Buying Guides

Buying Guides – Outdoor Lighting

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 Robus Marlow are effective in highlighting plants, flowers and ornaments.

Lyco Stake Spotlight - Robus Marlow

    • 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.

Buying Guides

Colour temperature & rendering explained

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

S.A.D. T8 Fluorescent Tubes - good for helping combat depression

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 Como 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 Como Glass Ceiling PendantBack 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 Spectra 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

Manet LED Picture Light - ideal for lighting artwork

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.

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

Buying Guides

Top 10 New Kitchen Lighting Solutions

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 Integral 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. Eterna 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 Searchlight Fisherman 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.

Buying Guides

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

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.

 

Shop Now

 .

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.

 

Shop Now

 .

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.

 

Shop Now

 .

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.

 

Shop Now

 .

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 LED Chain 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.

Buying Guides

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

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.

View our full range of Fluorescent Tubes >

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.

View our full range of T4 Fluorescent Tubes >

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.

View our full range of T5 Fluorescent Tubes >

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.

View our full range of T8 Fluorescent Tubes >

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.

View our full range of T12 Fluorescent Tubes >

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

Buying Guides

Best Floodlights for Every Budget

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

£19.99

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.

Shop Now

Best Value Floodlight For Under £50

Robus Champion 50W Cool White LED Floodlight

£49.99

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.

Shop Now

Best Value Floodlight For Under £100

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

£99.99

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.

Shop Now

Floodlight With The Best Features

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

£115.00

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.

Shop Now

Best Value Floodlight With PIR Sensor

Lyco 50W Cool White LED Floodlight with PIR Sensor

£24.99

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.

Shop Now

The Best Value Floodlight With HD Wifi Camera

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

£99.00

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.

Shop Now

The Best Solar Floodlight

Lutec Sunshine LED Solar Floodlight with PIR Sensor

£51.44

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.

Shop Now

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

Value 10W Daylight LED Floodlight

£7.99

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.

Shop Now

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

Value 50W Daylight LED Floodlight

£19.99

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.

Shop Now

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

Eterna 200W Cool White LED High Power Floodlight

£194.99

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.

Shop Now

Buying Guides

Bathroom Zones – What Can Go Where

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

 

Buying Guides

Choosing A Floodlight

Floodlights are useful for many purposes, whether lighting a building, car park, driveway, garden, fountain, patio, tennis court, tree, or yard. They can be used in accent, task, or security lighting. You’ll want to choose the best floodlight for the purpose you have in mind; this article will look at various floodlight specifications and steer you towards the correct choice.

Equivalent wattages

With filament lighting (i.e. incandescent), bulb wattage and the amount of light produced are directly related. LED technology is not like that. Two LED products of equal wattage can emit different amounts of light, depending on energy efficiency. Comparing LED products by actual wattage is therefore meaningless.

Equivalent wattage addresses this problem by translating the amount of light produced by an LED (or fluorescent) product into the wattage of an equivalent filament lamp (in this case halogen). You can use the table below to choose floodlights by their equivalent wattage for various applications.

Application Equivalent (standard halogen) wattage
Small patio (9m²) 80W
Back yard of house 80W
Small garden (50m²) 150W
Driveway (10m) 150W
Medium patio (25m²) 300W
Building façade 300W
Medium garden (200m²) 500W
Large patio (100m²) 500W
Car park 1000W
Industrial loading bay 1000W

These are estimations only and may not be applicable on every occasion.

Controlling light

One aspect of floodlighting that needs attention is containment of light. If you have neighbours a short distance away, chances are they won’t appreciate their property being blasted by escaped floodlighting.

Most floodlights, as their name suggests, produce a wide beam of light. The beam angles do vary, but you can also control light by ensuring it’s only as powerful as necessary and with careful positioning. The naturally directional output of an LED floodlight helps to cut out stray light.

Choosing a colour temperature

One important specification in floodlighting is its colour temperature. If you’re looking to highlight architecture, warm white floodlights help create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere. They’re ideal for many home or hospitality applications.

A cool white or daylight floodlight is arguably a better choice for security purposes. This is because cool white light appears brighter to our eyes and hence starker and more of a deterrent. This is even more the case when it is suddenly activated by a PIR sensor (see below).

A cooler colour temperature is wise if you’re looking to buy a floodlight for working under. Not only does it look more natural, but it also stimulates alertness and concentration.

You might choose a colour temperature to emphasise garden hues. Cool white is good for water features or silvery metallic surfaces while warm white does well with brick or wooden structures, plants and shrubs. Colourful autumn and winter growth benefits from warm white light.

PIR and dusk to dawn sensors

A PIR sensor triggers light automatically when it senses movement within a given range, making it especially useful in security lighting. The duration of light can often be set by the user.

A dusk to dawn sensor is slightly less economical than a PIR sensor, because it automatically keeps light switched on for the duration of the night. This is useful if you want to create the illusion of a property being occupied and/or to enhance surveillance.

Solar floodlights

A solar floodlight is costlier than a standard luminaire to buy, but is subsequently free to run. The Suri Solar LED Twin Floodlight with PIR Sensor combines a solar panel with a PIR sensor. It charges by day and delivers up to a 200 lumen output for 10 seconds when movement is detected.

Floodlighting versatility

Floodlights brighten up an exterior for aesthetic or security purposes, and they’re available these days with sleeker, more attractive, less conspicuous designs. Check out Lyco’s extensive floodlight range and discover how you and your property or business can benefit.

For more useful information and guidance see our Lighting Advice section.

Buying Guides

Buying Guides – Light Fitting Types – Traditional Light Bulbs

When we think of a light bulb, we traditionally referred 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 LED: LED bulbs are more energy efficient, cheaper to run and better for the environment. Most of these lights have round metal caps with either a screw or bayonet type fitting.

At Lyco we sell a wide range of these traditional light bulbs and we understand that the types that are available are not as simple as they once were. With this in mind we have put together a quick guide to fitting types and traditional light bulbs…

Standard Fittings & Effects

The types of lamp available with the above mentioned screw and bayonet caps have broadened greatly in recent years to include LED. With traditional caps you get great flexibility and a wide choice of lighting effects.

Bayonet & Screw Caps

There are two different types of bayonet cap – standard and small. Standard is by far the most popular and is perhaps the most common light bulb of all in the UK. Screw caps are available in four common sizes – Micro (MES), Small (SES), Standard (ES) and Goliath or Giant (GES).

In addition, many other LED light bulb fittings are also available, such as striplights which have a tube shape not dissimilar to fluorescent lighting.

Bayonet

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 ultilising a mechanism originally developed for bayonet rifles, the BC consists of a spring and two contacts with bayonet mounts on either side.

To fit, simply depress the lamp into its holder, twist under the lugs and the bayonet mounts are retained by the springs, thus ensuring optimum contact – the simple push and twist 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 such 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.

Screw

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 can be thought of 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.

Size Variations

The most common types of screw cap in the UK are the eponymous ES or Edison Screw E27, (where the number relates to the diameter of the screw), SES or Small Edison Screw (E14), Giant or Goliath Edison Screw GES (E40) and MES or Miniature or Micro Edison Screw (E10).

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

Domestic Light Fittings

Although ES is the most popular choice for domestic fittings, there are now many more SES lamps available. This is because retailers are sourcing light fittings from Europe and the US; locations where this 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.

Other Light Bulbs

In addition to the common bulb fitting types there are many other less common types available, typically for more specialist use. Whichever fitting you choose, remember that you should always replace like for like.

Striplights

Striplights are a form of incandescent lighting with unique double-ended sprung fittings. They are commonly used for picture lights, but other applications have tended to be superseded by linear fluorescent tubes as they are more reliable.

Heater & Catering Bulbs

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

PAR Lamp Fittings

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.

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 2 pin, being either GY9.5 or P28S.

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.

Where Next?

Energy saving light bulbs where next LED light bulbs where next Benefits of LED light bulbs where next