Which Kitchen Downlights??

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  • Which Kitchen Downlights??
  • Crag

    So, looking at getting the lighting done in preparation for the new kitchen and I’m unsure which sort to go for.

    Should I go for the 12v low voltage or the 240v mains voltage?

    Any pro’s and cons between the 2? Looking at Screwfix webisite, the 240v is £70 cheaper for a 10 pack. Any reason for this cheapness I shold be aware of?

    Any experience and opinion greater appreciated.

    240v there’s no need for 12v in kitchens as they’re not in a wet zone. think about the led GU10 bulbs though, not as bright but a lot of energy saved. go for the 3k warm white versions B&Q are currently doing 3 for £10.

    We have the 240v bulk packs from Screwfix – 16 units in total all running on three separate dimmers circuits. Not had a single bulb blow in three years – pretty happy with that.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    240v GU10 LEDs are the way forward.
    But do your research.

    Ive found these ones work for me.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    I would happily get rid of mine and have tubes put in their place. Currently have two that don’t work then sometimes a third goes out, not the bulbs as have tried replacing. Electrician tells me they’re just a rubbish type, something to do with overheating.


    Buy cheap get cheap at the very least use fire rated downlighters about £12 each from Newey and eyre

    I do not ponce about with 12v lights because 50w is 50w and there is no money to be saved in running costs infact when you also pay for transformers they cost alot more

    Have a look at led downlighters phillips do some good ones ( againat neweys)

    CG I will give you a call lets get you sorted ;o)


    Cheers guys and gals, all good stuff.

    Saladdodger, any links to the lights your referring to??


    just had a look the newey and eyre site is down at the mo

    We have had megaman CFL downlighters for the last few years, slower that 12v to get going but hugely cheaper to run and less heat/fire risk


    27x50w=1350w 1.35kw lighting one room 🙄

    Edit: Oops forgot about the wall lights.
    Of course if they’re something like 5w LED’s you’re only talking around 135w (but a pretty large initial outlay for the lamps).


    The 12volt down lighters are more expensive as they come with a transformer to take the voltage from 240v to 12v.

    As someone has already said get the 240v versions and use gu10 led lamps, if you get good quality lamps they are just a bright as halogen but use a fraction of the power, ie 1.8 watts against 50 watts.


    Don’t be tempted by the B&Q cheapo set of 5 MR11 sized 12v ones. £20 for a set.


    Really crap. MR11 bulbs are so small, they don’t really kick out much light @ 20W each. They pop all the time, and to add insult to injury B&Q don’t stock MR11 bulbs! (At least that means I have to buy them in bulk, online, cheap!)


    Use a decent supplier.
    I’d go 240V GU10 Fire rated with either 4 or 5W retro fit LEDs. Though any LED lamp under a tenner I’d be doubtful of.

    240V GU10 cuts out the need for transformers, and certain LEDs are dimmable.

    Another minor point. Those cheap downlights often have a wire clip retaining the lamp and the clip usually goes grotty after a while….not a good look. A decent one like Aurora has a twist lock retaining system which is easy to use and looks miles better.

    And if you do stick any upstairs they do ones that can be directly covered with loft insulation, so no cold spots.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    Dibbs, the LED’s range from 1.5W to 7W and are switched in banks. The room is 50ft long with three functional zones, Kitchen, dining and TV/sofa. There are 4 wall lights at 9W CFL each.

    If all the lights were on at the same time, then a total draw of about 4x9W + 10x7W + 6x5W + 20×1.5W = 171W,

    but in actual use we rarely have more than the wall lights on, occasionally turning on the kitchen lights when cooking; 100W

    There are 120x GU10s and 24x 9W CFLs in the barn ranging from £3.50 to £22.00 a unit. It was quite a capital outlay, but it was for a new build so had to be done anyway. And even if every light was turned on (extremely unlikely) would represent a maximum of about 600W. Actual peak lighting is around 250W for maybe an hour or two a night. The equivalent of 4x 60W incandescent bulbs. I got my green wings 😉

    EDIT: BTW as oldgit mentions, good downlighter fittings are worth getting. There’s a lot of pressed tat out there. It took sometime to find the ones I wanted which are cast Aurora ones with the lugged lockring that oldgit mentions. Far superior and really not that expensive, about £4 each I think I paid in bulk from a wholesaler.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    PS, if anyone knows where I can get some inexpensive GU10, low W lamps like these prolite opti-stars with the lensed output Id be very interested. I want to use a few of them to sculpt the lighting in another room. I really want a very narrow, focussed/vignetted beam.

    having said that, I think this looks like a cheap source

    They use them in a local hotel to cast a bold spot mark on a wall. not to everyone’s taste, but I want to create an effect.

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    As everyone said, 240v GU10. SMD Led 5watts instead of 50w halogen… We bought these led’s from China, 2.99 delivered to the door from ebay but they are getting cheaper here now.

    No point getting a transformer, its just an energy loss and something to fail.

    Premier Icon faint

    Just changed ours to GX53 13W bright white in a Planex fittings from Megaman, take a couple of minutes to warm up but it’s like an operating theatre after. We use these for our “task” lighting, for general walking through and “ambient” light we have a couple of low energy bulbs hanging from roses


    As everone else has said – Mains voltage GU10s. At least then you can upgrade to LEDs progressively over time, even if you can’t afford to do it there and then.

    Wattage wise, it seems to be a bout a factor of 5 LED:Halogen. ie 7W LED=35W halo, 10W LED=50W Halo.

    3000K or 3500K is about right for internal use, but be a bit wary of some of the unbranded ones as the colour rendering can be a bit strange – reds and greens will come out very flat, whilst blues will have loads more “pop” than normal. The Philips Master and Osram Parathom ones are pretty good.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Avoid B & Q! As well as kitchen lights playing up, also had problem with shower room light switching off whilst using shower. Surprise surprise B & Q again!

    saladdodger – currently spending megabucks on sorting out heating (power flush) and electricals (CH programmer unit has been relocated). Just making sure that when my riding buddies visit, they will be warm. 🙂


    The £2.99 jobs probably aren’t CE approved. I’ve seen them, they look like they’re working well but I’d never hide them in my ceilings.

    I’ve seen a few fittings burn out and become a fire risk due to the use of poor or incorrect lamps.

    JonEdwarsd you’re a bit over there 6/7W LEDs are a credible 50W replacement


    The best “retro-fit” Gu10 LED bulbs we’ve used so far are Philip’s 7Watt master in warm white(2700k). They are dimmable, but are a little pricey.

    If we were installing in a new build, then I would always go for a dedicated LED fitting such as JCC fireguard LED7 downlighters. Having been installing LEDs for the last three years or so, these are the ones that have come pretty darn close to matching the colour rendering of Halogens.(2700k)


    I’ll second what Sonor said:

    JCC fireguard LED7 downlighters.

    And they come with a 10 year warranty, the only downside is price, about £40 plus VAT, but worth it in my opinion.

    If you want something for a little less go with these


    about £8 and then add a Kosnic LED lamp for about £12.


    We’ve fitted many of these and it’s all good quality kit.


    Thanks for all your responses guys, some very interesting stuff – and here I was thinking a light’s a light!!

    So I’ve done some t’interweb surfing and looked at a couple of the brands mentioned previously and I was thinking that these might be the ones to go for.


    They don’t come with the LED bulbs but I can retrofit these once the kitchen’s done and funds allow.

    Anyone any experience of these – or are there any alternatives which are pretty much the same.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Thanks for all your responses guys and lady,

    Fixed it for you. 😉


    I hang my head in shame!! 😳

    “Don’t be tempted by the B&Q cheapo set of 5 MR11 sized 12v ones. £20 for a set.”

    Big fat ditto. They are rubbish!

    The design is very cheap and basic. The supplied bulbs are not that bright, but fitting higher power bulbs wont work as the supply is not powerful enough. I haven’t had any issue finding bulbs, which is just as well because they frequently blow.

    I wish I’d spent a bit more on something decent! Once installed its a faff to change them.


    I agree Pete, those cheap lights are rubbish.

    If you’re still looking for lights I can recommend Ecoled having got my lights from there. Check out the range here:


    Welcome to the forum nick4u1. That’s an interesting first post.

    We retro fitted those SMD LEDs Rickmeister recommends to our GU10s. They are nearly as bright as the 50w halogens they replaced. Even though they are meant to be “warm white” they do have a slight magenta tinge to them and might be a bit clinical – kind of suits our kitchen though.

    Still they use 90% less power and were £3.50 each so Im not going to complain.

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    CSW.. you do get used to them in a little while though, I admit they were a little different when fitted…. we have gone round every one in the house now… Better than the old blue tinge led ones.

    Rick – dont get me wrong : I am happy with them (got them after you recommended them on another thread – thanks).

    Just mentioning the tinge in case anyone else is fussy about such things.

    Premier Icon chickenman

    Oh why, oh why do people fit downlighters?? No light gets reflected off the ceiling so you need 4 times as much energy to light a room compared to a pendant fitting. Fashion is king I guess.
    I’ve just been to see a job where false ceilings are being installed throughout a tenament in order to fit downlighters throughout(cornices vanishing in the process)!?!

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