An interior with multiple downlights

A room with multiple recessed downlights

A smooth ceiling with recessed downlights has been “the look” for a decade or two. It may look nice; but these fittings waste energy.

First off, there’s the number of downlights you need. Because recessed fittings cast a narrow beam of light, you could need up to eight fittings in a lounge where a single ceiling dome and a couple of wall lights would do the same job. And more lights mean you use more electricity.

But the biggest problem with downlights is the loss of warm air from the living area into the roof space. That’s because each recessed downlight has a ventilation gap around it to stop it overheating, and this allows warm air to escape.

These gaps on windy days can also bring contaminated dust and dirt from your roof space into your home – and they can vent the moist air from your bathroom into the roof space, which reduces the effectiveness of your ceiling insulation.

Join now

Get full access to all Consumer reports for as little as $1.85 a week

  • Over 500 reports plus interactive tools and calculators
  • Independent advice from NZ's trusted source of information
  • Join over 65,000 members who help us get all NZers a fairer deal

Join Consumer now and make your decisions easy on a huge range of products and services

  • Over 500 reports, plus interactive tools and calculators
  • Independent advice from NZ's trusted source of information
  • Join over 65,000 members who help us get all NZers a fairer deal

from just $28

Join now
Read what our members say