How many downlights is right for my space?

The new year is the perfect time to assess how your home is being presented to your guests. A subtle way to make a change in the atmosphere of your house is with downlights. 

Downlights can be used for general and task lighting, however, downlights are often accompanied by other feature lighting. Therefore, in a room with pendants or wall lamps determining the dimensions of the space is a good place to start. 

There are crucial questions you first need to ask yourself before you can ascertain how many downlights you need. For example, how high is the ceiling? Is it one room or open plan? Think about how you’ll use the room, whether the furnishings and finishes will be light or dark, and whether specific areas of the room deserve particular focus, such as artwork. Personal preference of brightness also comes into play, but we’ve provided some recommendations that can help guide you.

The brightness level of a light source is measured by lumens (lm). The higher the lumens, the brighter the downlight will appear. The perceived brightness at a specific spot, such as table height or floor level, is measured by luminous flux (lux). More brightness, or higher lux, is used for completing tasks and for spaces such as at a kitchen bench. Less brightness is utilised in living spaces, including the bedroom, where it’s more important to create a tranquil mood. You can also install a dimmer for greater flexibility.

Use our quick guide to determine how many downlights you may need. Please note that our calculations are based on averages. Speak with a lighting consultant to work out what is best for your style and needs.


Photo courtesy of Kingsbridge Homes, featuring Lumi Lighting Accent 2 and Melba downlights.