The LED, the bad and the ugly.

Since September 2012 the kind of light bulbs that respond well to the dimmer switch, the traditional incandescent, have been withdrawn under EU legislation*. So what are our alternatives?
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Colchester - Essex - England

Feb. 19, 2013 - PRLog -- PRESS RELEASE

Ashleys of Frinton’s bright response to gloomy CFLs.

We’ve known for years that lighting’s not just about light; we appreciate it because of the moods and effects we can achieve with it.  The facility to change the atmosphere from bright and cheerful to soft and low is part of the everyday.  Creative lighting design can take care of this, but for many of us we just resort to the dimmer switch.  Since September 2012 the kind of light bulbs that respond well to the dimmer switch, the traditional incandescent, have all been withdrawn under EU legislation*.  This leaves us with halogen lamps, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).  

Halogen lamps are also incandescent; they are hardier and 30% more energy efficient than the traditional light bulb but, as more of them are used as spotlights (GU10s and MR16s), any efficiency tends to be lost; the more conventional shapes, like the candle and golf ball, aren’t readily available on the high street either so you have to buy them online.  CFLs are the most common energy efficient light bulbs available today, but the drawback  is that they emit a gloomy, cold light, take a while to reach full brightness, aren’t the most attractive bulb around and don’t all work with a dimmer switch.  They are, though, up to 80% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last up to ten times longer, which means they’re very cost effective.  CFLs are readily available, but their performance pales into insignificance when compared to the new generation of LEDs.  These lights combine the energy saving properties of CFLs with the immediacy of an incandescent bulb.

LEDs don’t have a fragile filament that will burn out, instead they are illuminated by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, which also means they’re really hardwearing; they last for around 30,000 hours (or over 12 years if the light’s on for six hours a day, seven days a week), three times longer than CFLs and 15 times longer than incandescents, so their energy saving benefits will have a very immediate and long lasting effect on your electricity bill.  For example, if you have a 50 watt GU10 in your living room, this can be replaced by a 6 Watt LED which will give you the same amount of light.  If you want to ring the changes in your bathroom, there is a new range of ceiling tile – don’t worry this doesn’t look anything like the ones you may have seen in offices and showrooms –  and will make a real statement, apart from the amazing light quality it emits. The tile when switched on literally looks like bright sky overhead and emits a crisp, clear light, but one tile will use less than half the electricity of the common ceiling tile.

A word of warning

There are already a lot of LEDs out there, but very little information on which ones would be good for your home.  There’s a huge disparity in cost too and it’s easy to think you’re getting a good deal buying a 3 Watt lamp for £10, but you’re only going to be disappointed.  The wattage is too low and the light quality may also be poor (some lights can emit a pale green or yellow hue; others are so cold your home will feel anything but welcoming.)  LEDs can be fitted just like a conventional bulb, into your current light fitting, but in a new build, they can be fitted with their own ‘driver’ which gives them a slighter better light spread.

Blueflame Services (01206 799994,, design and install LED lighting systems commercially and now, through its Kitchen and Bathroom showroom, Ashleys of Frinton (01255 850 477,, are installing residential systems too.  They only use reputable manufacturers which is why a five-year warranty on all their LED installations comes as standard.

Kevin Bull, director, Ashleys of Frinton and Blueflame Services, commenting on LED availability, said:  “It’s very easy to buy the wrong LEDs and to spend a fortune doing it.  Good LEDs aren’t cheap; they can cost up to £40 for one lamp, but if it’s a good one, then you will save money and will rarely need to change the lamp, which is great for all those hard-to-reach places.  For room illumination, as opposed to feature lighting, you shouldn’t really buy anything under 4 Watts because it won’t emit enough light; going for the ‘warm white’ option will give a more traditional light than the ‘cool white’ which is much crisper.

“Good news if you’re using lighting for display purposes, LEDS are the best; they emit no damaging UV or infra-red radiation.”

*In 2008 EU Member States agreed to start phasing out traditional, or incandescent, light bulbs and introducing more energy efficient alternatives.  In 2009 the 100W bulb was the first to go in the UK followed by 75W and 60W bulbs; in September 2012 all remaining incandescent bulbs were withdrawn.  

Media information:

Sharon Morrison/Aisha Allan, Sharon Morrison Communications

01255 830216, 07811 439269

A bright idea

The incandescent light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison over 130 years ago, and it hasn’t really changed very much since then.  A filament wire is heated until it glows and radiates light.  But did you know that only 10% of the energy consumed by this bulb produces light?  The rest is wasted as heat.   The halogen bulb, which is also incandescent, was invented in 1959, and is now used widely as spotlights.  Although more energy efficient than Mr Edison’s bulb, as we tend to have more of them, those efficiencies disappear.
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Tags:Leds, Ashleys, Blueflame
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Location:Colchester - Essex - England
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