The Downlight vs. Spotlight Conundrum
The Downlight vs. Spotlight Conundrum

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 people say that downlights are not suitable because the light spots on walls look too bad.

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

Some people say that you cannot use spotlights - they are too dazzling, and You will be injured instantly when lying down.


There is no right or incorrect.

Then we start from the actual application to see which lamp is more suitable for you. It is only used as a reference for discussion and not as a basis for 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

The usual width of the looped ceiling is about 40cm, so let's take the regular size as an example.

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

The normal opening will be on the center line of the side hanging, that is, the distance between the lamp position and the wall is about 20cm.

This distance is just from the perspective light effect

The picture below is a downlight with a flood light source of 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).

Furthermore, large-angle downlights are the basic floodlight source. 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 is it for?

What happens if we change to a downlight that has a different beam angle?

The picture below is the effect of 58deg downlightV

Use it if the effect improves instantly. The problem has been solved. It's so exciting...

Don't rush...

Let's first take a look at the common practices of this type of downlightV

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

This is a picture of 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.
  • It is an unacceptable glare when a person at point B looks up at a lamp that is 100cm horizontally away.
  • When a person moves from point A to point B and looks up at the lamp, the glare gradually increases.

Looking straight or slightly raising your head, close to point B or even within point B, the glare is still acceptable.

The bright reflector on the downlight is the main culprit of the glare that you see when you look up at the lamp from a distance.

Don't forget, the thickness of our sofas is basically 20cm+. When we lean back on the couch, the lamp will be directly above us. This means we are exposed to a lot of 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. There is no solution. The only way to decide is to choose the aspect that you prefer, like the "full spectrum downlight" below at 58deg.

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.

If you want to install downlights, have you thought about it?


Continue to look into the spotlight

Is it better than downlights? 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 picture below is 30cm away from the wall

When I look at it, it feels better.

Give me a referenceV


The optical with lenses is located within the point B.

B-A can use reflective cups.

The effect will be better, so I won't explain it now, otherwise it will be another two thousand words longer.

Give 3 recommendations (low budget)

If you use spotlights at point C and choose Philips Pinying, the effect will be slightly better.

Don't understand?

Read the answers slowly and save them.

How many watts does a living room downlight cost? Which brand is more cost-effective?

Using spotlights behind the sofa solves the problem of taking pictures. The glare can also be a problem, but by using a different lens and moving the angle closer to the wall you will reduce it.


Flat top large

Here is a paradise for downlights and spotlights

The same image

  • 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. You can also install hidden light strips on the TV wall. In Guanyin mode, there is no need for too bright lights. The hidden light source ensures that 4-6W/M is completely 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

You will get glare if you place the lamps this way. It doesn't matter if you are watching TV or not.

  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.

The central beam of a spotlight will be very 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.

If you look directly at the TV (line of sight 1), you can basically effectively avoid the glare of the lamp.

This method is not successful because the position in which we watch television will not be fixed (sightline 2) all of the time.

The experience will be compromised if the distance between the lights is too short.

Like the image below:

Why should we install spotlights and downlights in the TV wall?

  • Is it because it looks good?
  • Does it have to do with coordination?
  • Why should we do what others do?
  • What is the primary function of the lamps placed on the TV wall, we should ask ourselves?

Everyone has their own answer but the truth is that it's nothing more than:

Layer the space

Can have more atmosphere

Create ambient lighting for movie viewing

Does it still make sense to arrange the lights in this way if they have "side effects"?

2-2. Which solution is more reliable?

Light strips can be used to create the same effect as spotlights.

I drew a few simulation sketches (a bit rough, just read them and understand the meaning).

Example 1:

The TV wall in the picture above uses three strips of light.

Light strip 1: It can be us-ed with the lamps above the ceiling to provide the basic main lighting of the space.

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 used for low level lighting. This instantly improves the ambience and level in the room.

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.

When watching TV, it can provide just the right atmosphere to fill in the light without causing any interference to the movie viewing.

Example 3:

You can make horizontal light troughs as well. It is the same principle, but it will depend on your personal preference and actual situation.

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