Top 3 tips to make your home more energy efficient

Energy Efficient Lighting

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you won’t have failed to notice that as a society, we are finally taking climate change seriously and most of us are doing our bit to save the planet. Whether it’s seeing more charging stations for electric cars pop up, having three different wheelie bins to organise your recycling or the fact that lots of people are using reusable nappies again, there’s no denying that in 2017 we are more conscious of doing what we can to help reduce our carbon footprint. We all know that turning off electrical appliances that aren’t in use helps and it’s wise to switch off lights in empty rooms, but our guide to energy efficient lighting will help you go that extra mile in your quest to live a ‘greener’ lifestyle (and it’ll help you save money, too!).

1. Use more LEDs

LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs are the modern alternative to incandescent bulbs, which have mostly been phased out. LED light bulbs use less energy, last longer and are much easier to dispose of safely. You can now get LED lights for pretty much anywhere inside and outside the home – from beautifully designed LED ceiling lights to coloured outdoor LED lights that are sure to transform any garden. LEDs last up to 50 times longer than traditional incandescent lights and as you’ll be replacing them less over time, you’ll definitely see a cost saving, too.

2. Choose low energy bulbs and fittings

As obvious as it sounds, replacing all the traditional bulbs in your ceiling lights and lamps with low energy versions can make a massive difference to reducing your carbon footprint. You may think they are more expensive than regular light bulbs however the cost really has come down in recent years. If you’re thinking about adding a security light outside your home, choose an energy-saving outdoor light that only comes on (when needed) at night time in order to conserve energy.

3. Solar Powered Lighting

Choosing solar powered lighting is the ultimate way to become more energy efficient as outdoor lights are powered by the sun alone. There is a huge range on the market – from fairy lights to lanterns that will transform any garden and create a fantastic atmosphere for a party or gathering. And as you won’t have the stress or worry about the batteries running out or having enough power outlets, you can sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.


Bathroom light fittings- safety issues

A lot of careful consideration needs to be given to your bathroom lighting, and I’m not just talking about the ambiance and decor. It’s very important to be aware of the safety issues when it comes to lighting your bathroom for the simple reason that electricity and water shouldn’t mix. Click here to check out our range of bathroom fittings.

Bathroom Lighting Zones

The following information is a guide to help you understand what fittings can be placed where. This is not an installation guide and at Lighting Direct we recommend that all bathroom lighting be fitted by a qualified electrician. Firstly it is important to understand the rating by which bathroom and some outdoor lights are classified. IP rating stands for Ingress Protection and is always followed by two numbers.

These two numbers refer to the level of protection, for example IP44. Use the table below to discover what this means:

Find the first digit from the left-hand column and the second from the right-hand column.

Explanation of IP Ratings Protection Levels

0 Not Protected 0 Not Protected
1 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 50mm 1 Protected against Dripping Water
2 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 12mm 2 Protected against Dripping Water when tilted to 15°
3 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 2.5mm 3 Protected against Spraying Water
4 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 1mm 4 Protected against Splashing Water
5 Dust Protected 5 Protected against Water Jets
6 Dust Tight 6 Protected against Heavy Seas
7 Protected against the effects of Immersion
8 Protected against Submersion

Also it is important that you choose fittings with the correct rating according to where in the bathroom they will be installed. The bathroom is divided into zones and some of them require a higher IP rating than others.

bathroom zones image 1

The diagrams above show a bathroom split into three clear zones: 0, 1 and 2.

Zone 0

Is inside the bath or shower itself. Any fitting used in this zone must be low voltage, (max 12v) and be rated at least IP67 which is total immersion proof.

Zone 1

Is the area above the bath to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone a minimum rating of IP44 is required. If the fitting is 240v a 30ma residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone.

Zone 2

Is an area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone an IP rating of at least IP44 is required. In addition it is good practice to consider the area around a wash basin, within a 60cm radius of any tap to be considered as zone 2.

Outside Zones

Is anywhere outside zones 0,1 and 2 (subject to specific limits) and where no water jet is likely to be used. No IP rating is required. In addition to the above, if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning purpose in zones 1,2 and 3 a fitting rated a minimum IP65 must be used.

Full details can be found in the latest copy of the IEE wiring regulations.

Looking for 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.