Plinth lights – adding dimension to your kitchen

Plinth lights are small, low-level lights usually installed into the kick boards of kitchen units. They have a decorative effect as well as adding ambience and an element of safety. Here we look at the various types of plinth light, their advantages, and which ones to choose for any kitchen.

Plinth light benefits

Plinth lights are primarily installed for their decorative effect. They help modernize a kitchen, and are at their mood-enhancing best when general kitchen lighting is not overpowering. Contrast is a vital ingredient in creating ambience, and plinth lights look great when they’re the centre of attention.

Highlighting effects

Plinth lights highlight the colour and texture of a floor. Rather like a picture light, you can choose a colour of light that will emphasise the floor colour. For instance, a warm white light is a good match for wooden floors or red tiles, whilst a cooler white or blue is good for stone floors or white tiles.

See in the dark

Aside from their visual appeal, kitchen plinth lights can act as night lights, perhaps in anticipation of a midnight snack or drink. Modern LED lights make this possible through their minimal consumption of power. Plinth lights can sometimes be hooked up to a PIR sensor so that they trigger automatically when anyone enters the kitchen.

The LED advantage

Most modern plinth lights use LED technology. Aside from being energy-efficient and cheap to run, LEDs are a versatile light source from a designer’s viewpoint. They’re compact in size, extremely long-lasting, shockproof, vibration proof, and resistant to low temperatures. LEDs are also relatively cool-running, which avoids any possibility of burned fingers if you have children at floor level.

Plinth lighting styles

There are two main styles of plinth lighting: continuous and spotlighting:


Continous Plinth lights - 5m Flexi-stripAn example of continuous plinth lighting is the Deltech 5M LED Flexi Strip, which can be cut to size and fitted in many types of confined space. The warm white light of this strip will complement wood or red tiles. Deltech also produce an RGB Colour-changing LED Flexi-strip, which allows many colourful modes and effects when operated by a separately available remote control.

When concealed around the base of a kitchen island or fitted unit, the glow of continuous LED strips can create an attractive ‘floating’ appearance.


With the spot approach, a series of small fittings are faced outwards to regularly accent or wash the floor with light. LEDs are ideal for this, with their naturally directional nature, crisp bright light, and rich colour.

Square-shaped fittings such as the Stratford Recessed Square LED or the double-insulated Robus Croxley LED Tile Light look extremely neat as plinth lights. They create a uniform look and often complement the lines of kitchen cupboards.

Multipurpose lighting

When buying plinth lights for your kitchen you’ll notice that many suitable lights are not primarily marketed as plinth lights. Some are decking lights, others might be under-cabinet lights, but many are fine for this purpose.

The Simpson LED Walkover Lights, for example, are designed as outdoor decking lights, and are completely dust-tight and waterproof as a result. These lights can withstand plenty of punishment, including shock, vibration, and being sloshed by a kitchen mop.Surface mounted LEDs

For ease of installation, Endon’s Set of 4 Surface Mounted LED Downlights is a smart, low-profile solution to plinth lighting. The lights adhere to a surface by self-adhesive pads, and are wired through to an included LED driver. The Endon lights are relatively easy to install, but lack the waterproofing of outdoor lights.

Adding dimension

Plinth lights add extra dimension to a kitchen, especially when complemented by wall-washing up-and-down lights and diffused ceiling lights. Layered light creates visual interest, highlighting each part of the room and giving a greater impression of space.

If you’re a designer, specifier, or end-user, plinth lights are a fantastic way of adding depth and style to any kitchen!

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



Outdoor lighting to attact more patrons

Everyone loves sitting outside in the pub or hotel garden during the summer with their favourite tipple or refreshment, but the winter months aren’t quite so enticing. Having stylish LED outdoor lighting can encourage patrons to enjoy the outer edges of your premises even in the most unbecoming of weather. Patrons who are visible to passers by in themselves are worth their weight in gold as they show off the popularity of your establishment, which in turn attracts more customers.

Lighting the way to enjoyment

One way to enhance your outdoor image through lighting is to install LED Walkover Lights in your public garden areas. These super efficient and stylish lights are specifically designed to be recessed into decking, patios and pathways. They can withstand people walking over them and some are even strong enough for drive over applications as well, making them perfect for car park areas (please check exact specifications when purchasing to ensure suitability).

LED walkover lights come in a choice of white or blue light and are completely rainproof, which means that the lights won’t fail. Really simple to install and available in a range of fantastic designs, many models come with decking clips and sleeves for mounting the lights into concrete.

Stylish lights to complement

Walkways aren’t the only way to make your premises more attractive to customers. Lyco also have an extensive range of super stylish outdoor lighting including garden and wall lights, all of which benefits from the latest LED technology. Placed together with the walkover lights (or even on their own) they should entice fun loving customers outdoors in even the drabbest of weather.

Making your outdoor lighting last

Please bear in mind that any outdoor lighting exposed to the British weather needs to be hardy but if you are located within ten miles of the coast you will need to adhere to some basic rules in order to ensure your lighting lasts as long as it should.

Why not take a look at out full range of LED outdoor lighting?

For more inspiration and advice check out our Lighting Advice section.


Christmas lighting – decorative lights to impress

Regardless of the type of business you’re running, the way you celebrate Christmas is an important consideration. In a hospitality setting such as a hotel, pub, or restaurant, attention to detail during the festive season couldn’t be more important. Other premises such as hospitals, care homes, public buildings, and even private offices are also affected by Christmas.

Keeping visitors, patients, and staff in good spirits is naturally a good thing. It shows people inside and outside your business that you care, so investment in decorative lighting for the Christmas period always has value. At a dark time of year when many could use some cheer, a good display of lights can help boost morale amongst staff and easily attract customers. Lyco offer a variety of products that add to the Christmas theme…

Keeping things traditional

We’ll start with something traditional. The Weatherproof Lighting Festoon is usable indoors or out and includes a 22m double-insulated cable lined with 20 bulb-holders. With its IP54 rating you can be sure this product is rainproof. All you need do is buy 20 inexpensive

Weatherproof Lighting Festoons

bulbs in the colours of your choice for bright and joyful decorative lighting.

Lyco sells compatible 25W bulbs for this festoon in seven colours, so you can swap different bulbs for various occasions throughout the year. Festoons are available up to 50m long, too, making this an easy and inexpensive option for buildings of all sizes.

Seasonal solar and LED

Many types of light create a welcoming ambience at Christmas, but one technology that has completely changed lighting is LED. Cheap to run and long-lasting, LEDs are also small, tough, and perform well at low temperatures – so they make great outdoor lights for December!

Because LED lighting is so low-powered, it combines well with solar energy to effectively create free lighting after initial investment.

One of the other great advantages in solar-powered lights is that you can position them almost anywhere. The white-only Everbright Solar Fairy Lights look fantastically festive when wrapped around trees and shrubs. With an IP56 rating, these lights can even be jet-cleaned with no ill effect.

A low-priced set of LED solar-powered lights is available in the Bling String 100 Solar LED Lights. These stay lit for up to 10 hours once fully charged and have a built-in photocell for automatic dusk-to-dawn lighting. The Bling String’s white LEDs can also be switched on and off manually, and with a choice of static or flashing light effects.

During the long dark evenings of December, a mood-enhancing, soothing light can be a comfort. The Dett Outdoor Floor Light emits a soft and flattering widespread light. This light is cheap to run, using low-energy fluorescent bulbs, and can be moved outdoors.

Putting on the Christmas style

With general room lighting turned down low, the soft glow of the SLV Lipsy and Dett floor lights add to Christmas ambience. Alternatively, place them in a garden, where their gentle illumination creates an enchanting atmosphere around garden features.

To add a dash of seasonal sophistication to the front of a hospitality premises, the Konstsmide Lucca Exterior Floor Lamp in green doesn’t go far amiss. Complementary in colour to a Christmas tree, this fitting is entirely weatherproof with an IP44 certification.

Taking it a step further

One of Lyco’s favourite ornamental light is the Cube 20, which is great for showing off plants and shrubs by night. Each translucent white pot houses 15 LED lights, emitting a cool glow that’ll turn any garden or patio into a winter wonderland.

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


Fisherman lights showcase

If you’re buying lights for a hospitality premises or the home, old-fashioned design is an easy way of creating charm and ambience. Objects that were once purely functional have a habit of becoming decorative and meaningful. Fisherman lights are a case in point.

In olden days these were often cheaply made of iron or tinplate, with a glass enclosure around an oil-burning wick or mantle. Modern versions retain the glass enclosure, containing a lampholder and bulb. A metal shade sits over the glass and reflects light downwards.

One lighting supplier that excels at this type of nautical design is Searchlight. It offers a wide choice of fisherman light fittings in traditional or modern styles.

About Searchlight

Founded in 1945, Searchlight is a Manchester based family-owned business now into its third generation. It has a worldwide reputation for designing and supplying high-quality light fittings. They have access to state-of-the-art metal forming, glass bending, and brass/sand cast facilities, which allows them to produce a vast range of decorative lighting. All Searchlight products are engineered to meet or exceed the standards set out by EU Regulations or the British Standards Institute.

Fisherman light range

The Searchlight Fisherman lighting range includes a variety of ceiling pendants and wall lights, all offering great value for money without cutting corners on quality.

A common theme throughout is the classic glass-domed fisherman light, or lantern, and yet the range includes both traditional and modern light fittings. Searchlight’s Fisherman lights come in a variety of finishes, with some models using an old style of seeded glass in their construction – common in the 18th and 19th centuries. As we’re about to discover, there is a light in the Fisherman range to suit most needs…

Fisherman single pendants

Searchlight Fisherman single pendants are popular for their traditional good looks, high-quality construction, and value for money.

Fisherman Pendant LightsThe single pendants come in extra-large, large, and baby sizes, and in a wide variety of finishes. Clear or seeded glass diffusers are used. Seeded glass is an old style of glass with a bubbly, wavy finish. It produces a softer light than clear glass with reduced glare (choice of bulb finish also affects this).

If you live in an old house without an earthed lighting circuit, the baby Fisherman pendants make a suitable choice. They are Class 2 double-insulated fittings that don’t require an earthwire.

Among Lyco’s best-selling fittings are the large, traditional Fisherman pendants in satin silver, or black finishes. These come with a clear glass diffuser, and are a fantastic choice of lighting for hallways, dining rooms, and kitchens.earth wire.

Fisherman 3-light pendants

Fisherman 3 Light Ceiling PendantHighly decorative, the Fisherman 3-light pendants make a fine choice for a traditional dining room, living room, or kitchen. Searchlight uses oval-shaped seeded glass diffusers in these fittings, which enhances their antique appearance whilst also softening and dispersing their light. These pendants look stunning with their satin silver or antique brass shade finishes.

Fisherman single bracket wall lights

For a co-ordinated lighting scheme with different types of light, Fisherman single bracket wall lights are also available in a choice of metal finishes. These fittings have an oval-shaped diffuser with a seeded glass finish, which complement the 3-light pendants and single baby pendants, particularly.Fisherman Wall Lights An independent on/off pull cord does away with the need to operate the fitting from the wall. These lights will adorn any traditional dining room, living room, or hallway with their good looks.

As you can see Fisherman lights combine the style of the past with the technology of the present, creating lighting solutions for all locations.

Why not take a look at our full range of Fisherman lights?

Looking or more inspiration, advice and news? Check out our Lighting Advice section


Pendant lights – best sellers

There are thousands of pendant lights out there, and while some might say pendant fittings are ‘just’ ways to dress up bulbs, each has its own style, its own personality. The key is – of course – matching the pendant with the personality or style you’re trying to foster.

To save you hours of trawling through our expansive catalogue, we’ve brought together five of the most popular pendant designs out there.


The Zaragoza exudes low-key style. It uses a cylindrical shade of small concertina-like ridges, Zaragoza pendant rangemeasuring 40cm in diameter, or 60cm if a larger fitting is desired. In its cream finish (also available in green, red and black), the Zaragoza is simple but commanding in its appearance, suited to both modern and traditional spaces. For an even more striking look, black and red versions are also available.

Both sizes of the Zaragoza use three bulbs up to 60W, with screw fittings. To soften this powerful combo, the bottom of the shade is covered by a sheet of frosted glass, diffusing the pendant’s light.


The Ripasso comes in two sizes. The 24cm-high mini pendant takes a 40W G9 Halogen If you need a pendant that will bring visual punctuation rather than meld with a room, the Ripasso lights are worth considering. Made in Denmark, and consisting of a coloured blown glass teardrop-cum-conical flask shape finished with polished chrome fittings, these highly unusual pendants are an arresting presence.

Capsule, and the 41cm-high standard model a screw bulb of up to 60W. Five colours are available, and here choosing a shade is even more important than usual. The green and red editions glow with the vividness of boiled sweets, while black, white and grey versions are on-hand for a slightly less intense effect.


On the other hand, the Timba takes a much more neutral approach, while maintaining a Timba pendant lightsdefinite sense of style. Its shade is a simple cone of ribbed glass, helping to diffuse light output without reducing power. The Endon Timba takes a single 60W screw bulb, making its maintenance about as low as you can get. With a fresh and clean look, this pendant will suit modern spaces in particular, lending them a more breezy look than imposing or more intensely-styled alternatives.

The ceiling fitting and the domed housing of the glass pendant use matching brushed metal finished, and two types are available to help the fit with existing decor – Antique Brass and Polished Chrome.


And now for something completely different… the Phantom is a modernised take on the chandelier, each Phantom pendant light range
fitting home to seven curved metal arms holding a 40W Screw Candle bulb. Each shade is made of white fabric and together with the silver fitting it makes for a tasteful and neutral combination. A particularly classy pendant fitting, the Phantom looks the part in dining rooms.

A coordinated wall light is also available, and has its own on-off pull cord, giving a Phantom-filled room plenty of scope for quick lighting changes.

Why not take a look at our full range of Pendant Lights

Looking or more inspiration, advice and news? Check out our Lighting Advice section


Tools and maintenance – for the professional

Here at Lyco we’re proud of our ever-expanding stock of power tools, hand tools, decorating equipment, measuring instruments, accessories, and of course, you can be assured of good quality torches and worklights. We’ll even provide you with a toolbox to keep it all in!

A recent supplement of carefully selected professional tools and devices has consolidated our position as a leading supplier of maintenance equipment. If you’re a carpenter, DIYer, electrician, joiner, metalworker, mechanic, plumber, or general maintenance worker, you’re sure to find the tools of your particular trade among our ranges. If you don’t, let us know!

Our ‘tools and maintenance’ section is populated with exactly the equipment that professional tradespeople and maintenance workers need, and in many instances we’re able to provide a convenient one-stop solution for maintenance departments looking to replenish their armament of spare lamps and tools.

You’ll find most of the items you need among our various tool and maintenance categories:

  • Tools and maintenanceTorches: of course Lyco are ahead of the game when it comes to selecting high quality torches. We know about the technology within them, and pay close attention to various product qualities. One recent addition is the LED Mag-lite Torch with its legendary build quality and high performance.
  • General tools: fresh on the pages of our general tools category is a great-quality selection of spirit levels. These are extremely accurate tools designed for professional tradespeople, and with suitably hardwearing and practical designs. The Stanley Fatmax Spirit Level even provides space for a carpenter’s pencil!
  • Power Tools: new to our power tools section is an array of drill bit sets and hole saw sets. Included in them is the 15-piece Irwin HSS Drill Set, a general-purpose set of drill bits designed to yield superior high-speed performance over carbon steel equivalents.
  • Tool Boxes: long associated with reliable high quality, we are delighted to add a new selection of Stanley toolboxes to our palette. Among these is the extremely versatile Stanley Mobile Work Centre, which basically gives you two tool boxes with all the portability of just one! A carrousel drawer and organiser sections provide space for small fixings and sundry items.

On top of these exciting new ranges of tools, we continue to offer decorating gear, including brushes, sealers, glues, fillers, and tape. We also sell steps and ladders, and we’ll help lighten your load with trolleys, trucks, and sack barrows!

Lyco has many years of experience in supplying a wide variety of industries, so we’re no slouches when it comes to product knowledge and specialist requirements. We offer a diligent, award-winning level of customer service—before and after sales.

Whatever your vocation in life, if it involves fixing, building, repairing, or installing, we’ll provide you with the tools for the job, and we’ll light it for you too!

Don’t forget to scour the rest of our Tools & Maintenance supplies.

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


Swimming pool lights – underwater lighting improved

Things to ponder before buying

There are various things you need to think about before you get down to the nitty-gritty of buying swimming pool lights. One of the first things that should cross your mind is what type of use your pool will get; is it a place intended primarily for fitness, where customers or family members will swim regularly, or is it more of a relaxation area? These purposes need not be mutually exclusive, but the bias may help you decide what type of lighting you’ll buy.

Safety considerations are also bound to come into play. What type of peripheral lighting is best, and if you’re buying for a commercial swimming pool or spa, are there any legal requirements to be met? The shape and size of the pool will also play a part in the amount of lights you buy, and what colour light they emit. Having pondered all of these things, you can cast any idea of hard and fast rules aside! There are effective ways to light a pool, and there are ways to stay safe, but there is also a significant element of subjectivity—how do you want your pool to look?

Does the size of the pool affect your choice of lighting?

To some extent, yes, if you’re buying for a large public swimming baths or a fitness centre there will be a requirement for high levels of uniformity along the length of the pool, which often means multiple lights with a white output. However, for small to medium-sized pools more commonly installed at homes, hotels, and spas, a single light is frequently enough to illuminate the whole pool.

The light is usually recessed and wall-mounted at the deep end of the pool, which enables a more even spread of light. Placing a light at the centre of a pool typically creates a triangular effect with darkened corners, so this will only usually be done if further lights are to be installed.

It’s worth bearing in mind that coloured lights do not have the same coverage though water as a white light, which is why white lights are always preferred in scenarios where safety considerations dominate, e.g. a public swimming baths. The travel of light through water even varies between colours. The surface colour of the pool is another factor in the effectiveness of your selected lights, with paler colours reflecting the light and increasing its range. Dark surfaces will conversely absorb light, which may result in you requiring more lights to achieve your aims!

Are there any health and safety requirements to consider when lighting a swimming pool?

There are no specific laws pertaining to swimming pool health and safety, other than an obligation to comply with legislation under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

One useful resource from the non-departmental Health and Safety Executive makes several references to pool lighting, and is available in the form of a free download: Managing health and safety in swimming pools.

What types of lamp have traditionally been used in swimming baths and pools?

Incandescent and halogen lights were always the traditional choice of underwater lamp in public swimming baths and pools, and they’re still available. Their advantages mostly lie in being inexpensive, and in delivering a consistent output of light through their whole lifespan.

Halogen lights are the bright underwater pool light that many people remember and expect in a swimming pool, and they’re great for their ‘continuous spectrum’, which makes them reliable for rendition of colour (a property of all forms of incandescent light).

Modern-day swimming pool lights — the advantages

There are a couple of contemporary solutions to swimming pool lighting: fibre optic and LED.

Fibre optic lights can create great colour-changing effects in a pool or spa, and they are easy to install and maintain. However, their vibrant glow is often considered too weak for anything other than decorational mood lighting, and their initial cost is greater than LED.

LED lights are generally between 70-90% more energy efficient than original incandescent and halogen light forms, and, significantly in pool lighting, they last for a near eternity! An incandescent lamp might only have a lifespan of 1,000 hours, or 2,000 hours for halogen, whereas LEDs tend to boast longevity of between 20,000 to 50,000 hours.

An estimate of potential savings in running LED pool lights against a halogen equivalent would work out approximately as follows:

  • 18W LED @ 10 hours a day for 1 year = £9.85
  • 100W halogen @ 10 hours a day for 1 year = £54.75
  • 300W halogen @ 10 hours a day for 1 year = £164.25

(Rate based on 15 pence per kWh)

Aside from the great money-saving potential of installing LEDs, one of the other great advantages lies in the flexibility they allow in design. In swimming pool lights this tends to manifest itself in a wide choice of vivid colours and effects, with built in micro-controllers endlessly blending individual red, green, and blue LEDs in more sophisticated models.

Colour changing swimming pool lightYour pool can be simply lit with a bright white light such as the 18W LED PAR56 Swimming Pool Light, or for easy creation of ambience you might opt for the soothing effect of a lamp such as the blue 18W LED PAR56 Swimming Pool Light. But if you’re looking to put on more of a show, your underwater lights can be imbued with an ever-shifting rainbow of colours using various styles of transition. Lyco sell a selection of these more spectacular pool lights, as follows:


  • A Slow-fading 18W LED PAR56 Swimming Pool Light that gradually cycles through colour using RGB LEDs.
  • A Switch-start 18W LED PAR56 Swimming Pool Light that enables you to pre-set colour output from its light switch.
  • A Remote-controlled 18W LED PAR56 Swimming Pool Light that enables complete mobile control of the pool’s colour.

IP Ratings

Of particular relevance to swimming pool lights is the Ingress Protection Rating, which is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is universally used to classify and rate the degree of protection offered by an electrical enclosure against solid objects (including dust) and water.

The IP rating uses 2 figures, the first of which ranges from 0 to 6 and refers to the level of protection against ingress of solid objects. The ultimate ‘6’ rating is indicative of a completely dust-tight housing. For pool lighting the second number is more significant, which ranges from 0 to 8 and refers to protection against ingress of water. An IPX3 rating is considered to be the minimal requirement for outdoor lighting, whilst underwater lights usually require an IPX8 rating for submersion at an unrestricted depth.

Lighting around the pool

There are countless lighting possibilities beside or above a pool. One possible choice for overhead lighting is the Fireguard LED6 Dimmable Spotlight, which is ideal for creating mood in conjunction with a dimmer switch. A great source of general lighting, the Fireguard is IP65 rated and is fire-rated to preserve the integrity of the ceiling in the event of a fire.

Poolside lighting can increase ambience in spa or hotel pools, so products such as Deltech’s LED Flexi Strip allow you to get creative! This strip of LEDs is orderable in 5-metre lengths and can be installed around the perimeter of a pool for both ornamental and safety purposes. You can choose from white, blue, purple, or RGB colour-switching flexistrips.

Walkover lights also have an infinite amount of potential around the pool. They can be fitted into surrounding areas of decking, or even in the pool itself. Walkover lights are often submersible to various degrees. LED lends itself particularly well to this type of light, since it allows extremely small designs and is naturally vibration proof and shockproof.

Swimming Pool LightsLyco are able to offer suitable walkover lights in the form of the Garland LED Walkover Lights, which can be used around the edges of a swimming pool or to highlight water features. These are also a great idea for decking and shallow (1m max) submersion in a pool.

A final benefit in installing LED lights around the pool is their lack of attraction for insects and bugs. Because they produce vastly less heat than incandescent or halogen light sources, and don’t have the UV output that’s inherent in fluorescent lighting, LED lights are an entomological wasteland!

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


What are dichroic lamps?

The term ‘dichroic lamp’ almost always refers to low-voltage MR11 or MR16 halogen spotlights. The interior surface of these lights is designed as a multifaceted reflector (MR), with the purpose of gathering up the widespread light of the burning tungsten filament and projecting it forward through the front of the lamp.

Invariably the surface of this reflector is manufactured in one of two ways; it’ll either have an opaque aluminium coating or a dichroic coating. The purpose of an aluminium coating is uncomplicated: it projects as much light as possible forward without discriminating between visible light and invisible UV or IR radiation, either of which can potentially be harmful.

A dichroic coating is essentially a thin layer of non-metallic film, sometimes referred to as interference film, which reflects visible light from the filament forward whilst filtering infrared radiation and allowing it to pass through the back of the lamp. Since IR radiation is a significant source of heat, the net effect of this is to make the beam much cooler.

Dichroic compatibility

When buying or installing a dichroic lamp you first have to ensure that the light fitting or lamp-holder can dissipate the back-firing heat. Any recessed or enclosed luminaires that cannot accommodate such a lamp should be marked with the IEC 605598 ‘No Cool Beam’ symbol. If your light fitting is labelled in this way you’ll need an aluminium reflector lamp.


The beam of a dichroic lamp is significantly cooler than other halogen spotlights, which extends its usefulness drastically for displaying heat-sensitive objects such as paintings, photos, leather goods, food, and wine.

A second potential benefit of a dichroic coating is that it can be used to remove longer [redder] wavelengths of the visible spectrum to create a halogen spotlight with an unusually cool temperature. This has some appeal, because it’s ordinarily uncommon for a filament lamp to output anything other than a warm light, but there is a trade-off in colour accuracy and a lower CRI score. Most dichroic lamps remove only IR radiation and maintain their maximum CRI 100 rating for colour rendering.

Low-voltage MR11 or MR16 halogen dichroic lamps have other inherent advantages that complement their IR filtering properties admirably. With a relatively compact filament they are optically very controllable with minimal spill light, and deliver a focused, crisp beam. What’s more, they’re very affordable, and rarely more so than with the bargain-priced Lyco Halogen MR16, which is dimmable, highly colour-accurate, and might last you two or three years – all for mere pence! Looking for Low Voltage spotlights ?
View our full range >  

Other forms of dichroic lamp

Though dichroic lamps are mostly low-voltage, they can occasionally be found as mains spotlights. The common GU10 reflector is really an MR16 lamp with a ‘twist and lock’ 240V mains-connectable base. Cool-beam versions of the GU10 can be found with a dichroic coating, although they are known as ‘GZ10’ lamps. Great care needs to be taken in ensuring these lamps are installed into a fitting with sufficient heat dissipation.

The future of cool-beam halogen

The very need to handle unwanted heat in a lamp is, of course, indicative of poor energy-efficiency, and that places dichroic lamps in something of a precarious position. In Australia the common low-voltage 50W MR16 has already been subject to a phase-out, and there have been one or two reports in the UK of its imminent European demise. When this does come to fruition – and it seems only a matter of time – it is believed the more energy efficient IR-reflecting and Xenon-filled 12V halogen spotlights will remain available.

MR16 lamps have existed for over 30 years, and the threat of their extinction has caused some disquiet among lighting designers worldwide. With the more energy-efficient models seemingly safe for at least another three years or more, we might in that time expect LED alternatives to have been further improved and for their prices to have finally toppled. In the meantime, you can still reap the benefits of a crisp, bright, vivid, colourful, pretty cool halogen source of light!

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


Hospital lighting – caring with efficiency

Patient Bedrooms
Waiting Rooms
Upgrading to LED lighting

Nursing with light

Hospital lighting has changed much since the days of the Florence Nightingale. The founder of modern nursing, she worked under appalling, hopeless conditions at Scutari during the Crimean War. For those under her care, her passing dim light was symbolic of hope even amid their final hours. For her tireless work, often in 20-hour stretches, Florence became known simply as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’, and 160 years later this image of utter selflessness endures.

In the relative security of modern healthcare environments, the same noble spirit prevails; long hours are still worked and lighting still has an important part to play. Today’s hospital lighting is important to the safety and psychological wellbeing of patients, residents, and staff, and its economy is also important, so that healthcare trusts can meet financial targets and channel funds where most needed.

A new kind of light

Over the years, Lyco have been proudly instrumental in a number of lighting overhauls for healthcare providers. Always watchful of current trends and developments in the lighting industry, we are well-placed to advise on money-saving measures for hospitals, hospices, and care homes, and we do that without obligation. We offer game-changing tailored lighting solutions that improve the experience of patients, residents, and staff. We can make your energy-expenses much less onerous and your carbon footprint smaller.

Because healthcare environments are invariably threaded with high-circulation areas needing 24/7 illumination, their lighting costs are typically colossal by any normal standards. It can account for up to 40% of a hospital’s energy costs. Even low-circulation areas can be unnecessarily problematic, since light tends to be always on when it might easily be controlled by motion detectors.

It won’t surprise many people to find LED at the heart of most modern lighting solutions. LED is, quite simply, one of the most revolutionary technologies to have emerged in recent times – arguably in our lifetimes. It has the power to affect people’s lives, regardless of their standing, across the world.

That LED is vastly more energy-efficient than incandescent lighting is a well-documented fact. It might cynically be construed as something of a mismatch, but fluorescent lighting isn’t spared from the LED salvo.

The best of high-frequency fluorescent luminaires are extremely energy-efficient, but in replacing a dated fluorescent lighting scheme with LED, and installing money-saving measures such as dimmers and occupancy detectors, your premises might easily achieve a 60-70% reduction or more in energy bills, whilst also drastically reducing carbon emissions. That figure increases substantially when replacing tungsten lighting systems.

Less energy, less bacteria

Installing LED into a healthcare environment will have a drastic effect on energy consumption and your carbon footprint, but it can also be useful in preventing the spread of bacteria and germs. Because lighting maintenance is virtually eliminated, there’ll be no regular changing of bulbs to unsettle dead bugs, bacteria, and dust. For the same reason – because LED units don’t need to be accessed – their housing can be comprehensively sealed and thus protected against bacteria.

Many areas of the healthcare environment can be catered for by Lyco. Here a few a few ideas:

Patient Bedrooms

In a patient’s bedroom a warm-coloured light can create welcoming, soothing effect, whilst also flattering skin tones and providing a general feeling of wellbeing. For overall bedroom lighting, recessed downlights such as the Luceco F-Eco offer a high specification, and using just 5W of power they’ll potentially save heavily on energy costs.

The Luceco ceiling luminaire is tightly sealed against dust or water with an IP65 Ingress Protection rating, and it’s also fire-rated to 90 minutes. Dimmable and non-dimmable lights can be bought in this range, with dimmable lighting allowing further opportunity to simultaneously create ambience and save energy.

Also for bedrooms, dedicated reading lights will encourage patients to pick up a book, especially since they’re invariably switched and easy to turn on and off. Wall-mounted LED reading lights are space-conscious, and extremely energy-efficient. Take a look at our Edit Eye ranges of adjustable white or black reading lights, any of which offer long term value for money as the last for years. A 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee gets you started with any of those.

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Wards pose particular problems, since bedded areas need to be individually lit for examination with privacy curtains closed. Wall-mounted, bed-head lights with minimal glare are often used over beds, which are specialist medical lights.

For general ward lighting, recessed ceiling lights are an option. Recessed flat panels leave no surface for bacteria and dust to gather, and with lifespans of over 40,000 hours, they require little maintenance.

LED ceiling panels are a good fit for many areas of a healthcare environment, so you might also consider them for corridors, bedrooms, and waiting rooms.

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Special consideration has to be given to corridors in a healthcare environment. The elimination of glare is an important factor, especially since patients and residents are sometimes likely to be seated in a wheelchair or supine. So lighting needs to be sufficiently diffused.

To comply with European 12464-1 Standards, users of any building should not have to pass from a bright-light area, such as outdoors, or a projection-room, into a darkened corridor. For healthcare premises the recommended corridor illuminance is 200 lux at floor level, though it can drop to 50 lux at night.

One of the more significant ways a hospital or other healthcare building can save money is to use occupancy detection technology in little-used corridors, stairwells, or utility rooms. Essentially this allows you to keep lights almost permanently extinguished in areas where they were previously kept on!

An occupancy-detection solution can be installed with products such as the Luceco Eco LED Flush Light, which is configurable as a master and slave lighting scheme, where the master light initially detects movement and triggers all other lights in the circuit. In other words, when someone approaches or opens a door to a corridor it will be immediately lined with light, which will automatically switch off in the absence of movement and after an adjustable amount of time.

The Prodisc ‘master lights’ use a microwave movement detector, which is beneficial for being discreetly concealed inside the fitting. Also in the Prodisc range is an emergency light, which can be seamlessly blended with regular lights for the sake of visual harmony!

As previously mentioned, LED Panels are also a good choice of corridor lighting, with a diffused output that provides good coverage whilst being absent of any glare.

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Receptions need to be immediately identifiable, so here more than anywhere else in a healthcare environment, lighting can afford to be a little more decorative and eye-catching. Pendants are a commonplace solution for lighting the counter. Contemporary solutions from Edit such as the Edit Cone might suit here, which can be fitted with a lamp such as the Lyco 10W Warm White LED GLS Screw Cap for energy efficiency. This shade focuses light where it’s needed, whilst shielding the lamp from easy vision for minimal glare. A bayonet version of the same bulb exists, for any existing shades in reception or waiting areas.

Recessed downlighting is also commonly used in reception areas as general lighting. Dedicated LED downlights are usually super-efficient, because they’re built from the ground up for performance and luminous efficacy. Because such lights require no maintenance they can be comprehensively sealed, so no dust gathers, and water cannot permeate.

Accent lighting can also be used in reception areas, to highlight artworks, or simply architectural features for added visual interest. We have a range of track and spot lights that have 360% rotating light head. With flexible lighting such as these, you can shine light to the areas you choose and reduce glare elsewhere.

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Waiting rooms

Some of the previously mentioned LED ceiling panels and downlights provide high quality, balanced lighting in waiting rooms. A warm light in these areas helps patients to relax, though it should be used in conjunction with natural daylight wherever possible, which helps to connect visitors to the outside world and makes them feel less isolated. Dimmable solutions can work well, because then ambient light can be controlled in accordance with the intensity of incoming daylight. The ceiling panels, however, produce a wonderfully diffuse and evenly spread light that looks very natural, and these can be easily installed into existing 600mm x 600mm ceiling grids.

Depending upon the type of waiting room, lighting in these areas can be more decorative, and designed again to make people relax. Coffee tables and wall, table, or floor lamps are not uncommon adornments, and in many cases will be served well by one of the previously mentioned LED lamps. The Parma 160 LED Wall Light is a dedicated fitting from Astro requiring something of an up-front investment, but once installed will yield many years of unmaintained service, thanks to its brace of top-quality Cree LEDs. This light produces a relaxing up-and-down effect and has a beautifully smooth plaster finish.

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An LED conversion

Though LED lighting is expected to eventually fall in price through cheaper industrialised processes, the money businesses and institutions burn through inefficient lighting schemes makes the waiting game an expensive one! An LED conversion requires a significant up-front investment, but without exception all investors in LED conversion see a payback on that investment within a short space of time.

Healthcare ‘businesses’ of all types, including healthcare trusts, private hospitals, hospices, and care homes, can vastly decrease energy usage and carbon emissions with a switch to LED. If you’re running an outdated incandescent or fluorescent lighting scheme, you are very welcome to get in touch with Lyco, who will survey your premises free of charge and without obligation, and deliver a document detailing the likely return on any investment.

From there, if you’re ready, we can take you through the various stages of an LED conversion, including product selection, finance plans, project planning and scheduling, and installation. From that point onwards you’ll be saving money, and we’ll provide you with ongoing support to address any of your future lighting concerns or needs. Call us today to learn how we can help!

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“Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form and colour and light, we do know this: that they have an actual and physical effect.”  Florence Nightingale

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