The energy consumption of a household in Australia is increasing every year. A big amount of that energy is solely consumed in home lighting. Every year an average family spends almost 10 -15 percent of their electricity bill on lighting. In case you are using halogen downlights to light your house, you are precisely burning your hard-earned money.

Switching over to energy efficient lights is a smart lighting choice to reduce daily power consumption. Instead of using a pack of four or more halogen lamps, use energy saving lights, especially LEDs. Compare traditional and energy efficient lighting options with our SAVINGS CALCULATOR.

Read our energy efficient LED GUIDE.

What to consider while selecting a downlight?

Here are some pointers:

selecting a downlight#1 Power Consumption

Downlights are well known for consuming a lot of power. When choosing lights to install, you should be aware how much power they will consume. Understand the difference between low energy lights and low voltage lamps. It is the watts that count not the volts. The innovative technology behind GU10 LED downlights are 5% brighter than your 50-watt halogen and consume less wattage.

#2 Beam Angle Space

Unless you are planning to create a unique lighting effect, you should always go with the widest beam angle. Check how far the downlight unit will spread the light, thoroughly. Wide beam angle reduces the chance of dark spots between the fittings. GU10 LED downlights provides 40 degrees and 25 degrees beam angle for widespread lighting.

#3 Downlight Rules and Regulations

Other than checking how much light is generated, you should know the regulations surrounding a downlight. Installing fire rated GU10 LED downlights to meet the requirements of sound travel through a downlight, drought resistance and prevention of fire spreading in the room.

Types of Downlights

Halogen Downlights (Main Voltage)

types of downlightsMain voltage halogen downlights use the twist and lock GU10 bulbs. These bulbs are cheap and easy to install. There is no need for additional transformer installation. Different varieties like GU10 tilt downlights and GU10 bathroom downlights are available with the energy efficient GU10 bulb alternative. GU10 LED downlights are the market leaders from the last few years. GU10 LED downlights are available in varied sizes, colour temperatures and beam angles.

GU10 LED downlights are initially expensive, but they save around 95% of energy which eventually saves a lot of money.

Some energy efficient GU10 bulbs are longer in size than halogen GU10. Depending on your fittings, these LED GU10 bulbs or CFL GU10 bulbs can stick out of the front light fittings. According to the size of the low energy GU10 bulbs, longer lamp fittings are available in the market.

Some of the other specifications of GU10 LED downlights are:

  • 5.4 W comparable brightness
  • Colour Temperature: 2700K, 3000K and 4000K
  • Efficiency of 67 to 72 lumens per watt
  • 90 CRI colour rendering index
  • Voltage: Mains 220 – 240V
  • 40 degrees and 25 degrees beam angle
  • Life expectancy of 50,000 hours, 22.8 years (6 hours per day) or 45 years (3 hours per day)

Halogen Downlights (Low Voltage)

Low voltage downlights can run at 12 volts but require an extra piece of the transformer to control the voltage. You need to make sure that the installed transformer can handle the number of bulbs you want to install. You also need to match the transformer wattage with the low voltage downlight wattage. In case the transformer fails to balance the wattage, it might induce unnecessary expenditure.

Here is an informative chart created for you to choose the right downlight.

Main voltage halogenLow voltage halogenLight emitting diodes (LED)Compact Fluorescent (CFL)
EfficiencyPoorPoorVery GoodGood
Energy Usage20-50w20-50w2.5 – 7 w7 – 13w
Transformer requirementNoYesNoNo
Start up timeInstantInstantinstantAlmost instant
Life ExpectancyUp to 2000 hoursUp to 2000 hoursUp to 50,000 hoursUp to 8000 hours


Using low energy downlights like GU10 LED downlights will help you save a lot of money in the long run. Also, these lights will help you protect the environment with low energy usage.