Some consumers refer to recessed downlights or GU10 LED bulbs as spotlights but a spotlight is a light fitting, or more accurately a luminaire.
We've hand picked a selection of stylish LED spotlights from some of the best brands we offer. Some of the spotlights have a GU10 socket which means they need a light bulb with a GU10 cap. GU10 LED lamps can be replaced while others are integrated. Integrated LED light fittings come with everything you need, the LED light source and driver are built into the fitting. Generally integrated LEDs are brighter and longer lasting but if the LED fails you'll need to replace the entire light fitting.
Dimmable LED Spotlights
Another drawback of the integrated spotlight design is that not many of them are dimmable. Please check the specification for each product carefully especially if you want to dim them. If you select a GU10 spotlight you have more flexibility with your choice of light. You have the option of choosing different LEDs with different brightness's, colour temperatures and beam angles.
A spotlight is a surface mounted light fitting with one or multiple lights attached to it. Spotlights are usually adjustable and come with a mounting frame. They are available in singles which have one light and many other variations with multiple spots. Single light spotlights can also be wall mounted, mixing them can be a great solution if you want a matching ceiling spotlight and wall light combination in the same room.
A spotlight and a recessed downlight are two different things; a recessed downlight is fitted into a hole that is cut into a ceiling. A spotlight mounts on the surface of a ceiling. There are also surface mounted downlights which are like a mixture of both products, they are usually flatter and more compact in size than spotlights. This is an example of a surface mounted downlight.
A GU10 spotlight is a often referred to as a type of light bulb. The correct industry term for this is a GU10 lamp. A GU10 is a type of cap that was originally designed for the now outlawed halogen. It has two stubby pins that have a distance of 10mm between the centre of the pins, that's why it’s called a GU10.
In recent years the GU10 cap has been adopted by LED technology and is used as a low energy alternative to halogen. It can be used as a retrofit solution for existing GU10 light fittings or in new installations. For a GU10 LED to be classed as a 50 watt equivalent it needs to have a light output of at least 350 lumens, then its DIM2 Compliant.
Integrated vs Non Integrated
Integrated LED spotlights have a built in LED light source. Integrated LED spotlights have become cheaper to buy in recent times. They come with everything you need and are easier to order. You don’t have to worry about purchasing a separate lamp that might not be compatible with the fitting.
One of the downsides of an integrated fixture is that the LED is non replaceable, if it ever fails or reaches the end of its life you’ll need to replace the entire fitting. This can be particularly difficult with a spotlight as replacing it will involve rewiring and getting a replacement fitting that matches.
A non-integrated spotlight would require a separate light bulb. The most common type of light spotlight bulb is the GU10. Operating on mains voltage, they don’t require an LED driver or transformer and have become the most popular choice of lamp for use in spotlights.
One of the main advantages of purchasing a GU10 spotlight is that the LED is replaceable. If the LED stops working or the brightness starts to fade over time, you can easily replace the lamp.
GU10 lamps are incredibly popular; they are available in many different types with variations that include:
- Dimmable or non-dimmable – Most integrated LED spotlights don’t dim.
- Colour temperatures ranging from 2700K extra warm white to 6500K daylight.
- Beam angles ranging from narrow 15 degree beams to wide 60 degree floods.
- Different brightness’s, measured in lumens (not watts), a bright LED with 800 lumens will be considerably brighter than a 350 lumen lamp.
- Smart LEDs that can be controlled from a smart phone App, providing colour changing capabilities and multiple colour temperatures in one.
Light fittings with replaceable lamps offer much more flexibility, so choose wisely and make sure you know what you’re purchasing, if in doubt get in touch with the UK's LED downlight expert by phone or by email and we'll answer any questions you've got.
It doesn’t end there, if you want to use to spotlights to illuminate larger areas or things like a gallery with artwork or pictures you can use track lighting. This is a length of aluminium track that you can mount spotlights onto.
Tracks are available in various lengths and can be joined together to create longer lengths. Bends and other accessories are also available, it offers a different level of flexibility.
When the track spotlights are fitted they can be moved around and positioned wherever you want them. You might move your Mona Lisa over to the right, no problem, just adjust the position of your track spotlight back onto that mystical smile.