You may use just one downlight if you want to highlight an object or a particular point in your room, but when you want to adequately light up your room, you need to use many downlights. The problem is to assess how many do you need! Well, there is no straight answer to that question.
It depends on the size of the room and the activity to be performed therein. For instance, you'll need more lighting in kitchen as you'll be doing your cooking there, but you may not like as much light in your living room, where you might want to create a relaxed ambience. Moreover, it is also a matter of personal tastes and preferences.
When you want to have ambient lighting, you should ensure to space your downlight uniformly to get grid like outline, considering the general profile of the room. You should focus on having a uniform distribution of light, in order to avoid creating shadows. Before you get started with the installation, you have to locate joists in the ceiling of the room.
Having done that, you may proceed with the marking of positions where the fittings will be fixed. Keep a distance of about eight centimeters from the wall, to put off too much of light from striking against the walls, which can create undesired washing effect. You may have to increase this distance, depending on the positioning and design of furniture contained in the room.
For instance, cupboards hanging on the walls of your kitchen could obstruct light and cause unnecessary shadows. The gap between two downlights is dependent on the dimensions of your fitting. Fittings having a diameter of four inches should have space of nearly four feet all round.
Likewise, fittings with a diameter of five inches should have free space measuring five feet all around. You will understand that a reduction of space between any two light fittings will increase the intensity of light in your room, whereas on increasing that gap, you can create a softening effect. When including extra fittings, you can generally make up for reduced brilliance offered by smaller downlights.
Otherwise, you may use a dimmer switch to easily increase or decrease the intensity of light emitted by LED downlights. However, when you want to have this kind of control over your lighting with a dimmer, you should use a Low Load Trailing Edge Dimmer Switch. Apart from having an all-purpose ambience, you can also use LED downlights for highlighting any specific area of any room.
For best results, use eye-ball downlights, also known as gimbals. You have to define the area in the room that you would like to highlight, and accordingly arrange your fixtures. For instance, when the room has plenty of wall art on one of its walls, it will be appropriate to bring your downlight closer to the walls containing the exhibits you want to highlight.
When you want to powerfully illuminate any area, you should try grouping your fitting together over that area.