How to Buy the Best Spotlights

Spotlights can be used in almost any room of the house. They are effective and quite simple to set up effectively. 

There are so many different kinds of spotlights you may not know which one to choose! What are the factors that make one spotlight better than another for the bathroom? Which are the ones that are best for kitchen lighting

We’ll be doing our best to answer all these questions right here in this article. By the time you’ve finished reading it, you’ll know all about the types of spotlights and how their brightness, beam angle, and bulb type influence how well they work in different situations.

Outdoor garden Spotlight

Types of Spotlight

There are a huge variety of spotlights. The most common type that you’ve likely seen before is called the recessed spotlight – if you’ve ever seen a spotlight sitting inside the ceiling of your bathroom or kitchen, then you already know what a recessed spotlight is. 

Basic spotlights are similar, but they sit on top of the wall or ceiling rather than inside it. There are also outdoor spotlights that you typically use for security or to light up a water feature or other garden ornaments.

The real challenge comes with size: spotlights come in so many different sizes it is difficult to determine which ones fit well in a given room. 

While this does present a problem if you are planning to buy the spotlights before planning out what you need, it can actually be a blessing if you’re smart enough to plan ahead. Since there are so many different sizes, all you need to do is measure out the area that you wish to install the spotlights in and calculate what size works best. 

However, size is far from the only factor that affects what kind of spotlight is best for you. Read on for more information!

Spotlight Brightness

A typical lightbulb’s brightness is measured in watts. You’ve likely noticed a number such as 60 watts on the packet when you buy lightbulbs. 

The brightness of spotlights isn’t measured with watts. Rather, it is measured by ‘useful lumens’. While ordinary lights are expected to expend light in all directions, spotlights are supposed to limit their brightness to a 90-degree area below them. It is within these 90 degrees that lumens are considered useful. Any light that passes outside the 90-degree area doesn’t count. 

Most spotlights lose a portion of their light in this way, which is why the wattage is actually inaccurate. For example, an LED spotlight and a halogen spotlight may have the same number of watts. However, an LED spotlight only loses about 5-10% of its light, while a halogen spotlight loses closer to 25%. So, the LED spotlight has more useful lumens than the halogen spotlight. 

Once you’ve got to grips with how to measure useful lumens, we recommend that you aim to have between 300-400 lumens per square meter in the chosen room. However, that is the level you require in general for a normal sized room. If you are lighting a kitchen countertop or a work desk, you should aim for closer to 700-800 useful lumens.

Outdoor Spotlight

Beam Angle

We touched a little on the beam angle earlier. The ideal beam angle for a spotlight is 90 degrees. However, the majority of spotlights do lose a portion of their direct light. 

As we already mentioned, LED spotlights do tend to be more focused than halogen spotlights. However, there are other factors that will change the beam angle. For example, the nearer the spotlight is to the surface it is targeting, the narrower the angle will be. 

It isn’t a huge problem if your beam isn’t all within the 90-degree area of useful lumens. As long as you account for this difference and get a spotlight that has the extra lumen you need to make up for, you’ll be just fine. 

Halogen or LED Spotlights

As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve already made a few points in favor of LED spotlights over halogen spotlights. LED spotlights do keep to the 90-degree beam angle much better than halogen spotlights.

Halogen spotlights do have some temporary advantages. A halogen spotlight costs, upfront, cheaper than an LED spotlight. 

However, halogen spotlights consume far more electricity than LED spotlights to produce the same number of useful lumens. Over the course of a year, the average halogen spotlight costs £72 to run for just four hours a day. An LED spotlight can be powered for the same amount of time and give off the same number of useful lumens for just £12 a year. 

If you thought those factors made the LED spotlight the obvious winner, there’s an even bigger factor – halogen spotlights tend to last around one to two years at most before burning out. LED spotlights can last up to 25 years before having any trouble. 

Even better than that, LED spotlights can utilize dimmers effectively, further increasing the length of time they can survive as well as how useful they are in your home. 

In conclusion, while an LED spotlight does cost you a bit more when you first purchase it, they are far more energy and cost efficient over time. There’s a reason why the popularity of halogen spotlights is diminishing and LED spotlights are getting more time in the spotlight (yes, that was deliberate!).

Light Emitting Diodes in spotlight

Consult with a Professional

If you’re still not certain about which spotlight is the best spotlight for you to buy, you should ask someone who would know. You could either consult someone to come take a look at your home or simply explain the factors you’ve already looked into and see what they have to say. So feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions before buying.

Getting the best spotlights for your home will improve how comfortable the rooms feel, and that’s why we feel it’s so important for you to follow our tips in this guide.

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