When I renovated the house I installed a heap (18) CFL downlights in the ceiling which I reviewed. These 15W reflector CFL’s warm up fast(ish) and provide good light.
I was never happy with the kitchen bench though – it wasn’t bright enough. I recently bought a light meter from eBay and confirmed my suspicions. 60 Lumens at the bench top whereas kitchens are recommended to be around 150 lumens.
Surprisingly under my range-hood with it’s pair of (yuck) 20w G4 halogens scored 140 lumens.
I tried replacement bulbs in the downlights to get additional brightness with no success. The 18W Philips reflector is larger and does just fit. It’s only available in Warm White which made it seem no brighter and not match the rest of the house. I tried a larger 23W Par 38 spotlight, but it doesn’t fit into the housing, and is too large and heavy.
I thought I might need more spotlights on the wall until I made a new discovery.
http://www.pierlite.com.au/au/3091/dot-110 is a silvered reflective downlight housing that takes a normal ES bulb. By putting the silvered reflector in the housing, rather than the bulb, means you can use a normal bulb without losing all the light.
It comes with a Philips 20W ES Warm White bulb. I tried both a Philips 23W Daylight and 23W Warm White, much preferring the Warm White.
I’m impressed – this thing is BRIGHT. You do not want to look at it running. The benchtop now measures 160 lumens, up from 60. Great for a kitchen
23W is 3W above the rating of the fitting, but being CFL – I’m confident it won’t bother it. The 20W is also available in Dimmable, for those that want to replace 50W halogen downlights, although an electrician will be required, and the fitting is somewhat larger.
Another excuse not to go CFL’s down.