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Do smart downlights require an electrician to install them?

Below is a guide, but you should consult your electrician for safety protocols around installing any type of lighting based on your unique circumstances.

Usually no, but sometimes they do. More detail below.

Does it plug into the standard LED wiring?

The simple answer is - yes. There is no extra wiring involved or nothing different with what would be for a normal downlight. So you can take an old downlight out and put the new one in place e.g the Sengled Element, without any extra wiring. The only time there is an exception on that is if the existing downlight is hard wired i.e connected with electrical connectors. Then technically you should have an electrician connect it back up again. But if the existing downlight is plugged into what we call a surface socket in the ceiling, then you can just unplug the existing downlight or powerpoint socket and put the new one in.

Ok so in the ceiling there's a wall plug so that you take the old downlight out and put the new one straight into that slot?

Exactly, most electricians these days are wiring houses up with what is called a surface socket which is a power plug which is like a wall socket without the switch. This is in the ceiling, located just near the downlight hole somewhere. Majority of people are doing it that way, because the downlights come with a plug. Sengled, LIFX and other smart downlight manufacturers also come with this plug on the end of it, so you can just simply plug in and plug out, you don't need an electrician. If it has been hard wired without a plug i.e with connectors, then technically an electrician should come and swap those over.

So percentage wise, what do you see your customers needing electricians vs not needing, for the downlights?

If it is a new installation as in the last 5 years it's more like 70% would have surface sockets, and the other 30% wouldn't. if it is an older installation going back 10 or more years it's probably more like 50/50.

Is there anything we have to know about the GU10 version of downlights?

The common legacy downlights probably weren't GU10, they were the common downlights in houses e.g halogen lights were mr16. They were low voltage which means there was a transformer normally for GU10 products. You will find more often than not you will have to replace the whole downlight or at least the lamp holder that connects into the lamp. You will find there will not be many retrofitted versions in GU10 downlights, they're more common in track lights and things like that.