Frequently Asked Questions
Can I cover my LED downlights with insulation?
I would like to replace my old downlights with a sealed LED downlight but one that I can safely cover with ceiling insulation.
Thanks for the email. Yes, we install sealed LED downlights that can be covered by insulation. They are the best choice for thermal efficiency and solve all the problems of old downlights. The downlights we like to install are from SAL, they are members of the Lighting Council Australia which means the lights have passed the strict Australian lighting requirements. This style of LED downlight can be covered by most types of ceiling insulation but to confirm I have attached a photo of the exact requirements.
Chris, when we install these lights we install the transformer above the insulation and it is very important that this is always the case. Some clients like to install more insulation after we have finished installing the lights but just remember not to cover the transformer. The main reason is electronics do not like heat and covering the transformer will drastically reduce the life of the LED fitting. I think this is why a lot of the lighting manufactures void the warranty if the lights have not been installed by a licensed electrician.
Have a look at the attached installation instructions and let me know if you have any other questions.
Can you get a driverless LED downlight?
I am looking at replacing my old halogen downlights to LED but I would like to replace them with a driverless LED downlight. I have read driverless 240V LED downlight lights are better and last longer than 12V LED downlights with drivers because if the driver goes the light is useless.
Thanks for contacting us. This is a very common question we get asked and I think this is because some LED lights are being wrongly advertised. Currently every LED light fitting needs some form of electronic equipment to drive the light. It is a very common misconception that you can buy a 240 volt LED light and it is different from a 12 volt LED downlight. The reality is they both have electronics that drive the LED. One might have the electronics inbuilt while the other might have an external driver thats the only difference.
I will do my best to explain this without it getting ridiculously complicated and will attach some images that might help the explanation.
So LED lights are what we call semiconductors and have been used in lots of different electronic devices for years. The technology has only recently improved enough to finally replace the common filament light bulb. The only real similarity between a filament light bulb and a LED light bulb is the shape, they are different in every other way. Below is a dissected image of a LED bulb.
When we talk about lights that run on 230 volts we are talking about filament light fittings, light bulbs that have that curly looking wire inside the glass. The type you know is blown when you look inside and see a break or shake it and here it jingle.
LED lights are much more sensitive and run on lower voltages around the 12 volt to 24 volt range. They also prefer direct current (DC) over alternating current (AC) that is why LED torches were all the rage way before anything else.
In Australia our home supply is 230V AC and our sensitive electronics like laptops, smart phones, tablets need transformers to safely convert the power to DC and also lower voltage. LED lights are in the same category they also need to convert that high 230V to a safer, lower more stable voltage. They need help from electronics components that are hidden inside the bulb or built into an external transformer that you see on most LED downlights.
So the short answer is driver less LED lights do not exist, you will find electronic components hidden inside every LED light fitting, claiming to be driver less 230V.
In regards to the life and how long the LED light will last, it entirely depends on the quality of the electronic components powering that fitting. If the LED lights have used poor electronic components then your light will only last as long as that equipment. A good example is if the transformer on your laptop dies then your laptop will stop working and it won’t work until you get a new transformer. This is why here at LED Solutions we only install LED lights from a select few manufactures because we know they use high quality electronics. They are members of The Lighting Council of Australia who have strict guidelines that the lights must meet before being sold in Australia.
With the right combination of electronics and LED chip you will have years and years of energy efficient low maintenance light. I hope that made sense and if you have any other questions feel free to ask.
LED Solutions Canberra
How much to install 8 LED lights and one new power point?
I wish every job was the same as this would reduce the time I spend quoting and also would mean less surprises on jobs. The reason why it all depends is every home/office installation is different. Some buildings are all double brick walls, two story, some have terrible access into the ceiling and some are virtually impossible to run cables without cutting access holes.
I will give you a good example of a recent small electrical job and why the price all depends.
This fellow only wanted a few things done, replace 8 old downlights to LED and install one new power point behind his TV. The new lights were easy to quote as he sent me a photo and was able to describe the fitting but the new power point was a different story.
I asked the common questions about location, access, roof type, nearest power point, type of switchboard and a few others. The problem was the client did not quite give the exact information as he thought the job was going to be easy peasy.
The lights we had very little issue with, only that 8 were hard wired and needed plug bases installed but that was it.
The one, meant to be ‘easy shouldn’t take you long’ power point installation took 2 electricians 4 hours.
The problem was the ceiling was flat and the client thought he had a lot more room above than he actually did. It was all ok though, he was informed is was going to take a lot longer than quoted as we will need to lift sheets to run in the new cable. The process of drilling down the internal wall then through the noggin and running the cable through a ceiling with little to no access can be tedious. One day when all power is wireless our life will be much easier, most likely because we will all be out of a job. Below is an image that gives yo an idea of what timber is behind the wall. Drilling the holes for the cable inside the wall can be a tricky process and requires a few holes to be drilled, one for the torch, one for the drill and the last one to look through.
So it all depends but with the right information the time and materials can all be quoted on and for larger jobs a site inspection definitely helps fill in the blanks.
If you would like a quote on an electrical job feel free to contact us and will do our best to give you an accurate estimate.
Can I replace an old batten holder with a LED downlight?
Hello, Thanks for the email. Yes we can but, this depends on one important factor. The down light needs some space in the ceiling for the heatsink and sometimes batten holders are installed under a truss. A truss is a structural beam in the ceiling and can not be cut, this will prevent us from installing any LED downlights. In a normal situation this is not a problem and replacing most old ceiling lights with LED replacements can be done quite easily using the existing wiring. The ability to install insulation over the top of the lights and also the sealed design has motivated people to make the switch over. I have listed LED Solutions process of installation below for you to go over.
Our installation process:
- Isolate the power
- Set up a drop sheet to catch most of the dust
- Remove old light fitting
- Check above the old light and make sure we have enough space
- Measure and cut out the new downlight hole
- Wire and connect a plug base to the existing cables
- We only install downlights with a flex and plug
- Plug the new downlight into the plug base
- Install into the ceiling and
- test and turn on the power.
If you have any further questions feel free to ask. You can also check out our downlight replacement page for some rough estimated costs for any Halogen downlight replacement.
LED Solutions Canberra
I have a crackling switch can you fix that and if so how much?
Hello, Thanks for the email. Yes, we can definitely fix the crackling switch and this is not a big job.
In regards to replacing the broken switch we can install a whole new wall plate for you, I will attach a photo to check out and see what you would prefer. The other option is to try and replace just the switch mechanism, leaving the existing wall plate. It would be very helpful if you could send me a photo of the switch. The reason we ask for a photo is we need to install the correct type, some will not fit certain switch plates.
Our call out fee is $150 for the first hour and this will cover the new switch and the time to install it.
Below are some common switches we install from legrand and can be installed with a blue LED light indicator as a add on. The other image is of a clipsal switch mechanism and this fits most of the switch plates on the market.
Thanks you for contacting us and if you have any more questions feel free to call or email us directly.
LED Solutions Canberra
Can you install LED downlights outside under the eaves of my garage?
If you would like to test to see if your home has asbestos you can either bring a sample (double bagged in zip lock bags) to a testing center in Canberra or you can contact an asbestos inspector from http://www.robsonenviro.com.au/.
Let me know the age of the house and the suburb and I might be able to give you an idea on the likely hood of having asbestos eves.
Can you install a LED downlight above my shower?
Hi, thanks for the message. Yes, this is something we do quite often in new and existing homes. Most of the lights we install are sealed and have a high IP rating allowing them to be installed directly over the top of the shower. The electronic equipment is in the ceiling and protected from any water. So you this is definitely something you could look into. A common LED downlight we use for this type of installation is from SAL called the Premier, this particular light has an IP64 rating.
If you would like a rough quote for the installation feel free to get back to me.
LED Solutions Canberra
How long will it take you to replace 20 halogen downlights with LED downlights?
- If any lights have been hard wired we will fix this and install a plug base to allow for easy plug in.
- Access into the ceiling – if access is needed this may slow the process down.
- Removal of all the old lights
- Ceiling height – large ceilings will take longer as it takes more time to move the ladder around.
- Size of the lights being replace as some are more difficult removing without damaging the ceiling. All lights can be removed just some care needs to be taken and this adds time.
It all really depends on how much work we are doing. Generally we need a full day this allows us time to set up drop sheets and material. It also gives us some extra time if we come across any issues as we do not like to rush any jobs.
I hope this answers your question. Thanks again.
I don’t like the blue LED light, can you get a warm colour?
If asked, I try and recommend warm white especially for homes as this colour has less of an effect on our circadian rhythm especially late at night when we are trying to wind down and get ready for sleep. Dimmers also help with this as you can lower the brightness of light simulating the sun going down. I will attach a image showing the three main colour temperatures.
Any more questions feel free to ask.
My downlights are hard wired how much will it cost to replace with plugs?
My downlights are hard wired and I can not unplug them. Can you please give me a rough cost to install 16 downlights with plugs?
Thanks for the email. I can definitely give you a quote to replace your old lights. If you are not aware we have a few options in regards to LED downlights we install. Different lights caterer to solving different problems and also for different budgets. If you would like to have a quick look and see which package best fits you click here.
In regards to wiring and installing plugs it is generally a pretty straight forward procedure. I will need to confirm some questions with you in regards to access into the ceiling and the type of light but happy to do that after you have had a little look at the site. Below is a photo of what you can expect after we have finished installing the plug bases.
The LED Solutions Team
Why do my halogen downlights turn on and off.
I have 24 old round halogen downlights and most I have not had any problems with but the others I am constantly having issues. Some lights stay on for around 10 minutes then just turn off then turn back on again later. I have changed the globes but this does not seem to have fixed the problem. Some just don’t work anymore even if when a new glob has been installed. Is this something to do with the transformer?
If you can help me fix this problem that would be great and send me a rough cost to replace the 24.
It sounds like you have old iron core transformers and they are overheating. This is very common with old iron core transformers, when they heat up they turn off when cool down the light will turn back on again. It is an inbuilt thermal overload and protects the transformer from overheating and causing damage. Below are some images of old iron core transformers we have replaced, one iron core transformer got so hot it cracked and melted the lead.
Eventually they will stop turning back on again. I can offer a few options that will fix the problem. The first option is to replace the problem transformers with new electronic ones and keep the existing lights. This is the most cost effective option if you just want to fix the problem lights. If you are looking for a more long lasting solution we can pull out the old halogen downlights and replace with a new LED Downlight kit. This option has the benefits of being 80% more energy efficient and a lamp life 10x longer than a halogen. I would think about how long you will be living in the home for as a replacement is more of a long term investment.
If you are interested in replacing your lights, have a look at our downlight replacement page it has good information and some rough costings.
Let me know if your are interested in any of the options above or if you have any other questions.
LED Solutions Canberra