Lighting Guides - Bulb Type
Low energy and fluorescent
The new breed of compact fluorescent (or ‘low energy’) lamps will only use around 11 watts of power to generate the same light as a normal 60 watt light bulb. They also have a much longer lifespan of 5 years (approx. 10,000 hours).
Naturally, if you are using less electricity you need to generate less electricity and this helps reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.
Fluorescent lamps have no filament; they are just a tube filled with gases. Best known as the long white tubes so beloved in utility ceilings of the 1960’s and 70’s, recent technology has reduced their size and improved efficiency.
These lamps are ideal for lights which need to be kept on for a long time, i.e; on landings or in hallways.
In the past it was felt that fluorescent light was ‘cold’, but with the invention of ‘warm white’ lamps, this is no longer the case.
Incandescent light sources
These are the conventional light bulbs which we all recognise and their chief advantage is the colour of light they emit. Colours of objects are generally more accurate with this type of light bulb and they impart a warm feeling to a room.
The disadvantage is that they are very inefficient by modern standard and have a relatively short life (only 1,000 hours on average).
Incandescent lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a number of different fittings: Bayonet Cap (BC), Small Bayonet Cap (SBC), Edison Screw (ES OR E27) and Small Edison Screw (SES or E14). The Edison screw types are becoming more popular in the UK.
Several different bulb coatings are also available: Pearl is an all-over frosting which diffuses the light and is best used in alight fitting with shades. Clear bulbs are more attractive when used in fittings where the bulb is visibly or a sparkle is required (such as chandeliers). Reflector bulbs have a silvered surface to focus and direct the light and are typically used in spotlights.
Halogen light sources
Halogen bulbs produce a very attractive light, closely resembling sunlight. They are more efficient than incandescent bulbs using only half the energy to produce the same light output and last twice as long.
Generally, they are small lamps which generate a lot of heat so they can only be used in light fittings designed to cope with the high temperatures.
There are two main types of halogen lamp available in the domestic market:
Low Voltage: these lamps operate on 12V which means a transformer has to be fitted either in the light fitting itself or remotely. This allows manufacturers to produce compact designs without the need to protect against danger from high voltages.
Mains Voltage: this relatively new breed of halogen lamp offers the light colour advantage of low voltage bulbs, but without the need to house a transformer. The reflector type bulbs are known as GU10 or Gz10 and the latest small envelope non-reflector halogens are known as G9.
Why should you switch to LED?
There are so many reasons to switch to LED lighting. To help our customers we have listed the main benefits below.
LED light bulbs last longer. Without a filament to break or burn out, LED lights can go on for 50,000hrs+ without detriorating. Thats over 10 years at full brightness.
They are incredibily energy efficient. An incandescent lamp loses 80% of its energy to heat, using 20% on light. LED lamps are the reverse of this converting 80%+ of their energy producing light. Not only that, but they operate on between 10-20% of the energy a conventional lamp would use.
LED light sources are more colourful. Any colour range can be achieved. They give a truer light source than a filtered lamp.
LED lamps are silent, no more humming or wurring other lamps have been known for.
They are incredibly safe. Mercury and other harmful chemicals are not used in their construction
They are good for use with dimmers without loss of colour rendering
LED lamps are incredibly versatile and there are some fabulous products out there now that werent available a couple of years ago. Also the products that are now available are considerably cheaper. As time goes on and LED lighting becomes more and more mainstream, product suitability and cost will improve. It is expected by 2020 that 70% of the developed worlds lighting will be LED. It is agreed at the moment there is not an LED lamp available for every application. G9 and G4 products are becoming available, but for decorative lighting they still a way off. Also an affordable LED replacement for the standard GLS lamp still elludes us. That said LED replacements for GU10 and MR16 lamps now exceed their halogen predecessers. Also there are some amazing LED sealed units out there. There are new products coming onto the market all the time, and we aim to bring you the best that is out there.