The UK's First LED Lighting Market Survey Report

Wholesale LED Lights, one of the country’s leading LED lighting companies, recently went where no-one has gone before and undertook an in-depth survey of its customers and their orders. Between the 15th of April and the 15th of September 2016, we collected and collated data from 2,824 respondents and from 8,200 customer orders, to produce a report with wide-ranging and far-reaching implications for the UK lighting market as a whole. We gathered the data in three main ways. The first took the form of an online survey, in which customers posted responses to questions we asked them on our website. Secondly, people calling us on the phone were invited to indicate their light-buying preferences at the end of the conversation. Lastly, customers who came into our showroom were asked to indicate their preferences and provide information about their buying habits. As you’ll see, the survey’s results were fascinating, and now the document’s available for you to read in its entirety.

Posted on: 19 October 2016 | 11:19 am

5 Mistakes To Avoid When You’re Ordering LED Light Fittings

With massive improvements to the technology, combined with a rapid reduction in cost, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to switch to LED lighting as their main source of illumination. As with any relatively new innovation, LED lighting brings with it a whole new set of challenges, especially if you’re going to be buying it for the very first time. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 5 mistakes you don’t want to make when you’re ordering your first LED-compatible light fittings.  1. Don’t Order The Wrong LED Light Fitting For Your Room This is an easy mistake that a lot of people make. After all, there’s such an enormous variety of LED light fittings to choose from that people can become bewildered and just go for the first one they see. An important consideration is the style of decor you have in your room. For example, there has been a recent upsurge in the popularity of modern, minimalistic interiors, with many people casting out the old and welcoming in the new. If this is the case in your home, you’ll definitely want to go for a light fitting that’s both modern and functional, such as the Eyeball Single GU10 Spotlight Fitting. Its up-to-the-minute design is available in white, black and chrome finishes, so it’ll complement any modern interior perfectly. Conversely, despite its gorgeous aesthetics, the much more traditionally designed Fisherman’s Wall Light probably wouldn’t fit so well into a contemporary setting. Another type of LED light fitting that’s great for modern interiors, especially those in which there’s a suspended or “drop” ceiling installed is the Fitted LED Downlight. Again, these all-in-one enclosures are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, however, the massive number of options will ensure that you’ll find exactly the right one to complement your installation. 2. Don’t Under Or Overestimate The Size Of Your Room Whether you’re planning to illuminate a bedroom or a ballroom, there’ll be a type of LED-compatible light fitting that’ll suit you down to the ground. One thing you don’t want to happen, however, is to install your fitting only to realise that the light it provides is too bright or too dim for the space. Light intensity (brightness) is measured in Lumens and not, as is widely believed, in Watts. Lumens represent the actual amount of ambient light being produced by a bulb or light fitting. The greater the number of lumens, the brighter the room will be. Setting aside the colour scheme of your room, the answer to the question of how many lumens will be required to properly illuminate a room can be arrived at by employing this general rule of thumb: Floors will require 20 Lumens per Square Foot; Tables and Raised Surfaces will require 30 Lumens per Square Foot; Desks and Task Lighting will require 50 Lumens per Square Foot. Thus, when you’re armed with just a small amount of information about the number of bulbs each light fitting requires, combined with the bulbs’ brightness in lumens, should give you a pretty accurate idea of the type of fitting you’ll require to illuminate your room, and will help you avoid making costly and inconvenient purchasing errors. 3. Don’t Order The Wrong Type Of LED Bulb You’ve decided on the style of light fitting you want in your room, and you’re happy that you’ve chosen the correct size to deliver the illumination and light placement you require, so the last thing you want is to discover that you’ve purchased the wrong bulb(s), isn’t it? A very basic method to calculate the number of LED Light Bulbs you’ll require to illuminate your room is to work out the area of the room in square feet. Simply multiply the length of the room by its width, like this: Length of room = 14 feet; Width of room = 8 feet; The area of the room in square feet is 112. Therefore, if your room is used for task-centred activities requiring 50 lumens per square foot, you’ll simply purchase a sufficient number of LED bulbs, based on their lumen output. In a room of this size, you would therefore require 6 of our 9W Dimmable GU10 LED COB Bulbs, as each generates 860 Lumens of brightness. It’s also very important to be aware of the type of base or “fitting” your LED light bulb employs.  There are several to choose from, including: LED spotlight bulbs generally have a GU10 or a GU5.3 (MR16) base. There are also commonly used Bayonet Cap (BC) LEDs such as the B22 and the B15. Edison Screw Fittings like the E27 and the E14. As well as the LED G4 and G9. 4. Don’t Forget That LED Light Fittings Can Be Retrofitted That’s right, all of our LED-compatible light fittings are simple and convenient to install.  They’re absolutely perfect to retrofit into your existing wiring, and will replace your current fittings with the very minimum of mess or fuss! 5. Don’t Forget That LED Bulbs Can Be Retrofitted If, after all your deliberations, you decide that you don’t fancy replacing all your existing light fittings, never fear, because you’ll simply be able to switch all your bulbs with LEDs instead. While this might not have as large an aesthetic impact on your room as revamping its actual décor, it will save you a considerable amount of money on your electricity bill. This is because LED bulbs are 90% more energy-efficient than their old-school counterparts and, with a 50,000 hour life-expectancy, they’ll last more than 20 times longer than the traditional bulbs they’re replacing as well. To see our full range of lighting products, why not visit our LED lights online store. If you’d like any advice about LED lighting dos and don’ts, you’re welcome to call one of our friendly and professional customer service agents on 0116 321 4120 today. And, LED lighting definitely isn’t an area in which you should be making mistakes, so you can back up your phone call with an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk just to be certain!

Posted on: 12 August 2016 | 9:35 am

What Do The Colour Of Your LEDs Say About You?

LED lights come with many advantages. One of the great things about them is the fact that they can emit any colour without the need for any filters, unlike older halogen or fluorescent lights. This gives you a lot of choices when picking a colour – but how much does your character influence which colour you choose? How Can LEDs Emit So Many Colours? The reason why LEDs can emit pretty much any colour is because it uses a semiconductor material, and the chemical composition of the material used determines its colour. An example of this is Aluminium, Gallium, and Indium, Phosphide (AiGaInP) that can emit red, orange and yellow colours. Then you have Indium, Gallium and Nitride (InGaN), which allows for green, blue and white colours. Different combinations result in different colour possibilities – explaining why some LEDs are only available in a single colour, whereas others offer a full RGB range. Here at Wholesale LED Lights, we generally offer warm white (3000K), cool white (6000K), day light (4000K) and RGB colours. With the exception of RGB, they all constitute part of the colour temperature chart. Let’s go a little deeper and explore each one and what it might say about those who pick it! Warm White (3000K) Warm white measures up at 3,000 Kelvins on the colour temperature scale. It’s a very popular choice too, and the main reason for this is that is closely replicates the shade of light emitted by traditional halogen bulbs. The slightly yellowy hue is ideal for creating a cosy environment – perfect for relaxing at the end of a long day. As such, it’s great for places like the living room or bedroom. Because of this, it compliments traditional decor really well, matching a wide range of colours. It’s really good for general purpose illumination because of its soft shade. It’s probably fair to say that this is a colour suited for the traditionalists among us – those who prefer conventional styling and want to feel comfortable. Although due to this colours immense popularity, it’s also just as fair to say that probably everyone likes warm white! Cool White (6000K) Cool white comes in at 6,000 Kelvins on the colour temperature scale, and instantly you can tell the difference from warm white – cool white is far brighter and icier, creating a more well lit and clinical atmosphere. The light emitted is closer to true white in all honesty, though it has a slightly blue tinge to it. Because of this, it’s better suited to areas like the kitchen or bathroom, as it helps you to concentrate and stay alert. This is why you’ll often see cool white being used in office environments too. That’s not to say it couldn’t be used elsewhere – it could easily be used in a living room, but it would have to be used alongside modern, minimalist decors with bright colours. As a result, it’s perhaps more versatile then warm white, as it can be used for general illumination as well as feature and accent lighting because of its bright, direct light. People who pick cool white would probably be slightly younger, favouring modern styling over more traditional looks. This is even more so the case, given that minimalist decors tend to be popular nowadays. Those who like light colours will get on well with cool white. Day Light (4000K) Day light slots in between warm and cool white at 4,000 Kelvins on the colour temperature scale. Naturally, it combines the cosiness of warm white with the bright, clean look of cool white. As a result, it’s suitable to use pretty much anywhere, as it isn’t too extreme one way or the other. People who tend like changing a lot will like day light because of the flexibility it offers – it’ll match pretty much any kind of colour scheme and decor. Maybe it’s one for people who don’t like to sit still! Our 3.3W 80 SMD GU10 LED Spotlight is a great example of a product that can emit all 3 of these colour temperatures, making it a really popular choice, no matter what look you’re going for. RGB Colour As the name suggests, RGB colour LED products are capable of emitting red, green and blue at will. Depending on the product, they can even shine with anything in between those too! We think we speak for everyone when we say that no one will be using RGB colour to illuminate their living room, unless they were planning on converting into some kind of disco. So where would you use RGB LED products? This in itself is part of the beauty – you can be as creative as you want with them because of the sheer range of choice! They’d look great in a games room or even a child’s bedroom too, to create various kinds of mood lighting. Better yet, we stock both RGB GU10 spotlights and RGB Colour Changing LED Strip Lights – so you’ve got choices as to what type of RGB lighting you want too! With this in mind, RGB LED products are best suited for young, fun-loving creative individuals who want to be different from the rest, and those who like to work hard and play harder! It’s important to know that we’re not trying to create a gold standard set of rules for colour use in the home. Nor are we trying to make assumptions about the kind of people that use particular colours. If anything, the use of colour is one of the fun parts of furnishing your home – creating different moods and effects that reflect you as a person is part of the enjoyment. Have you been redecorating recently? Let us know what choices you made in the comments below! You can also post on our Facebook page, and even tweet us too @WLEDLightsUK, using the hashtag #WLEDAware. If you have any questions about using colour in your home lighting, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling our team on 0116 321 4120, or by emailing us at cs@wled.co.uk.

Posted on: 5 August 2016 | 9:56 am

Check Out The Latest Trends In Home Illumination

There’s been a definite increase in the number of people upgrading their home’s décor and interior design of late. Indeed, the DIY stores have been filled to bursting with people pushing around huge trolley loads of plaster, paint and a plethora of other home-improvement staples. Luckily though, you don’t have to totally refurbish your home in order to enliven your favourite living spaces. Simple upgrades to your light fixtures and fittings will make a huge impact and reveal the new you for this season! Although home design trends don’t fluctuate with the rapidity of the latest fashion accessories, here’s an overview of the styles that are prevailing in today’s trendiest interiors. Make A Bold Statement To be daring and adventurous is definitely very ‘in’ this year. Spotlight fittings will certainly enable you to show off the very best aspects of your home, highlighting your favourite features so that they practically leap out at you. Available in a wide variety of styles and finishes to complement your choice of décor, they’ll enable you to revamp your living spaces without having to break the bank. Perfect for use in the living room and the bedroom, spotlight fittings come in many shapes and sizes to reflect both the look and the dimensions of your room. If you’re sprucing up your living areas, but you’re on a budget, why not invest in some LED light bulbs as they’ll help you to begin recouping your costs from the moment you plug them in and switch them on? This may sound like an outrageous claim, but LED bulbs are so energy-efficient that you’ll notice the difference in your electricity bill very soon after installing them. They waste 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and require a tiny fraction of the power to produce the same number of lumens, so check them out today! Boho Chic Handcrafted elements can add a seemingly effortless air of authenticity to a variety of rooms including bedrooms and bathrooms. You’ll be able to achieve this look by combining recycled materials with modern, fresh fixtures and fittings and vice versa, to create a stylistic mash-up that’ll look great in your home. Ceiling light fittings such as the Shabby ‘n’ Chic 4-Way Birdcage Chandelier, installed in a room in which some old plaster-framed mirrors and a brightly-coloured, handmade rag rug are featured, will create the ambience you’re looking for. And, what’s more, this fitting is compatible with all E14-based light bulbs, the LED varieties of which, with their incredibly long life-expectancy, will keep the place lit to perfection for 50,000 hours, or 17 years in today’s money! When you’re replacing your old, wasteful incandescent bulbs with up-to-date, energy-efficient LEDs, always make sure that you choose the right bulb ‘cap’ for the particular fitting.  This will save you the bother of having to return your bulb if it doesn’t fit correctly. Brass Is Back The warmer, more traditional types of metal are making a comeback this year, and the days when one type of finish dominated the entire building are history. So why not check out the diversely designed brass light fittings that are available to you? Superb to introduce a somewhat nautical theme either inside or out of doors will be the Fisherman’s Wall Light. Also available in red, black and chrome, it seems that the antique brass finish is captivating most people’s imaginations, as they’re increasingly combining it with cool blues and pastel greens in their kitchens and dining areas. Also featuring gorgeous brass finishes are the multitude of LED-compatible downlights that will add an elegantly subtle flavour to any room in which you have a recessed or ‘drop’ ceiling. With many requiring the bestselling GU10 LED replacement bulb, you’ll gain the ability to tailor the very ambience of your room according to its function, thanks to their choice of colour temperatures. Available in warm white (3000K), cool white (6000K) and daylight (4000K), these amazing low-energy bulbs generate different light qualities that are best suited to certain environments, but for a better explanation, check out this short video: Industrial Cool The industrial trend is gaining pace as more homes incorporate vintage electric design elements. This is in line with cultural references from the worlds of film and literature, and allows people to pair industrial, steampunk-type designs with bright and vibrant colours as a way of adding a more human element to the trend. Light fittings that will complement this particular style will incorporate steel or chrome finishes and are often oversized. Consequently, LED high bay light fittings are increasingly being used, not just for warehouse illumination as was once the case, but in people’s kitchens and living spaces. This type of all-in-one LED light fitting is wonderfully bright and will provide a superb spread of light yet for very little in the way of a power requirement. To augment your utilitarian ambience, go for some suitably finished light switches and sockets. There are a huge number of nicely minimalistic rocker switches to be had, however, one such as the Varilight 2-Gang 2-Way 10A Screwless Plate Rocker Switch in either a pewter or matt chrome finish will offset your other industrially-chic fittings extremely well. Should you wish to discuss any of the above fixtures or fittings with a member of our customer service team, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0116 321 4120. Or you can send us an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk if you’d prefer. You’re also more than welcome to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and leave a comment, or ask a question there.

Posted on: 29 July 2016 | 8:40 am

Can LEDs Be Used To Grow Plants And Vegetables?

Growing crops isn’t an easy thing to do, as there are so many variables – some out of our control. These include the amount of sunlight and rainwater that crops receive. But what if we could control at least one of these? What if we could use LED lights to grow crops and other plants – right through the year? Of course, LEDs aren’t the only option when it comes to lighting – you also have the liberty of choosing from incandescent light and fluorescent light. So what is it about LEDs that make them the primary choice for agriculture in particular? Let’s start with the basics. You’re going to need a lot of light to grow plants and ‘replace’ natural light. That’s going to require a lot of energy, and when it comes to consumption – LEDs have the competition beat. They’re far more energy efficient because of how little they lose to heat – just 10% of their energy. Traditional incandescent lights lose up to a whopping 80% of their energy to heat alone. This means your plants and vegetables cost you far less to grow. Of course, the cooler operating temperatures also have an effect too, preventing leaf burn, provided that there is around 12 inches/30cm distance between the light and the plant. It’s not all about energy efficiency though. LEDs can emit any colour they want without the need for any kind of filter. As a result, they can be customised to emit only certain wavelengths of light. This is particularly advantageous as studies of photomorphogenesis show that green, red, far-red and blue light spectrums have an impact on root formation, plant growth (photosynthesis) and flowering. In comparison, incandescent and fluorescent lights have no control over this, giving LEDs an advantage. It is important to remember that although the sun emits infrared, ultraviolet and visible light, plants don’t use the entire spectrum. So by using LEDs, you can cater the light spectrum to the needs of the crop you’re growing. The science says that LEDs are great for agriculture then, but what about using them in practice? Well, in tests conducted by Philips on LED grow lights, they found that LEDs affected disease resistance, taste and nutritional levels for the better. It should be noted though that various factors come into play here, including the kind of crop, light intensity, total light over time, timing of light during the day, light/dark periods of the day, light quality (spectrum), light direction and light distribution. This hasn’t stopped people trying though. Mexican resident Leonardo Moreno uses LED lights to grow spinach, lettuce and other greens inside of old fish tanks. He’s a member of Biohackers Mexico – a group of people sharing a passion in biotechnology. “The idea is not to shut ourselves off (to possibilities) and find alternatives to (traditional) food production” said Moreno. He claimed that some 60% of commercial hydroponic gardens fail because of things like insufficient knowledge and poorly trained personnel, with a well-advised greenhouse having just a 2% chance of failing. Further north, former model Summer Rayne Oakes has filled her entire 1,200 square foot apartment in New York with 500 plants, including everything from an irrigated vertical garden, edible plants ranging from herbs to exotics. So how has she created her own jungle inside the concrete jungle? A vermiculture kit underneath the kitchen sink, compost bin, sub-irrigation system and of course, an LED lighting system. Her dedication is matched by her ambition – “I think my ultimate goal is to, like, homestead in Brooklyn” she said. You shouldn’t be under the impression though, that it only being used by individuals wishing to live outside the restrictions of commercial supermarket fruit and veg. The US Navy has been working on a new research project that could allow sailors to grow fresh veg on submarines. This would bypass the problem current faced my many on duty where fresh vegetables only last for 7 to 10 days, despite average deployment times lasting up to 3 months. Beyond this, they have to use frozen fruit and veg. The research involved growing vegetables in a 40 foot container using LED lights of approximately 7 feet in length. Of the 83 vegetables tested, 51 were able to grow, including various kinds of lettuce, kale and some root vegetables. Other foods like tomatoes required more heat, and cucumber grew to a point where is tangled around the lighting. Although the actual practice of growing crops and plants using LED lights is in its infancy, it does offer people a potential alternative in agriculture. The advantages that LEDs offer will no doubt play a key role, and could become an integral part of farming in years to come.

Posted on: 22 July 2016 | 11:08 am

The Bathroom – Better Living Through LED Lighting

For some, it’s a haven of peace and tranquillity; an oasis of calm amidst a sea of chaos. While for others it’s simply a place to take a quick shower and clean one’s teeth. Whatever it means to you, you have to admit that you wouldn’t get very far in the bathroom without adequate lighting. In fact, the results could actually be quite painful if it isn’t bright, energy-saving LED lighting! The Bathroom We use it every day of the week, but do we ever really stop and think about the lighting that’s in there; what it is, or what it could be? We can often take it for granted that the light in the bathroom will come on when we pull the cord or flick the switch, but if it’s a traditional source of illumination like a fluorescent or incandescent bulb and not an LED Light, are you aware of what you’re missing out on? LED bulbs light up the instant they’re switched on, so there’s none of the blink, blink, blinking we’ve become used to with fluorescents. LEDs are also wonderfully versatile too, the vast majority being perfect like-for-like replacements for your existing bulbs. LED Downlights Many people are now installing LED ceiling lights around their homes, and the bathroom is the ideal location for them. This is a natural consequence of the increased popularity of drop or suspended ceilings and, as such, you’ll be able to fit any number of appropriately protected ceiling lights. Eminently suitable for installation in your bathroom are any of the LED ceiling lights with an IP65 (Ingress Protection) Rating. The two numerical digits of any IP-rating refer to the level of protection with which your enclosure is endowed. The ‘6’ denotes that your ceiling light is fully defended against intrusion from foreign bodies such as dust and dirt. The second, in this case, the ‘5’, means it won’t let in any water, even low pressure jets from any direction. Thus, you’ll want to go for one of the Cree downlights, all of which are Fire-Rated. Fire-Rated products are rapidly becoming the industry standard in renovations and new-build properties, as they effectively redress the imbalance caused when a suspended ceiling is cut. Such protection will allow you and your family an essential extra 90 minutes of protection, should the unthinkable ever occur. The Cree downlights are available, like all types of LED ceiling light, in a choice of finishes. In this type of fitting, they include black, white, polished and satin chrome, so you’ll definitely find one to match your bathroom décor. There are several advantages to choosing a fitting like this as a direct replacement for your existing halogen recessed ceiling light. One of these is the convenience of simply popping the all-in-one unit into the hole in your ceiling and fastening it in place with the butterfly clips.  The other is due to the incredibly long life-expectancy of the integral LED which, at 50,000 hours or 17.12 years, will outlast any type of conventional bulb many times over. LED Shower Lights Should your recess space be limited, there are Short Can LED Shower Lights that will fit snugly into a smaller gap. These too are fire-rated, and will require a GU10 LED Bulb to complete them. With a similarly high IP-rating to the aforementioned CREE units, they’re also available in a variety of finishes, and their exceptional energy-efficiency will simply astound you. Available in a choice of colour temperatures, including warm white (3000K), daylight white (4000K) and cool white (6000K), GU10 LED bulbs will enable you to tailor the ambience of your bathroom, imbuing it with a light quality that reflects your taste. As with all LED bulbs, GU10s are 90% more frugal energy-wise than the halogens they’re designed to replace. When you’ve chosen exactly the right number of LED downlights to illuminate your bathroom, you’ll only then begin to appreciate just how much money you’ll save on your electricity bill simply by switching to this form of lighting. For example, if your bath/shower room is of fairly average size, you may wish to install five Satin Chrome GU10 Shower Lights. The 5 x GU10 80 SMD LED Bulbs you may have opted for each require only 3.3 watts of electricity to produce 400 lumens of brightness, the equivalent of a 50 watt traditional bulb. Thus, assuming an electricity cost of 13.75 pence per kW/h and a usage of 8 hours a day, you’ll stand to save an enormous £93.76 over the course of a year. When you’ve installed long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lighting in your bathroom, you will seriously never look back, so if you’d like to talk to the experts, don’t hesitate to call one of our customer service advisors today on 0116 321 4120. To check out the entire range of LED lighting products we have on offer, go to our LED lights online store. You can also send us an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk.

Posted on: 15 July 2016 | 8:18 am

Allianz Arena Scores Massive Savings With LED Lighting

The Allianz Arena – home of European footballing behemoth FC Bayern Munich – became the continent’s largest stadium to feature dynamic colourful lights on the entirety of its exterior. The previous installation that used fluorescent lights were replaced in 2015, in favour of energy efficient LEDs from Philips – over 300,000 of them! The whole setup covers an area of over 26,000 square metres – covering the entire exterior inflatable facade of the arena. The project was given the go ahead in October 2014, and was unveiled on August 14th 2015 – in time for the start of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season. Over 45 tons of material was used, including several hundred data enablers and over 5,000 metres of cabling for the digital control. The results ensured that the 71,137 capacity Allianz Arena remained one of Europe’s most recognisable stadiums. The new installation saves FC Bayern Munich approximately 60% on electricity consumption when compared to the previous fluorescent setup. It also saves more than 362 tons of CO2 a year – highlighting the green credentials of LEDs. Maintenance time and costs were also drastically reduced, as the LEDs used have an estimated lifespan of up to 80,000 hours, and can even work in temperatures as low as -50oC! Even the coldest of Bavarian winters won’t be able to freeze the dynamic colour effects on show. Capable of emitting up to 16 million different colours (the previous fluorescent setup could manage just 3), the effects were designed by veteran architects Herzog & de Meuron. During the evening, the arena will illuminate the surrounding area with waves and clouds of graceful effects in the iconic red and white colours of FC Bayern Munich. The colour and intensity can be adjusted continuously, with the image refresh able to update up to 40 times per second. The effects don’t just stop there though – the freedom granted by LEDs allows any colour and effect to be used for all sorts of different kinds of events. Colour schemes of brands, countries or occasions can be created. “The fans will experience the new lighting facilities live in the coming 2015/2016 season. In addition, in conjunction with Philips we will also be highlighting certain aspects of the action on the pitch inside the Allianz Arena too” explained Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, FC Bayern Munich CEO. “The all-round lighting effects in the facade roof above the stands is a new feature and a taste of what’s in store. This lighting will accompany the action on the pitch in a dynamic way, for example by creating a Mexican wave or goal celebration effects in red and white.” The cutting edge installation puts the Allianz Arena at the forefront of technology not just in sports, but in the world too. With such a prominent player in world football utilising the benefits of LED lighting, they may be setting a trend for other clubs and associations to follow suit. What do you think of the revolutionary installation at the home of FC Bayern Munich? Take a look at the video below and let us know in the comments.

Posted on: 8 July 2016 | 6:26 am

Architectural Project Uses LEDs To Simulate Organic Growth

A unique architectural installation harnesses the awesome power of environmentally-friendly LED light to simulate organic tree-growth. The installation, designed by British architecture studio Orproject, entitled Vana, was commissioned by the India Design Forum and takes the form of a stunning forest of paper trees, shot through with stunning LED lights. Orproject’s web site states that this innovative installation, “…explores advanced geometries with an ecologic agenda, the integration of natural elements into the design results in an eco-narrative.” The four trunk-like structures are placed at seemingly random intervals throughout the space in a non-pattern that mimics the way trees grow in nature. This idea is further explored through the complex process used to create the organic shapes and apparent growth of the trees. “We wrote a computer algorithm to simulate this development, in order to grow architecture," explains Christopher Klemmt, co-founder of Orproject. Massively Reduced Carbon Footprint The decision to utilise eco-friendly LED light for the installation also seems highly significant, especially given the subject matter. After all, in simulating processes of growth and renewal at work in nature, isn’t a form of light that requires less power and creates a much reduced carbon footprint the best one to use? Recent studies suggest that electricity usage is responsible for up to 50% of our carbon footprint, and 17% of that figure is due to lighting alone. We’re highly dependent upon electricity to meet a great many of our daily requirements, and it can be produced by burning fossil fuels which are a finite commodity, or from renewable sources such as hydro, solar and wind-power. A person, household or business’s carbon footprint is directly linked with the amount of electricity consumed and the method used to produce it. Most of our electricity, however, is produced by fossil fuel-burning plants, and it’s estimated that for every kWh of electricity a household consumes, 830g of CO₂ equivalents are released into the air. Energy-Savings Too LED lights and bulbs consume up to 20 x less electricity than wasteful incandescent and luminescent bulbs of similar brightness, thus leaving a greatly reduced carbon footprint, and costing considerably less to run. Thus, merely by replacing existing, profligate light bulbs in the home with LEDs, it’s possible to lower your carbon footprint by an enormous 6 tonnes per year. To put this into perspective, a saving of 6 tonnes is the equivalent of cutting petrol consumption by 3,182 litres, which equates to approximate savings of between £3,405 and £3,818 per year. At an average 50,000 hours based on an 8 hour working day, LEDs’ life-expectancy is also many times greater than both of its traditional counterparts. This means they require less maintenance and fewer replacements, working at optimal performance for over 17 years. Unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, LEDs are manufactured using completely recyclable materials, thus reducing the likelihood that they will end their lives in landfill sites and, containing none of the toxic Mercury that halogen bulbs require to produce their light, LEDs will never cause damage to the environment. Bring LED Light Into Your Home Should you wish to emulate Orproject’s incredible Vana installation in your home, or indeed in any setting you choose, check out the wide range of LED strip lights on offer. With these incredible energy-efficient light strips, you’ll be able to create some amazing colour-changing lighting effects either indoors as feature and general lighting, or outside, perhaps to enhance the ambience of your garden.

Posted on: 29 June 2016 | 3:35 am

The Blackpool Tower Takes LED Lighting To New Heights

One of Britain’s best-loved, historical tourist attractions, having stood proud for over a century, is now using stunning, eco-friendly LEDs for illumination! Opened to the public in 1894, the Blackpool Tower has been drawing crowds since before the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, and at 518 feet tall, it can be seen for miles around. In 2002, the tower began its transition from the 100,000 incandescent pygmy bulbs which had traditionally provided its light, to the fantastic display which incorporates 5,508 colour-changing LED lights that it boasts today. For a fee, star-crossed lovers can spell out their names in lights, for all the world to see. Eco-Friendly This big switch represents a huge investment for Blackpool Council, not just in the future of the tower itself, but also in its commitment to making both the landmark and the resort’s world-famous Illuminations completely neutral as far as carbon emissions are concerned. Wind turbines, hydro-electric power and bio-gas, which is produced from the anaerobic fermentation of carbohydrates in plant material or waste, have all been implemented to augment the revolutionary LED technology’s incredible energy-saving abilities, thus reducing the annual Illuminations carbon emissions to zero, a saving of 420 tonnes per year. The aforementioned pygmy bulbs were incredibly wasteful, requiring a high number of watts to power them in comparison to the up-to-date LEDs, and producing only a small amount of light in return. Energy-Savers = Money-Savers Thus a 25 watt pygmy incandescent bulb will produce 180 Lumens of brightness, whereas a similarly bright LED bulb will require just 3 watts of power. The savings the council made by switching to LED were nothing short of phenomenal, and to put them into perspective: Each 25 watt pygmy bulb uses 0.25 kW/h (kilowatts per hour) which extrapolates to 912.5 kW/h per year, if it’s assumed that they were burning for 10 hours a day. Therefore, also assuming that the electricity provider for the tower charges 15 pence per kilowatt, the price to run one bulb for a year would be £136.87. Now multiply that by the number of incandescent bulbs (100,000), and the cost to light the tower for a year was a staggering £13,687,500. Compare this figure to the cost of the LED bulb: The 3 watt LED bulb generates just 0.03 kW/h which equates to 109.5 kW/h per year, at a similar daily usage. Thus each bulb would cost £16.42 per year to run. Extrapolating to the 5,508 LEDs that replaced the tower’s original pygmy bulbs, this would incur an electricity cost of £90,468. Whilst this is still a considerable amount of money, it represents a saving of over £13 million pounds every year, and is a drop in the North Sea by comparison! Coupled with this massive energy saving is the fact that the new LED bulbs, like the ones that we sell, have an average life-expectancy of over 50,000 hours, in comparison with that of the traditional pygmy incandescent bulbs, which at just 1000 hours, would need changing roughly 8 times a year. Changing a light bulb that’s half way up Blackpool Tower is not like changing one in your living room. It’s expensive in terms of both maintenance costs and man-hours, so it’s a very good job that the LEDs will continue to illuminate the promenade for more than 17 years to come! Successful Outcomes Following the huge success of the tower and illuminations projects, Blackpool Council, are working in partnership with the community to save residents and businesses money on their energy bills. In a project known as “Ready to Switch?” the local populace is being encouraged to embrace a more economical approach to energy, including switching to LED lighting. Since the scheme was launched, more than 35,000 households have signed up and made positive changes to their energy bills, and Blackpool Tower’s 5,508 LED bulbs turned green in support of the scheme. Kate Shane, Blackpool Tower General Manager, said: “[The] Tower is happy to be involved to raise awareness of the “Ready to Switch?” initiative. Blackpool Tower Illumination changed from the old style lighting to more energy efficient LED lighting which significantly reduced energy consumption and offered fantastic improvements in lighting colour and movement capabilities.” Not a bad result for a humble LED light bulb! Photograph courtesy of Jay Aheer

Posted on: 24 June 2016 | 9:33 am

State-Of-The-Art LEDs Light The Way At The Louvre

Since the 17th Century, Paris has been known as La Ville-Lumière or The City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and because, in 1829, it was one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting. Things haven’t changed all that much, as Paris is again leading the way in lighting, thanks to Toshiba. 13 Years To Good Looks! On the 6th December 2011, the Japanese electronics company officially completed the initial phase of an enormous 13 year renovation project of the world famous musée du Louvre, beginning with the Pyramid (pictured), the Pyramidions and the Pavillon Colbert, involving energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly LED lights. Altogether, Toshiba provided a total of 3200 LED light fittings to replace 4500 old-fashioned, wasteful Xenon gas-filled light fittings. The LED retrofit cut annual power consumption for the exterior lighting by a stunning 73%, from 392,000W to 105,000W. Making The Gioconda Smile One of the next stages of this groundbreaking project was completed on June the 4th, 2013. A lighting ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of Toshiba’s LED lighting renovation for the displays in the Red Room, where Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) is displayed. The lighting renovation of this particular masterpiece and the other displays in the Red Room marks the very first occasion when LED lights have been used for interior lighting in the museum, and has allowed for the installation of a new generation of state-of-the-art lighting products. The light employed to illuminate the Mona Lisa utilises 34 LEDs and includes various optical systems to frame the painting. It will also maintain LED light’s characteristic high lighting uniformity across its surface. The LED lamps and lighting fixtures developed by Toshiba have improved the colour rendering of the paintings, completely suppressed all UV and IR radiation to minimise light-related damage, and decreased electricity consumption for the Red Room as a whole. The Cour Napoleon and Cour Carrée were the next areas to receive the Toshiba LED treatment, in the early part of 2014. We eagerly await more news from Paris, however, another of Da Vinci’s masterworks in the shape of The Last Supper has since been switched to LED light. The new LED lighting setup for the famous mural was designed and donated to the Last Supper Museum in Milan, Italy by iGuzzini, and it’s said that the lights have made the painting’s colours and contrasts more vivid, reducing energy use substantially. Unlike the former fluorescent lighting system, the up-to-date LED lights produce only a tiny amount of heat, and so do no damage to the artwork. Last year, the Vatican installed 50 new lights, containing 7,000 LEDs to illuminate masterpieces such as The Last Judgement and The Creation of Adam, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery in London and The York Project in Munich have all subsequently followed suit. LED Lights For You Too! To achieve a somewhat smaller, but equally perfectly formed and energy-efficient lighting feature in your home or business premises, why not install some LED spotlight fittings to replace your current lighting setup? Or to create an incredible LED light feature either indoors or out, you might like to consider LED strip lights. Available in a wide variety of kits, they’ll provide you with a simple and convenient way to create a myriad of colours and lighting effects, and all for a fraction of the power of your current lights!

Posted on: 21 June 2016 | 2:12 am