Downlights are not only function they can be cost effective and create a seamless flow of light in any space. But what is the difference between fixed, gimble and surface mount downlights? Is one better than the other?
Downlights are traditionally recessed fixtures that sit inside the ceiling and shine light down into the room. Previously downlights have been the traditional Halogen 50W fitting which comes with a frame, globe and 12V driver. Downlights are the most popular choice for lighting up an interior space.
Downlights have developed since the development and popularity of LED, becoming one of the best sellers. LED downlights are efficient and functional with lots of benefits and features that most other styles of lighting don’t have.
LED downlights come equipped with in-built globes and a driver attached. They can be installed in any room and come in variations depending on your ceiling height.
There are three styles of downlights that can be used within an interior space; fixed (traditional style), gimble (ability to move the light) or surface mounted downlights (these do no sit recessed into the ceiling, instead are screwed onto the ceiling).
Fixed downlights do not move, they shine directly downwards. The degree of where the light spreads will depend on the beam angle of the globe inside. Fixed downlights are a great option for general purpose lighting and shine light evenly on the floor.
Please Note: Fixed downlights can not be adjusted they are down facing only.
( that has a fixed face and wide beam angle means a nice dispersed light for your room)
To gimble, simply means to have the ability to move the downlight in different directions, the frame is adjustable to allow you to tilt the downlight in a direction you need. Having a gimble downlight is an added luxury,however similar to dimmable it is not a necessity for all customers. For customers with sloped ceilings or situations where the downlight is not over a task area, the gimble downlight will allow you to tilt the downlight towards the specific area.
(, is a great option for customers who need to have gimbled downlights)
SURFACE MOUNTED DOWNLIGHTS
Surface Mounted Downlights (SMD) are a great option when you are unable to recess downlights. If you have a concrete ceiling or you are unable to cut out holes for your downlights, surface mounted downlights are the next best thing!
SMDs are also great for when you want the light to drop down lower than the ceiling height, for feature task lighting or for aesthetics only.
An advantage to using SMDs instead of traditional recessed downlights is that they do help to cut your heating costs. By eliminating the gaps that cut outs cause, you are able to retain the the temperature in the room (whether cooling or heating). Cut outs allow for air to escape through the gaps, you won’t have this problem with SMDs!
( – great option for feature lighting or when you can’t recess)
What downlight you need or buy is a personal choice and is dependent on the features in your room, raked ceilings benefit from gimbled downlights, standard flat ceilings don’t necessarily need gimble a fixed face is more than adequate. Surface Mount downlights make great feature lighting and help when you can’t recess! Check Out the images below for how each style looks in a space!
Mix of surface mount and decorative fixtures adds warmth and variety to your home.
Downlights give your home a seamless flow and the perfect blank canvas to add any decor you wish!
Surface mount downlights add not only a feature for this hallway but ample lighting
Raked ceilings can benefit from gimbled downlights if you wish to shine onto particular items or straight down
Fixed downlights are the perfect way to highlight a featured a ceiling drop down or to highlight pictures on the wall