Lighting Buying Guide

Bulb Type


  • Come in a variety of shaped and sizes
  • Can be used with most standard dimmers
  • Also known as tungsten bulbs
  • Feature an outer glass construction enclosing an inert glass and filament
  • The filament consists of a thread of wire made from tungsten which emits a warm light when an electric current is passed through it
  • Much of the required energy is given off as heat which makes this type of bulb inefficient
  • Due to this, government legislation is now in place to phase out this type of bulb

  • Common Bulb Shapes:
    1. GSL
    2. Candle
    3. Golf Ball

CFL (Compact Flourescent)

  • More efficient than incandescent bulbs - longer lasting and with the same light output, requiring less energy
  • Designed to replace incandescent light, often featuring same cap types
  • Emit a soft light
  • Initial outlay is greater than for incandescent bulbs but savings are made over time due to extended life of bulb
  • Cannot be dimmed unless packaging states otherwise

  • Common CFL Shapes:
    4. Candle
    5. Twist/Spiral
    6. Stick
    7. Globe

Common Cap Types

  • 8. BC (Bayonet cap) - B22
    9. SBC (Small Bayonet cap) - B15
    10. ES (Edison Screw) - E27
    11. SES (Small Edison Screw) - E14


  • Smaller and hotter than incandescent bulbs, but of similar construction
  • Emit a bright light
  • Use less energy and last up to twice as long as standard incandescent bulbs, making them more efficient
  • Can be used with mains and low voltage products
  • May sometimes require special dimmers

  • Common Bulb Shapes:
    12. GU10
    13. G9
    14. G4

Energy Saving Tips

Now, more than ever, there is growing concern for the environment, as an increase in CO2 emissions has resulted in unpredictable and extreme changes to our climate. Seemingly small measures, such as using energy saving bulbs within your home, will help you to reduce your carbon footprint as well as saving a considerable amount of money, something worth considering when you take into account the fact that home lighting consumes a whopping 25% of the average domestic energy budget.

Energy saving lighting in the form of Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are rapidly replacing the inefficient filament light bulbs (halogens and tungstens), which will be phased out in the UK over the next few years. Please see for more details on planned dates and measures.

Offered in a wide range of sizes and connectors to suit almost any lighting scheme, these new energy efficient bulbs create a warm lighting atmosphere. Please check the packaging for dimmer compatibility and to ensure that it bears the energy saving logo.

To help you get started on reducing your carbon footprint, here are some basic tips:

  • Replace all of the lights in your home with low energy Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. These are generally around 80% more efficient than halogen or tungsten bulbs, as well as lasting about 10 times as long. Available at most UK DIY stores and supermarkets, be sure to shop around for the best price as many retailers are offering introductory prices.
  • Table lamps create a warm ambience and use considerably less energy than ceiling lights. Experiment in the various rooms of your home to see where you can use these to good effect.
  • LED lights are around 92% more efficient than a standard bulb and last around 10 times longer than CFLs. They emit virtually no heat making them the safe choice for childrens lamps and are ideal for use in areas where near-constant lighting is required, such as dark hallways or windowless rooms.
  • Home energy meters can be purchased for around £30 from most DIY stores. Installing one of these allows you keep track of how much energy you are using and to ensure that none is being wasted.
  • Ensure that all appliances are switched off at the plug when not in use. Remote control sockets and timers can be purchased from DIY stores to make the job easier.
  • You could save up to £250 per year by completing a home energy check. Just Click Here. You will also find further tips on decreasing your energy consumption.

Types of Lighting

Task Lighting

  • Practical and functional, task lighting is used to aid an activity, such as reading
  • Usually tends to be the main source of lighting in a room.

Accent Lighting

  • Adds drama to a room
  • Can be used in conjunction with task lighting to create beautiful effects, for example placing a striking floor lamp near a piano will aid playing as well highlighting the instrument as a design feature

Ambient Lighting

  • Subtle lighting for a warm, homely glow
  • Easily created with the use of table lamps and dimmer lights

Natural Lighting

  • Can be maximised to great effect, such as by organising the contents of a room to benefit from the fall of sunlight.
  • Also known as Kinetic Lighting as it constantly moves and changes.
  • Seasonal and climatic changes make it unpredictable and it can therefore not be relied upon as main light source in a room.

The use of energy saving bulbs throughout your home is both cost efficient and environmentally sound.