Frequently asked questions
Lighting is often the single most important factor in a room yet it is frequently overlooked. Good lighting is about altering perceptions of light and space, creating focal points, enhancing features and creating moods or enabling tasks.
It’s much more than just ensuring that the light level is adequate or incorporating a striking light fitting into an interior design, although both of these can be important.
People are increasingly recognising the importance of good lighting, both for their own enjoyment of a house and for the enhancement of its value.
- Commonly used lighting symbols and what they mean
- Bulb types: incandescent and energy saving
- Bulb types: 12v halogen
- Bulb types: mains halogen
- Bulb types: low energy fluorescent
- Dual Mount
- Lightbulb types
- Low Voltage Products
- Energy Efficiency
- Lighting your home
- General Tips
- Entrances, Halls & Staircases
Commonly used lighting symbols and what they mean
Class 1 240 volt – the fitting requires a connection to earth
Class 2 240 volt – 2 core double insulated – no earth connection required
Class 3 – 12 volt extra low voltage
‘F’ marked – mounting surface of fitting will not exceed 90oC. Suitable for mounting on flammable surfaces.
‘FX’ marked – mounting surface of fitting can exceed 90oC. Not suitable for mounting on flammable surfaces.
Minimum distance from illuminated surface 0.3m – distance depends on wattage and reflector. Usually only used for products with reflectors built in or MR16, GU10. Ensure light source is not too close to surfaces causing them to overheat
Replace broken protective glass – (either round or rectangular). Some halogen and metal halide bulbs require a protective shield to offer protection should the bulb shatter. The shield must be replaced if broken to maintain security.
Self shield lamp– warns that the use of glass fronted M216, GU10 or low pressure capsule lamps must be used.
Bulb types: incandescent and energy saving
Note: Energy saving bulbs are available in the standard cap sizes to fit most light fittings (BC/B22, SBC/B15, ES/E27, SES/E14 and in GLS, candle and stick shapes) but the overall dimensions can differ slightly due to the width and height of the tubes.
BC/B22 GLS – bayonet cap general light service
BC/B22 GB – bayonet cap golf ball
BC/B22 – bayonet cap candle
SBC/B15 G – small bayonet cap golf ball
SBC/B15 CNDL – small bayonet cap candle
ES/E27 GLS – Edison screw general light service
ES/E27 GB Edison screw golf ball
ES/E27 CNDL Edison screw candle
SES/E14 GB small Edison screw golf ball
SES/E14 CNDL small Edison screw candle
SES/CNDL small Edison screw energy saving halogen cap candle
Fitting energy saving bulbs into your existing fitting will give you a more energy efficient fitting
Bulb types: 12v halogen Bulb types: mains halogen
MR16 12 volt – Dichroic reflector (heat backwards) Aluminium reflector (heat forwards). Available in 20, 35, 50w Beam angles 10o-60o
G4 – Available in 10w, 20w, 35w, 50w
GU10 – Aluminium reflector (light & heat forward) GZ10 – Dichroic reflector (light forward, heat back) Available 35-50W Beam angles 25o-38
G9 – Available as 25, 40, 60, 75w
78mm – 60, 100w
118mm – 150, 200, 300w
NOTE: always observe the maximum wattage rating on the fitting.
Bulb types: low energy fluorescent
Compact fluorescent: Available with built-in ballast with ES or BC fitment for replacement of GLS bulbs. Ideal for lights that will be left on for long periods. i.e. outside, hall or porch lights.
GR8 = 2pin = 16w
GR10q = 4 pin = 28, 38w
Requires special fittings with built in ballasts. Fixed wattage cannot be changed.
G24d-1, G24d-2, G24d-3 (d = duo = 2 pin)
G24q-1, G24q-2 (q = quarto = 4 pin)
Requires special fittings with built in ballasts.
Fixed wattage cannot be changed
Products shown with this symbol can be adapted and the chain removed, so the Pendant can be fitted directly to the ceiling. Full instructions are included with each product. We recommend that conversion is carried out by a qualified electrician upon installation.
Energy Saving Options:
There are an increasing numbers of alternative ‘energy saving’ lamps available. Depending on the type of lamp, the energy saving potential and type of light emitted is different – this guide provides a summary of some popular types.
Dedicated Low Energy:
Some fittings are only suitable for dedicated low energy lamps. The fittings themselves contain control gear which is designed to operate ‘pin based’ fluorescent lamps. These lamps have unique lampholder types which are only suitable for the type of lamp detailed in the specification. They come in several different shapes dependant on the lamp holder. They consume around 20% of the energy used by a conventional incandescent (GLS) lamp and have a life of between 10 & 25 times longer (dependant on specific lamps).
Retro Fit Low Energy (Self ballasted lamps):
This type of lamp is available to suit many of the common lampholder types (BC, ES, SES, GU10) and is suitable for use in many of the fittings. It is a fluorescent lamp, similar in operation and energy saving to the dedicated low energy lamps but with the control gear housed within the lamp itself. This allows them to be fitted in fittings designed for use with conventional GLS lamps. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes of varying wattages. A guide for comparable wattages can be found below.
Retro Fit Lamp (Self Ballasted)
The type of light will vary dependant on the ‘colour temperature’ of the lamp – a lamp marked 827 (for 2700k) will produce a warm light, similar in appearance to a conventional GLS whilst an 835 (3500k) will produce a colder light which may be more suitable for some contemporary fittings. Lamps with a colour temperature above 5000k are referred to as ‘daylight’ and give excellent colour rendering suitable for task lighting.
NOTE: This type of lamp is not suitable for use on products which have touch dimmers or which are intended to be dimmed.
Low Voltage Products:
Electronic Transformers: A dimmer switch suitable for trailing edge (also described as phase lagging) is most likely to be compatible. This information is included in instructions for the appropriate products.
Toroidal Transformers: A dimmer switch suitable for inductive loads must be selected.
A dimmer switch is a third party accessory and compatibility with our products is not guaranteed. These notes are for guidance only. For further advice, please contact a qualified electrician or the manufacturer of the dimmer switch you intend to use.
DO NOT USE dimmer switches on products which contain fluorescent lamps (including fluorescent ‘energy saving’ lamps).
Please note that buzzing from the transformer is frequently caused by the dimmer switch – this may be because the wrong type of dimmer switch has been selected but it is quite normal for there to be some buzzing from either the dimmer switch of the transformer of any item being dimmed. A slight buzz is not indicative of a problem with the fitting or dimmer; it is a normal by-product of dimming the item. A more serious buzzing is almost always a result of using an incompatible/incorrect dimmer.
Mains Voltage Halogen (GU10, G9 and R7Ss):
Many dimmer manufacturers recommend that the rating of the dimmer switch is reduced when these lamp types are dimmed. The following is a guide to the revised loads recommended:
Maximum Load on Dimmer Switch Rating Label
Maximum Load to be applied when using Main Voltage Halogen
Lamp Phase Out Regulations
There has recently been a new directive from the EU which will result in the gradual phase out of some lamp types. Primarily the Directive affects ‘traditional’ GLS/Candle & Golfball type lamps but there are other lamp types affected. There are some new types of lamps available as replacements for some of these lamps affected. The proposed phase out is expected broadly to affect the following:
Since September 2009 – All ‘non-clear’ (this means frosted, pearl etc.) lamps have to have an energy efficiency rating of ‘A’. This means that the only non-clear lamps available are fluorescent types. Lamps affected include mains voltage GLS, Golfball, Candle, G9 and Low voltage GY6.35 & G4 in all wattages.
Also since September 2009, clear lamps over 80w have to have an energy efficiency rating of at least ‘C’. This effectively bans all existing GLS lamps of more than 80w and requires the use of ‘new technology’ lamps for R7s linear halogens (which have a ‘C’ rating).
September 2010 – clear lamps over 65w will need to have an energy efficiency rating of at least ‘C’. This effectively bans all existing GLS lamps of more than 65w. This will also affect 60w G9 lamps (as their actual light output is more than a 65w GLS) which will also need to be ‘C’ rated (there are some new G9 lamps now available which meet this requirement).
September 2011 – clear lamps over 45w will need to have an energy efficiency rating of at least ‘C’. This effectively bans all existing GLS, Candle or golfball lamps of more than 45w.
September 2012 – clear lamps over 7w will need to have an energy efficiency rating of at least ‘C’. This effectively bans all existing GLS, Candle or golfball lamps of over 7w – it also means all ratings of G9 must be at least ‘C’ rated (already available).
September 2013 – A number of performance improvements for various lamp types will be introduced, then in September 2014 The Commission will review the requirements of the regulations and make any additional recommendations.
Due to phase out proposals, a number of new lamps have become (and will continue to become) available. These fall broadly into two categories:
1. Compact Fluorescent (CFL)
These lamps are the most energy efficient option, typically emitting 4 times the amount of light of a traditional GLS lamp (therefore only consuming a ¼ of the power for the same amount of light). These lamps are a good choice for table lamps and ceiling pendants with soft shades where the lamp is not directly visible. They are not suited to more open fixtures, particularly those with crystal as the frosted nature of the lamp envelope does not provide the necessary ’sparkle’ to crystal.
The modern CFL has few of the drawbacks of its predecessors – the light quickly gets to its maximum output (usually within a few seconds) and many are designed to closely approximate the size and shape of the GLS lamps they replace. Typically a lamp with a colour temperature of 2700k (may appear as 827 on the packaging) will be very similar in appearance to a traditional GLS.
Much of the information you may have read in the media is based on ‘older’ technologies and does not accurately reflect current technologies. In fact, in April of 2008 the Energy Saving Trust conducted a ‘light bulb challenge’ at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. Each shopper was shown into two identical booths – one lit with an energy saving light bulb, the other lit with a traditional one. Before they took the challenge they were asked whether they thought they could tell the difference between energy saving and traditional light bulbs. Confidently, nearly 7 out of 10 (68%) believed they could. 761 then agreed to be put to the test. Slightly less than half (47%) got it right and 53% either got it wrong or couldn’t spot a difference. With no real statistical difference showing, this means the energy saving lighting looks just like traditional lighting. Perhaps more surprising, when asked which lighting they preferred, the majority – 2 in 3 (64%) preferred the energy saving lighting, or didn’t have a preference. Only 36% preferred the lighting of the traditional bulb.
When using compact fluorescent lamps in place of conventional GLS the following table provides a guide to the equivalent wattages:
Energy Saving Equivalent
Some manufacturers now label their CFLs with a 3 digit code to specify the colour rendering index (CRI) and colour temperature of the lamp. The first digit represents the CRI measured in tens of percent, while the second two digits represent the colour temperature measured in hundreds of kelvins. For example, a CFL with a CRI of 83% and a colour temperature of 2700k would be given a code of 827.
2. Energy Savers
These lamps are improved, halogen versions of popular lamps affected by the phase out – primarily GLS and Candle. These lamps are clear (as frosted lamps were banned in the first phase in September 2009) and typically contain a small halogen capsule inside a traditional ‘envelope’ (the glass bowl).
They give the same light output as the lamps they are designed to replace but consume less power (watts). So, for example, a lamp designed to replace a 40w candle lamp will typically consume 28w, a 60w GLS replacement would consume around 42w.
This represents an energy saving of around 30% - whilst not as efficient as the 80% saving offered by CFLs, it is still a substantial energy saving and offers other advantages. The clear lamp envelope means that these lamps are well suited to traditional chandelier type fittings with crystal decoration as the halogen light source will cause the crystal to sparkle.
There are already versions of these lamps available as replacements for GLS, Candle, G9, and R7s (linear halogens) and they improve the energy efficiency rating sufficiently to survive the phase out until at least 2012 and in some cases 2016 (the R7s and G9 versions of these lamps will survive past 2016 as they are the most efficient versions that current technology will allow).
Please note – throughout the catalogue you will find that many fittings are still shown as 100w. This is a maximum rating (meaning lower wattages are fine). We have continued to use this rating despite the fact that GLS will no longer be available in this wattage as it makes it easier to select an appropriate energy saving equivalent. Your retailer can advise you on the selection of appropriate lamps for use with all of the fittings contained within the catalogue.
Lighting your home
- Use lighting as a tool to make your home comfortable and inviting. Lighting should be picked specifically for your home in order to make the best of the space you have.
- A good general light source, like a ceiling light, is needed in most rooms. This can be supplemented by task lights such as spot lights or desk lamps. In addition, wall lights and uplighters can accent highlights such as pictures and plants.
- Consider a crystal chandelier or other statement piece for maximum impact. Low ceiling rooms may need a flush or semi-flush light.
- Halls and staircases often need a low hanging light with longer cable or chain, and smaller areas are best with recessed downlights to maximise space.
- Wall lights are an excellent way of providing soft, low-level light, creating atmosphere and warmth. These can also provide a lot of light without taking up much space.
- Floor lamps can be useful in providing pools of light and are an attractive way of brightening up darker areas. If you have problems with your eyesight try a Mother & Child floor lamp, with an adjustable arm, for more intricate tasks.
- Bathroom lighting should be both practical and stylish and comply with safety regulations related to the installation. The bathroom is divided into zones (0, 1 & 2) to determine what level of contact they can have with water.
Entrances, Halls & Staircases
Entrances should be warm and welcoming – the lights used here can often be left burning for long periods, so use energy saving bulbs.
A hanging pendant can be used as a feature in a larger hall. Consider wall lights, or recessed downlights, if the ceiling is low or the hall is narrow. A table lamp on a side table with mirror above can add extra depth to a room and create a feeling of space.
Staircases should be well lit and the light direct to define the edge of the steps. A bright pendant lamp hanging at the top of the stairs will create a shadow that adds definition to the stair risers. This is another area where you might want to consider using an energy saving bulb.
Often small areas with heavy traffic, flush fittings or recessed downlights can maximise space. Dimmer switches can be used to turn down light to a low level at night.
- The living room will need a variety of lighting for the space to work best. A combination of general overhead or wall lighting, as well as portable light sources such as table, floor or task lamps.
- A ceiling fitting will probably be the main light source. For larger rooms with high ceilings multi-arm lights, available with five, eight or more, bulbs. For smaller rooms a three-arm light should be sufficient. Semi-flush or flush fittings are the perfect answer for low ceilings, or bigger fittings may be height adjustable.
- Wall lights are a good source of additional lighting whether focused up, down or both directions. Try adding a dimmer switch to help achieve different moods.
- Accent lighting hidden behind cornices, bookshelves and glassware displays. Highlight pictures and paintings with a picture light or use spotlights to highlight plants and ornaments. Uplighters are ideal for a dark corner or to draw attention to a statement piece of art. When watching television a soft ambient light is recommended as an aid to relaxed viewing.
- Dining room lighting needs to be flexible. The main source will be above the table – you may also need additional wall lighting or portable table lamps. A rise and fall lamp provides a practical way to light the table while a pendant light, armed light or chandelier can be used to provide a central focus, even when switched off. A floor standing arc light looks great over a dining table and creates an effective solution that doesn’t require any wiring.
- Use dimmable styles to alter the mood of the room and consider hanging a multi-arm pendant or several single pendants over a table. Cable lengths can usually be adjusted at installation.
- The kitchen is the functional centre of a home and to ensure safety where liquids, hot objects and electrical appliances are used, a higher level of light is required.
- A central light will give a good distribution of light – or a multi-head spot light bar will allow light to be directed over the sink, oven and fridge areas. A pendant can be used over a table or recessed downlighters over a kitchen breakfast bar. Portable lighting with trailing flexes can be hazardous and should therefore only be used where safe.
- Under cupboard fluorescent lights can be used to illuminate work surfaces.
- General lighting can be supplemented by wall lights and uplighters.
- A spotlight bar is a great way of focusing light in work areas.
- A good task lamp is essential with an adjustable arm, a bright, focused light and an accessible on/off switch. If space is at a premium, consider a Mother & Child style lamp – combining an uplighter with a task lamp.
- The main source of light could be a dimmable ceiling fitting. Touch base table lamps beside the bed allow varying levels of brightness and are great for bedtime reading.
- Wall mounted lamps with an adjustable reading arm are useful as are 2 slim table lamps on a dressing table.
- Consider a statement piece such as a chandelier to create atmosphere.
- Lighting for children’s rooms should be safe, bright and colourful.
- Bright, general lighting will be needed plus a task lamp for use on a desk.
- Wall and ceiling lights are good sources of general lighting.
- A night light or a touch base lamp, which provide up to 3 different levels of light, are good for young children who prefer a small level of light when sleeping.
- Bathroom lighting needs to be functional and safe. The Bathroom is divided into three zones: 0, 1 and 2 to determine likely exposures to water. Each fitting is given an IP (Ingress Protection) rating which relates to its water resistance. Only light fittings suitable for the relevant zone should be used. Avoid lighting which is too bright as the polished surfaces may cause glare; diffused wall or ceiling lights are better. The main light should be switched on by a pull cord of a light switch situated outside the bathroom. Glass or ceramic lights are best. It is wise to avoid those containing wood, leather or fabric as they can degrade in a humid atmosphere.
- Zone 0: Lights rated in this category are suitable for inside the bath or shower.
- Zone 1: Lights in this category are suitable for above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m.
- Zone 2: Lights rated as suitable for Zone 2 can be put in the area stretching to 0.6m outside the bath or shower if over 2.25m.
- Bathroom lights with opal-effect glass provide a soft diffused light. Glass shades are an ideal choice and won’t deteriorate in a humid atmosphere.
- Being able to see well when shaving or applying make-up is essential. Consider a well-illuminated mirror with low energy bulbs or a light over a mirror to provide a strong pool of well-directed light.
- Outside lighting is IP-rated: the higher the rating, the more resistant the fitting is to the elements. All external lights should be waterproof, durable and compliant with safety regulations related to the installations.
- As outdoor lights are often left on for many hours, energy saving bulbs should be used where possible.
Diameter: total diameter including shades/glass.
Height: The total measurement from the top of the ceiling cup, including chain or rod, to the lowest point of fitting.
Max Height: The total measurement from the top of the ceiling cup including MAXIMUM amount of chain or rod to the lowest point of fitting.
Min Height: The total measurement from the top of the ceiling cup including MINIMUM amount of chain or rod to the lowest point of fitting.
Fittings with a mix/max height are supplied with max height of chain or rod and can be adjusted to desired height at point of installation.
Width: Total width including shades.
Depth: Total depth including shades.