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The Smart Way to Install LED Downlights

You are now convinced that you have to install LED downlights in your new house.   Amazingly, many people still opt for halogen downlights or compact fluorescents - however, LED down lights use much less power, will last a lifetime, operate at a safe temperature, are not manufactured with harmful chemicals, and now provide a faultless light for the home.  Also, LED LIGHTS are a better option than LED GLOBES as they are designed to last.

So - what is the best way to install them?  How do you minimise the electrician costs and maintain flexibility?

Install a power plug for each light

LED downlightThe team at Renovator Store has spent some time with residential electricians to determine the best way to install your LED down lights.  Each down light should have its own power plug.  We discuss below the best plugs to use for a new house and for a retro-fit in an existing house.  The reason we recommend a power plug for each light is it provides ultimate safety and flexibility.  The other option is to hard wire them.  If they are plugged in then it is a simple DIY job if you ever need to replace them or temporarily remove them (say to paint a ceiling) - and that means you do not need to get an electrician in at $75 per hour to do it!

LED downlight kits typically come with a transformer (to convert your 240V power to a voltage power compatible for the light fixture).  The transformer should have a an Australian power plug that can simply be plugged in.  That means you can elect to simply plug the lights in yourself, or hire general labour to do this.  Many home owners find that once the wiring is completed in this way they do not need to get the electrician back to fit off the lights.  They can get their builder or painter to simply plug in the lights and clip them into the ceiling once the ceiling is completed - for the average home this will save you a lot of electrician labour costs.  At a recent new house build project I reviewed, the electricians prepared to hard wire each LED down light.  Each cable termination for a light had to be taped off for safety while the plasters and painters completed their trades, and then the electricians had to come back and extract and un-tape the wire ends, hard wire the lights, and clip them into the ceiling.  I estimate more than $2,000 in extra power cable, connectors/junctions, and electrician labour was required to install the lights this way.

The other benefit of plugging the lights in means that if you ever wish to change the light to a new style or brightness, or if it is not working, you do not need to hire an electrician for the task - simply unplug the old transformer and light and plug in the new one!

Installing in a new house

When pre-wiring we recommend that you get your sparky to install in the ceiling a Clipsal QuickConnect plug (or equivalent) for each light.  These take about 30 seconds each to install as they cleverly clip onto the flexible power cable.  This saves you expensive electrician costs, and for a few dollars each provide you complete flexibility and safety.  As outlined above - you do not need to get the sparky back to install the lights as you, your painter, or builder can easily plug them in.  If your sparky doesn't know about them or hasn't used them before - then show them this article!

Clipsal Quick Connect

Installing in an existing house (retro-fitting)

HPM Plug Base

Hire your electrician to pull out the existing light fittings and transformers and then attach a suitable plug on the flexible power cable.  It is far quicker and easier for the electrician to hard wire into the larger connection holes on a socket, than into the small LED driver.  This saves you money and your electrician or you can simply plug in the lights.  Therefore your electrician can do their work and do not need to come back to "fit off" as an electrician is not required to plug a light in.  Simply do it yourself or get your painters to plug and clip in the lights as they go.  

Another benefit is that it is a simple DIY job to change the light down the track if you want a new look or if it is not working properly.

 

Look out for our next blog on choosing the best dimmer for your LED down lights.

58 thoughts on “The Smart Way to Install LED Downlights”
  • Sue

    This all sounds rosy until you look at what it costs to puchase the right sized downlight WITH the silly plug on it! Or worse, have to pay someone to ADD a plug to the light fitting.

    Reply
  • Scott

    I understand your frustration Sue. Though installing LED downlights does involve some upfront expense and labour - and for that reason it is best to change over the whole house at the same time, customers generally see a 40% decrease in electricity bills for the average home. This savings typically pays for the upfront investment in less than 2 years - then you have the lights for the long term.

    Reply
  • Fred

    When installing these downlight kits with power points in the roof cavity, do you just poke your arm up through the light fitting hole in the ceiling to plug them in? Or does this have to be done from inside the roof cavity because the hole is too small?

    Reply
    • Scott

      Hi Fred - these power points (or surface sockets, as they are known) are on flexible cords and usually not affixed to anything. Therefore the can be pulled out through the hole so you can plug the light into them, and then carefully push the socket and transformer through the hole and back into the ceiling before fitting off the light. Check out the installation video at http://www.renovatorstore.com.au/lighting/led-down-light-kits.html

      Reply
      • matthew

        bullshit as per as 3000 / 2007 fastened are you an electrician if so go read the wiring rules

        Reply
        • Scott Pendlebury

          Hi Matthew - it would be useful if you could elaborate. We are not electricians but the advice we have received is that AS3000:2007 of course applies to the wiring to the socket. It also highlights that recessed luminaires and their ancillary equipment shall be installed in a manner designed to minimise temperature rise and prevent the risk of fire. The temperature rise at the rear of a recessed luminaire shall be limited to prevent damage to adjacent materials.

          This requirement shall be satisfied by one of the following methods:
          - using a luminaire that is certified by the manufacturer to contact or be enclosed in combustible material or thermal insulation
          - installing a suitable fire resistant barrier that is classified in compliance with AS/NZS 5110.
          - provision of the required clearance distances as specified by the manufacturer of the luminaire
          - provision of the default clearance distances as described in AS/NZS 3000.

          None of these AS3000 requirements have been updated since 2007 and pre-dates the prevalence of very low heat LED downlights with plugs. Many new LED lights have manufacturer instructions that allow the installer to adhere to the first or third option above and some can be covered with insulation and plugged into an electrician installed socket. Your views on whether plugging in such an LED recessed light has to be done by an electrician (and where this is required) would be appreciated as there is different views in the industry.

          Reply
  • Barry Cooper

    Why cant I just replace the down with a new LED 4w light globe??? I have replaced 4 in my house and they work well but on a couple of the other lights they just started flickering ???

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Barry - that is a very common question! The problem with LED globes is that the LED technology is being forced to fit into the shape of a halogen globe. LED chips need large heat sinks to dissipate their heat. The brighter (more watts) the LED, the larger the required heat sinks. An LED globe does not have enough volume to have a suitably sized heat sink, so 4W is about as bright an LED halogen shaped globe should get, and it is not bright enough for large open living spaces as it is only equivalent to a 20W halogen (despite what is being marketed). 15W to 18W LED chips are best for large living areas and there is no way they can fit into the size of a globe. A 4W LED globe is fine for some hallways, alcoves, toilets, and garden lights.

      LED globes are regarded by the experts as a temporary step in technology. The only reason they exist is that existing halogen fittings took halogen globes and it appears the easiest solution to just change the globe. Globes are irrelevant when you consider LED Lights should last 25 years. Also, there is a huge amount of over-stock of LED globes which is why they are getting dumped on the market.

      Lastly, many customers have brightness and flickering problems with LED globes. The reason for the flickering is usually incompatibility with the transformer - plugging a 4W globe into a halogen transformer that is meant to deliver 20W to 50W will cause problems. It will also eventually kill the LED Chip. We do not endorse LED globes being plugged into halogen transformers. Some older dimmers (5 plus years old) on the circuit also cause flickering - try LED specific dimmers.

      If you want to keep the existing halogen fitting we will soon be selling 7W, 10W and 12W LED lights that will fit into a halogen ceiling frame and, importantly, they come with their own compatible transformers.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Scott K

    Is it possible to buy transformers with the plug already connected? (To save on labour). The only electrical cost should be getting the sparky to put the sockets in the ceiling space and cut the holes. I assume in most cases where there is insulation, the socket outlets are suspended via the wire that is then secured to o the frame. Is this correct?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Yes - all our integrated LED downlight kits come with an Australian plug. That is why they are a DIY product once the electrician has installed the sockets. It is a far quicker job for the electrician to hard wire into sockets than into transformers. As for the requirement to separate the socket from insulation, you would have to refer to the manufacturer of the sockets - and your electrician would know the code. In my experience the electricians leave them loose in the ceiling space on top of the insulation - we have sold many to 5 star hotels and they are also installed like this with no suspension. I guess it is because they are a sealed unit and do not really generate heat.

      Reply
  • Karan S

    I am building my new house in Victoria - Cranbourne area and is about to finish. My builder completed the wiring with nearly 25 down-lights. I am now thinking of making them as LED down-lights. So, the builder will leave the ceiling with a hole and 240volts plug inside(as I requested). Now, What should do to make them LED down-lights. As per my knowledge I will just need to buy LED down-light Kit and plug them in, right? But, One of my friend said that I need to hire an electrician to do "some changes" to my main switchboard to make my house wiring compatible with LED. Is this required? any idea. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Karan. There is usually no requirement to make changes to your switchboard for LED if you have a standard compliant Australian domestic switchboard and you are installing Australian LED lights. In some electrical environments where there is large variability in power, or the delivered power is not "clean", filters and protectors can be installed on the LED circuits to protect them. As LED light transformers are delivering only small amounts of power they are susceptible to abnormalities in the power.

      It is a great idea to have the 240v plugs left in the ceiling with the ceiling holes. Then all you need to do is purchase Australian compliant LED lights that meed your lighting needs, and simply plug them in! The hardest thing is getting up on the ladder.


      I will send you a separate email

      Reply
  • Doug

    Hi, is it possible to fit a dimmer to these lights? Thanks

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Doug - almost all the LimeLight LED down lights we sell (http://www.renovatorstore.com.au/lighting/led-down-light-kits.html) are dimmable. You can see the details of each light on our website. However, different Australian dimmers provide different results. Whilst the LimeLight dimmable lights are compatible with all Australian training edge, leading edge, and Universal dimmers, we recommend using an LED dimmer. The best one we believe is the Lumex one. The benefits of using an LED dimmer is that it is made specifically for the very low wattage of LED light. You will get a far larger dimming range from them. Also, some older Australian dimmers (usually 5+ years) will cause flickering on just about all LED down lights at one end of the dimming range. This usually means you have to replace the dimmer with a new LED dimmer - a worthwhile investment for the improved performance.

      Lumex dimmers can be sourced through your electrician or local electrical store. We also arrange installation of all our lights - just click on "get it installed" in any product page or check out this information (<a href="http://www.renovatorstore.com.au/electrician-installation-assistance" title="install led lights" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.renovatorstore.com.au/electrician-installation-assistance</a>).

      Cheers, Scott

      Reply
  • Brian

    Hi, I am building a house at the moment and in process of finalising our electical plan. We are building a double storey home and ive been advised that I have to get the light points correct now as there is no turning back whens the concrete slab is poured for the second storey.

    What do I tell my builder about this method of installation - where I can just plug in the led light myself?No need for an electtician? What about the hole in the ceiling? How do we plug it into the socket? Do we need to go into the roof? What about the ground floor down lights? Do you have a video or instructions? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Brian - thanks for your query. Usually when wiring for ceiling lights there is a cavity where they have looped the mains cable for the lights. The Clipsal Quickconnect points can be attached later when the ceiling holes are cut for the lights as long as the cable is reachable. So if you wish to determine your light positions later you should just ensure that there is plenty of slack cable close to where the lights will be positioned. The steps to install are:
      - Electrician cuts the hole in the plaster ceiling (usually 90mm),
      - Electrician reaches into the cavity through the ceiling hole and finds the cable and pulls it through the hole,
      - Electrician clamps on the quick connect power point, and plugs in the light.

      The cabling and quick connect installation require an electrician, but you can DIY plug in and clip in the lights. Obviously it is something to discuss with your electrician, as not all electricians use the quick connect system. We also sell the surface sockets on our website, but not the Quick Connect version. We do not provide videos for an electrician to wire for lights as that is something very simple for them and we do not want to encourage homeowners to try this themselves. We have a separate blog with a video on retro-fitting lights which shows simply plugging in the LED light kit once a plug is installed. See http://www.renovatorstore.com.au/blog/changing-halogen-downlights-to-led-downlights/

      Also check out our other blogs on LED lighting - let us know if you have further queries

      Reply
  • Richard

    In one of your responses above you refer to the electrician leaving the three pin plug lying loose on top of the insulation. This seems to imply that the transformer would be lying loose on top of the insulation. Elsewhere I have read the transformer should be fixed to roof timber or a plate otherwise the weight of the transformer could over time cause the plasterboard to sag. May I have your advice?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Richard - thanks for your comment. IT is great you are thinking carefully about changing to LED - as it should be a permanent change and therefore you want to do it properly. I am not an electrician so cannot give formal advice, however, the electricians I have discussed this with certainly do leave the surface socket lying loose on top of the insulation. Unlike older iron core halogen transformers that were large and heavy, LED downlight transformers are VERY LIGHT - maybe 50 to 100 grams. They certainly would not cause sag on ordinary plasterboard and do not need to be affixed to ceiling framework - unless there is some other reason you wish to ensure they are out of the way. The instructions at the bottom of the product pages of any of the Limelight LED down lights on our we site provide the manufacturer recommendations and requirements for placement of the transformer and minimum distances between the light and insulation. The good news is that LED does not pose the fire risk light halogen did so the minimum distances are typically 25mm (as opposed to 250mm for halogen). Let us know if we can assist you with your LED lights - there are a lot of poor quality LED lights out there and they will not justify the upfront expense.

      Reply
  • Steve

    Geez this article is dumb at rough in stage the electrician isn't going to fit switches to power up the plug bases so he'll need to come back anyway. When he comes back he'll need to test every point - takes about the same time to put a downlight in.

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Thanks Steve for your point of view. I agree that if an electrician wishes to return to simply test every point much of the time savings will be lost. In my experience every electrician that uses plug bases claims significant time savings, and they test the plugs by plugging in and installing the light - so no time lost. So it is important for the homeowner to discuss the process with the electrician

      Reply
  • Lloyd

    Hi Scott
    Good article and Q&As - thank you.

    I'm unclear as to how the dimmer would be connected in a configuration with power plugs. Do you have a wiring diagram to show this please?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Lloyd. The wiring for a light circuit with dimmer is the same whether they are connected to plugs in the ceiling or hard wired. I am not an electrician so cannot give advice on this. However, such wiring diagrams are not generally available as they would then encourage DIY and it is required to use a licensed electrician for such wiring

      Reply
      • Lloyd

        Hi Scott

        Thank you for the reply - and yes fully agreed that a licensed electrician must be used.

        What I'm concerned about was that the dimmer is on the 240V side of the transformers not the 12V side in the suggested configuration and further would be to a 4 outlet power block (or 2, or, 3 by 4 depending on how many LED downlights were being used). Are there any issues with this?

        Reply
        • Scott Pendlebury

          Hi Lloyd. The dimmer is always in the 240V part of the circuit. The electrician would not normally plug into a power board - they either hard wire into each transformer or install a surface socket on the 240V loop. There should be nothing else on the circuit so all the dimmer does is resist the power going to the LED light transformers. And the transformers are then designed to translate this reduced load to a lower load for the LED chip. That is why transformers have to be matched to the chip to get a good range of dimming and no flickering.

          Reply
  • Rob

    How far from a timber beam, joist etc should a LED light be located, and is there a fire hazard if too close to any timber or insulation? I don't know the heat the light generates, it also being fitted to a sealed roof cavity with little or no air flow,

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      The LimeLight LED downlights we sell have a manufacturer minimum recommended distance from building structures of only 25mm. This is far less than the 250mm required for halogen! The LED heat sink on a good light will only ever get luke warm - there is no fire danger if installed like this. The distance is really only to allow the heat sink to dissipate heat and keep the LED chip cool. Heat is the enemy of LED and a few degrees can affect its lifetime. No air flow is fine as the temperature is not high.

      Reply
  • Rajesh

    Hi ..I am building a new house. My builder will put the conjunction box and give the light holes . Can someone guide me what to do after that, do I need to call electrician to fit the lights ?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      If your electrician can install the holes and wiring, and the sockets then they are not required to plug in the lights as you are simply plugging them in. In traditional lighting the electrician had to return after the ceiling was painted to fit off. This is not technically required now if plugs are installed - but some people still prefer the electrician to ensure everything is working fine.

      Reply
  • Ron

    I have recently bought 80x 10 watt led down lights with Australian plugs to be installed in my new house. I have the light points placed at strategic locations. I will be running around 6 lights per switch connected to a power board. Since electrical wiring has all been done through a qualified electrician, the rest would be DIY. I have got a R4.0 insulation and don't know how much clearance I should have from lights. Could someone help me out??? House is in South australia.

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Ron. If you purchased the LED downlights from us the instructions we emailed you highlights the recommended minimum distance from insulation. In most cases it is 25mm. This is not a fire safety requirement - it is to allow the light's heat sink to dissipate heat effectively so the LED chip can operate at a lower temperature. This preserves the durability of the chip and the light. If you purchased them somewhere else then we cannot comment of course - you will have to ask them.

      Reply
  • Grant

    Hi Scott

    From your previous experience, how easy would it be to install a 4 LED setup in an existing double story dwelling on the lower floor.

    I imagine replacing the central one would be easy, but splitting it out to 4 would be more difficult.

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      I think you are describing a lower storey room with a central light and asking how to change to a four LED light setup. If so, then it should be very simple. An electrician would be required put a plug on the existing 240V cable and you could then attach a 4 outlet power board and plug your 4 lights in. Obviously you need to cut the ceiling holes for the lights and have enough access to feed the cables to the centre - and patch the existing centre hole. We have a huge range of LED downlights at www.renovatorstore.com.au. Pick a size that is suitable brightness and spacing for the room (see the specifications table for brightness and recommended spacing between lights)

      Reply
  • Laurie Mentz

    Eight years ago I moved into a new unit which had numerous 12 volt 35 watt halogen downlights. I would now like to have these replaced with LED downlights of equal or greater light intensity.
    Are you able to name an electrician on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, who would do such work and follow your "Smart Way to Install LED Downlights"? What might the cost be per downlight?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Laurie - sorry for delayed response. Yes - we can assist with the electrician as we partner with 1300 ELECTRICIAN Australia-wide. It is a very simple and standard job for an electrician to remove old halogen lights and replace them with a socket. We sell the sockets and the lights and conveniently have an EOFY Sale 20% off some of our most popular LED downlights until end of June. Call us on 03 9544 3003 and we can discuss what is best as the choice is wide - we do recommend LED downlights over LED globes if you want sufficient light and do not want to change them again. We look forward to assisting you. Check out oour LED downlight section under Lighting on renovatorstore.com.au

      Reply
  • Mark

    I've decided to change over my old 12V halogen lights for LED's, but the halogens have been wired in so that 2 lights are connected to one transformer and plugged into one power socket. Each LED that I've bought has a separate plug and transformer. Would I need more power sockets installed in the roof space by an electrician (so that each light is plugged into its own power socket), or could I buy a double adaptor to plug in 2 lights for 1 socket, thus saving on electrician costs? Any advice you can give would be fantastic. Thanks

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Mark. I have not heard of two halogen lights on a single transformer before! Firstly, any electrical advice should be sought from a licensed electrician. The normal recommended setup is to have one socket per LED light. That said, I have heard of double sockets, and I know some customers have put power boards in ceilings to plug multiple lights into. I do not know the rules around this but presumably if the power board / double adapter and socket wiring meets SAA standards then it should be ok as long as the positioning of the power board is sensible - best to ask an electrician. For my next renovation I will be asking the same question as most LED lights have a 1m+ cord and therefore many can reach a centralised power board. Please contact us to help choose your LED downlights as there are many dodgy cheap LED chip set lights coming on the market now. Our EOFY sale (June only) is offering 20% off our most popular lights until end of June as well so best time to buy is now.

      Reply
  • roger

    Hi

    I have purchased an 11W DIY (with Australian plug) LED downlight and want to install it above the bathroom sink. Im lucky as there is already a power plug in the roof from an old extractor fan that is not longer used, so all I need to do is drill a hole, put it in place and plug it in.

    However there is insulation in the roof. I have seen the instructions about the clearance required between the LED downlight and other materials but Im wondering about the transformer. Should the transformer be placed on top of the insulation or beside the LED light and also uncovered by insulation?

    Your instruction video (http://www.renovatorstore.com.au/blog/changing-halogen-downlights-to-led-downlights/) just shows the electrician stuffing all of the cables up through the hole and not worrying at all about insulation or whether the transformer and the LED globe will be touching.

    A picture or video of how the installation should look once completed - taken from within the roof space - would be very helpful

    thanks

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Roger - we cannot give electrical advice - you need to talk to an electrician. Whilst it is fortuitous you have a proximate plug in the ceiling there maybe be relevant wiring rules about whether it is a lighting or power circuit. Also, we cannot provide advice on lights purchased from other vendors. We have some lights that can be installed under insulation and some that cannot - the installing electrician would be aware of the situation when installing the fixture.

      Reply
  • Tammy

    Hi, we have a house full of 240v GU10 halogen downlights (48 lights) and we are wanting to convert to LEDs. What is the cheapest way to so this?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Hi Tammy - apologies for the delayed response. The cheapest and easiest way is to simply change the globes from GU10 halogen to GU10 LED. This avoids the cost of an electrician as they are not required to change a globe. However, LED globes are not as good as LED lights. As they are smaller they cannot emit as much light as a new LED light fixture or halogen 50W globe, and they also get hotter as their heatsink is small - this is not a fire risk, but heat does reduce the lifetime of LED chips (just like a laptop chipset will fail if always hot). And most LED globes cannot be dimmed. So it is a tradeoff - LED globes are easier but will not be as bright and might not last a lifetime. We have had customers that have purchased cheap LED globes and have had to replace them within 2 years. Give us a call on 03 95443003 if you wish to discuss further

      Reply
  • Nathan

    Hi Scott, I have a question about the minimum required cavity height for LED downlights when you're installing a false ceiling. There is no insulation to consider (this is an apartment), so it's just a question of what the minimum vertical clearance needs to be.

    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Good question! Obviously you need to refer to the installation instructions or contact the manufacturer as every light is different. My view is that LED down light heat sinks can be close to or even touch building materials. Unlike halogen downlights that operate up to 300 degrees and pose a fire safety risk that requires very strict minimum distances, LED lights should be operating at less than 40 degrees (if they are constructed well with a proper heat sink). Therefore the manufacturer stated minimum distances (typically 25mm) for LED downlights are usually nothing to do with fire safety - they are to ensure the heat sink can do its job to dissipate heat. Just like a laptop, an LED light needs to dissipate heat away form the LED chip - otherwise the LED chip may degrade and not last. If the heat sink performs the LED chip should perform for 50000+ hours. So, although I cannot advise you as I did not install your lights, typically you can install LED lights very close to building materials, but the less space you have the higher the risk that the LED chip will not last its stated lifetime.

      Reply
      • Anthony

        Do led downlights with inbuilt drivers still require a transformer or can they be plugged into 240v socket in the roof cavity once they are set up

        Reply
        • Lisa Pendlebury

          Hi Anthony - apologies for delayed response over holiday period. Answer is if it has an inbuilt driver it does not need another transformer. Basically an LED downlight either has in inbuilt or separate transformer. The inbuilt version just has the transformer attached to the back of the light - this arguably generates more heat which is the enemy of the LED chip, and more depth, which might make it harder to install. However, obviously a single appliance with a 240v cord is simpler. Only buy LED lights that have Australian cords. (led Globes do not need cords). Never try to buy a driver separate to the light as they are carefully matched and should come as a kit.

          Reply
  • Maddy

    Hi Scott,

    We have an old house and fitted with poor chandeliers or similar. Eg. The sitting room has two sets of three lights each. a room has one central light.

    Based on your advice I plan to tell the electrician that we need to fit LED lights and have separate plugs for each light. Am I correct? We will need about 4 LED down lights for the sitting room and perhaps 2 each for a room. Cannot we use the existing wiring and use a 4 LED light group from the current ceiling points? Thanks in advance

    Reply
  • Pete

    Hi Scott. Some really useful information here. I've just purchased 6 new down lights (with plugs) to replace existing down lights. Trouble is the existing ones are all hard wired with no plugs just transformers. How do I get on replacing with the new ones if I've got nothing to plug them into?

    Reply
    • Lisa Pendlebury
      Lisa Pendlebury May 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      That is where you need an electrician! Where there are existing transformers for older lights these are removed and discarded. In their place the electrician installs a surface socket (circa 5 min job). Then it is a DIY job to plug in the new LED light kit as it should include a plug

      Reply
  • Norm

    Scott, would you please comment on the installation of the rectifiers built into LED globes that are used to directly replace halogen globes. I'm thinking of the packaging and the heating.

    Reply
    • Lisa Pendlebury
      Lisa Pendlebury May 24, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      I am not an expert. I assume you are referring to MR16 LED globes which are typically 12VAC and designed to connect to a halogen transformer that converts the 240AC to 12VAC. If you are concerned about heat and fire risk then there is nothing to be concerned about compared to their halogen ancestors that operated at 250 degrees + celsius. LED operates at a much lower temperature, BUT heat is the enemy of the LED chip and that is why the heat sink integrated in the design of the globe is important. It keeps heat away from the LED chip protecting its life span. In many cheap LED globes this heat sink is too small or ineffective and the LED chip is stressed and eventually fails well before it is meant to fail.

      Reply
  • Dean

    Can you install the downlighting on an existing double story home.

    Thanks
    Dean .

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      If you are referring the LED downlights - then yes you can. Are you concerned about the ceiling cavity space? If so then LED downlights are made to fit into small spaces and the typical distances required between the fitting and surrounding building materials is far less than their halogen ancestors. LED downlights should operate at low temperates (up to about 40 degrees) and are therefore not a fire risk like halogens. The first thing to check for replacing lights with LED downlight kits is "what size is the existing ceiling hole" - normally 70mm or 90mm diameter. Then check out our range at https://www.renovatorstore.com.au/lighting/led-down-light-kits.html

      Reply
  • Den

    This might be a silly question but can LED light kits (inbuilt transformer/driver) with an Australian cord be plugged into a normal outlet to see if it works? Are the cables and sockets electricians install in the roof different to the normal power sockets on the walls?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Yes they can. An Australian power point delivers the same power as a ceiling socket for lighting. If one of our customers is experiencing an issue with a light plugged into a ceiling socket we often get them to test it on a normal power point. If it works ok then it is likely there is something on the light circuit (such as an exhaust fan or incompatible dimmer switch) or in the ceiling environment that is causing the issue.

      Reply
  • Nick

    Hi guys! I am a keen home renovator with unusual straw board ceilings (solomit acoustic), a flat roof with little cavity - approx 3 inches. I am on to my bathrooms now and led down lights would be perfect. Can I make this work with the straw board?

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      Yes, Nick. there are very good LED downlight choices for low cavity ceilings, and the good LED operate at low temperatures (to protect the life of the LED chip) so it should be fine to install in your ceiling type. Sometimes the separate transformer will not fit in the cavity (usually about 2cm to 2.5cm high), but in your case it sounds like it will. Here is a <a href="https://www.renovatorstore.com.au/lighting/led-down-light-kits/economic-led-downlights/epistar-12w-led-downlight-kit-warm-white-90mm-various-frames-available.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">link to the most popular low cavity LED downlights we have</a>. They have removable frames so you can change to a recessed light or silver frame, and are currently on special for bulk purchases so good time to buy. Also, check out our <a href="https://www.renovatorstore.com.au/lighting/led-down-light-kits.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">wider range</a>.

      Reply
  • Sharon

    Hi Scott, I'm soon going to be a mum and have started furnishing the nursery :) I've bought a floor lamp with a normal on/off switch. I wish to convert that into a dimmer and am not sure where to start...I have never done anything like that before and am not comfortable having to cut wires/ re-wire appliances. Is there an easy way to do this? I understand that there are plug-in dimmers (not sure if applicable here), but problem is that my switchboard is not easily reachable, so it will be challenging for me to use such a dimmer. Any advice that you may have for me will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks Scott.

    Kind regards,
    Sharon

    Reply
    • Scott Pendlebury

      I am not aware of a dimmer for a a plug in lamp or light. You can get dimmable globes, so a plug in dimmer might be an option. Best to ask at an electrical store. You certainly are not allowed or advised to re-wire yourself. IElectricity is dangerous - that's why electricians are licensed and registered

      Reply
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