Alternatives to Downlighters – What to Use Instead of a Downlight

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.

Quick Reference:

ImageNameTypeCheck Price
Astro-Kos-WhiteAstro Kos SurfaceAlternative to Recessed Downlights on Solid CeilingsCheck UK Price
MS-Fin-scandiFinn Scandi Metal Floor LampAlternative to a Downlighter For a Low Glare Light SourceCheck UK Price
astro-cambria-380-pleated-white-fabric-ceiling-light-p12633-27044_imageAstro Cambria 380 PleatedAlternatives to Downlights to Create Ambient General LightingCheck UK Price
astro-cyl-260Astro Cyl 260Alternatives to Downlights to Create Ambient General LightingCheck UK Price
Park-Lane-FloorAstro Park Lane FloorAlternative to Downlights in a Living RoomCheck UK Price
astro-ascoli-four-light-barAstro Ascoli 4 BarAlternative to Ceiling Spotlights in a KitchenCheck UK Price
3000K Warm White LED StripAlternative to a Downlighter to Create a Focal Point to a RoomCheck UK Price
astro-borgo-35-trimless-led-2700k-wall-light-p2031-2022_mediumBorgo 35 Trimless 2700K Wall LightAlternative to Downlights in a CorridorCheck UK Price
astro-hashira-pendant-light-in-matt-black-Hashira Drop PendantAlternative to a Downlighter to Create Task LightingCheck UK Price
astro-amat-320-white-ceramic-wall-light-p17402-52904_imageAstro Amat 320Alternative to Downlights for a Home OfficeCheck UK Price
MS-MonroeMonroe Wall LightAlternative to a Downlighter to Create Accent Lighting.Check UK Price
astro-terra-28-led-round-ip65-steel-floor-or-wall-light-p1190-1758_imageAstro Terra Round 28Alternative to Downlighters in a Wet RoomCheck UK Price
astro-mondrian-600-led-bronze-picture-wall-light-p5257-51720_imageAstro Mondrian 600 LED BronzeAlternative to a Downlighter to Light ArtworkCheck UK Price

Downlight Substitutions in 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.  

That does not mean however that you will banish them altogether, so where you do use them we recommend you learn How to Use Recessed Downlights as you are bound to need to use them somewhere despite all these great substitute ideas!

Alternative to Recessed Downlights on Solid Ceilings

Astro Kos Surface
Minimal depth surface mounted GU10 lamp – use to send lighting downwards. Available in black too.
Check Current UK Price


Alternative to a Downlighter For a Low Glare Light Source

Finn Scandi Metal Floor Lamp
The metal shade focuses the light downwards for a low glare accent light source.
Check UK Price

Alternatives to Downlights to Create Ambient General Lighting

Astro Cambria 380 Pleated
White Pleated Fabric Ceiling Light with 2 qty lampholders. Plain Putty & White options are also available.
Check UK Price

Astro Cyl 260
White Glass Wall Light
Check Current UK Price

Alternative to Downlights in a Living Room

Astro Park Lane Floor
Modern universally styled floor light that casts light over furniture and curtains.
Check UK Price

Alternative to Ceiling Spotlights in a Kitchen

See: The Ultimate Guide on How to Light a Kitchen 

Astro Ascoli 4 Bar
Neatly styled 4 light bar spotlight – use to highlight and create focal points of interest.
Check Current UK Price

Alternative to a Downlighter to Create a Focal Point to a Room

3000K Warm White LED Strip
Easily create linear lines of light with LED strip
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Bedhead as focal point to a hotel bedroom with hidden LED strip uplighting the alcove and LED reading lighting onto the cushions

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Looking for the best downlight for your project? Make the right choices with our full buying guide & reviews of the top rated LED Downlights to suit all budgets
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Alternative to Downlights in a Corridor

Borgo 35 Trimless 2700K Wall Light
In built LED lighting looks so impressive repeated along a corridor or stairs, creating contrasts of light and dark.
Check Current UK Price

Alternative to a Downlighter to Create Task Lighting

Hashira Drop Pendant
Uses a downlight style GU10 lamp to push downwards a strong light.
Check UK Price

Alternative to Downlights in a Shower 

Alternative to Downlight Shower
LED Strip reflecting light off of the ceiling in a shower

Alternative to Downlights for a Home Office

Astro Amat 320
Sophisticated take on a classic white ceramic uplighter with a useful up and down light.
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Alternative to a Downlighter to Create Accent Lighting.

Monroe Wall Light
Decorative reeded glass wall light when used with a low output warm white LED lamp will cast a cosy illumination.
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Alternative to Downlighters in a Wet Room

Astro Terra Round 28
IP65 niche light to create pockets of light in bathroom alcoves and recesses.
Check UK Price

artwork">Alternative to a Downlighter to Light Artwork

Astro Mondrian 600 LED Bronze
Fabulously popular modern version of a classic picture wall light.
Check UK Price

See: The Best 5 Ways to Light Artwork & Pictures on a Wall

Andrew Orange , the owner of Orange 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, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.