Lighting – how to get it right

MDS Electrical Lighting - how to get it right

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Don’t panic, I’m not about to give you advice on what style of light fitting will tie in with your décor; we’re electricians not interior designers after all! We electricians do have a unique perspective however, we see thousands of rooms inside hundreds of peoples homes each year. Combined with our knowledge of the lighting systems in place, this gives us a great insight into what works, what doesn’t and also how your choices can affect you from a practicality and safety point of view.

Here are a few important considerations when lighting a room:

What colour temperature bulbs do I need?

Colour temperature, LED bulbs (lamps) come in a range of color temperatures. The colour output of a bulb is measured in degrees Kelvin, where a lower value such as 1800K resembles a warm light like a candle and a higher value such as 6500K is more similar to daylight. The temperature of your lighting can have a huge impact on the feel of a room, with a warmer light being more suited to relaxing (such as in living rooms and bedrooms) and a cooler light is more suited to concentration (such as in kitchens and offices).

Can I use dimmer switches with LED bulbs?

This is entirely down to personal preference, dimmer switches are most commonly used in lounges and bedrooms but there is no reason they can’t be used elsewhere. They offer great flexibility but there are some important things to take into consideration:

  • Dimmers don’t work with all bulbs, make sure yours are dimmable
  • If you have LED bulbs, you will need an LED compatible dimmer
  • If your light has multiple switches (2 way lighting), you will only be able to use a standard dimmer in one location

Do I need an ‘IP rated’ light?

IP stands for Ingress Protection, the “IP Rating” of a light fitting ranks how effective it is at stopping the ingress of elements like moisture or dust. As a rule you need IP protection for any lights being used in bathrooms/shower rooms and outdoors, however that doesn’t mean they aren’t a good idea in areas such as the kitchen too.

Following these key bits of advice will ensure you don’t fall into some of the more common pitfalls when it comes to lighting. Lighting is a pivotal element of a room and can really affect the overall feel.

If you would like further advice on lighting or would like to schedule a quote visit to completely revamp your lighting, please do give us a call on 01733 698151.

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