Have you been thinking of installing downlights? Downlights can offer more light or alter the ambience of a room, and if you have the correct ceiling, they’re a popular choice.
Downlights may be installed via the same methods as regular fixtures, such as through holes drilled in your ceiling and wiring fed and connected to a wall switch. While you can replace lightbulbs yourself, you may still need to hire an electrician to install downlights.
LEDs are quickly replacing halogen downlights in homes and businesses all around the world, with energy savings and longevity as the main incentives.
What are LED Downlights?
Quality LEDs and LED lighting, or a light-emitting diode, is a small solid-state device that emits an intense beam of white light from a small area. LED lighting does not require a filament like incandescent bulbs and they last significantly longer than existing halogen downlights. LED has great energy efficiency than other lights such as halogen bulbs.
Downlight LEDs need to be cut to fit the shape of the housing so don’t expect your existing lights to simply drop in. Yes, this means you’ll have some extra work involved but there is no real additional cost for this additional work because it’s part of the overall job price, you’ll just need to factor in more time also. Installing new downlights is a great idea, and there are many benefits to using these lights.
Hire an electrician that has experience with installing downlights if you want this work done right. For example, LED downlights come in various shapes and sizes, the electronic components need to be fitted into housing and wired together. Make sure you can provide all information about your existing fittings (type, model, etc.), otherwise the installation job may take longer than expected, which also means more money to be paid by you.
How Much to Install Downlights
When electricians provide you an estimate to install downlights, they may usually calculate the cost based on the number of downlights and the difficulty of the installation. Electricians may charge a flat service fee as well as a per hour rate. The cost to install may often cover the first 30 minutes after which they commence working on your project. Expect them to charge around $150 in total with a $80–$110 per hour fee to install downlights after that.
The cost of downlight installation varies significantly. Some electricians may charge as much as $110 per halogen downlights, but the typical downlight installation price is around $50 to $70 per point for installing LED downlights.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your downlights, the following factors may influence the cost of your project:
- Is it a simple swap of the bulb or a complete light fixture?
- How many fixtures are being replaced?
- Whether you have easy access to the ceiling cavity.
- The condition of your wiring and electrical system
Led Lights Installation Cost
The most important reason why you could employ an expert electrician to install your downlights is to reduce the chance of electrical blazes. Downlights that have been installed incorrectly have been linked to a number of house fires in Australia. While LED bulbs are considerably cooler than halogens, they still create heat, which is why many include a heat sink. If you’re putting LEDs in a ceiling cavity, make sure the units are certified for it because improperly installed downlights may become a hazard, no matter how the small light fittings are.
Because of incidents of fire caused by incorrectly installed downlights, government authorities issued warnings and the Downlight Standard was tightened. To all Australians thinking about having downlights installed, the energy rating agency and authorities usually advise:
- Only use a licensed electrician to install LED downlights.
- Only obtain downlights that are in accordance with or exceed Australian Standards.
- Ensure that only non-combustible materials surround the downlights, as well as a safety-tested mechanical barrier if necessary
- Consider replacing halogen downlights and installing LED downlights or installing LEDs instead of halogen lighting because they are energy efficient
Because of these factors, electricians are the only tradies who are qualified to install downlights.
Cost of Installing Downlights
When adding new downlighters, the first thing you may do is determine whether your existing downlighters are 240V (GU10) or 12V (MR16). LEDs may come with a 5-year warranty and last around 50,000 hours. This may tell you what kind of LED bulb you’ll need to purchase.
Downlight kits that include the bulb, driver, fitting, lead, and plug are available. A 12W downlight kit with a single unit costs around $18 (low profile and dimmable) while a 13W LED downlight kit costs about $25 (single unit).
When considering the downlight installation cost, you have a variety of reasons, including the fact that it is highly energy-efficient (up to 85% less expensive to run than an incandescent bulb) and generates relatively little heat when compared to halogen bulbs, led lights have become increasingly popular.
What are Halogen Downlights?
These are the standard light fittings that most people use in their homes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all get installed using the same method. Each downlight has two components. Some sort of bulb (typically either halogen or fluorescent) to produce the light, and a reflector which focuses it downwards. A large amount of heat can make them malfunction over time if they’re not designed to dissipate heat properly (most aren’t) or there’s no space for ventilation around your downlighters. This is only an issue with old-style incandescent bulbs.
Halogen vs LED Downlights
LEDs are the much more efficient version of the downlight, with better lumen per watt ratios. They also run much cooler than their halogen counterparts to produce less heat. This reduces the risk of fire and can be used in places where halogens aren’t permitted (like running along the surface of a ceiling).
The main problem with LED technology is that it’s still relatively new compared to halogen lights, which means that there’s not an established market for replacement parts when they go wrong or come to the end of their life span. Even worse, some LED bulbs have been known to fry other components inside your house if they’re incorrectly wired or connected. This is why you could only hire a qualified electrician to install led lights on your ceiling.
LED Lighting Replacement Cost
The new downlight installation cost of changing downlight depends on the make and model of your existing fittings, as well as how many you need replacing. It usually works out around $40 per unit on average. The price of installation for an extra one is lower because labour costs are shared with the other lights in your home too. This is still more expensive than incandescent light bulbs but they often last about three times longer, can save up to 85% of energy compared to halogen or CFLs and don’t contain hazardous materials like mercury so they won’t affect our ecosystem. There’s no point buying them if you’re not going to install them correctly though. LED lights are a perfect replacement for halogen lights and could be installed by an electrician.
Which Lights are Best for Energy Efficiency?
Choosing the right light bulbs for your home can save you money on electricity bills, but it’s also important to consider potential savings over time. It is possible to make informed choices about how much money you may save by choosing different types of lighting, which makes it easier to decide if the upfront cost plus installation fee makes sense for your home. The first step in making this calculation is determining what percentage of your overall energy bill is attributed solely to lighting.
For example, if you have a $100/month electrical bill and 30% of that amount is due to lighting costs (and 70% goes towards heating and cooling), then deciding to replace halogen downlights would pay for themselves in monthly savings after around 25 months (provided that the lights last at least as long as their expected lifetime). Having an energy-efficient LED light installation, as well as LED bulbs, can reduce lighting costs even further. Although expensive to purchase, the initial cost of LEDs is partially offset by their longer lifespan.
The payback time can be even quicker if your existing lighting is less efficient. In general, LED downlights are a good choice for high-efficiency downlights because they require much less electricity to produce light and dissipate heat. They also have a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs, which means a lower upfront cost compared to the energy savings over time.
What Should Be Considered When Installing Downlights?
Downlights are a fantastic way to achieve modern lighting in your home and enhance the look of any room. They come in many different styles and options, so you can easily find one that matches your home décor. As well as style, it’s also important to consider where downlights could be installed for maximum effect. Most fixtures need up to 10cm of clearance from light bulbs so they don’t overheat and become damaged. Make sure not to put them too close to heat sources such as fireplaces or radiators because this can shorten their lifespan and could cause damage or injury if there is a problem with the system.
There are many different factors that determine the optimum location for downlights, such as lighting requirements and surface brightness. It’s a good idea to discuss this with an electrician before installation to ensure your lighting is exactly how you want it. You can also consider ceiling specialists who can install LED lights or any other type of light fixture. Installing downlights could only be carried out by licensed professionals, so take advantage of their expertise and exacting standards instead of risking damage to your home.
What Types of Track Lighting Systems are Available?
Track lighting offers flexibility when it comes to changing the look and feel of your room, which makes them perfect if you plan on frequently redecorating or moving around furniture. LED track lights offer different levels of brightness and some even feature remote controls so you can change the way they work with a touch of a button.
Track lighting is typically installed by professionals and it’s important to find one who offers LED options because of their longer lifespan compared to fluorescent or halogen lights. You can get track lights in different sizes and colours, including silver, gold and black. The versatility of track light fixtures lets you choose between many different options according to your specific needs.
What Types of Under-Cabinet Lighting are Available?
LED downlights for under-cabinet lighting is an excellent way to add accent lights to any room without taking up floor space. They’re perfect for use in kitchens when preparing food or simply cleaning up after a meal. Under-cabinet lights are available in different styles and designs, so you can easily find one that matches your kitchen.
If you need to install under-cabinet lighting it’s important to remember the practicalities of the location. Cords could be covered by raceways when possible so they don’t become a tripping hazard or get damaged over time. Wires shouldn’t cross high-traffic areas either because this increases the risk of someone being injured if they trip or bump into them. When planning this type of installation it’s best to leave all wiring and mounting to professionals who know what is required for safety and longevity in your space.
What Types of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures are Available?
The right outdoor lighting adds beauty and security to your home. It’s important to consider the best type of fixtures for different areas outside. Many homeowners go with low-voltage lighting because these are safer and easier to install compared to conventional outdoor lights. Security floodlights are a popular choice for driveways or garages, where they work especially well in conjunction with motion sensors.
If you’re looking for illuminating accents on trees, walkways or other landscaping around your property, solar landscape lights are an eco-friendly option that doesn’t require any wiring at all. Solar landscape lights are powered by built-in batteries charged by sunlight during the day so they can automatically switch on once it starts getting dark.