Articles

Living Room Lighting – Set The Mood

Nowadays you need a living room that offers many different things in one versatile package, and good lighting can help you achieve that. Maybe your living room is part of a family home that needs a main light source for when the children do their homework, separate lighting for dinnertime and cosy, ambient lighting for relaxing in front of the TV. For those who want a high-tech, modern living room, we have a complete range of spotlights and floor lamps, perfect for parties and weekend entertaining. Whatever your requirements, we’re sure to have the exact lights you need for creating a living space that you’ll never want to leave. Click here for living room light fittings.

Dimmer Switches

The days of the lone light bulb hanging forlornly from the ceiling are well and truly over – nowadays lighting makes a statement – it lets people know what you, your home and even your family is about. It should also be about enhancing your life – emphasising design features or even being a feature in itself and it should transform your living room from a singular one-dimensional room into a space that has many uses and functions. Living room lighting also means choice when it comes to using a main light, using lots of smaller, secondary lights or combining both for complete lighting control.

You may want to use just a main light if your living space is a constant hub of domestic activity; if you work from home in the evenings, or help the children with their homework. To make switching between a starker main light and a warmer, softer light easy, you could install a dimmer switch for instant control. You can also use softer, secondary lighting such as floor lamps, table lamps or uplighters to disperse light or light up areas and corners of a room that are usually left in darkness, which helps to open your living room up. A picture light over pieces of art or photographs can create eye-catching features, and try installing reading lamps for those evenings when you just want to sit with a good book and shut out the world.

Enchanting Illumination

Lovers of glamour out there will be drawn to the Edit Souk Ceiling Pendant which is an excellent choice for darker rooms as it reflects light really well. Install this gorgeous ceiling light for illumination that sparkles and bounces – perfect for creating a wonderful centre-piece in the middle of your room.

A Time For Reflection?

Classic and simple, the Edit Mathis Plaster Up & Down Wall Light can be painted to fit in with any colour scheme thanks to an unglazed ceramic finish; but what makes this really special, is the fact that it softens light and prevents glare by throwing light upwards and down. It is a very useful light for installing in rooms that need strong illumination without the glare, such as a study.

The Perfect Lighting Relationship

A versatile light for your living room is the Montana ‘Mother and Child’ Floor Lamp – Satin Chrome. This cool looking light has dual functionality, serving as a standard floor uplighter – perfect for creating cosy ambience – or making relaxing with a good book easy thanks to a task-specific reading light. This is also a great tool for keeping energy bills down as you don’t have to keep the main light on just to read, or it can be an excellent tool for those of you who need the added comfort of a reading light coupled with a main light to avoid eye strain. Place it in a corner along with your favourite armchair to create the perfect reading space.

Home Sweet Home

If you like traditional styles, but you like them to have an edge, then the striking Dar Oporto could be the table lamp for you. The rich, eye-catching tones of the design make this a lamp that could sit easily in most rooms from the bedroom to a grand hallway. Its classic, thoughtful design means it won’t go out of fashion any time soon and will be around for years to come.

Buck The Trend

Now for the piéce de resistance – the Edit Rod 15 Arm Pendent is for those of you who enjoy something more than a little different. This industrial style light would make an excellent, eye-catching centre-piece that will bring a bit of drama in to your home! Why not place it in the middle of your room and build up the rest of your décor around it? If you have a very large living space, you could even hang two at opposite ends of the room, to make a bold and interesting statement – perfect for hosting parties, entertaining or just relaxing and playing cards with the family.

So, now that we’ve established how important living room lighting is, why not have a browse through our selection and take your pick?

Looking for more inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.

Articles

LED Conversion – Switch to LED

Would you like guaranteed cost savings on your energy bills? And reduced maintenance costs for your home? All without having to call an electrician?

Then switch to LED bulbs. Today.

Put simply, LEDs, with their extremely long life-span and energy efficient technology will give you up to 90% energy saving. And you’ll only have to buy one LED bulb for every seven halogen bulbs that blow – or every ten bulbs if you’re looking to replace incandescent bulbs.

What’s more – it’s easy to switch to LED bulbs – you can do it yourself and start benefit from an instant saving.

Does it just feel wrong to change a bulb that hasn’t blown?

Well, the savings you’ll get from reducing your energy bills after installing LEDs will definitely help you to feel better about getting rid of a ‘perfectly good lightbulb’. The Megaman 5.5W Warm White LED Candle Bulb offers an 80% energy saving over its halogen alternative, and is ideal as a classic lampshade bulb that offers an average lifespan of around nine years! Another good choice for regular home lighting is the dimmable Crompton 7.5W Warm White LED Decorative Filament GLS Bulb – bayonet fit (also available in screw cap). This bulb produces a glowing warm white light perfectly suited to any room in your home – especially dining rooms and bedrooms.

But don’t they take a long time to ‘get light’?

Not any more – most LEDs now provided immediate full brightness with no warm-up time, so no gloomy rooms or dark corners! Plus you can now get dimmable bulbs in a range of shapes and caps – including GU10s and GLS bayonets. If you’ve got a narrow or small space such as a hallway or recess to light, the Luceco 5W Warm White LED MR16 Bulb is ideal. Compatible with a large number of spotlight and downlight fittings, this 5W bulb is a natural fit when it comes to replacing your existing 35W halogen MR16 bulbs.

Or if you’re looking to install a track lighting system for brightening corridors, stairways, hallways, or display cases and cabinets, the Luceco 5W Warm White Dimmable LED GU10 Bulb – Flood Beam is an ideal low-voltage halogen replacement, with an astounding 25,000 hours of uninterrupted output.

LED lighting is cool. Literally.

Remember that LED bulbs remain cool to the touch even after use as they don’t waste energy producing unwanted heat. The Philips 9W Corepro Warm White LED GLS Bulb – bayonet fit and screw cap is a great general-purpose lightbulb that can last up to 15 times longer than its incandescent equivalent. And with an average longevity of 15,000 hours per bulb, you’ll be able to spend time enjoying your bulb, not changing your bulb!

Working from home?

In a home office, a phenomenal amount of heat is dished out by electrical equipment – including your lights. Why not avoid the sauna effect and keep refreshed with the affordable Luceco 5W Daylight LED GU10 Bulb – Flood Beam? And with a ‘daylight’ colour (instead of ‘warm white’ or ‘cool white’) you’ll add a fresher, brighter feel to your workspace.

Ready to make the switch?

Then take a look at our full range of LED bulbs and LED lighting – remember all our fittings come with FREE delivery!

If you’d prefer to talk to one of our advisors, then give us a ring from 9am – 6pm on 0843 317 7824. Or look through our Lighting Ideas section for inspiration and guidance on how to light your home.

It’s as simple as changing a light bulb.

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.

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Can LED Lighting Save Our Planet?

Single-handedly probably not; however with the lighting market consuming almost 20% of the total electricity generated, LEDs can certainly make their mark.

A reduction in energy consumption and the promotion of renewable energy sources is moving higher up the agenda on a global level. The EU has ruled by 2020 that all new building structures should consume ‘nearly zero’ energy paving the way for eco-friendly light sources such as LEDs. The inefficient traditional incandescent bulb is firmly on its way out.

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Will The Future Be Bright?

What is an LED

An LED is known as ‘Solid State Lighting’ technology. Instead of the light being emitted from a vacuum (as in the incandescent bulb) or a gas (as in the CFL), it emits light from a solid piece of matter. One of the main advantages of LED technology is its incredible energy efficiency in comparison with its counterparts. The incandescent bulb converts only 10% of electricity into light, the remaining 90% being lost as heat. LEDs are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent sources.

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So what’s the environmental impact of LEDs in home lighting?

Market penetration continues to go from strength to strength for LED lighting. According to a 2012 report by McKinsey and Company on the global lighting market, forecasts for LED uptake in the residential segment remains high at almost 50% in 2016 and over 70% in 2020. With this rapid growth, fuelled by a reduction in unit prices and a requirement for energy efficient technology, this can only be good news for our environment.

As the LEDs sap far less energy when lighting up our homes this is not only beneficial to the planet but to our pockets too. A previous barrier to purchase was the initial outlay for the LEDs but with prices now being lower the predicted payback time is less than 2 years.

Could LEDs reduce the number of nuclear power plants?

As regulations become more stringent with regard to energy efficient light sources, it stands to reason that this could have an impact on the wider picture. It could potentially lead to a reduction in the number of nuclear power plants. Germany, for example, is committed to nuclear free production by 2022. Japan is also debating the feasibility of phasing out nuclear power plants.

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Lifespan of an LED

Another key environmental bonus with a switch to LED lighting is the lifespan of the bulb. There are now LED-based lighting fixtures on the market quoting a 100,000 hour lifespan (approximately 60 years). With the lifespan of an incandescent bulb being only 1-2 years, it is no contest. As well as increasing landfill, some light sources contain environmentally harmful chemicals such as mercury. When disposed of, toxic waste can seep into the soil. LEDs, although rarely requiring replacement, do not contain chemicals.
In addition, unlike many other light sources, LED lights do not emit harmful radiation rays which have a negative impact on our surroundings.

With experts anticipating that LED lighting technology will become the most widely used light source in the next 6 years, LEDs will certainly help to reduce the world’s carbon emissions. For a greener planet, the smart choice for your future lighting is LED. For our full range of LED lighting click here.

For more inspiration see our Lighting Ideas section.

Articles

A Guide To LED Light Fittings

LED light fittings have revolutionised today’s home illumination. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are the most advanced energy efficient light source available and are becoming increasingly popular as EU Legislation phases out inefficient incandescent bulbs. So what are LEDs and what are the benefits of LED Light Fittings to you and your home?

A Revolutionary Technology

Energy Efficient

LEDs are semiconductor devices that produce a visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. As they require little power they are extremely energy efficient and thanks to containing no mercury or toxins are kind to the planet too. Although the average purchase price of LED bulbs and LED fittings is higher than others, energy cost savings of up to 80% means payback can be achieved within 5 months.

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Low Heat Emissions

LED light fittings produce very little heat so are a smart choice for your picture lighting. Picture Lights will illuminate your favourite paintings and pictures to maximum effect with no risk of heat damage. As LEDs do not emit ultra violet rays your artwork will remain in pristine condition and will benefit from being lit by a less harsh light.

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Compact

LEDs are small and compact and can be grouped together in 1 LED bulb. Their size makes them very versatile and ideal for illuminating tricky areas where a seamless streamlined finish is required. Discreet under-cabinet lighting, for example, can be achieved by using a Flexi Strip Lights. Small, neat yet completely robust, the flexi strip can even be used for your exterior lighting.

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LED light fittings can work well in narrow spaces and can be used for Reading Lights where a simple fixture is needed overhead that will deliver a crisp directional light. .

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Durable

Regardless of their size, LEDs are extremely robust and hardwearing and are resistant to shock and vibration. Their simple and strong structure adds to their versatility. They can be used in more unusual places as well as more challenging outdoor environments. Take the Ground Lights which delivers a beautiful light whilst being sturdy enough to be walked upon.

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Lifespan

LEDs can last up to an impressive 50 times longer than their incandescent counterparts and come into their own in hard to access areas where constant bulb changes would be tricky. The use of an LED light fitting in brickwork known as Brick Lights stand the test of time and would require very little maintenance.

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Style

Today’s LED light fittings combine form and function in equal measures. For a simply styled contemporary piece why not take a look at the Nexus 10 Pendant – Brushed Steel complete with a 3W LED GU10 bulb. For modern LED technology teamed with traditional styling check out the Callisto LED Garden Wall Light.

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Bulbs

If you want to keep your current light fittings but want to make instant energy savings then why not choose an LED retrofit replacement bulb such as the Crompton 3W LED Clear Classic Candle Bulb – Bayonet – Non-Dimmable which uses very little power to deliver the same total light output as a 25W incandescent bulb.

 

What’s not to love about LED lighting? Reduced energy bills, less impact on the environment, instant light up, a range of colours from Cool white to warm white and all in a style to suit your home decor. With no compromise on light quality, LED Light fittings and bulbs are the superior choice.

For our full range see our LED Lighting Section.

Or for more advice and guidance check out our Lighting Ideas section.

Articles

The Ultimate LED Picture Lights

The Ultimate Cordless Dimmable LED Picture Light is a great example of brilliant simplicity. In fact it’s so good it’s proving to be one of our most popular products ever. It delivers just about everything you could ever want from a picture light; perfect control, great flexibility, fantastic versatility, beautiful looks and surprising longevity. However you may simply want to check out our full range of picture lights.

Why Is It The Ultimate?

Picture Perfect

The Ultimate Cordless Dimmable LED Picture Light is perfect for showing off your paintings and photographs. Because it uses LED technology there’s no risk to your pictures. Unlike standard fluorescent or incandescent bulbs LED’s don’t produce heat or UV light both of which can age the images on display. Fluorescent lighting is particularly bad for pictures as they generally emit an even higher level of UV than their incandescent counterparts. Ultimately it’s best to avoid both if possible.

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Effortless Control

Thanks to its remote control you can adjust the level of illumination that your Ultimate Cordless Dimmable LED Picture Light provides, allowing you to set the ambiance for your display. A single remote can control multiple lights, so you don’t need a number of different remote units for your picture lighting.

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Looking Good

Not only will these lights make your pictures look their best but they’re extremely good-looking as well. We’ve just added the new Satin Nickel finish to our existing range of Antique Brass or Polished Brass options so whether you’re looking for something traditional or more modern we have a choice of styles that will work with any decor. And as we’re the exclusive UK stockist of the Ultimate Cordless Dimmable LED Picture Light you know where to come to get everything you need.

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Easy To Install

Using the word install is a bit misleading as there is little installation required. All you need to do is select which picture or feature you want to show off and then screw the picture light to the wall, that’s it! So you no longer have to think about calling an electrician to wire in a new fitting, or have the location of your pictures dictated by an existing light fitting; you have complete control over where they go.

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Long Lasting Light

The running costs of this Picture Light is very low. Powered by 4 standard D batteries for the light and 2 x AAA batteries for the remote each light will run for over 100 hours or more if you don’t have it on the brightest setting. It’s completely up to you what setting you have the light on and a simple touch of a button will allow you to restore it to full brightness.

 

These picture lights are great for illuminating paintings and photographs up to 3 feet wide but they are also ideal for smaller pictures as well and will fit conveniently where needed.

When it comes to lighting artwork and pictures the Ultimate Cordless Dimmable LED Picture Light really lives up to its name!

Why not view our complete range of Picture Lights?

Looking for more inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.

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LED Garden Lights For Outdoor Projects

LED Garden lights are a great way to bring your outdoor space to life. LED lighting is very energy efficient and in turn is a cost effective way to illuminate your garden. LEDs have an extensive lifespan too so once installed outside will be virtually maintenance free.

The right time to think about LED garden lights is when you are about to embark on a project. So if you enjoy a bit of DIY and are just about to lay a garden patio or perhaps build a garden pond read on.

Perfect Project Illumination

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The Garden Patio

Before you lay the first slab of your garden patio in place, think lighting. If you want to enjoy eating, drinking and socialising outdoors during the long summer evenings then you want the right level of illumination to create a stylish and relaxed ambience. The beauty of LED garden lighting is its robust nature so you can even install them directly into your patio safe in the knowledge that you can walk on them. The Birch LED Walkover Garden Lights – Set of 3 are part of the Plug ‘n’ Play range and do not require an electrician for installation making them perfect for a DIY project.

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If you want to steer away from putting lighting directly into your patio then why not dot the Assisi LED Planter – Standard around the edges for striking nocturnal lighting as well as a functional way to display your plants during the day.

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Building The BBQ

Al fresco dining is a summertime treat and there’s nothing quite like the taste of food fresh from the barbecue. Maybe you have decided to bite the bullet and are going to put together your own brick barbecue for added authenticity. Well if that’s the case why not give some consideration to LED garden lights. The GL7 LED Spotlight – Daylight will provide task lighting to make sure you don’t burn the sausages!

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Wildlife Pond

Attract frogs, toads and newts back into British gardens by creating your very own wildlife pond. Illuminating the inside of your pond at nightfall with the right LED garden lights can make a very impressive and almost enchanting display. A submersible LED light with its long lifespan such as the Adelpha Submersible Ground Light is a great choice.

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Raised Beds

A raised flowerbed can make a very attractive garden feature and if you are just about to start creating your own masterpiece consider how eye-catching it will look illuminated at night. Highlight flowers and shrubs as the sun goes down with the contemporary styled Eglo Nema LED Garden Spike.

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Garden Paths

Whether you choose concrete slabs or decking to lay your garden path, remember to include some lighting in your early plans. Not only can LED garden lights bring a glow to your outside space at night as they follow the route of your path but they are also essential for clear visibility. The Kolossos LED Garden Light in an anthracite effect finish is a smart modern choice.

 

Whenever you begin an outside project make sure that the lighting is part of the overall plan. Robust, long lasting, energy efficient all spring to mind when thinking about LED lights making them an excellent choice for any garden makeover.

For further ideas and inspiration see the Lighting Ideas section.

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.

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LED bulbs, top ten reasons to switch

Following EU legislation in recent years, the import of most popular forms of traditional incandescent bulbs is now forbidden. The UK’s supermarkets have now withdrawn them completely from sale. With many alternatives to choose from why should you switch to LED bulbs? What are the benefits? This article will show you how an investment in LED bulbs is advantageous for your home.

Ten benefits of LED bulbs

1. Cost savings

It can hardly be denied that LED bulbs are initially more expensive than incandescent, or halogen bulbs, but over the long run they are infinitely cheaper than alternative options. This is because they use energy far more efficiently than any of their counterparts. The Daily Telegraph agree with us and have illustrated the savings you can make in this example.

GU10 comparison

2. Energy efficiency

LED bulbs only use:

  • 10-20% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs
  • 25% used by energy-saving halogens
  • 50% of that consumed by high quality compact fluorescents (CFL)

3. Phenomenal lifespan

The energy-saving advantages make for an easy win, but that’s not all. The phenomenal lifespan of LED bulbs puts them way past the competition when it comes to saving you money. It also means they are extremely low maintenance.

4. Environmentally friendly

Switching over to LED bulbs is a fast and easy way to help reduce your carbon footprint. As mentioned above they last far longer and use much less energy than other types of bulbs, so you can feel satisfied that you are doing your bit.

5. LED’s will get cheaper

Manufacturers have found a new and cheaper way to make LEDs using silicon substrates. We don’t need to fully understand the science as consumers, but the tipping point for tumbling LED prices is relatively close at hand.

6. Quick payback

Although LED bulbs and fittings usually demand something of an up-front investment, pay-back on such investments occurs within just a few months, and LED is one technology that keeps on giving.

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7. It’s easy to switch

If you’re looking for a like for like replacement for your standard bulbs and want to switch to LED’s, then it’s as easy as changing a light bulb. For instance the Philips MasterLED retrofitting GLS bulb range offers a number of different standard replacements.

8. You will never burn your fingers again

LED’s produce little or no heat in comparison to their incandescent and halogen counterparts. This, of course, makes them safer for you and your family when changing them.

9. Replacement LED bulbs will mimic their predecessors

When you buy a retrofit LED bulb its design is blueprinted to emulate the bulb it replaces. GLS’s will usually have a warm 2700K output to mimic incandescent, and spotlights will be made marginally cooler to mimic the 3000K output of halogen.

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10. Some are even dimmable

Yes there are many dimmable LED bulbs on the market. You’ll need a trailing-edge or low-voltage dimmer switch. Among the very best trailing-edge dimmers for LED performance is the retrofitting Varilight V-Pro range, which has attracted positive attention from bulb manufacturers and end-users alike.

A word of warning

Not all LEDs are created equal

When replacing your old bulbs with new LED’s you should always choose high quality products in every instance. Look for top brands, and buy from an established lighting retailer who offers a guarantee. Buying LEDs from an unreliable source may well lead to disillusionment in the product.

LED lighting is clearly the way of the future. It is an amazing innovation that deserves the attention it gets. Investing in LED technology will make a big difference in terms of your carbon footprint and the money you spend over the years. Click here for more LED articles.

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Stylish LED – strip lights for great effect

LED strip lights are fun and versatile, a modern innovation that can be used for tons of different applications around the home. The most common include under cabinet lighting for the kitchen and display lighting.

They can also be used as party or decorative lighting to add character and a touch of modern style to any given room. Alternatively you may want to install them permanently as accent or mood lighting.

LED technology is perfect for striplighting

LED lighting is durable, long lasting and hardwearing. This makes it well suited to strip lighting applications. It can be bent, stuck in place or even left outside in some cases. All in all this is a new generation of lighting you can get creative with and brighten up your home.

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The many uses for LED strip lights

Easy to install display lighting:

If you are looking for a quick way to highlight beloved family photos, ornaments or sporting trophies without the hassle of installing new light fittings then an LED strip light will work perfectly. The Surface Mounted LED Strip light – 121 LED is well worth consideration as you simply mount it where required plug it into the mains and you’re all set. It’s entirely up to you how you use this strip light. It’s 31mm long with a 1 meter mains cable so it can serve loads of functions all around your home.

Extra task lighting for the Kitchen:

Another great application for LED strip lights is as under cabinet kitchen lighting. They are an elegantly modern way to add extra task lighting for food preparation. The LED Linkable Strip light is an excellent choice for under cabinet lighting as you can join multiple strips together to suit the dimensions of your kitchen. You can place them exactly where you need them over your worktops so you will always be able to see what you are doing.

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Party or decorative lighting:

Party lighting should be fun, colourful and versatile. The 5M LED Flexi Strip lets you get creative with your decorative lighting. It can be cut every third LED so you can have different lengths of strip lighting. Also with an IP65 rating this 5m LED strip is also durable enough for life outdoors. It even has a dimmable function so you can create the perfect atmosphere either indoors or outside. All in all this is a great example of how fun, versatile and hardwearing LED strip lighting can be.

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Stick them all around the home:

As you’ve seen so far LED strip lighting can be used in loads of different ways around the home. However if you want something you can stick anywhere you need to have a look at our Self-Adhesive Black LED Strip lights. They are a wonderful option for adding decorative lighting quickly. These self-adhesive strip lights can be used in awkward areas such as picture-frames, doorframes and bookshelves. You can run them down the banister of your staircase or even stick them to the ceiling, it’s completely up to you. However they must not be placed in wet areas like the bathroom or outdoors.

LED strip lights are tons of fun and can be used in many different ways for both practical and decorative lighting. We have only looked at a few examples in this article of strip light applications. If you think about it I’m sure you can come up with loads of other uses for them in your home.

Need more inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.

Articles

Save energy and prevent winter blackouts

To comply with EU climate change legislation, the UK has switched off many oil and coal-burning power plants over the past year. These are to be replaced by nuclear power stations, solar panels, and wind farms, but this infrastructure is not yet in place.

In early October the BBC reported the risk of winter blackouts in 2013 to be higher than in the past six years. Power regulators Ofgem said in June the blackout risk had tripled in one year, and warned of possible energy shortages in the middle of this decade.

What can consumers do about this?

We can save money, reduce the risk of blackouts, and possibly help more vulnerable members of society by using less energy.

The role of energy-efficient lighting

EU legislation has banned production of inefficient incandescent bulbs in recent years. Halogen bulbs will also vanish shortly, with only the better energy-saving designs likely to survive.

In 2011, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated a global switch to LED lighting would save the equivalent output of 640 medium-sized power plants.

Low-energy fluorescent or LED light sources are energy-efficient alternatives to filament bulbs. They use around 75- 90% less watts, and offer vastly longer lifespans. Blackouts energy saving lights image 1

Energy-saving products

The Konstsmide Vega LED Wall Light is a dedicated LED fitting requiring no bulb. It will provide a warm, welcoming light outside your home for many years.

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The traditionally designed Coach Low-Energy Photocell Half Lantern will never rust, and is near unbreakable with its tough polycarbonate construction. A built-in photocell automatically switches the light on and off at dusk and dawn, adding an element of overnight security to your home.

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When coupled with a solar panel an outdoor LED light is effectively free to run. The Astron Solar PIR LED Floodlight is a security light that charges by day, and triggers automatically by night when it senses movement. Its light is equal to a 150W halogen lamp, and acts as a real deterrent to burglars.

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Inside the home, the JCC Fireguard LED6 Spotlight is a well-made recessed fitting that matches a 50W halogen lamp for output. An 86% energy saving is one of many benefits, with fireproofing, waterproofing, and a long lifespan of 75,000 hours also offered.

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The Nexus 10 Pendant from Nordlux is a modern double-insulated ceiling light that comes with a 3W LED bulb. This is 88% more energy-efficient than its equivalent 25W halogen.

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To make the most of your art, the Goya 760 LED Picture Light draws minimal power, and its sleek design is enabled by the compact nature of LEDs. The Goya 760 can light an artwork of up to 1-metre width.

Lighting for life

Unlike incandescent light sources, fluorescent or LED lighting doesn’t normally just expire. It lasts for years, with LED in particular offering extreme longevity. This is lighting for life.

If you are looking for more great information? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Articles

LED garden lighting – grow with a glow

The potential of LED as an energy-efficient indoor light source is big business, but when it’s moved outside LED really starts to shine as a fun and flexible light form that can be morphed into almost any application. Click here to view outdoor LED fittings.

As a garden light an LED can be as small or as large as you like; it can be wrapped around trees and pillars; it can occasionally be walked over, driven over, or submerged; and it’s as ‘tough as old boots’ as the saying goes, with an ability to operate in cold temperatures down to -20°C and lower without any adverse effect. They also make great security lights.

The lifespan of many LEDs is so long that the idea of ‘replacement bulbs’ is gradually going out of vogue. Designers can now make luminaires with 50,000 hour longevity in mind, so, for instance, an outdoor fitting can be comprehensively sealed against the elements with no need for access.

Around the house

You may by now have gathered that LED is different. It’s a versatile ‘solid state’ form of illumination that provides a very broad palette when it comes to getting creative with your garden lighting. You can use it to illuminate pathways and driveways, plants, shrubs, trees, statues, gazebos, trellises, parasols, columns, decking, patios, ponds, fountains, and lawns.

The stylish and contemporary Vega LED Wall Light comes in a variety of metal finishes. Its integral 5W LED delivers 300 lumens of relaxing warm white light, and is fully dimmable for extra control over ambience. An IP54 rating provides evidence of robust resistance to dust and rain. With an expected 30,000 hour LED lifespan, you’ll enjoy many years of maintenance-free use from this attractive outdoor luminaire.

Precise adjustment

A powerful level of security is provided by the LED PIR Twin Floodlight, which emits the equivalent output of a 200W halogen floodlight using only 8% of the energy. This light has a PIR movement sensor that triggers light whenever it detects changes in infrared radiation within its range. Any object with a temperature above −273.15°C (absolute zero) radiates IR heat, so the sensor is extremely effective!

One popular way to enjoy a garden is to add areas of decking, where you can wine and dine ‘al fresco’ style with family and friends. Products such as the Metro Set of 10 Ground Lights are often used at the edges of decking platforms, adding an element of safety as well as creating relaxing ambience. The low-voltage Metro set comes with cabling, a weatherproofed junction box, and a 12V transformer to provide an extremely safe outdoor voltage. Low-voltage lights are highly practical in the garden, since they do away with any need to dig a deep trench system for cable burial!

LED garden lighting image 2Demonstrating the sheer versatility of LED lighting, the Assisi Large LED Planter is a great way of highlighting large colourful plants and shrubs by night! One of the benefits of LED design is that LEDs themselves measure mere millimetres, and there are 15 of them in this decorative plant pot. These low-voltage planters look great in pairs as an adornment to the entrance of a home.

LED up the garden path

Moving away from the house and towards the charm of the garden itself, LED lights can play a role in highlighting special features, creating ambience, and making the garden a safe place to navigate by night.

Ideal for lining garden paths, the stunning 24-LED Short Stainless Steel Post from Searchlight oozes contemporary style with its smart stainless steel finish, and emits a cool daylight-simulating illumination that will bring out the natural colours of your flower and shrubs. This fully weatherproofed, IP44-rated post light is also obtainable in a taller version, which provides extra visibility amongst high grasses and plants.

Choice of colour temperature is a feature you won’t often find in incandescent or halogen lamps, since their output is constrained by the physical temperature of the filament (roughly 2727°C in a halogen bulb). Energy-efficient LEDs do not waste power in producing this phenomenal heat, which also makes them less of a safety hazard.

The superb Deltech GL7 LED Wall or Ground Spotlight is as hardy as your winter plants, with an IP65 Ingress Protection rating that allows installation close to water and makes it completely dust-tight and water-proof. This fitting is also fantastic for showing off dramatic features such as a rockery.

LED garden lighting image 3Versatile and discreet, the triple-set of Alder LED Spotlights can be dotted around a border, rockery, or lawn to highlight horticultural delights, and are easily moveable thanks to their compact design and spiked bases. These weatherproofed lights come with cabling and a 10W transformer, with an ability to easily add an extra light if required (available separately). Being low-voltage, they are also extremely safe for gardens inhabited by children and pets, and again require no extravagant cable concealment.

An exciting marriage of low-energy and clean-energy technologies comes about when LED lighting is partnered with solar. Take the Everbright Solar Fairy Lights – Warm White – 300 LED, for example; this string of LEDs can be draped around many garden items to great decorative effect, and has a built-in photocell that can be set to automatically turn the lights on and off from dusk until dawn. One of the biggest attractions here is that you can take these LEDs to any far-flung corner of your garden, since they require no access to an electrical point.

These days there is no reason why your garden shouldn’t be just as inviting at night as it is in the day. Though LEDs are as motionless as any rock, in the right hands they are nimble, clever, and agile, allowing an intricate painting to be created from the canvas that is your garden.

Why not take a look at our full range of Outdoor Lights.

Alternatively for more inspiration try our Lighting Ideas section.

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.