Downlights with LEDs, the smart choice from ETAP

LED downlights are slowly conquering the market. ETAP capitalises on this trend and complements its existing range of downlighters with LED D2 surface-mounted downlights and the recessed square D3 downlights.

The reflector and the thermal design represented the greatest challenge for the designers. The result is wide-angle light distribution, excellent luminance management and optimal cooling of the LEDs.

Extra cost quickly recovered
LEDs increasingly appear to be the right choice as a light source for downlights. First and foremost, there is obviously the power consumption, which is considerably lower than the, often inefficient – compact fluorescent lamps with which most downlights are still fitted today. As a result the extra cost of the LED version is recovered fairly quickly, especially when replacement cost and maintenance are taken into account.

Downlights are furthermore fitted with presence detection and dimmers in quite a few applications – just think of sanitary facilities and corridors. Here too, LEDs offer considerable advantages. Once switched on they immediately provide full luminous flux, they can be dimmed more efficiently and are nearly impervious to frequent switching. This too plays an important role in the successful combination of LEDs and downlights.

Cooling: a challenge
With the integration of LED technology into downlights, designers face a number of major challenges. LEDs operate optimally when they are adequately cooled, which is certainly not obvious in downlights. The LEDs sit close together and the surface to be cooled is small. That is why we developed a unique heat sink for the LED versions of our downlights and placed a special thermal foil between the printed circuit board and the heat sink, which ensures optimal heat dissipation.

This leads to long service life and high efficiency for the LEDs. We even go one step further for the D2 surface-mounted downlights, since driver and LED module are installed in a closed housing. The adjusted construction and aluminium housing maximises heat dissipation. Furthermore, the aluminium housing gives the LED version of the D2 an even more minimalist and elegant look.

Adjusted light distribution
In addition to cooling, light distribution also requires special attention. LEDs operate completely differently from fluorescent lamps as a light source. In order to achieve even light distribution, the reflector for the LED versions was completely redesigned. The new, wide-angle reflector not only limits the number of downlights required to illuminate the space, but also prevents glare from the bright LED lights, which results in UGR values between 19 and 22.

In addition to the LED versions of the D2 and D3* downlights, ETAP will also market a second-generation version of the D1 LED downlight, which is 13 % more energy-efficient thanks to a new LED module. With this new version ETAP capitalises on fast growing LED technology.

* D3 with LED will be available as of April 2013.

Tags: ETAP, Downlight News, lighting industry news, e-lec.org