Remember when LED bulbs first came about and they cost a small fortune. Well, those days are over and you now have absolutely no excuse to still be using old filament bulbs. Apart from the improved performance and dramatically reduced energy consumption afforded by LED bulbs, they also last for an astonishing 10 years before you have to change them.
With prices around the £2 mark, the savings can now be made much quicker.
Here are some key details about LED lighting –
REPLACEMENT BULB FOR LAMPS UP TO 500 WATTS: LED bulbs turn on at full brightness with extremely high lumen outputs now available!
LONG LASTING: With a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours, you can reduce the hassle of frequently replacing your light bulbs. The savings made during this period vary from lamp to lamp – But you will reduce you power usage instantly resulting in instant savings financially.
ENERGY SAVINGS: Enjoy the energy-savings of LEDs without sacrificing light quality. With powers from as low as 1 watt, as mentioned above the savings are instant.
Controlling lights with your voice used to be something only a god could do, but these days we have smart lighting systems to make any of us feel all-powerful.
The biggest name is Philips with its Hue bulbs, but now IKEA, Hive and a whole host of others have got in on the act too. Let’s get to the important stuff: what’s right for you, is it going to cost a fortune and is it likely to become obsolete any time soon? Let’s find out.
What you need for a smart lighting system
Smart lighting generally uses mesh networking, where each smart bulb wirelessly connects to its nearest neighbour. That network is controlled by a hub that plugs into your router, enabling your other networked devices – such as your phone or tablet – to communicate with your bulbs. Some systems also have an away from home mode that enables you to control the lights when you’re far away, which is handy if you’ve just remembered you left the lights on or want to terrify the babysitter. Not all systems require a hub, though. The LIFX platform just connects directly to your Wi-Fi.
You’ll often find that smart light systems can also be accessorised with additional items such as dimmer switches or motion detectors, and in some cases they can be linked to the IFTTT (If This Then That) service to create complex rules that trigger particular recipes for particular things. Fancy a flash of colour to notify you of an instant message, or a glow to gently break the news of today’s weather forecast? This and much more is possible without too much tinkering.
Siri, Alexa, Cortana and more
Smart lighting systems aren’t just controllable with smartphone or tablet apps. Philips’ Hue system works with Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, and that means you can use those platforms’ voice assistants to relay your voice commands. There’s something undeniably cool about saying “Hey Siri, set scene to cinema” or “Alexa, turn the lights off” and seeing it happen. With HomeKit you can also control the lights with an Apple Watch. IKEA’s Trådfri will get similar compatibility later this year.
Because developers have targeted mobile platforms first that puts Microsoft in the unusual position of being an afterthought: Hue works via a third party app, Huetro, and IKEA doesn’t appear to have any plans for Windows support. We’re sure somebody will hack something together, but for the time being Windows isn’t really welcome at the smart lighting party.
What kinds of bulbs are available?
There are three main kinds: standard bulbs, candle bulbs and spotlights. Standard bulbs come with E27 or bayonet fittings; candle bulbs with SES (small screw) fittings; and spotlight bulbs are most commonly GU10 spotlight fittings.
Smart lighting bulbs are LED, which draws much less power than traditional incandescent light bulbs. A typical smart bulb is 9.5W or 5.5W for spotlights and candle bulbs. That’s roughly equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulb and a 50W spotlight bulb respectively.
You’ll usually have a choice of two kinds of bulb: white ones or colour changing ones. The latter are more complex to make and therefore cost quite a bit more. As with normal LEDs, white bulbs come with stated colours: warm white has a yellowish cast which more closely resembles incandescent bulbs’ light, while cool white is blueish like modern car headlights.
How much does a smart lighting system cost?
Put it this way: if you’re hoping that switching to a smart LED lighting system is going to save you so much in energy bills it’ll pay for itself in no time, you’re going to be disappointed. Smart lighting systems don’t come cheap, although they are slowly getting cheaper.
A range of smart lighting products will be added to www.lamps2udirect.com soon – Be sure to keep and eye out!
Britain’s biggest furniture retailer MFI went into administration over 10 years ago now and still the Smilight range of fittings and tubes they used to fit in their kitchens and bathrooms continue to be one of our biggest sellers.
Lamps2udirect will continue to supply the 8 watt, 13 watt, and 24 watt tubes and Smilight fittings as long as we possibly can.
We offer the best prices for MFI Smilight tubes online and will always attempt to keep stock levels at a maximum.
Anyone having trouble trying to obtain this type of T5 fluorescent tube shouldn’t worry about the short term future of these lamps, however, it may be an idea to keep a short amount of stock.
LED lamps are hugely popular and this type of lighting is showing no signs of decline. Energy efficient, long lasting and versatile, they are available in various shapes, intensities, beam angles and colours meaning they can be used for a variety of lighting applications, especially where creativity needs to combine with easy to install lighting effects. LED lamps give you a lot of light for your energy and they can be more than 10 times as efficient as their incandescent counterparts. Also, unlike some other types of energy saving lamps, LEDs can produce instant warm, soothing light the moment you switch them on. LED’s are the most expensive energy saving option but offer a very long life up to 50,000 hours, with savings made over a period of time LED lamps will easily pay for themselves many times over.
The result of traditional ﬂuorescent lamp making skills, compact fluorescent lamps have helped created a range of retroﬁt lamps that will directly replace incandescent mains voltage lamps. CFLs are available in a wide range of shapes and formats to meet the growing need for compact, energy efficient performance. They offer a comprehensive range of light source solutions giving long life, high colour rendering and constant light output throughout their life. Compact ﬂuorescent bulbs use only about 25% of the electricity an incandescent bulb, but they cannot reach full brightness immediately it may take up two minutes to reach their maximum output. This is often seen as a negative, and sometimes people get this type of technology mixed up with LEDs. LEDs fully illuminate instantly. CFLs generally don’t.
Halogen lamps are known for excellent colour rendering and a cool crisp white light. This makes them the preferred light source for decorative, accent and general lighting. Mains voltage halogen lamps operate without the need for a transformer, and can be dimmed: making them quick and easy to install, simple to operate with a subsequent lowering of installation and user costs, up to 30% with some lamps. Low voltage halogen lamps operate on step-down transformers, to lower mains voltage to approximately 12V and are also dimmable. High light intensity and long life make them an ideal lamp for accent lighting, task lighting and spotlight applications. Halogen lamps offer around 30% energy saving compared to standard GLS light bulbs and last about 2,000 hours. Click Here To View!