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The ultimate guide to...

Lighting

Lighting can be tricky, especially with more and more brands offering various degrees of energy saving light bulbs. From incandescent to LED, the choice is varied and the different advantages can sometimes confuse. Use our guide to find the correct bulbs to use in the rooms you want to bring a bit of extra sunshine to.

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Incandescent

These bulbs give a warm light; they have an average life span of 1,000 hours of light based on three hour per day usage.

This type of bulb produces an instant light with an energy rating of E-G. They can also be dimmed for dimmable fittings.

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Halogen

Similar to incandescent bulbs but more energy efficient and last longer. They give off a bright white light and have an average life span of 2,000 hours of light based on a three hour per day usage.

This type of bulb produces an instant light with an energy rating of B-C. They can also be dimmed for dimmable fittings. Halogen bulbs are also available in low voltage capsule types; a more beneficial bulb as they are energy efficient, more cost effective and shine 50 per cent brighter.

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Energy saving

These are best for when your are updating your current bulbs. Sometimes known as CFL or compact fluorescent bulbs, they give a warm white light and have an average life span of more than 8,000 hours of light based on a three hour per day usage.

This type of bulb produces a slower light, sometimes up to 60 seconds warm up time. These bulbs are also non-dimmable.

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LED

Sometimes referred to by their full name (Light Emitting Diode). These are pretty new to the bulb family. Most produce a warm white light and have an average life span of 20,000 plus hours of light based on a three hour per day usage. Some LED bulbs produce a cold white light for higher light output fittings.

This type of bulb produces an instant light with an energy rating of A. These bulbs are cool to the touch so are great for handling. In the not to distant future all lighting will have the option of LED without having to change the existing fittings, saving 93 per cent in expensive electrical usage.

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Bulb cap types

There are a range of cap types for bulbs, all light fittings will indicate what cap type it requires. Below are the most popular types to look out for.

BC ES SBC SES GU10 G4 G9
Bayonet cap Edison screw Small bayonet cap Small edison screw Twist lock Halogen Halogen

Indoor lighting

Most rooms in the home require more than one source of light, creating the right atmosphere for a specific room is essential. Using a combination of ceiling lights with floor and table lamps will create a diverse source of light and help with the characteristics of each room. Adding extra light such as wall lights will accentuate certain areas of the room.

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Outdoor lighting

Before purchasing lighting for your outdoor area, check that the fitting is IP rated, this means it is waterproof and durable. This rating indicates the level of protection in regards to water and moisture penetration and also protection for dust and mould. All fittings suitable for outdoor use will be indicated in the description. Outdoor lighting must be fitted with care, if you prefer an electrician this would be advisable. Any wiring should be covered and all metal work will need to be earthed. Make sure to keep any waterproof sockets and switches installed under a cover to be sheltered from rain. For entrance lighting situated at the front of the house, we recommend fittings with a PIR sensor; this option will help save energy and can be used as security for your home. Solar lighting is an easy and efficient way to add light to your outdoor space. This type of lighting requires no mains power and works solely from daylight.

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Important safety information

  • All ceiling/wall fittings should be connected via a five amp fused circuit and must be installed in accordance with current applicable building and electrical installation regulations.

    Before installation and servicing, disconnect the electrical supply at the mains. Carefully observe all instructions or warnings that are labelled on, or supplied with, your product. Unless otherwise stated, products are suitable for normal indoor use only and should not be used where water or high humidity may affect them. If in any doubt, consult a qualified electrician.

  • Do not mount ceiling/wall fittings onto damp surfaces such as newly painted or plastered areas as this may cause discolouration of the finish.
  • As of 1 January 2005, changes to building regulations affect domestic electrical installations in England and Wales.

    You don't need to be a qualified electrician to make changes to your home's electrical system, but the work must be done in accordance with the standards in the regulations. You do not need to notify your Local Authority if you do minor electrical work such as: replacing or repairing a socket, light or cable in any room; adding extra spurs, sockets or lights to an existing circuit (except in a kitchen, bathroom or outdoors)

  • However, the work must be done to the standards in the Wiring Regulations and you should consider having the work checked by a competent electrician to make sure it is safe. Before you start other electrical work such as: adding new circuits to your existing installation; any work (other than repairs / replacements) in a room where there is water (eg. kitchen or bathroom) any work (other than repairs / replacements) outdoors (eg. installing garden lighting or sockets, etc.)
  • You must notify your Local Authority building control department, which has responsibility for ensuring the work is inspected and tested. Where you have any work done by an electrician who is a member of a competent person self certification scheme, the electrician will be able to certify the work complies with the regulations and you do not need to notify your Local Authority.

    We recommend that you make yourself aware of the regulations before you undertake any work and if you require any clarification you should contact your Local Authority Building Control Department.