your lighting expert!


Downlights or Spotlights – Which is Better?

Home » Uncategorized » Downlights or Spotlights – Which is Better?

sofa wall

Should spotlights or downlights be used for the sofa? This is a controversial issue. It seems like the biggest problem of the century.

Some people say to use downlights – downlights have even light and are not “dazzling”, making them suitable for reading books and newspapers on the sofa (no).

Some say you can’t use downlights–the light spots on the wall are too ugly.

Some people say that spotlights can be used to take photos, wash walls or to wash them.

Many people claim that spotlights are dangerous to use because they are too bright and you will get injured instantly if you lie down.


There is no right or incorrect.

Then we start from the actual application to see which lamp is more suitable for you. This is only a discussion tool and not a decoration.

Let’s take a look at the conventional ways to decorate the ceiling in the living room:

  1. Side ceiling/return ceiling
  2. Lift the entire ceiling

Let’s use the standard size to illustrate.

Look at the distance only, and not at the light.

The distance between the lamp and the wall should be about 20cm.

At this distance, just from the perspective of light effect

Below is a picture of a downlight that has a floodlight source with 100+ degV

Typical balloon light spots, if you think you can accept this effect, you can install it with confidence (don’t laugh yet… your home decoration will be the same).

Large-angle downlights also make up the basis of floodlights. If you have ceiling lights and light strips in your living room, I would like to ask you, why do you need so much basic lighting? What’s it for?

What if we switch to a downlight with another beam angle?

The picture below is the effect of 58deg downlightV

Use it if the effect improves instantly. The problem has been solved. This is so exciting…

Don’t rush…

We will first look at the practices that are common for this type of downlightV

The lamp cup has a high reflectivity and is bright, so it will increase the rate of light usage.

The following is the picture drawn by the actual testV

  • There is virtually no glare when a person looks at the lamp from a distance greater than point A, at 230cm horizontally. This is very good.
  • When a person is at point B and looks up at the lamp at a horizontal distance of 100cm from the lamp, it is unacceptable glare.
  • When a person moves from point A to point B and looks up at the lamp, the glare gradually increases.

The glare can be tolerated by looking straight ahead or raising your head slightly, even if you are close to or within point B.

The main cause of unacceptable glare when looking up at a lamp at a close distance is the bright reflector of the downlight.

Remember that our sofas are 20cm or more thick. It can be understood that when we lean on the sofa, the lamp is basically directly above us, which means that we are completely exposed to unacceptable glare.

Once again, I am disappointed.

So, is there really no solution for downlights? Are light patterns and glare really incompatible?

There’s no real solution. The only solution is not to install it, but only to look at which aspect is more preferred, such as the 58deg “full spectrum” downlight below.

Since you’ve already seen the pattern, I will post another image.

There is no connection between photography and downlights. Let’s compare spotlights at the same distance.

Have you considered installing downlights?


Continue to look at the spotlightV

Does it work better than downlights or not? Are you jealous?

You are not satisfied if you only like this.

Anyone with some knowledge will be able to see that the beam of light from the spotlight is extending beyond the frame, creating a very strong light on the walls. This looks extremely awkward.

Then try another kind of light.

The image below is about 30cm from the wall

It feels better to look at it, so I know it.

Give me a referenceV


Optical with lenses within point B,

B-A can use reflective cups.

It will make the effect better. I will not explain it further, as it would take another two thousand more words.

Three recommendations for a low budget

The effect is slightly improved if you choose Philips Pinying for the spotlights in point C.

Don’t understand?

Read the answers slowly and save them.

How many watts does a living room downlight cost? Which brand is the most cost-effective one?

Using spotlights behind the sofa solves the problem of taking pictures. Glare is also a weakness, but using a lens type and placing the angle slightly closer to the wall will alleviate it.


Large flat top

This is the paradise of downlights, spotlights and light strips

See the same picture

  • Basic lighting is provided by Light Strip 1.
  • Light strip 4 creates atmosphere and cabinet fill-in light
  • Light strip 4 for ambient lighting
  • Spotlight 2 function sofa wall
  • Spotlight 3 can be used as a coffee table light
  • Spotlight 6 living room atrium fill light


TV Wall

The arrangement of lamps on the TV wall needs to meet the needs of watching movies (hidden light strips on the TV wall are more effective)

  1. You can use the atmosphere on the ceiling to hide the light source.
  2. You can also use ceiling downlights/spotlights
  3. Installing hidden light strips can be done on the TV wall. In Guanyin mode, there is no need for too bright lights. Hidden light source allows for 4-6W/M to be sufficient.

Downlights and Spotlights: Their advantages and disadvantages

I have mentioned many times in previous articles that if you must use downlights/spotlights on the TV wall, you should avoid the TV to avoid the bad experience of reflection from the TV screen.

The lighting is usually arranged in this way:

  1. Install spotlights

If you arrange the lamps in this way, as long as you turn on the lights, no matter whether you turn on the TV or not, there will be obvious glare.

  1. Install downlights

Due to the limitations of the side hangings, it is possible that the balloon spots will appear on the wall. This is a very ugly thing.

If spotlights are install-ed, the central beam will be particularly strong. There will be different degrees of interference.

A reference lighting installation method given before is as shown below:

This method is not only feasible, but also has its own disadvantages.

You can avoid the glare from the lamp if you stare directly at the television (line of vision 1).

However, the position where we watch TV will not always be fix-ed (sight line 2), so this method will fail.

If the distance between lights is too small, the problem of light and shadow overlap will occur, which will compromise the experience.

Just like the picture below:

So, we should think about some questions, why should we arrange spotlights and downlights on the TV wall?

  • Does it look good?
  • Does it have to do with coordination?
  • Why should we do what others do?
  • We should think again, what is the main function of the lamps place-d on the TV wall?

I believe everyone has their own answer, but it is nothing more than:

Make the space more layered

Can have more atmosphere

Create ambient lighting for movie viewing

Finally, if we think about it in reverse, if the lights we arrange have obvious “side effects”, does such an arrangement still make sense?

2-2. Which solution is the most reliable?

There are many ways to achieve the above scenes, and it is not necessarily necessary to use spotlights, such as using light strips.

I made a few sketches of simulations (they are a little rough but you can still read them to understand what they mean).

Example 1

Three strips of lighting are used to illuminate the TV wall shown in the image above.

Light Strip 1: This light strip can be used with the lamps on the ceiling for the main lighting.

Light Strip 2: This method of wall cleaning will be uniform, the lighting will be softer and it won’t interfere with watching television.

Light strip 3: Low-brightness light strips are use-d for low-level lighting, which instantly enhances the atmosphere and level of the space.

You can also choose light strips with adjustable brightness to suit your needs and meet the lighting requirements of different scenes.

Example 2

This kind of vertical light strip, combined with slightly brighter ceiling lamps, will make you feel that the floor height is being raise-d, reducing the sense of depression.

It can be the perfect way to add light to your movie without interfering with the viewing experience.

Example 3:

Of course, you can also make horizontal light troughs. The principle is the same and it depends on your actual situation and personal preferences.

This is a much better way to clean the walls than with spotlights.