Alternatives to Downlighters – What to Use Instead of a Downlight
Updated: Fri, 18/09/2020
Downlighters have become indispensable within interior design; they are a powerful versatile discrete source of light and easily installed. However, there has been an over reliance on the downlight as the easy option, too commonly spoiling interiors with their overuse and overlighting.
An alternative to downlights is sometimes the better option easily missed for the sake of convenience. So what alternatives can you turn to as a substitute or if you cannot accommodate recessed lighting?
Quickly benefit from our alternative solutions to the downlighter for all the important areas of the home.
There are a host of lighting solutions that can be considered as alternatives to using downlights. We argue that you should not always turn to the downlighter as the main source of light as all good lighting designs will mix lighting techniques and lighting sources, so challenge yourself with these substitutions and learn what to use instead of downlights.
Alternative to Recessed Downlights on Solid Ceilings
Lighting Objective: Create multiple sources of light without recessing into the ceiling
Downlighter: Recessed ceiling downlight
Alternative: Surface mount short depth ceiling light with GU10 lamp
Alternative to a Downlighter For a Low Glare Light Source
Lighting Objective: Create good levels of directed light and minimise the risk of glare from strong light sources.
Downlighter: Darklight Downlighter, a black baffled downlight
Alternative: Dark shaded walls lights, metal shade pendant lights where the bright light source is hidden revealing only the reflected light out of the fitting.
Alternatives to Downlights to Create Ambient General Lighting
Lighting Objective: Create a general light source in any room
Downlight: Downlights often mistakenly positioned in a grid in the ceiling to light everything in the room.
Alternative 1: When the ambient lighting is adding an extra layer of light to the other light sources in the room, use white glass or a light fabric shaded ceiling lighting that spreads light widely. The light source should be positioned to infill light in between the other lights so do use multiples where needed.
Alternative 2: When the ambient general lighting is the main or only source of light for the room use a recessed linear LED strip to create homogeneous lines of light in the ceiling.
Alternative to Downlights in a Living Room
Lighting Objective: Light curtains and backs of furniture to enliven color
Downlighter: Recessed black baffled 2700K dimmable white adjustable downlight
Alternative: Table and Floor Lighting with light colored fabric shades positioned near furniture and curtains to cast light across the fabrics.
Alternative to Ceiling Spotlights in a Kitchen
Lighting Objective: Create a bright general level of light
Downlighter: White recessed downlight using an LED lamp
Alternative: Alternatives to recessed lighting in a kitchen would build up lots of light from task lighting on counter tops from LED Strip under wall cupboards, ambient lighting from reflected light onto the ceiling positioned above kitchen cupboards and pendants over island and other working surfaces.
Andrew Orange, the founder of Quick & Easy Lighting, qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients. Launching in 2020, Quick & Easy Lighting is the result of over 25 years design experience, making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all. Simple yet sophisticated lighting designs to transform your home and save you a fortune in design fees!