Articles

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

Cabinet lights explored

There are many reasons to install cabinet lights, both practical and decorative. It all depends on what you need them for. For example they make great task lighting for the kitchen, but can also be used as display lighting in the dining or living room.

Uses for cabinet lights in the home

Kitchen task lighting

Kitchen under-cabinet lighting helps to eliminate shadows when you are preparing food. Fluorescent tubes are a very popular choice for under-cabinet lighting. They use a fraction of the energy of filament-burning lights, last about five times longer and produce very little heat.

T4 and T5 fluorescent tubes are both appropriate choices for this type of task lighting. The main difference between T4’s and T5’s is the thickness of the tubes. The T4 has a half-inch diameter, while the T5 is five-eighths of an inch.

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The high-quality Mantova T5 Switched Striplight with adjustable frosted glass head that allows you to direct the light to where you need it. This modern fitting does not have the monotonous flicker and hum of earlier-generations.

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Discreet display lights

If you need subtle display lighting for your favourite ornaments or trophies you may want to consider strip lighting like these Surface Mounted LED’s. Remember when installing display lighting to try to make sure the fittings are out of sight.

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Small cabinets? No worries

The size of your cabinet is very important when choosing suitable lighting. For example, if you are concerned that it may be too small to install lighting into then you may want to consider a Set of 4 Surface Mounted LED Downlights. Simply use the included self-adhesive pads to fix them as required.

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Displaying sensitive objects

For heat-sensitive objects the Mica LED Cabinet Light is a sound option for showing off delicate items. These LED fittings produce very little heat and no UV radiation making them a good choice if you want to prevent the deterioration of books and other delicate ornaments.

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A low voltage option

An alternative under-cabinet choice is the contemporary Satin Chrome Low Voltage Linkable Triangle Light. Smart in appearance, you can run up to five of these low voltage lights from a single transformer, and with their bright white halogen output these discreet lights will perform admirably. They are not only cost efficient to run but also incredibly chic for kitchen style.

Happy to help

Having touched upon some of the points to consider when installing cabinet lights, remember that the Lighting Direct staff are always on hand to offer advice specifically tailored to your needs. Give us a call or order online today.

Take a look at our full range of Cabinet Lights.

Looking for more inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas.

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.

Articles

Fluorescent Strip Lighting explored

They may cost a little more than most other forms of lights, but today’s fluorescent strip lights more than pay for themselves in improved lighting performance and energy efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at how fluorescent lighting can brighten up your home or home office, and save you money in the process.

Multiple options

Strip lights are a popular alternative to your standard incandescent lighting solution, offering a more even spread of light and a physical form factor that’s equally at home subtly illuminating the inside of a cabinet as it is bathing a large kitchen in bright light.

The emergence of LED strip lighting has only added to that flexibility, providing increased efficiency and taking up less space in the process.

But while cabinet strip lights and LED flexistrip lights are perfect for adding subtle lighting highlights to just about any space in the home, fluorescent strip lighting is designed to take centre stage as a room’s main lighting source.

Fluorescent or batten strip lighting is by no means a stranger to our homes, but traditionally the slightly cold quality of the light produced, not to mention the stark appearance of the lights themselves, has limited its appeal in most people’s minds and lent it more to use in office spaces.

However, with energy efficiency and running costs more important than ever these days, fluorescent lighting is being seen as an increasingly attractive alternative to traditional incandescent lights not only in the kitchen or garage but elsewhere in the home too.

Advances in technology has dramatically improved the lifespan and running efficiency of even entry-level fluorescent lighting products, and with adapters enabling you to use the latest T8 or T5 tubes in your existing fluorescent lighting setup, this is one technology with a bright future.

Key advantages

Fluorescent strip lights are typically more expensive than standard incandescent lighting up front, but offer considerable benefits longer term. Let’s take a closer look…

Better illumination

Fluorescent strip lights are more efficient than their incandescent counterparts at the basic business of turning electric current into light, but they also deliver a purer light too. By default this might not suit typically ‘softer’ environments such as the living room or bedroom, but for the home office, kitchen, bathrooms, utility spaces and garage, for example, fluorescent lighting delivers the best and most consistent results.

Lower running costs

The most obvious benefit from fluorescent strip lights is the efficient use of power. Fluorescent lights use less energy in the first place, which means reduced running costs. That’s never a bad thing in anyone’s book, but with energy costs an increasingly heavy burden for many UK homes, the cost-saving involved in using fluorescent strip lights is a bigger plus point than ever before.

Less heat

So if incandescent lighting isn’t as good at turning power into light, what is happening to all that lost energy? The answer is it is being converted into heat, or a large part of it is anyway. Particularly in compact spaces with less than ideal ventilation, traditional incandescent lights can make a marked difference to the ambient temperature, making the environment increasingly uncomfortable and also making it more difficult to keep the temperature constant in surrounding areas.

Longer lifespan

Their greater efficiency and lower running temperature means fluorescent tubes are durable and long-lasting too, with even entry-level T8 tubes typically offering around 9,000 hours of illumination, which at an average of say five hours a day means it’ll be as much as five years before you need to replace the tube. Opt for a high efficiency T5 setup and you could be looking at three times that lifespan.

Types of fluorescent tube

Modern fluorescent strip lights all carry a T-rating, invariably T4, T5, T8 or T12. Strictly speaking, this is a measure of the diameter of the fluorescent tube in eighths of an inch – in other words, a T8 light measures eight eighths of an inch, in other words one inch, across, with the T standing for “tubular”.

In practical terms, however, this code is more a reference to the age and energy efficiency of a lighting product. T8 technology is newer and more energy efficient than older T12 products, and T5 is another step forward again.

T5 fluorescent lights are rated to last as long as 20,000 hours, and their very low mercury content make them kinder to the environment than older-generation products. The latest High Efficiency (HE) and High Output (HO) products deliver even higher life expectancy and lighting quality respectively, giving you even more flexibility in choosing the right fluorescent strip light to suit your needs.

Fluorescent strip lights in the home

With such a flexible range of products and technologies to choose from, fluorescent strip lights represent a versatile lighting solution in any number of settings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Kitchen

The kitchen has always been a popular location for fluorescent strip lights, but even if yours already uses fluorescent lights it’s still worth considering an upgrade to a newer, more efficient and more stylish lighting solution. For an added touch of class, meanwhile, ultra-compact T4 fluorescent tubes are perfect for kitchen counter or worktop illumination, requiring as much as eight times less power to run than traditional bulbs. Fluorescent strip lighting image 1

Suggested product

T8 5ft Twin Prismatic Fluorescent Light: this multi-purpose all-rounder is durable and high frequency technology means added efficiency and better colour rendering.

 

Home office

For the home office you ideally want bright and even lighting throughout, so an overhead fluorescent strip light is the obvious choice from the start. Many home offices have the lights switched on all day, so the improved energy efficiency of the latest T5 fluorescent lights can add up to a serious cost saving over the long term.

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Suggested product

T5 5 Foot Twin Cat 2 Louvre Fluorescent Light: this great looking and ultra-efficient T5 light features a low brightness louvre and prismatic panels in an aesthetically pleasing package.

Utility room

The low heat output and even lighting qualities of fluorescent strip lights make them a far better choice than traditional incandescent lights for Fluorescent strip lighting image 3illuminating utility rooms, which are more often than not quite compact and cluttered spaces.

Suggested product

4ft Single T8 Prismatic Fluorescent: durable and energy efficient, complete with UV stabilised, clear styrene diffuser.

Garage/Outhouse

External spaces such as garages and outhouses are often less finished than the rest of the house, and can’t rely on ambient light from adjoining rooms Fluorescent strip lighting image 4either, which makes the bright and powerful nature of fluorescent strip lights a sensible choice.

Suggested product

T8 5ft Single Fluorescent Light: no nonsense affordable fluorescent strip lighting that’s cheap to run over the long term too.

Need more inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Where Next?

Outdoor fluorescent lights where next Garage lighting where next Ceiling lights where next

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.