LED downlight modules provide both an easy upgrade solution for existing incandescent or halogen downlight and an all-in-one package that makes for a seamless looking new downlight.
The downlight module includes a non-replaceable LED array or light engine (not a bulb), an LED driver, a diffuser and the trim that sits flush to the ceiling.
Advantages of LED
Increased rated life is the main advantage of an LED downlight retrofit compared to replacing the existing incandescent reflector bulb or halogen PAR type bulb with an equivalent light output LED bulb. LED light engines typically have a rated life near 50,000 hours roughly 30% to 50% more than an LED bulb. Assuming the downlights are ON eight hours a day every day of the year, the downlights should continue to perform for over 15 years.
In addition to extended life, expect better dimming performance with these units than with LED bulbs. Manufacturers also normally provide longer warranty times – up to 10 years.
When buying LED retrofit downlights it is easy to match the color temperature - the appearance of the illumination - to maintain the current "look" of the lighting in a space. If replacing incandescent choose 2700K (warm white), halogen 3000K (white) to replicate your existing lighting. Whiter light options from 3500K to 5000K are also available.
In some spaces where color rendering is important (such as high end retail), LED downlight retrofits can be chosen than offer 90+ CRI. The normal color rendering for most retrofits is CRI 82 - 85.
An electrician is not required to install an LED retrofit downlight of the type discussed here.
Remove the existing incandescent or halogen bulb. Then disconnect and remove the trim / reflector that is usually attached to the housing with spring loaded supports that slip off the housing retainer clips.
Replace the old trim / reflector unit with the new LED module by first connecting the attached medium screw base to the socket in the housing. Then slide the module into the housing so the trim is flush to the ceiling – it will connect to the housing with the same spring loaded system.
For small to mid-sized commercial spaces such as professional offices, restaurants, bistros, small retail, and residential applications, LED downlights offer a low maintenance, cost-effective, energy efficient solution to existing downlight installations.