Lighting Buying Guide

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Lighting Buying Guide

Adding light fixtures to your home provides more than just illumination.

Lighting can completely change a room, adding atmosphere and making it feel warm and welcoming.

Different rooms in your home will require different types of lighting so it is best to first consider the purpose of the room.

Once you are sure that the lighting is sufficient for the required task, you can then add the finishing touches that will liven up your room.

There are four types of lighting:

AMBIENT lighting

This provides general illumination within a room. Different rooms will require different levels of ambient light according to the size and décor.

TASK lighting

This is light that is directed and functional. In a kitchen task lighting can help to eliminate shadows making it a safer place

to work, especially around the oven and sink.
ACCENT lighting

This is directed but decorative light, for drawing attention to features in a room.

MOOD lighting

This often uses lower levels of light or colour to create an ambience.

Types of lighting

OVERHEAD LIGHTING

Overhead light fixtures are suspended from the ceiling and provide overall, general light. They can be as basic as a simple pendant shade or as elaborate as an ornate chandelier. Easy Fit Pendants are a great way to create the look of a chandelier without the need for wiring in a chandelier.

RECESSED LIGHTING AND SPOTLIGHTS

Recessed lighting incorporate seamlessly into any décor. Recessed lighting is ideal for rooms with low ceilings or where large hanging fixtures might not be suitable for example in kitchens. Spotlights are great for directional light.

TRACK LIGHTING

Track lighting is suitable for any room of the house, but the effect can be different from typical ceiling fixtures. Track lighting creates a more intimate and dramatic feel by highlighting key objects or providing task lighting.

TABLE AND FLOOR LAMPS

Table and Floor lamps are ideal for both task and accent lighting. Table lamps are ideal for desks and lighting up areas for hobbies such as reading, while floor lamps help brighten dark corners. Both table and floor lamps can be used to provide a soft, warm atmosphere.

TASK LAMPS

Task lamps provide focused areas of light for working under, for example on a desk or in a workshop environment.

Around Your Home

HALLWAY

As an area for welcoming guests and giving the first impression. Welcome visitors into your home with a warm ambient glow and consider a dimmer switch for when a brighter light is needed. For safety reasons always make sure the stairs are well lit.

BATHROOM

The prime consideration when choosing lighting for the bathroom is choosing a safe light with the correct IP rating (Ingress Protection rating). This is lighting that is safe to use in an environment where there is water. It is always best to fit moisture proof, sealed light fittings and ceiling mounted pull cord switches.

BEDROOM

Your bedroom should be a welcoming place. Soft light is important so wall lights, spotlights and table lamps are the most suitable light sources for this room. It is a good idea to consider a dimmer switch in the bedroom so you can adjust the level of light to suit the mood and time of day. If you read in bed then a table lamp for bedside is essential.

CHILDRENS BEDROOMS

A bright general light is necessary for playing. You may also need a desk lamp if your child reads or does their homework in their bedroom. Wall and ceiling lights are safer to use if you a very young child as they will not be able to reach these. It is not advisable to fit low hanging lights or table/desk lamps in a younger childs room.

LIVING ROOM

This room is probably the most functional room of the house where many different activities take place. The lighting in this room needs to cater for reading, watching TV and entertaining. Wall lights are good for creating ambience, table lamps and floor lamp are also great for placing next to chairs and tables. You may want to highlight a painting, plant or object with a spotlight or picture light or create a focal point with a pendant or chandelier.

DINING ROOM

Clever lighting in the dining room can create a welcoming atmosphere. Wall lights are a good idea to create a ambient light, whilst a pendant or chandelier hung directly over the dining room table will provide light and focus on the table.

LIVING ROOM

The first consideration when lighting the kitchen is to ensure the light is directed to where it is most needed. Think about where your work surfaces, cooker and sink are located and use spotlights or fluorescent lights as they are bright and can direct light accordingly. Do not use table or floor lights in the kitchen as the flexes of these can be hazardous in the kitchen.

Bulb Types

Not all bulbs will work in a specific light fixture or will be suitable for a specific function. It is important to know the different characteristics of each bulb type in order to get the most out of your lighting and to avoid the dangers of using the wrong bulbs in your lighting

TUNGSTEN

Tungsten bulbs give a warm yellowish white colour light which is similar to natural light. They are good value an they come in various shapes, and are ideal for the general lighting of living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.

Tungsten bulbs are not very efficient, approx 94% of the electricity consumed by a tungsten bulb generates heat which means only 6% of the energy is used to produce light. Their life span is also quite short at around 500 to 1000 hours.

HALOGEN

Halogen bulbs emit a much brighter and white light than tungsten bulbs. They also have a much longer life span, are more energy efficient.

FLUORESCENT

Fluorescent bulbs are specifically designed to produce good quality even light. Perfect for lighting spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and utility areas.

Fluorescent bulbs are economic as they give off very little heat and have an average life span of 10,000 hours.

ENERGY SAVING

Energy saving bulbs, or compact fluorescents (CFL) bulbs are long lasting and are the most energy efficient bulbs. They generate very little heat and emit a light that is midway between a tungsten and a halogen bulb.

BULB WATTAGE COMPARISON GUIDE AND BULB CAPS

INCANDESCENT ENERGY SAVING
100W 20-30W
60W 11W-15W
40W 7W-9W
BC Bayonet Cap B22
SBC Small Bayonet Cap B15
ES Edison Screw E27
SES Small Edison Screw E14

Other Information

DIMMER SWITCHES

Dimmer switches allow you to customise light levels and create different moods with a handy wall switch. Not all lights are suitable for use with a dimmer switch so you will need to check the suitability of your light before installing a dimmer

Tungsten bulbs are not very efficient, approx 94% of the electricity consumed by a tungsten bulb generates heat which means only 6% of the energy is used to produce light. Their life span is also quite short at around 500 to 1000 hours.

TOUCH LIGHTS

Touch lights are functional and convenient. They can be turned on and off by touch instead of by a switch. Variable levels if light can also be achieved with a touch light.

TIMERS AND SENSORS

Automatic timers and sensors offer convenience by eliminating the need to manually adjust lighting. Timers can be set to turn lights on and off are prescribed intervals, while sensors will automatically turn lights on when motion is detected. Each can help increase safety and security while reducing your electricity bill.

LED LIGHTING

LED lights provide tremendous energy efficiency and can help to save on lighting costs over time.

INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

Before commencing, always refer to the installation guidelines provided with each fixture. If after reading these instructions you do not feel confident enough to carry out the installation, you are strongly recommended to employ the services of a qualified electritian.

Common sense and caution must always be used when installing any lighting product.

Never look directly at a lit lamp for any period of time.

Always turn off the source of electricity before inserting, removing or cleaning bulbs.