How to Change a LED Downlight?

June 3, 2021

Upgrading your home with a residential LED downlight can drastically change the overall look of your home. It’s chic, modern, simple, and minimalist.

It’s also a common go-to-lighting of business establishments.

Investing in quality downlights will make your property more efficient.

Other than the aesthetics, it also does a great job of saving up energy consumption compared to the traditional halogen downlights.

Expect up to 75% savings on your energy consumption if you decide to make the big switch. LED downlights can last you for years.

They also don’t heat up drastically.

Changing your downlights to LED is pretty straightforward. They are also made to fit halogen downlight cutouts, so you’ll be assured of a seamless transition.

Now let’s get started.

Choosing the perfect downlight

Before you waltz into a store to replace your faulty downlight, consider what light you should pick first.

Making the right choice will increase the life expectancy of your downlight and save you from getting stressed from coming back and forth to the supplies store.

Knowing what type of bulb you need to choose

Two types of downlight globes are commonly used, namely MR16 and GU10. So make sure that you check your old sockets before purchasing new LED bulbs.

  • MR16 globes have two sharp pins. It has a push-to-fit system. This bulb has a lower voltage compared to GU10.

It commonly operates using 12 volts. MR16 also requires a transformer.

If you were initially using halogen downlights, make sure that you’ll also replace the transformer when upgrading to LED.

  • GU10 can be easily installed through twisting until it locks. Unlike MR16, GU10 operates on high voltage (120 volts). It also has two prongs instead of pins.

Evaluate the brightness of the lighting that you’re looking for

The higher the lumens, the brighter the room. Traditionally, the brightness can be measured by watts, but with LED, it’s no longer applicable because it uses minimal energy.

The intensity of light can impact the ambience of a room, so if you’re aiming for a certain vibe, it’s best to consider the brightness of the downlight.

Pick the colour temperature that you prefer

Colour temperature gives the first impression to anyone who steps inside your room. Typically, you can choose from three colour temperatures.

They have characteristics that cater to specific goals and needs.

  • Daylight is perfect if you want your space to look bright and refreshing. It has a bit of a blue tone to it which provides a very modern look.
  • Cool light has a tinge of yellow, and compared to daylight, it looks more natural. It’s a standard option for most households.
  • Warm light is commonly used by hotels and coffee shops because they give a calm ambience pleasing to the eyes.

Installation of LED Downlights

Now that you’ve picked the perfect downlight, it’s time for installing the downlight. But before that, don’t forget to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from getting injured.

We highly advise doing this with an assistant so they can watch out for you, especially when you’re standing on a ladder. You don’t want to end up with a nasty head injury or electrical shock.

Cut the power source of the lighting circuit

This is highly important and must not be ignored. Electrical shock can be hazardous, and it can be avoided by turning off a suitable breaker. For extra protection, wear rubber-insulated gloves.

Rubber is non-conductive to electricity. That’s why professional electricians wear it all the time when they’re handling electrical wires.

Wait for the downlight to cool down

Downlight, especially halogen bulbs, are extremely hot to touch when in use. It can cause a first-degree burn.

That’s why it is essential to wait until the bulb cools down. If you’re already using LED bulbs, you’re in luck because they cool down faster.

Removing the old downlight from the ceiling

For G10 downlight:

Twist the fitting in counter-clockwise motion until it is safe to pull out. After you remove the old bulb from the socket, please remove it from its clipping or lamp holder.

For MR16 downlight:

MR16 downlight is a little bit trickier.

You’ll need to remove the fitting or the outer ring. If it’s pretty stubborn, use a flathead screwdriver and gently pull it from the ceiling. MR16 bulbs have pins; simply remove them like a standard plug.

After removing the outer ring along with the attached bulb, check the transformer inside your ceiling.

Once you’ve located the transformer, see if it needs to be replaced. You can quickly know this by checking the VA number printed on its body.

If the input voltage is within the range of your new LED bulb, you no longer need to change it.

But if your transformer needs to be replaced, it is best to leave the job of returning it to an electrician to ensure the safety of your home from potential fire and electrical hazards.

Replacing the old bulbs with new LED downlights

For G10 downlight:

Put the new bulb to the old clipping. When you’re done, attach the bulb first to the socket. Then in a clockwise direction, twist it again until it is well-fitted to the ceiling.

For MR16 downlight:

Some MR16 LED downlights already come with an outer ring that can be easily attached to your ceiling.

But if you only purchased the bulb, you can still use the old outer ring. Gently remove the old bulb and place the new one.

When you’re ready, plug the pins into the socket and push the outer ring until you hear a click from the ceiling.

Time to put the LED downlights to the test, turn on the main switch

Flip the switches of your breaker to their original position. When you’re done, check if the downlight is working by turning on the assigned switch like you usually do.

Typically, downlights should instantly light up but give it a few minutes to warm up if it’s not working.


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