlights will work just fine outside.
The long-life benefits of LEDs can be especially helpful if you have second-story eaves that are hard to reach. Bulb replacements will be few and far between.