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Incandescent Lamp and Tube Ban isn't the end of great lighting

Incandescent Lamp and Tube Ban isn't the end of great lighting

As the European directive for the banning of Incandescent Light Bulbs has come into effect from September 2012, everyone is now finding it harder to get hold of Coloured Light Bulbs. Therefore to ensure that festoon lighting can still be used there are now some further options available to the consumer. This article is written to advise on the 3 options available;

We keep a massive range of Incandescent and LED Coloured Light Bulbs in all of the standard colours and also some you may not often see like Pink and Amber.

LED Light Fittings

However, as technology has advanced so greatly particularly over the past 3 years and the Lighting Manufacturers have been getting ready for the Incandescent Total Ban; many Manufacturers have concentrated on other forms of Light Bulbs to complement their ranges. An example is LED Light Fittings which can very easily be used in place of coloured lamps. LED technology can produce LED Light Fittings that can be a static colour or change colours automatically with or without a remote control. Many of these styles of LED Light Fittings are used to flood the exteriors of buildings as many have seen in the sky lines of many major cities today.

LED Light Fittings have also been developed to resemble plastic strip (LED Strip Lights) that can give various light outputs and are easily tailor made to many environments such as under shelf lighting or display lighting. Therefore LED Light Fittings are a second recommendation on how to use alternatives to the standard incandescent coloured light bulbs.

Coloured Fluorescent Tubes

Our last example of alternatives to either option would be to use coloured fluorescent tubes. All quality fluorescent tubes are manufactured and sold by use of triphosphor internal coating which we believe give the best colour rendition available. All of our fluorescent tubes are available in all spectrum colours and are available in fluorescent tube sizes such as T8 and T5. We also sell a variety of fluorescent tubes that are specially designed for the aquatic market place and are therefore available in Salt Water Blue and High Intensity Blue rendition.

We hope that this article demonstrates that all is not lost with the European Lighting Ban as there are many options still available to the consumer.

About the Author:

This article is written by Jim Gear, founder of First Light Direct. First Light Direct has been supplying the Domestic and Commercial Market with Lighting including Light Bulbs, Fluorescent Tubes and Light Fittings in the UK for 25 years. First Light have always ensured that they only supply quality products and not cheap imports.

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4 type of LED Tube Lights and Their Uses

4 type of LED Tube Lights and Their Uses

Light technology is evolving rapidly and now there are many different LED tube lights on the market. Whether you’ve got a new light fitting or you need LED replacement bulbs, we can help you to understand the differences between the lights.

LED Tube Type A

This type is the easiest type to install and it comes with an internal driver that helps the tube to work directly from the existing linear fluorescent ballast. It also comes with several advantages with the main advantage being the ease of installation. Retrofitting is simple and simply involves the switch of the existing LFL with a UK Type A LED. There is no need to make any modifications to the current light fitting, making it a great option when it comes to LED bulbs.

LED Tube Type B

If you’re looking for a complete system then this is the option that is the simplest. In the same way as the UK Type A, it works by using an internal driver. However, the internal driver gets its power from the main voltage that is supplied to the existing LFL fixture. This means that there are several considerations to make. One of the main advantages is that it is the simplest system and retrofitting will require wiring directly into the main voltage. So, bypassing the ballast, it will remove any problems associated with compatibility. Furthermore, maintenance costs will be reduced too as there will be no requirement to replace the ballast. This is more efficient when compared to that of Type A and there is no loss of power when the existing LFL ballast is removed.

LED Tube Type C

If it’s performance you’re looking for from LED lamps then the Type C LED tubes have everything you want. This uses a remote driver that powers the LED linear tube which means that there is no integrated driver, this installation will require a modification to the existing fixture although the low voltage outputs of the driver are then connected to the sockets as opposed to line voltage.

The existing tubes will need to be removed during installation as well as ballast while existing sockets might have to be replaced if they are damaged. This option provides amazing system efficacy and compatibility while it performs exceptionally well too. It can also be used with robust dimming and controls, helping to enhance efficiency too.

LED Tube Type A + B

These types of energy-saving light bulbs come as U-bend, Four-Foot or two-foot LED tubes and they are designed to act as a replacement for the U-bend, four-foot and two-foot fluorescent lamps. The products within this category can operate off the existing ballast and can also work off the line voltage too if the troffer is rewired so that it bypasses the ballast.


All of these products are designed for various needs and so, it can help to understand what they all offer.

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Reasons of Switching from Halogen GU10 to LED GU10

Reasons of Switching from Halogen GU10 to LED GU10

Many British households have relied on halogen GU10 lamps, making it one of the most widely recognised bulbs on the market. However, this is now changing and that means that LED bulbs are now taking over. So, the aim of this article is to discuss halogen GU10 lamps and LED GU10 lamps.

Problems With Gu10 Bulbs

While low voltage halogen lamps have been heavily relied on, there is no denying that they do come with some problems. After research, It has been noticed that the likes of the older halogen bulbs had a distinct edge and that prevented smooth gradation of light from the centre to the outside. Furthermore, the width of the beams were similar between all lamps, with the figures suggesting that the width was wider than was quoted.

Furthermore, we know that the power rating for GU10 lamps was extremely small, such as the Compton, which comes with a power rating of 0.41. While light output is often measured in watts, this is not the absolute measurement because a low power rating means that the light has to draw extra current.

Advantages Of Gu10 Led Bulbs

As we know, advancements are being made in lighting and this can be seen in the LED GU10 lamps and the likes of LED tubes. Therefore, with this kind of bulb, you can expect to receive the exact amount of lumens for each bulb to be found within a 90 degree beam.

It is clear that the likes of the LED 50mm GU10 or the 35mm GU10 bulb are the bulbs of the future. However, the main advantage is the fact that they are now more efficient than ever. What you can expect is a bulb that offers an efficiency that is 90% better than standard bulbs and that can help you to save money on your energy bills.

What’s more, while these bulbs might cost slightly more, the savings on energy and the fact that they can last for as long as 50,000 hours means that you probably won’t ever need to change them. They are also available in a range of versions such as a choice of colours and dimmable options.

Things To Keep In Mind When Making The Switch

In a realistic sense, there are no real disadvantages to making the switch to LED GU10s. They offer much more in the fact that they offer better light, they are more energy efficient and they come in a range of colours. If you are looking to save money and energy then making the switch makes complete sense.

It’s easy enough to do and the bulbs can be switched over without any changes being made to the electrics or the light fitting. The only thing to consider is that they might cost slightly more than standard bulbs but you’ll soon benefit from the savings and the fact that you won’t need to change bulbs frequently.

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Things to Keep in Mind while Choosing Christmas Decoration Lights

Things to Keep in Mind while Choosing Christmas Decoration Lights

Christmas Lights Buying Guide

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the twinkle and sparkle of Christmas lights. Whether you like to go all out and put on a display with rope lights hanging from the front of your house or you prefer to keep it low key with some subtle Christmas candle bulbs, the right lights can transform any space.

The great thing about Christmas lights is that they work in any situation regardless of how big or small your home or tree might be. The whole Christmas light situation has changed and now people are getting more creative thanks to the wide range of lights on offer. While it’s possible to throw a mixture of lights together, it can make a difference by spending time considering what lights you need and how to get the look right.

Considerations When Buying Christmas Lights

Whether it’s novelty lighting or decorative Christmas candles, you can use lights in many different ways during the festive period. However, getting them right is the perfect way to create that Christmas look and feel. From creations that form the centrepiece of your home to backdrops and window lights, you can get creative with lighting.

Despite this, there is so much to think about because the choice is now more varied than ever before. There are different lights available which means that it is important to understand the different variations of lights available. Some lights are more suited as Christmas tree decoration lights while others are better for decorating windows and other areas of the home. You can have lights that are joined together in a straight line and you can find those that are shaped in a way that they are specifically designed for a certain area. With all of this in mind, you can now create the ideal look that captures Christmas perfectly.

So, when the time comes to choose your Christmas lights, you should make the following considerations.

The Number of Lights You Need - There are strings of lights that have a small number of bulbs and are suitable for small areas and there are those that can have hundreds or even thousands of bulbs and are suitable for large trees or even properties. If you want to give a tree with a height of around 3ft that festive look then 100 lights will be sufficient enough but you can scale this up should you have a larger tree.

Plain Lights or Multi-Coloured? - The great thing about Christmas tree lights is that they come in a range of colours. You can have white lights, warm lights and multi-coloured so whether you want the traditional look with lots of colours or you want to go classy with white lights, you can create an effect you want.

Lights That Move or Don’t Move? - Some lights can be set up to create a special effect such as flashing or twinkling as well as offer a range of glows. These are controlled by the users and give them the opportunity to create their own look. However, if you want a steady glow then static lights might be the best option.

Length of the Lead - Lights need to be plugged in and that means that you need to consider the length of the able from the plug to the very first lightbulb. This is clearly stated on the box but will allow you to make sure you have a lead that is the right length.

Simple Tree Lights - These are specifically designed to make dressing your Christmas tree easy. Unlike a string of lights, these are looped and can fit over the top of the tree with lights that then run from the loop at the top to the bottom of the tree.

Christmas Trees That Are Pre-Lit - If you are looking for a simple option then you can purchase trees that have lights attached to the branches, making it easier to get your tree looking right.

Outdoor Christmas Lights

The great thing about Christmas lights is that they are not just for indoors. This means that you can dress almost anything outside in Christmas lights. If you have the desire to decorate the outside of your home then you will also need to consider the range of outdoor Christmas lights on offer. These are specially designed for use outdoors and will come with a transformer to make sure that the electricity is delivered safely.

Stake lights are a great option when it comes to decorating your garden. All you need to do is push them into the ground such as your lawn or your flower beds before turning them on. They are quick and easy to install and you can also get solar versions too which means you won’t need to worry about plugging them in.

If you’re looking to create an amazing look outside of your home then you can choose from the huge range of festive lights that are available. This includes the likes of standard fairy lights that are much like the lights available for indoors. You can then drape them over walls, trees and even hang them from your guttering.

For that traditional Christmas feel you can always go down the novelty light route. You can find everything on offer from snowflake-shaped lights to Santa sleighs and reindeers. Rope lights are also a popular choice and the lights are located in a clear plastic tube and can be hung or wound around most things without getting tangles.

The great thing about Christmas lights outdoors is that you can choose to do something different each year. The more elaborate the design the more it will stand out but you can also keep things subtle if you choose to. However, when the time comes to take your lights down, you should ensure that you store them correctly so you can use them again next year.

If you are looking for a great choice of Christmas lights then our online lighting store has everything you need.

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Why Buying LED Light Bulbs and Light Fittings is a Good Idea

Why Buying LED Light Bulbs and Light Fittings is a Good Idea

There are many improvements we can make around the home but one of the things we rely on the most is our lighting. From our bedrooms to living rooms and kitchens, for the majority of the year, we spend a large amount of time in darkness so it makes sense to have the right lighting.

So, whether you are looking for the best LED light bulbs or you want LED lamps, you can be sure that you will benefit in many ways.

Saving money with LED Bulbs

We all know how much we use our lights around the home but did you know that lighting makes up a large portion of electricity bills. So, if you switch out your standard incandescent bulbs in UK, you will be able to save as much as £3 per bulb each year. So, if you are looking to make savings then there is no doubt that LED light bulbs and fittings are the way forward.

Along with this, branded Lights will last for years which means that you will also make savings because you won’t have to spend on replacement bulbs.

The average cost of replacing every bulb in the home is around £100 and that would lead to savings of around £40, which means that in just over two years, the bulbs would have paid for themselves.

Saving Carbon Emissions with LED Bulbs

Of course, if you are looking to really make a difference by using LED light bulbs UK then you have to think about the impact it will have on the environment. As carbon emissions are already having an impact on a global scale, something as simple as changing light bulbs can make a real difference. So, if you change a halogen light bulb to an LED bulb then you can save as much as 5kg in CO2 emissions. If you replace every bulb around the home then this can equate to around 63kg of co2 emissions. Collectively, that would add to a significant amount clearly indicating just why it’s important to make a switch.

The Future of LED Lights

LED lights are now becoming mainstream and with more people making the switch then it’s only a matter of time until every home in the UK uses LED light bulbs. It’s simple to order light bulbs online and that means that we can all have access to LED bulbs in order to replace them.

They provide more light and are more efficient, but they are only going to improve further. What’s more, LED bulbs are also being used with smart devices and so, they are becoming part of a connected home whereby users have more control over their lighting and that allows them to change how they use them. With enhanced usability and a wide range of LED bulbs available, it’s clear to see that the use of LED bulbs around the home is going to grow considerably.

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