Anyone who is faced with the task of updating the lighting in a building, whether it involves the entire premises or just certain parts, need to be looking seriously at LED lighting. LED is far superior to any of its predecessors in so many ways. Whether you are an architect, designer or electrician the message is still the same.
Designers of offices can now provide work places that are not only more people friendly because of the modern lighting but, thanks to the availability of LED fittings, are far more economical to run. LED probably represents the greatest advance in lighting technology since the fluorescent tube.
LED is the number one choice
For any new installation LED lights are the number one choice for a number of reasons. First there’s the economy in operation. LED units have a life expectancy of up to 100,000 hours, that’s 11 years if left on continuously or 22 years if only on half of the day every day. Because LEDs are 80 to 90% efficient compared to traditional incandescent bulbs’ 20%, 80% plus of the electricity used produces light. That means LEDs use far less energy to produce an equivalent level of light. LEDs work well on low voltage systems too, which brings benefits for safety as well as economy.
Less is more
The environment benefits from the absence of any toxic materials in LED units and of course their long life means that less energy is consumed producing them. Virtually no UV light is produced by LEDs and very little infra red which means practically no radiated heat which is much kinder to pictures or ancient artefacts. It’s better for people too!
Hardy lighting animals
LEDs are extremely robust with no glass used in their construction which makes them ideal for situations where lights can lead a tough life. Their compactness gives designers unprecedented flexibility in positioning lights where they can be most effective. LEDs can focus light for best effect and are not troubled by extremes of temperature. They switch on and off instantly too.
The market leading LED lights
Now the case for LED has been proven let’s take a look at the market leaders in LED lighting….
Indoor LED light fittings
Lyco’s top ten LED light fittings, start indoor with the neat, LED Emergency Bulkhead light. Its slim and compact design means it needs very little space and its robust polycarbonate construction will withstand the inevitable knocks. It can also be used with remote switching.
Next, another emergency light, this time the 3W LED Compact Emergency Downlight which comes pre-wired for easy installation in a ceiling. This light needs no maintenance and is available in white or satin silver finishes to suit. It’s LED glows a discreet green when on standby then, in the event of failure of the mains lighting, it comes on automatically giving a bright white light.
The Carina LED fitting can be what you want it to be! It can be a standard LED flush fitting ceiling light operated by a normal switch or it can incorporate a microwave movement sensor to come on when movement is detected. The microwave sensor can even see through doors and turn on the light in a room as someone approaches the closed door. The Carina can also be installed as a maintained or non-maintained emergency light. Both microwave sensor and emergency facility can be combined in one lamp. One such unit can be linked to as many as four standard basic lamps and allowing you to control all of them together.
For track mounted lights Lyco offers the Acorn LED 3 Light and Track Kit in a white finish . You get a metre of track and three spotlights fitted with LED bulbs. You can have Halogen GU10 bulbs if you prefer. If one metre of track is not enough for your project you can extend the kit with extra tracks and spotlights right up to 30 metres of track. The maximum number of spotlights per metre of track is four. An inline connector is needed for each track connection. Each spotlight head can rotate through 360˚ to point where you want it to and can tilt through 90˚.
For the bedside table, Edit Hotel Reading Light not only looks elegant but combines a bedside lamp with an LED snake neck reading light with separate switches for each. Style is neatly combined with convenience.
Top Outdoor LED fittings
Moving outdoors LEDs are very much in their element with their robust construction. IP44 rated, the Short Stainless Steel Post Light with 24 LEDs is protected against both dust and splashing water to accommodate the vagaries of our British weather. It is 450mm tall, made from stainless steel with a transparent diffuser. You get a 3 year guarantee against corrosion so it is ideal for outdoor installation more than ten miles inland from the coast. Nearer to the coast than that and you really should choose copper or galvanised steel products rather than stainless steel (see our coastal lighting article for more information).
Still in the great outdoors, another great light fitting for the garden is this Garden Spotlight. It can be fitted to a vertical surface or on the ground. Its IP65 rating means it is well protected against heavy rain and dust. It is great for lighting up a water feature but should not be submergedn. The tough lacquered aluminium casing makes this a very durable outdoor light.
Outdoor lighting includes security lighting and for this purpose you can’t do better than the Guard-Cam LED as it has all you need… PIR controlled floodlight, security camera with speaker and associated DVR system. When the PIR is activated the camera takes clear images, recorded straight to the DVR and the light is bright enough to ensure that even at night the images are clear and in true colours. All the settings are fully adjustable and all the sensitive parts are fully protected against the elements. The system is mains powered with battery backup and can even be set to give audible warnings to deter trespassers from proceeding further.
If the camera and recording facilities are not required, a lower cost alternative would be the Nighthawk LED. One of Lyco’s most popular security lights, its superb quality Nichia LEDs are renowned for their high output, reliability and amazingly long life. The PIR movement sensor is combined with a photo-electric cell which can be set to activate the system from dusk to dawn.
The number one LED light fitting is…
Finally the top selling LED light fitting which really is lighting the way to LED dominance in the lighting market is the EvoFire Downlight. We’re back indoors for this one, it’s a ceiling fitted flush downlight. It meets part B of current building regulations being fully tested and fire rated for 30, 60 and 90 minute ceilings. It is equally suitable for commercial applications of all kinds as well as domestic use.
The IP65 rating of the Evofire Downlighters means they are suitable for use in bathroom zone 1. The fire resistant bezel ensures that they are ideal for retro fitting as replacements for other, older downlighters.
For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.