What are Downlight Types?

Recessed downlights are available in countless shapes, sizes, finishes and brightness's. They are also available in different types such as fixed, adjustable and bathroom (IP65). It is important to choose the right type of downlight to meet the demands of your project or application. If you can't install a recessed downlight due to height restrictions you could fit a surface mounted one or a spotlight.

IP Ratings

The IP code in brackets stands for International Protection, although the more popular definition is ingress protection, International Protection is correct, details here. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard 60529 or EN 60529 for Europe is a measurement of a products resistant to water and dust.

The first digit is for it's resistant to dust and the second digit shows its resistant to water, more information about IP ratings and bathroom zones can be found here. In short IP20 means it's touch proof and IP44 means it's resistant to water and dust. Anything above IP44 can be used in bathroom zones 1 and 2 which includes mounting them directly above a shower.

The Main Downlight Types

Fixed (IP20)

The most basic and by far the most popular of downlight types, fixed downlights point the light directly down. They are the cheapest and have the smallest diameter. They are designed to meet the demands of the majority of rooms such as lounges, bedrooms and kitchens. Kitchen downlights don't have to be IP rated as they pose no threat to water ingress.

Fixed (IP65)

Mainly used in bathrooms IP65 downlights can also be used anywhere. Many lighting manufacturers only offer their integrated LED downlights in IP65. They are fitted with a water and dust resistant seal. This means they don't need to offer as many different types of downlights when just one will do.

Adjustable (IP20)

Adjustable downlights allow you to direct the light into a different direction other than directly down. You may want to direct the light onto a cupboard or illuminate a specific object or painting. Adjustable downlights cost more, considerably more with integrated downlights and they usually have a larger cut out size.

Adjustable IP65

This is a combination of a bathroom downlight and an adjustable downlight all in one. There are not many of these available but we offer a few including a fire rated GU10 version. We also offer an integrated version called the H4FF from Halers which is both fully adjustable and IP65 rated meaning it's suitable for use in bathroom installations.

Outdoor (IP44)

Our outdoor downlights are rated at IP44 which is water resistant enough to be used in fascias and soffits etc. As long as you don't plan to power wash them they will be perfectly fine for years to come. Your main concern when choosing outdoor downlights should be the material or finish. If you install a normal downlight outdoors, the finish would deteriorate and rust.


If you're looking for something a little bit different and want to create a different feel for the room. Square downlights offer something a little bit extra. We have non fire rated square downlights and some fire rated versions available soon.


Twin downlights are rectangular in shape and contain two square downlights. They can offer a more modern design. Our best selling twin downlight is the Ansell Lyric which is also available in a matching single and triple version.


Similar to twin downlights, triples contain a row of three lights and a rectangular in shape. The lights are usually adjustable which allow you to direct each of the lights to an area of your choosing.


Available in either square in a two by two formation or rectangular in one row of four. We don't currently have any quad downlights available on the site but we can get them on request.

Trim Less (plaster-in)

Plaster-in downlights  offer a more minimal, seamless lighting effect. They are fitted into a ceiling and then plastered in. Lamps can be easily replaced using the twist-lock lamp holders so if the LED ever needs replacing it can without having to do any major renovations to the ceiling. Plaster-in downlights are trim less and don't have a clunky bezel like traditional recessed downlights. This style is available as integrated, GU10 or MR16.

LED Spotlights

The term spotlight is often used to describe recessed downlights or GU10 bulbs . However, a spotlight is a surface mounted light fixture that has one or more lights on it. The correct term for a GU10 bulb is a lamp. Like downlights you can get spotlights in different variations from singles to quads. They can either have low voltage GU5.3 caps or mains voltage GU10 caps. Low voltage versions are quite rare these days, they may have a transformer built in or you may need to order one separately. GU10 spotlights operate on mains voltage and don't require a transformer or LED driver.

Spotlights are available with fully integrated LEDs which are also mains voltage. If any of the LEDs fail you would need to replace the entire fitting which isn't as easy as replacing a downlight. We recommend you choose an LED spotlight with a GU10 cap that takes GU10 LED bulbs. If one of these fails, you can easily replace it.

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