The basic difference between spotlights and downlights is their light source. Spotlights are generally used as accent lighting. Downlights are energy-saving lamps with white or yellow light. Spotlights are usually more decorative and come in various shapes and sizes. Although both types provide illumination, they serve different purposes. Spotlights are generally more energy efficient and often use a quartz bulb. Downlights are most commonly used in bedrooms and hallways.
On the other hand, spotlights are usually surface-mounted luminaires with a cutout. The typical cutout size is 2 inches, 2.5 inches, or three inches. A downlight needs to be recessed into a higher ceiling, while a spotlight requires a six to eight-inch cutout. Spotlights can be installed near flammable objects, while downlights must be mounted through holes.
A spotlight has a wide range of uses. In general, they can illuminate a room up to five square feet. While a spotlight is generally more powerful, downlights are less durable. Spotlights also require less maintenance and are more expensive. However, downlights are a good option for small rooms and a home office. The difference between spotlights and downlights is often negligible.
While downlights and spotlights are similar in size, they serve very different functions. Spotlights are typically surface-mounted, whereas downlights are fixed to the ceiling. Spotlights offer multiple light beams and are useful for special lighting requirements. Downlights are generally used for general lighting. Consider their differences before making your final decision if you’re planning to use spotlights.