How Light Works: The Ultimate Guide

home lighting how lighting works blog

When you’re starting to choose lighting for your home, it can be tough to know where to begin, even if you’re certain of the style you’re looking to create in your home. With so many different lighting options available, and lots of variables between the different types of bulbs, it can be pretty mind blowing. Through this post, we’ll take you through the different categories of lighting that you need in a room, and the types of fixtures that you can use for each category. From there, we’ll cover the important issue of light bulbs, since they’re pretty complex, and understanding how they work makes buying them much simpler.

We’ve written this post with absolute beginners to lighting in mind – those who are setting out living on their own for the first time, new home owners, and those who have previously ‘made do’ but are now ready to create a stylish home that they can be proud of.

 

How light works a beginners guide light bulb sketch

 

What different types of lighting are there?

Where once we would have relied solely on the ceiling light to provide all the light in a room, today designers and lighting experts recommend having a range of different lighting available in a room – with at least one from each lighting category, to allow for optimal amounts of light for all the types of activities that may take place in the room. The main categories are ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.

As an example, in a bedroom:

  • Ambient lighting allows for getting dressed and moving around
  • Task lighting would allow for reading or for applying makeup
  • Accent lighting may be used to illuminate wall accessories, behind a TV or an aspect of the room’s design

 

Ambient lighting

Ambient light completely fills the room with light, and allows you to use the room as if it is daytime. It is often provided by the ceiling light in the centre of the room, but there are other types of lighting that can contribute to ambient indoor lighting.

It may be the case that producing the optimal amount of lighting requires a number of lights to be used at the same time.

 

Task lighting

Task lighting does exactly what it sounds like – it produces light for specific purposes. This could be for reading, cooking or for studying. Task lighting can be provided by a range of lights, including:

The type of task lighting that may be required is likely to differ from room to room and between the type of activity that it is needed for. For example, a desk lamp that is only used with a PC, or under-counter lights in the kitchen may be able to be a fixed type, whereas for craft activities, a lamp with a moveable head may be desirable.

 

Accent lighting

Accent lighting can take many forms, but is primarily there to highlight an accessory such as artwork or an architectural feature. This can be provided by lots of different types of lights:

Since accent lighting is there to highlight, then simpler light fixtures can help to keep the focus on the feature.

 

scene accent highlight lighting example in an art gallery

 

What type of lighting fixtures should I use?

The decision about which lighting fixtures you prefer is a personal one, and should be based on the type of look you are aiming to achieve in the room – but having at least one (if not more) of each type of lighting means that you’ll have the flexibility, and will be able to create the brightness that you need at any given time.

 

Ceiling lighting

Ceiling lighting is often the first lights that get chosen when moving into a new home. They tend to provide the general illumination in a room, but also add to the styling of the room.

While your personal preference, and the style and visual weight will ultimately guide your choice of ceiling lighting fixture, there are approximate calculations that you can use to narrow down the type of fixture that will work best in the space.

Working with the dimensions of your room in feet (rather than centimetres), add the number of feet in the width to the number in the length. The answer will give you the number of inches that your light fitting diameter should be. For example, if your room is 6 foot by 10 foot, the optimal size of light fitting would be 16 inches – which is about 40cm.

If you’re choosing statement lighting such as pendants that hang from the ceiling, the first thing to do is to get your tape measure out. It should go without saying, but you will need sufficient clearance underneath the fixture to avoid breakage and potential injuries. When hanging feature lighting from the ceiling, it is essential to have a minimum of two metres clearance between the floor and the bottom of the fixture (and if some members of the household are particularly tall, maybe a little more). If you’re hanging pendant lighting above dining tables, there should be at least 65cm between the table and the lighting fixture.

 

Wall lights

Wall lights can be used for all kinds of purposes – either to add to ambient lighting, as task lighting or as accent lighting – as well as providing a decorative accessory in a room with simpler styling. The function of the wall lights will influence the type of fixtures that you choose, while the style of the room will influence the type of wall lights that are chosen.

Where wall lights are used for effect, there may be a number of wall lights used – either paired, or in a series – or they may be positioned in an unusual spot. Using wall lights with colourful shades, and matching them with ceiling lighting can help to tie the overall look and feel of the room together, particularly where other accessories in the room coordinate.

 

Lamps

Whether you are choosing floor lamps, table lamps or desk lamps, as with wall lights, you’ll make your decision based on the size of the room, what category of lighting it is providing, and what activity the lamp will be illuminating.

Depending on their size, table lamps may contribute to the ambient light in a room, or may be purely used as task lighting – for example, for reading, or as a portable lamp that can be used for sewing or other types of crafts. Since more of us are using electronic devices for reading today (and are attached to our phones too), many styles of lamp now include USB charging points as part of their design. Where lamps are used for reading, dimmer switches are desirable – since this allows for better lighting throughout the day and night, when different levels of lighting are appropriate.

When choosing a table lamp:

  • Be sure that the bottom of lamp shade is approximately at eye level when seated, so that the bulb doesn’t shine directly in your eyes
  • Situate the lamp close enough to illuminate the task sufficiently
  • If the room has people walking through it often, then ensure your lamp is stable, so to prevent it tipping over
  • Ensure that the relative proportion of the lamp is appropriate – it should be no more than one and a half times the height of the item furniture that it sits on

When choosing a floor lamp:

  • As with table lamps, ensure that the lower edge of the shade is at eye level when seated
  • Avoid obstructing the view of décor such as artwork, as well as between seating locations
  • The smaller the room, the smaller the lamp should be
  • Keep safety first – if the floor lamp is likely to become a trip hazard (especially for children or elderly residents) it isn’t the right one

 

table desk floor lamp lighting

 

What type of light bulb do I need?

Once you’ve established the type of light fittings that you’re going to use in a room, and you’ve decided on the exact ones that you’re going to buy, you’ll need to choose your light bulb. Not all light fittings will have bulbs sent with them, and where they are, the bulb may not be to your preference. Choosing a light bulb isn’t always easy or straightforward either – since there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider.

 

Choosing the right light bulb

If you’re replacing a bulb in an existing light fixture, the rule is to replace like with like – especially when it comes to the type of fitting. But the fitting isn’t the only thing you’ll need to consider. You’ll need to think about what the light is for (is it for ambient, accent or task lighting?), and what shape suits the fixture, as well as the cost both of the purchase, and in the longer term. Let’s take a look in more detail.

 

Fitting

While there are plenty of different types of light bulb fitting, when we’re looking at domestic light fittings, there are three main types that prevail: bayonet, screw cap, and pin and push-fit base bulbs. Generally, with these types of light fixtures, it should be easy to find a bulb that will suit.

When changing a bulb, you’ll need to find the same type of fitting for the replacement. Although adaptors are available, they should rarely be required, since different types of bulbs are so easily found today, especially from lighting specialists.

But establishing the fitting of the bulb is the easy part, since you don’t have to opt for the same colour or brightness – which is what we’ll come to next.

 

Function

As we’ve already determined, there are many different types of lighting fixtures, that can be used for different purposes. The function that the light fitting fulfils will determine the brightness, and the hue of the bulb that you choose.

 

Brightness

Newer types of bulbs use different amounts of watts to produce the same amount of brightness – and there are differences between types. Historically, light bulb manufacturers used the number of watts that were required to produce the amount of light to illustrate the brightness of a bulb.

Today, bulbs are much more efficient, and to produce the same amount of light as an old style incandescent 60 watt bulb, an LED bulb needs just 10 watts, while a halogen bulb requires around 42 watts. The differences in watts required for the same amount of light is the reason that light bulb manufacturers no longer use the measurement of watts to describe the brightness of a light bulb. So rather than measure the amount of power required, manufacturers now use Lumens to describe the levels of brightness that the bulb will provide. The higher the number, the brighter the light provided by the bulb.

 

Warmth

When choosing your light bulbs, you’ll also need to consider whether you want a cool toned, or a warm toned bulb. The decision will depend on several factors:

  • What type of fixture you’re using the bulb in
  • The space the light is being used in
  • What activities the light will illuminate
  • The time of day the room, and the light will be used

For rooms that require lighting levels that are near daylight, and that aren’t being used close to bedtime, then a cooler toned bulb can be used – bright white, or slightly blue-toned, will help to mimic natural daylight. Where being alert is not as desirable, such as for bedside table lamps, then warmer, yellow toned bulbs are preferable.

The measurement of bulb warmth is measured in Kelvins. The warmth of candle light is measured at approximately 1,500 Kelvin, while normal daylight (depending on whether it is a sunny or cloudy day) is measured at between 5,000 and 7,000 Kelvin. The higher the number on the Kelvin scale, the colder the light provided will appear, and cooler toned bulbs often appear to be brighter than warmer toned bulbs of the same Lumen measurement.

 

kelvin colour temperature scale infographic

 

Choosing the bulb

Although watts are no longer used as a measurement of light bulb brightness, most bulb manufacturers will display both the Lumen measurement, and the equivalent in watts in an older style incandescent bulb, as well as the Kelvin measurement on the packaging. Not only that, but there will also usually be a description in words to describe the type of light – such as ‘warm white’. That means that when you’re in a store picking a light bulb, if you’re used to choosing bulbs based on watts, you’ll be able to see the numbers that you need, and the description will help if you’re not sure.

 

Format

Once you’ve decided on the colour, brightness and you know the fitting that you need, you can narrow down the shape that you want. There are an incredible array of different shaped bulbs, from traditional ‘bulb’ shapes, to candle, golf ball, pear shape, spiral and stick bulbs – and once you’ve established that you have the correct cap fitting (either screw or bayonet, for example) and the correct brightness, it is up to you. In many cases, if the bulb is hidden, the choice of bulb will be simply down to personal preference and it won’t matter. However, if your lighting fixture intentionally exposes the light bulb, then it may be better choose a style with a decorative filament, or that complements the design of the fixture.

 

Cost

While the general rule of buying the best quality you can afford definitely comes into play here – since a better quality bulb is likely to last longer too. The longer-term cost of running a bulb will also be relevant, especially if you are in your ‘forever home’. The initial cost of LED bulbs are higher than other types, but they are much more energy efficient, and can last for up to 25 years. Not only does this provide much more convenience – you won’t need to replace it as often – but the energy savings can add up dramatically. Savings can add up to more than £180 over the product’s lifetime, which makes it well worth the investment.  ­

 

Final thoughts

We’ve covered the basics of lighting in this post, and yet we’ve barely touched on design. Understanding the basics of lighting is important though, and can help to guide your decisions when you’re designing, and shopping for the room of your dreams. Our key takeaways:

  • Ensure you have a range of lighting in each room, with at least one light from each category of ambient, task and accent lighting
  • Be careful to measure before making a purchase – having lighting that is in proportion to the room, and that allows sufficient clearance is essential
  • Choosing the best bulb for the purpose should be done carefully, with the correct brightness and colour taken into consideration

Our range of lighting covers all the types of fixtures mentioned in this post, and we stock an extensive range of bulbs. If you are looking for a particular item, or need technical advice, please get in touch – our team of experts are happy to help.

 

charles author bio

Charles Barnett Managing Director

Charles started Lyco in 1995 with just 4 enthusiastic employees and has grown it considerably over the past 25 years. Charles is also the Managing Director of Lighting Direct and newly acquired Online Lighting. He now has a team of 50 lighting experts working on growing Lyco Group to be the UK leader in lighting for both businesses and homes. Away from the office he is a keen cyclist and is proud to have cycled 1017 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a new residential centre for adults with multiple learning difficulties.

Light Fittings Types – Traditional Light Bulbs

traditional light bulb gls

When we think of a light bulb, we used to refer to an incandescent or tungsten filament lamp with a round sphere at one end or a candle lamp that is long and thin. Nowadays we talk more about LEDs, since LED bulbs are more energy efficient, cheaper to run and better for the environment. Most light bulbs have round metal caps with either a screw or bayonet type fitting

At Lyco, we sell a wide range of traditional light bulbs as well as more specialist types, and we understand that knowing which type you need is not as simple as it once was. With this in mind, we have put together a quick guide to fitting types, and traditional light bulbs.

 

traditional light bulb gls

 

Standard Fittings & Effects

The types of lamp available with screw and bayonet caps have broadened greatly in recent years, and now include LED bulbs. With traditional cap fixtures, you get great flexibility and a wide choice of lighting effects.

 

Domestic Bulbs

In the UK, bayonet and screw caps are the most commonly used type of light bulb. When it comes to which type is better, there isn’t a huge amount of benefit in opting for one or the other – the only exception is that bayonets are less likely to work loose from their fixture unintentionally, and there are no threads to be accidentally stripped or removed.

 

Bayonet Bulbs

There are two different types of bayonet cap – standard and small. Standard bayonet is by far the most popular and is perhaps the most common light bulb of all in the UK.

The bayonet cap type fitting (BC) is perhaps the most well-known lamp fitting in the UK today. Invented towards the end of the nineteenth century and utilising a mechanism originally developed for bayonet rifles, the BC consists of a spring and two contacts with bayonet mounts on either side.

To fit a bayonet light bulb, simply depress the lamp into its holder, twist under the lugs and the bayonet mounts are retained by the springs, thus ensuring optimum contact. It is a simple push and twist motion that most of us are familiar with.

 

Size Variations

The most common sizes of bayonet cap fittings are BC or B22d, (where 22 refers to the diameter, in mm of the lamp base) and small bayonet cap – SBC (or B15d). For insulation and safety purposes, these types of fitting typically feature a plastic or metal skirt.

 

Common Uses

It is most common to find bayonet fittings in pendant lights, batten holders, wall and ceiling lights designed for domestic use. BC fittings can be enclosed in some very decorative luminaires and traditionally incandescent tungsten filament lamps are used. Nowadays, there are also low energy lamps with bayonet caps, which mean you can keep your existing fittings and reduce damage to the environment at the same time.

 

GU10 bulbs

This type of bulb has a twist and lock mechanism, and so tend to be classified as a type of bayonet bulb. G means that the bulb has a bi-pin, or double pin base, and the pins are 10mm apart, and protrude 7mm from the base of the bulb. GU10 bulbs tend to be found in spotlights, kitchens and bathrooms, directional downlights and recessed lighting.

 

Screw Cap Bulbs

Screw caps are available in four common sizes – Micro (MES), Small (SES), Standard (ES) and Goliath or Giant (GES).

Another very popular fitting type for domestic lighting purposes is the screw cap – invented by Thomas Edison in 1909 and trademarked under Mazda.

Using the metal screw as one contact and a single base as the other, the lamp simply screws into the fitting. Contact is made when the lamp screw is almost home, thus making the screw part both the physical and electrical contact that makes the circuit.

 

Screw Cap Reliability

The screw fitting is considered by some as easier to maintain, particularly as there are no springs involved which can fail over time. However, there is a small drawback in that it is possible to cross-thread, which can be a problem when the bulb needs to be replaced, or there may not be a secure flow of electricity.

 

Size Variations

The most common type of screw cap in the UK is the ES or Edison Screw E27, (where the number relates to the diameter of the screw). This size of screw cap bulb tends to be the one that is found in standard light fixtures in homes.

There are other, smaller sized screw light bulbs, such as SES or Small Edison Screw (E14), Giant or Goliath Edison Screw GES (E40) and MES or Miniature or Micro Edison Screw (E10). These tend to be used in decorative lighting where the bulb is exposed, and so needs to be smaller for aesthetic reasons.

To find your ideal bulb by shape or cap try our Light Bulb Finder

Although the Edison Screw is the most popular choice for domestic fittings, there are now many more Small Edison Screw lamps available. This is because retailers are sourcing light fittings from Europe and the US, where this type of fitting is far more common.

Giant Edison Screw fittings are generally not suitable for domestic use and more suited to specialist street lamps and industrial fittings. MES fittings are less common and ideal for use in very small or battery powered light fittings.

 

Pin & Push-Fit Base Bulbs

This type of bulb is fitted in the exact way that it sounds like it does – it gets pushed into the fixture, without needing to be screwed or twisted. The base on this type of bulb will have a number of pins, usually two, of a variety of lengths and types of pin. Incandescent, halogen or fluorescent lamps tend to have bi-pin fittings.

Pin and push-fit bulbs don’t have integrated control gear, which means that they need a ballast, transformer, or driver in order to regulate the bulb.

 

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen spotlights tend to have push-fit pin bases, and are often shaped in order to stop the wrong type of bulb being used in a fitting.

 

Fluorescent tubes

Fluorescent tubes tend to have two pins at either end of the tube, as do LED strip lights. Standard size T8 (25mm), and T12 (38mm) fluorescent tubes use the G13 fitting, while smaller fluorescent tubes like the T5 (16mm) use the G5 fitting.

 

Strip Lights

Strip lights are a form of incandescent lighting with unique double-ended sprung fittings. They are commonly used for picture lights, and this type usually has a 15mm diameter S15 fitting, while others have two S14 connectors at either end of the lamp. Other applications have tended to be superseded by linear fluorescent tubes as they are more reliable.

 

Wedge Base Bulbs

Wedge base bulbs can be thought of as similar to bi-pin bases, but rather than pins, they have wires that go from the inside of the bulb into the fixture. Care needs to be taken with this type of bulb, as it requires force to be inserted and removed. Their most common use is in Christmas tree lights and fairy lights, and today due to the fact they are so inexpensive to manufacture, customers tend to replace the whole set of lights rather than single bulbs.

 

light bulb types and fittings gls gla LED

 

Other Light Bulbs

In addition to the common bulb fitting types there are many other less common types available, typically for more specialist use. Whatever type of bulb you are replacing, it is important to remember that you should always replace like with like.

 

Heater & Catering Bulbs

Catering light bulbs come in variety of types, from doubled ended (strip light / linear halogen fittings) to Edison screw and bayonet fittings.

 

PAR Lamps

PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) lamps are frequently used where directional beams are required and are common in many different types of setting. They tend to be of the sealed beam variety, with a curved mirror (the parabolic reflector) behind one or more filaments. With LED PAR bulbs, there is often a different type of optical system, or there may be individual LED reflectors.

Some PAR lamps have a screw terminal for better electrical contact, while others have a GX160 2 pin cap with ceramic base. The fittings are usually porcelain to take the high heat output. Retrofit equipment is sometimes available where LED bulbs are required to be used in place of PAR bulbs.

 

Professional Light Fittings

For high intensity luminaries (for film, stage, and TV use for example), professional fittings such as the T and A types are most commonly used. Caps are two pin, being either GY9.5 or P28S.

 

How To Choose The Best Light Bulb For Your Needs

Now we’ve gone through some need to know information about light bulbs, let’s talk about how to choose the best type for your needs. You might still be confused – and that’s OK, there are a lot of things to think about! Fitting, function, and format are the three things to consider, as well as finance – so let’s take a look.

 

Make Sure You Know The Type Of Fitting You Need

Most of us will have been there at some point – you get to the shops, with ‘light bulb for [room]’ on your list, and you realise that you have forgotten to check which type of fixture you need. The best way to ensure you get the right one is to take the old one with you – but sometimes that isn’t possible.

If it isn’t practical to take the old bulb to the shop with you, then take a couple of photos of the fittings, and any numbers printed on the bulb on your phone before you set out. Trust us – you’ll thank us when you’re stood in front of what seems like hundreds of different types of bulbs!

If you end up in that situation though, don’t get stressed – you can head home and order the exact bulb you need from us, with delivery direct to your door.

 

Know What The Function Of The Bulb Is

Light bulbs are just to produce light – right? Of course that is the primary thing, but there is a whole lot more to consider when choosing the best bulb. Aside from knowing whether the light is for functional, ambient or accent lighting, the brightness and the colour of the light being produced is really important when choosing a bulb for your home, since you’ll need the right type for different spaces.

 

Brightness

In the past, we used to simply buy bulbs according to how much power they used. That meant that the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb would be. With newer light bulbs, manufacturers no longer use watts to measure the brightness. That’s because it isn’t as accurate to measure the power according to the brightness – watts measure power, and modern bulbs use far less power than they used to, while providing the same amount of brightness. (That’s also the case for car bulbs!)

Today, bulb brightness is measured in Lumens, and the higher the number of Lumens, the brighter the light. Typically, a reading lamp on a bedside table will be around 400 Lumens, but lighting from a ceiling fixture might be from 1500 Lumens – which you’d get from more than one bulb.

 

Colour

The colour of the bulb that you want will depend on the fixture you’re installing it in, and the function of that light. Bright, or cool white light mimics natural daylight, which will help to increase alertness, while warmer yellow tones can aid with feelings of relaxation and cosiness. That means you’ll want bright white bulbs in spaces where you need to be alert – ideal in home offices – and definitely not in the bedroom, because bright white bulbs will keep you awake.

Bulb manufacturers use the Kelvin scale to measure the colour temperature on light bulbs. The warmth of candle light is around 1,500 Kelvin, with normal daylight somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 Kelvin. The higher the Kelvin measure, the cooler the light temperature – and a cooler tone can seem brighter than a warmer tone.

If you’re looking for a bulb that gives off about the same colour as an old incandescent bulb, then you’ll want a bulb at approximately 2,700 Kelvin.

 

kelvin colour rendering for light bulbs

 

How Does Colour Rendering Affect Light?

Colour rendering is a way of measuring how well a light accurately shows different colours. For the most part, that won’t be too much of an issue, but if you’re displaying a piece of art with accent lighting or photographing items that you don’t want to have to correct the colour on, then you’ll want a bulb that has a measurement on the Colour Rendering Index of as near to 100 as possible.

 

Decide What Shape Is Best

While as long as you buy a bulb with the correct fixture, it will work, getting the correct shape of the bulb is important aesthetically. The type of shade you’re putting your bulb into will strongly influence the shape of the bulb that you need, especially if the shade or lighting fixture intentionally exposes the bulb for effect, or if you want to avoid it being seen, then you’ll need a smaller bulb.

 

Know The Long-Term Costs

While quality LED bulbs seem like they’re an investment when you buy them, but they really are the most energy efficient type of bulb available at the moment. When you consider that LED bulbs can last up to 25 years, that investment is well worth making, even just for the convenience of not having to change the bulb alone! When you compare the performance of an LED bulb with the cost of a traditional bulb, you’ll save more than £180 in energy through the product’s life span, so it is well worth the investment.

 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this post has helped you to understand light bulbs a bit more clearly, but if you’re still feeling confused about different types of light bulbs, don’t worry – you are not alone! With so many different types, and decisions to be made, it is not surprising that so many people still find it tricky to get the right bulb. Remembering to think about fitting, function, and format is a good place to start – but if you’re replacing an existing bulb, try to replace like with like. Should you have a bulb that you’re absolutely stuck with how to replace, then you can call us on 0345 646 1133, or email the technical team on [email protected]

If you are looking for traditional bulbs, why not take a look at our extensive range of incandescent light bulbs? Alternatively, our full range of light bulbs includes energy saving and LED options to suit all your needs.

 

Looking for more news, inspiration, or advice? Try our Lighting Advice section.

 

charles author bio

Charles Barnett Managing Director

Charles started Lyco in 1995 with just 4 enthusiastic employees and has grown it considerably over the past 25 years. Charles is also the Managing Director of Lighting Direct and newly acquired Online Lighting. He now has a team of 50 lighting experts working on growing Lyco Group to be the UK leader in lighting for both businesses and homes. Away from the office he is a keen cyclist and is proud to have cycled 1017 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a new residential centre for adults with multiple learning difficulties.

Buying Guides – Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Battens

Outdoor lighting has become popular in recent years, partly because of the great potential of LED technology. Exterior spaces can now be lit cheaply and effectively using a variety of products. This buying guide looks at the aims of outdoor lighting and how they are met to give you an idea of what may be best for you. Alternatively, feel free to browse our extensive outdoor lighting selection.

Designing a Lighting Scheme

To create an effective outdoor lighting scheme, you need to consider ambient, accent and task lighting requirements.

Ambient or background lighting

This type of lighting is needed for practical purposes, providing enough light for everyday activities such as walking, eating, drinking and socialising. There are several options available:

    • Small walkover lights installed around the edge of a patio or decking area look good and allow safe footing.
    • Freestanding fittings such as post or pedestal lights are ideal for creating pools of light. Modern indoor-style floor lamps like the Konstsmide Lucca are a chic form of outdoor lighting.

Lyco - Outdoor Floor Lamp

    • Floodlights can provide full strength illumination for building exteriors and surrounding areas. They are good for work or security purposes and might suit bustling social settings, but are less useful where intimate mood is the aim.
    • Wall lights usually create a functional and mood-enhancing background light without being overbearing.

Accent lighting

This type of outdoor lighting highlights statues, plants, trees, water features and signs. Install these lights a short distance from the feature and angle the beam to shine directly on or through it. Suggestions include:

    • Walkover lights or floodlights used as uplights dramatically highlight features from below.
    • Wall-mounted spotlights create a pool of light around features.
    • Staked spotlights like the Edit Leaf are effective in highlighting plants, flowers and ornaments.

edit leaf spotlight

 

    • Fairy lights are often draped around trellises, shrubs, or trees. Don’t forget festoons if you’re aiming for a party mood!
    • Business signage can be lit with specially designed sign lights, normally featuring long or curving arms and adjustable heads.

Task lights

Task lights are used to sufficiently light any area where demanding tasks or activities are performed. Usually, the light will be installed above head height in order to provide un-obscured coverage. Examples of task lighting might include:

    • A wall-mounted spotlight or floodlight is useful for potentially hazardous activities such as barbecue cooking.
    • Spotlights or floodlights can be positioned in trees for lighting garden amenities such as play areas, barbecues or car parks.
    • Floodlighting can be used to light outdoor sports areas. A tennis court would be a prime example, which might be well served by a 500W equivalent floodlight. Conversely, a swimming pool is usually lit from within to avoid glare, normally using a PAR lamp.

Lyco Amazing Value Floodlight

Dusk to dawn sensors

A “dusk to dawn” sensor is another term for a photocell. These are used in some outdoor fittings to automatically trigger overnight lighting, often for security purposes. The light switches off again at daybreak. Their sensitivity can sometimes be adjusted, allowing you to choose exactly how dark it needs to be before the light is activated. The sensor can be overridden in many cases for manual operation, though this should be checked prior to purchase.

Browse our Dusk to Dawn range

PIR sensors & security

The Nighthawk LED Security Floodlight is ideal for commercial premises

If security is a priority, floodlights with a PIR (Passive Infrared) sensor are a good option. The sensor triggers light when it detects movement within a preset range, deterring intruders without the need to keep lights permanently switched on.

PIR lights like the Nighthawk LED Security Floodlight can also be wired to trigger a chain of slave lights. This is useful for any large commercial premises. Advanced CCTV circuits can also be installed and monitored remotely through PCs, tablets, and smart phones.

PIR lights are also useful at residential entrances, as a practical measure to help locate keys and avoid stumbling on obstacles. The Lucide Claire Half Lantern serves as an example. Again, these avoid the need for a permanent light, so they’re an energy-saving product in many scenarios.

Browse our PIR lights range

IP Ratings – A brief guide to Waterproof Lighting

Outdoor light fittings always carry Ingress Protection ratings. This rating is marked by the letters “IP” followed by 2 digits. The first digit indicates the level of protection against ingress of solid objects and the second relates to waterproofing. This advice may help:

    • The minimum IP rating you should look for in a garden light is IPX3 (normally IP43), which protects against rain or spraying water at a 60° angle from vertical. Choose an IPX4 (normally IP44) rating for exposed areas.
    • Decking or patio lights are often jet-cleaned, which requires an IPX5 rating or above. IP65 is a good target, as it indicates a dust-tight housing as well as resistance to jets of water.
    • Lights to be installed in shallow water up to 1m deep require a rating of IPX7.
    • If installing lights at depths of over 1m in ponds or swimming pools, opt for a fitting with an IPX8 rating. (Always check manufacturer’s information before any underwater installation).

Light sources (Pros & Cons)

The light sources used in outdoor lighting each carry their own advantages and disadvantages. In recent years LED has become the main choice for lighting, both in commercial and residential buildings.

    • LED lighting is energy efficient and has an average lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. LED lamps produce a heatless beam of light, so they can be installed near plants without causing damage. They also emit little or no UV (ultraviolet) light, making them less attractive to insects. LED technology combines well with solar energy—many outdoor LED lights are free to run!
    • HID lamps are used to light large areas. They vary in type from a metal halide lamp for good colour recognition to a sodium lamp with poor colour rendering but incredible energy efficiency. These lights are mostly too powerful for homes or hospitality venues, but useful for applications such as car parks, access roads or sports areas.

Outdoor lighting styles

Lighting styles are diverse, but they can be boiled down to “traditional” and “contemporary” for outdoor purposes. Some designs are neutral enough to be used in any type of setting.

Traditional

Traditional outdoor lights often have a lantern design that dates back to 17th century England, though is most associated with Victorian times. Lanterns are still popular today and used in post lights, pedestal lights, wall lights and lamp posts. The Alex Post Lantern resembles a 19th century lamp post, for example.

Another form of traditional outdoor fitting is the nautically inspired “fisherman’s light”. This is used mostly in wall lights and porch pendants and involves a simple enclosed lamp design with a metal cover. The Nordlux Luxembourg Wall Light is an example. The austerity of this design makes it suitable for some modern settings, also.

Contemporary

There are many contemporary outdoor lighting products, with LED technology encouraging sleek designs. Often discreet, you can install modern products like the Searchlight Messina outside a traditional property without necessarily detracting from its character.

Bolder outdoor luminaires such as stainless steel post and pedestal lights suit only modern surroundings. The Edit Detroit, for instance, is distinctly up-to-date and capitalises on LED technology for long life and minimal maintenance.

Edit Detroit Stainless Steel Post Light

Extend those evenings

If you’re lucky enough to own a garden, enjoy what is already yours and let the forbidding night be a thing of the past! Installing outdoor lights needn’t be complicated, especially with a plug and play lighting system. If you’re a pub landlord, restaurateur, hotelier or other business owner, it’s never been easier than now to light up your outdoor space.

Feel free to browse our full range of outdoor lights for a clearer idea of what’s available.

For more advice and guidance take a look at our Lighting Advice section.

charles author bio

Charles Barnett Managing Director

Charles started Lyco in 1995 with just 4 enthusiastic employees and has grown it considerably over the past 25 years. Charles is also the Managing Director of Lighting Direct and newly acquired Online Lighting. He now has a team of 50 lighting experts working on growing Lyco Group to be the UK leader in lighting for both businesses and homes. Away from the office he is a keen cyclist and is proud to have cycled 1017 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a new residential centre for adults with multiple learning difficulties.

Colour temperature & rendering explained

Colour Temperature

Colour temperature and colour rendering are terms you’ll see when buying lights, but what exactly do they mean? These specifications will help you choose exactly the lighting you need. They are rooted in physics, but can be simply expressed:

  • Colour temperature refers to the overall colour of white light. It tells us whether a lamp or light fitting has a warm bias (i.e. red or yellow) or a cool one (i.e. blue).
  • Colour rendering relates to the underlying colours in any light source. White light is a mixture of many colours, which are not individually visible. To accurately show the colour of any object, that colour must be hiding in the light.

A useful example – the sodium street lamp

Have you ever noticed how, under traditional street lighting, it’s near-impossible to see most colours? This is an exaggerated example of poor colour rendering. It means the colour you’re trying to identify is not contained in the light.

The street light—despite its lowly colour performance—still has an overall colour. Its strong yellow hue gives it an estimated 1800K colour temperature (yellower than any household bulb).

 

Kelvin colour temperatures

Remember that kelvin colour temperatures are counter-intuitive: higher temperatures mean cooler colours (e.g. 2700K is warm and 6500K is cool).

 

Technologies

 

Lighting technologies have specific colour properties, which may help you make good buying choices:

  • Incandescent light is always warm in colour temperature (e.g. 2700K) and excellent for colour rendering, containing all colours of the visible spectrum. It is, nonetheless, relatively poor for displaying violet or blue colours, which are muted by its warm bias.
  • Halogen light is always warm in colour temperature (e.g. 3000K), and excellent for colour rendering. It is better balanced than incandescent light, with stronger radiation of cooler blue and green colours despite its warm hue.
  • Fluorescent lights are made in all colour temperatures, achieved by varied use of phosphors. Colour rendering is inferior to filament lighting. However, the ability to combine cool colour temperatures with high-quality colour rendering allows some fluorescent lamps to imitate daylight. The Sylvania T8 S.A.D. Fluorescent Tube is a great example of this.
  • LED lights are also made in various colour temperatures. Again, colour rendering is inferior to filament bulbs, though it is of a high enough standard for most purposes. The best colour rendering in LED technology is prohibitively expensive compared to fluorescent equivalents. Dimmable LEDs have the advantage of maintaining their colour at all brightness levels, which is not true of filament lamps.

Below are two spectral distribution charts. Very simply, you can deduce from the smooth diagonal of the incandescent bulb that its colour rendering is more predictable than fluorescent lighting (LED is similarly disadvantaged). This benefit is offset by the strong red bias, which subdues violet and blue colours and is controllable in modern technologies.

 

&nbsp Incandescent light spectral distribution &nbsp Fluorescent light spectral distribution

CRI Ratings

CRI (colour rendering index) ratings indicate the quality of colour rendering. They measure how accurately a light can render eight colour patches against expected results. The scores represent percentages (e.g. CRI 80 is 80% averaged accuracy). Although this specification is lenient and limited in scope, it gives some indication of quality of light. It says nothing about colour temperature or bias.

 

Colour choices

It is widely accepted that the human response to warm lighting is relaxation, whereas cooler lighting makes us more alert and focused. Thus, warm lights are used in homes and hospitality settings, whilst cool lights are found in work places and schools.

In the following examples, we’ll demonstrate alternate lighting choices in related applications:

 

Restaurant lighting

In the dining area of a restaurant, a light such as the Edit Smooth Glass Pendant is bound to create an impression. Here, you’d want to fit a warm white lamp to emphasise the shade and create a relaxing mood.

 

edit glass pendant

 

Back in the kitchen, cool white LED light panels will help staff to stay focused and alert. Cooler light also appears brighter to humans, and in the case of LEDs is slightly more energy efficient.

 

Retail lighting

In a furniture shop, you’d need warm light to emulate residential lighting. High-quality colour rendering is important to ensure vivid, accurate colours. Try using LED Spot and Track lights to focus lighting at your displays, alongside warm floor lamps to replicate the customers home.

 

edit floor lamp

 

A cool white light might be used in a shop such as a fish mongers. The aim is to emphasise the colour of the product. The Flash recessed display light is a good option in this instance.

 

Picture lights

Picture lights have improved greatly since the original halogen options. LED fittings are now both better value, but also better for the photo or artwork it is adorning. They give off minimal UV radiation compared to their halogen and incandescent predecessors, therefore they emit no harmful toxins and are safe to use for many years.

 

edit hudson picture light

 

For more lighting information, advice and ideas take a look at our Lighting Advice section.

 

andrew-author-bio

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.

Top 10 New Kitchen Lighting Solutions

Kitchen Lighting

In recent times, kitchens have become places to eat and entertain as well as to cook. How do you light a room that serves multiple functions? It’s important not to over light – each light must have a role. Our top 10 kitchen lighting solutions will help you plan a new or revamped kitchen.

1. LED Flexi-Strips

Mainly used for mood lighting, LED flexi-strips can be fitted along kick boards or below kitchen cabinets. You can create a floating effect at a kitchen island by fixing them right around the base. The Tagra 30W Daylight LED Light Strip Kit is ideal for this.

Lyco LED Flexi Strips

2. Under-Cabinet Downlighting

Often in the kitchen you’ll be working in your own shadow, especially at outer worktops. Under-cabinet lighting solves this by delivering light straight to the surface. Tagra Warm White LED Strip Light is practical, stylish and creates mood.

Eterna 8W Warm White LED Strip Light - 608mm

3. Fluorescent Strip Lights
Fluorescent fittings are a kitchen standard, and they’ve improved a lot over the years. Problems such as flickering no longer exist, plus up to six of these can be linked, so you can create precisely the lighting scheme you need.

4. Fire Rated Downlights
Fire-rated products like the Luceco F-Eco 5W Warm White Adjsutable Downlight are ideal for ambient lighting. A dimmable fitting allows control over lighting mood, especially when contrasted with other lights. Building regulations require recessed ceiling lights under occupied floors to be fire-resistant.

5. Wall Lights
Wall lights work well in a kitchen if there’s space. The Edit Bench Wall Light with its trendy copper finish suits a traditional room. You might install it over a breakfast bar or table, giving you extra light for reading the paper or even eating.

6. Pendants
Pendants work well over breakfast bars, kitchen islands or dining tables. The Elstead Provence Rise and Fall Pendant is inspired by an old French design. Install this over an island and set it high to light an entire food prep area or low as an intimate dining light.

7. Flush Fittings
For homes with low ceilings, flush fittings use as little vertical space as possible. They don’t have to compromise on style, either, as the Searchlight American Diner Flush Ceiling Light shows. This traditional fitting is inspired by the metallic lights that were popular in 1950s American diners.

8. Track Lighting
Track lighting allows spotlight heads to be moved freely along a length of track. This is ideal above the edges of a kitchen island or counter top. It’s especially useful with metallic surfaces, as the ability to change lighting angles helps control glare. Robus Acorn track lighting suits this role.

Robus Acorn Track Lighting at Lyco

9. Designer Looks
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and enjoy entertaining, a designer light will make the space special. A three light bar, such as the Edit Craft Ceiling Pendant, add a bit of glamour to your room, and looks great when placed directly over a dining room table or kitchen island.

Edit Craft 3 Light Bar Ceiling Pendant - Black

10. Plinth Potential
Outdoor decking lights can be used as kitchen plinth lights. These tough little fittings can stand being splashed with a mop or kicked. Install them along the lower plinth section of your kitchen floor units. The Robus Garland Kit includes 10 lights, each giving an attractive blue glow for relaxing effect.

For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.

charles author bio

Charles Barnett Managing Director

Charles started Lyco in 1995 with just 4 enthusiastic employees and has grown it considerably over the past 25 years. Charles is also the Managing Director of Lighting Direct and newly acquired Online Lighting. He now has a team of 50 lighting experts working on growing Lyco Group to be the UK leader in lighting for both businesses and homes. Away from the office he is a keen cyclist and is proud to have cycled 1017 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a new residential centre for adults with multiple learning difficulties.

The Best Track Lights for Domestic, Commercial, Entertainment and Retail Environments.

Track Lighting

Track lighting systems are an efficient and cost-effective means of installing multiple spotlights together without the need for individual wiring. Ideal for creating ambient, accent or more functional lighting, track lighting systems comprise a length of track with a number of spotlights mounted to suit the needs of the space. They are available in a wide range of finishes, shapes and designs and offer a contemporary style that is suited to offices, commercial and retail spaces, as well as residential and domestic applications. Many track lighting systems are scalable so can expand to meet the changing requirements of spaces, yet are still adequate for small areas if needed. When used with LED lamps track lighting will offer minimal on-going maintenance costs as well as long-term cost savings via reduced energy bills.

Here is our run-down of some of the best track lighting systems on the market.

1. Robus Acorn Range

The Robus range of track lighting combines practicality, affordability and quality all in one. They are ideal for many applications including showrooms, hotels, pubs, salons and retail displays with ready made solutions for a wide variety of sized spaces. Many of the tracks can be easily extended, and offer fast and simple installation with everything needed included in the kits. Available in a range of attractive finishes including satin chrome and white, this classic style of track lighting will work with the decor in most settings.

 

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2. Selected by Lyco 3 Light Track Kit

This sleek modern track lighting kit is brand-new to the market for 2019 and has been hand-picked by us for use in retail and commercial settings. Made from durable diecast aluminium and available in a range of colours, it features a unique head design that will deliver a distinctive contemporary look. Fully compatible with LED technology, it will offer superb energy efficiency wherever used. Each of the heads can be adjusted to deliver directional lighting, which is ideal for retail or art displays. The kits come ready for installation with everything included (lamps sold separately) whilst individual track items can also be purchased.

 

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3. Edit Store 3 Light Track Kits

Available exclusively through Lyco, the Edit range of track lighting offers fantastic modern design and high quality products at an affordable price. The Store 3 kit is a modern take on the classic track lighting design with an updated head for a sleek, contemporary finish. They are available in different wattages and in a black or white finish to suit different applications. This is another kit that can be easily extended and adapted.

 

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4. Edit Pivot

The Pivot by Edit is another kit available exclusively from Lyco, featuring distinctive longer poles with cylindrical heads. This eye-catching style of lighting is ideal for retail and art displays and installations, delivering precise directional lighting. Available in a choice of finishes and sizes, each of the heads can be independently adjusted.

 

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Wire lighting offers yet another option when selecting track lighting. Whilst this style is more decorative, it also offers more in terms of flexibility and ease of installation. Simpler to fit, wire lights can be attached to beams, walls, uneven surfaces and require much less hard wiring – none at all in some cases. The Thunder LED Wire Light Kit is a superb example of wire lighting, ideal for use in galleries or areas visual displays.

This is a small selection of the track lighting available from Lyco, chosen from some of the leading brands, but many more are available to choose from. For expert advice our expert customer care team on 0345 646 1139 are on hand to answer your lighting queries.

Reena Reeves

Reena Reeves is a writer and editor with 15 years’ experiencing working in publishing and digital media. She has a degree in Journalism and has worked for publications such as Smash Hits magazine, OK! Magazine and The Daily Express. Reena has been writing about lighting since early 2017 and has supported us with website copy, product descriptions and articles on lighting trends and commercial lighting solutions.

Guide To Fluorescent Tubes – T4, T5, T8, T12

LED Lighting

Introducing fluorescent lights into your business or home could save you considerable amounts of money, both in running costs and in replacing old lights. They’ll also light up your environment better than standard fittings with incandescent light bulbs.Fluorescent lighting is more flexible than most people think, with variations to suit most needs. In this guide we take a look at the different types of fluorescent tubes, identify the best use for each and highlight the benefits they offer to the user.

T4 fluorescent tubes

T4 fluorescent tubes are compact and easy to install, making them the ideal way to light-up kitchen counters and worktops.

These tubular bulbs use between six and eight times less energy than incandescent light bulbs, making them a good choice for households looking to cut down on their energy footprint and businesses looking to save money on energy costs. Furthermore, these compact fluorescent tubes last for up to 10,000 hours, so you’ll hardly ever have to replace them.

Our T4 fluorescent tubes come in a variety of lengths and wattages.

T5 fluorescent tubes

T5 fluorescent tubes can be installed to efficiently light everything from factories, to schools, offices, supermarkets, and even underground railways.
They’re a cost effective way of lighting large spaces because they can last up to 30,000 hours and have low mercury content, ensuring that they have a minimal environmental impact. The T5 tubes achieve this by using a coating on the inside of the glass wall that stops the glass and phosphors from absorbing mercury.

T5 fluorescent lights use ballasts – the device that limits the amount of current passing through the tube to stop it from overloading. Additionally, these ballasts enable T5 fluorescent lights to work at frequencies above 20kHz, giving you features such as instant start, rapid start and programmed start.

Another advantage that T5 fluorescent tubes offer is that they produce high levels of colour rendering and efficacy. The correlated colour temperature (CCT) and colour rendering index (CRI) of the lamps is determined by the phosphors used in the manufacturing process. The CRI of the T5 lamps can be specified from 70 to the mid-90s. For good quality lighting, we recommend to specify a CRI of at least 80. With T5 fluorescent lights you can choose different shades of white light, such as cool white, warm white and daylight.

Taking T5 lighting one step further, our HE (High Efficiency) and HO (High Output) tubes really deliver. T5 High Efficiency Triphosphor Tubes last up to 50% longer, meaning they will deliver up to 30,000 hours of light, whilst equal in life expectancy, the T5 High Output Triphosphor Tubes are ideal for rooms with high ceilings.

T8 fluorescent tubes

Our T8 fluorescent lights are some of the most widely used, and are perfect for places where you need to see lots of detail. Our T8 tubes have excellent colour rendering capabilities, bringing out the details of clothes and furniture. Retail stores, garages, offices, schools and conference rooms can all benefit from T8 lights.

They’re also extremely energy efficient, lasting up to 15,000 hours, and even longer in some cases – plus they require minimal maintenance.

Some T8 tubes can even rid you of those wretched winter blues. The T8 Tubes for SAD provide more natural light, similar to daylight; unlike the often artificial-looking and harsh light that’s given off by some fluorescent tubes. This can combat against Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD), which can leave you feeling depressed or worse. They’re perfect for reception areas too, as they give a warm, welcoming feeling to customers.

We can now offer LED T8 tubes with even greater energy efficiencies. These tubes can last up to 40,000 hours and provide great light output using less power.

T12 fluorescent tubes

T12 tubes are the largest fluorescent tubes available, but they’re being phased out in favour of T8 tubes, which are smaller and more energy efficient. They’re good at lighting large areas, such as offices and retail space, but because of their higher running costs, and the fact that availability will soon become an issue, we’d recommend changing to T8s.

If you are still definite about wanting T12 tubes we stock a few wattage variants. Take a look at which T12 fluorescent tubes are available through Lyco. If you can’t find the model you are looking for, you can call us on 0345 646 1133.

Why not browse our full fluorescent tube range?
Looking for more lighting information and inspiration? Take a look at our Lighting Advice section.

Where Next?

View Our Full Range of LED Indoor Battens

View Our Full Range of LED Indoor Battens

Garage and Workshop Lighting Tips

Blog: Garage and Workshop Lighting Tips

View Our Full Range of LED Light Bulbs

View Our Full Range of LED Light Bulbs

charles author bio

Charles Barnett Managing Director

Charles started Lyco in 1995 with just 4 enthusiastic employees and has grown it considerably over the past 25 years. Charles is also the Managing Director of Lighting Direct and newly acquired Online Lighting. He now has a team of 50 lighting experts working on growing Lyco Group to be the UK leader in lighting for both businesses and homes. Away from the office he is a keen cyclist and is proud to have cycled 1017 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a new residential centre for adults with multiple learning difficulties.

Best Floodlights for Every Budget

Security Floodlight

Floodlights are an exceptionally versatile form of lighting and can cater for a huge range of settings whether commercial, residential or industrial. Typically, they emit strong beams of bright light so are the obvious choice for security lighting. Many varieties that utilise warmer light temperatures can be used more decoratively, to accent architectural features or landscaping. The advent of smart technology and LED has meant that many floodlights now feature impressive functionality such as remote control (via mobile apps) and HD Wifi-enabled cameras. Solar panels and sensors deliver minimal energy use in LED floodlights, as well extremely long-life expectancies, which can offer cost savings. The sheer range of floodlights available on the market now means there is a floodlight to suit every setting or application, no matter how big or small. Here is a selection of our best floodlights to suit every budget.

The Best Budget Floodlight For Under £20

Lyco 50W Cool White LED Floodlight

£23.99

This budget-friendly option is hard to beat when it comes to price vs performance. An energy-saving 50W cool white LED, which replaces a 300W halogen lamp, is housed in a contemporary compact casing which gives a neat appearance. Ideal for smaller areas such as gardens and outdoor seating areas, the floodlight has a 25,000 hour life expectancy that far exceeds its halogen equivalent.

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Best Value Floodlight For Under £50

Robus Champion 50W Cool White LED Floodlight

£59.99

With a staggering 50,000 hour life expectancy, this powerful yet lightweight floodlight will last a lifetime. With a 4000k cool white light colour, it is ideal for medium sized patios or car parks. It is constructed from die-cast aluminium black casing with tempered glass diffuser and comes with an adjustable mounting bracket to offer directional lighting.

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Best Value Floodlight For Under £100

Lutec Corn 20W Cool White LED Twin Floodlight with PIR Sensor

£119.00

This terrific floodlight doesn’t just look the part, it boasts a wealth of impressive functionality to boot. An in-built PIR sensor with a 12 metre range makes this a great choice for security purposes in and around commercial or residential premises. You can easily control how long the light stays on for and each light can be independently adjusted and angled. The integrated LEDs replace 200W halogen equivalents meaning you can use far less energy but maintain the same performance.

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Floodlight With The Best Features

Lutec Draco 17.5W LED Security Floodlight with PIR sensor and HD Wifi Camera

£125.00

This floodlight is an impressive piece of kit with a 17.5W LED that is the equivalent to a 200W halogen lamp. Featuring a PIR sensor, camera, as well as being Wifi-enabled, it’s the ultimate choice for securing homes and premises. The light’s time on can be adjusted via a mobile app enabling easy control when away from the property.

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Best Value Floodlight With PIR Sensor

Lyco 50W Cool White LED Floodlight with PIR Sensor

£29.99

This is a great value floodlight to select if a quick and easy deterrent is needed to improve security of premises. The PIR has a range of up to 8 metres and the time on, once activated can be set from between 7 seconds to 10 minutes. The 50W cool white LED is the equivalent to a 300W halogen lamp, so this humble unit really packs a punch.

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The Best Value Floodlight With HD Wifi Camera

Lutec Libra 38W LED Twin Floodlight with PIR Sensor and HD Wifi Camera

£149.00

Equipped with a HD Wifi camera that records 1080 x 720 video quality and supplied with a 8GB SD card, all controls for this floodlight are accessed via a mobile app. The PIR sensor has a detection range of up to 19 metres and a number of time-on pre-sets are available. The 38W energy efficient LED replaces a 300W halogen lamp which has a far superior lifespan of up to 50,000 hours.

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The Best Solar Floodlight

Lutec Sunshine LED Solar Floodlight with PIR Sensor

£73.99

Budget and environmentally friendly, this solar-powered floodlight will not cost a penny to run once it has been installed. Simply ensure the solar panel is positioned in full sunlight to charge and the unit will operate between dusk and dawn or can be switched off when not required. The PIR sensor has a range of up to 15 metres and the time-on when activated can be set from 10 to 90 seconds.

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The Best Value Floodlight For Small Areas (Under 150W Equivalent)

Value 10W Daylight LED Floodlight

£4.99

At the price you will be hard pressed to find an energy-efficient floodlight that is better value. Perfect for small gardens and areas in need of contained light beams the 10W LED is as powerful as a 60W halogen lamp. With a life span of 25,000 hours it will be some time before this floodlight will need to be replaced.

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The Best Value Floodlight For Medium Sized Areas (150W > 500W Equivalent)

Value 50W Daylight LED Floodlight

£23.99

Value 50W Daylight LED Floodlight with PIR Sensor

This is a great option for illuminating car parks, gardens or other external areas that don’t require an excessively powerful floodlight. The integrated 50W LED has the equivalent output of a 285W halogen lamp with a fraction of the energy use and a much longer life span of 25,000 hours which will help keep costs down.

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The Best Value Floodlight For Large Industrial Areas (1000W+ Equivalent)

Eterna 200W Cool White LED High Power Floodlight

£220.00

Eterna 200W Cool White LED High Power IP65 Floodlight - Black

 

Ideal for large car parks, loading bays and sports pitches this powerful floodlight contains four integrated LEDs, each with an output of 200W. The casing is made from tough polycarbonate and will withstand damage and corrosion. It has a 25,000 hour life expectancy and will use a fraction of the energy of a traditional floodlight.

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Reena Reeves

Reena Reeves is a writer and editor with 15 years’ experiencing working in publishing and digital media. She has a degree in Journalism and has worked for publications such as Smash Hits magazine, OK! Magazine and The Daily Express. Reena has been writing about lighting since early 2017 and has supported us with website copy, product descriptions and articles on lighting trends and commercial lighting solutions.

Bathroom Zones – What Can Go Where

Bathroom Lighting

Before any lighting installations are carried out in bathrooms it is essential to understand the significance of bathroom zones, as set out in the electrical safety regulations. These bathroom zones are designed to ensure that only bathroom lights provided with appropriate protection are used, especially within the higher risk areas so that the risk of harm is avoided.

Looking for Bathroom Lighting? View our full range >

IP Ratings

Like other electrical equipment, light fittings are given an IP Rating to indicate their suitability for a particular environment. IP stands for ingress protection and the rating consists of the letters IP followed by a two digit number. The first number indicates the level of protection provided against intrusion by solid objects such as dirt or dust. The second digit indicates the level of protection against various degrees of moisture. For a more in-depth explanation of IP Ratings take a look at our definitive guide to IP Ratings.

Looking for Bathroom Downlights? View our full range >

Bathroom Zones Explained

Bathroom zones are best described with reference to illustrations but the measurements stated are quite specific and must be adhered to. What follows should help with understanding what grade of fittings can be placed in the different bathroom zones and the reasons why. It is only a guide and such work should always be carried out by a qualified electrician who will be conversant with the IEE Wiring Regulations (17th Edition).

As you can see the illustration below shows a bath, wash basin and a stand-alone shower installation. If any of them are combined or their respective zones overlap then the higher risk level should be applied.

Bathroom Zones explained

As you can see the illustrations show four distinct bathroom zones, 0, 1, 2 and 3 (referred to in the key as “Outside Zones”).

Bathroom Zone 0

Zone 0 is inside the bath or the shower tray itself. If lighting is required in there, any fitting used must use a low voltage supply, that is a maximum of 12v and also be rated at least IPx7 which means it is totally immersion proof.

Bathroom Zone 1

Zone 1 is the area above the bath or shower tray to a height of 2.25m from the floor. Any fitting used in this zone must have a minimum rating of IPx4* , which means it is protected against water spray from all directions. If the fitting uses a 240v supply, a 30ma residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone.

Bathroom Zone 2

Zone 2 is an area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone again an IP rating of at least IPx4* is required. It is good practice to regard the area around a wash basin, within a 60cm radius of any tap as zone 2.

Bathroom Zone 3 (Outside Zones)

Zone 3 is anywhere outside zones 0, 1 and 2 (subject to specific limits) and where no water jet is likely to be used. No IP rating* is required in these areas.

*If there is any likelihood of water jets ever being used for cleaning purposes in Zones 1,2 and Outside Zones, fittings rated a minimum IPx5 must be used which tells you that the fitting is protected against water jets.

The latest edition of the IEE wiring Regulations will provide more detailed information but your electrician should be fully up to date with these.

Suitable Suggested Products

When it comes to selecting the actual fittings to go into the different bathroom zones there are plenty to choose from in our Bathroom Lighting category.

Need Further Advice?

The information provided in this guide should help you to understand the requirements for bathroom lighting and the meaning of bathroom zones. When you discuss your requirements with your electrician you should now feel able to do so with greater confidence than you may have felt before.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

Why not take a look at our full range of Bathroom Lighting?

For more inspiration and advice try our Lighting Advice section.

Where Next?

Bathroom Ceiling Lights Bathroom Mirror Lights Bathroom Wall Lights

 

charles author bio

Charles Barnett Managing Director

Charles started Lyco in 1995 with just 4 enthusiastic employees and has grown it considerably over the past 25 years. Charles is also the Managing Director of Lighting Direct and newly acquired Online Lighting. He now has a team of 50 lighting experts working on growing Lyco Group to be the UK leader in lighting for both businesses and homes. Away from the office he is a keen cyclist and is proud to have cycled 1017 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for a new residential centre for adults with multiple learning difficulties.