How To Choose The Right Spotlights
What are spotlights?
Spotlights are lighting fixtures that produce a directional cone or cylindrical light. Residential or commercial spotlight designs stem from lights used for stage or theatre productions. They follow a similar purpose and function by providing directional illumination and can come with anywhere between one to four lights per fixture.
Where to use spotlights?
Spotlights make great accent lighting (lighting focusing on a particular area) as they can be used to highlight certain features like artwork, menu boards, retail merchandise or even feature walls in and around the home. Some spotlights come with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, making them suitable for outdoor use. Below are some ideas on what to light up and where to use spotlights.
Low ceiling kitchens
Smaller spaces, like low ceiling kitchens can’t use hanging lights. Spotlights make a great alternative, especially with their directional function and the small area they use for installation. They are subtle lighting solutions and can have multiple lights on the one fixture, meaning you can have the right amount of illumination in the kitchen.
Outdoor entertaining spaces
A lot of spotlights can be installed outside, making them perfect for use in entertaining spaces. Use spotlights to illuminate a BBQ cooking area, highlight a patio feature wall, or provide light to a balcony.
Spotlights are also ideal for extra security around the home as they produce a directional cone or cylindrical beam of light. They bring an added level of convenience when used as welcome lights at night, in a side passage or with the functionality of a sensor to turn on when needed most.
Entryways to the home or business need ample lighting and spotlights can provide just that. The front and back entrances can be easily illuminated with spotlights on a porch. You can also use multi-directional or up/down pillar spotlights to subtly provide decorative light to these areas.
Types of spotlights
• Ceiling mounted
o Similar to a close-to-ceiling light, these are installed onto the ceiling with little to no room between the fixture and the ceiling. They are subtle and can provide some out-of-the-way directional lighting.
• Wall mounted
o Much like a wall light except for function and purpose. These are attached to a wall with a mounting plate and used to illuminate an area. This type of spotlight takes a step away from traditional wall mounted lights with the inception of multi-directional light beams and design.
• Up/down and pillar
o Typically, these types of spotlights are cylindrical in shape and have a light source at the top and bottom of the fixture. They are usually mounted on to the wall and are often used to highlight front entrances, pillars or feature walls.
o This type consists of multiple light fixtures attached in a row to a track with a system of joiners that sit flush against the ceiling. Usually these are adjustable and can therefore be moved around.
o Either wall or ceiling mounted, this type has multiple light sources attached to the one mounting plate or ceiling rose. They are useful for extra light direction or highlighting multiple areas in different directions.
Have you measured your space for the correct placement of lighting?
Have you considered the type of spotlight you need?
If you need light in different directions is the spotlight adjustable?
Is the light suitable for outdoor use?
Have you checked the IP rating?
Do you require a spotlight with a sensor?
Have you consulted your electrician about outdoor placement?
Quick buying tips
Depending on the type of spotlight, check the light projection from its track or wall to ensure it suits your purpose
Spotlights don’t always include the bulb. Make sure the fixture is compatible with a bulb that meets your requirement
If a spotlight is fitted with a bulb check if its wattage and colour temperature is right for your purpose or space
If you need multi-directional light look for spotlights with tilt or swivel action
Up/down spotlights are often used outdoors, on home facades and pillars. Ensure its beam angle meets your requirement or suits your space.