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Is it time your office scrapped ‘the lightbulb everyone loves to hate’?

SONIKJan Fluorescent

Here’s one thing many office workers hate with a passion: fluorescent strip lights.

The light they give off is harsh and feels unnatural.

It can seemingly take an age for them to turn on.

When something goes wrong, they flicker and buzz annoyingly.

There’s a recognition in light manufacturing that fluorescent strip lighting is loathed by many.

General Electric’s GE Lighting division stopped manufacturing fluorescent bulbs at the end of 2016, concentrating on LEDs and halogens.

Its Chief Operating Officer John Strainic told reporters a fluorescent bulb had become “the light bulb that everybody loves to hate”.

Mr Strainic said they had become crowded out of the marketplace by incandescent bulbs and LED lightbulbs as LED technology becomes cheaper.

There are now several LED strip bulb alternatives like the GE Bright Stik and some LED alternatives can mimic daylight.

Industry insiders are waiting to see if other major manufacturers follow GE’s lead.


So, if you still have fluorescent tubes in your office, what can you do?

Research the cost of replacing them. LED replacements will cost more to buy than fluorescent bulbs, but they are cheaper to run, last longer, and will be a good investment in the long term.

Look at the lighting design in your office – could your lighting be used better?

You can design offices to create distinct spaces even within an open-plan environment, and one of the key ways you can do that is by using effective lighting in different areas.

A conference area might benefit from targeted downlighters or a central feature light, a kitchen area will need brighter lighting than an informal rest area.

Fluorescent lighting can also cause glare problems for people using equipment like computers or light boxes – could your new design diffuse the light for those workers?



Looking for bright ideas for your office lighting design? We can help – we design, install, and maintain commercial lighting in South Wales and beyond. Have a chat with our friendly team on 0845 003 6856 and check out our services for commercial clients: /commercial-services/.




Is saving cash on your energy bills your New Year resolution?


There’s a simple way you could be saving money in 2017.

Now’s the time to look at switching your traditional incandescent lightbulbs for LED bulbs because you could make substantial annual savings on your energy bill.

Energy experts estimate that if you swap out 10 100-watt non-LED bulbs for 15-watt LEDs, leaving them on constantly for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, you could save more than £300 a year, even factoring in the cost of buying the new bulbs.

Over five years, that’s a potential saving of more than £1,500.

That would also save more than 1,600 kilos of CO2 going into the atmosphere in a year, reducing your carbon footprint.

If those bulbs were on constantly for four hours a day, seven days a week, that could still be a net saving of more than £120 a year and more than £600 over five years.

How much you can reduce your bill depends on your deal and the tariff your energy company charges, but for both householders and businesses installing LEDs could prove to be a substantial long-term saving.


How do LEDs work?

LEDs are light emitting diodes.

They’re used in may electronic products like alarm clocks, watches, traffic lights, and television screens.

They come in the smallest sizes making tiny points of light in TV screens to the size of lightbulbs.

The light they produce comes from the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material – something which conducts electricity like aluminum-gallium-arsenide.

Electrons move across ‘holes’ in the material, attracted from areas with extra negatively-charged particles towards areas with extra positively-charged materials.

This movement generates light as energy is released.

Unlike an incandescent lightbulb, there is no filament which burns out, so LEDs last thousands more hours than incandescent bulbs and far less heat is generated.


Why are LED lightbulbs cheaper to run than incandescent bulbs?

The heat generated by incandescent lightbulbs is wasted energy.

In LEDs, a much higher percentage of the power is being used to generate light. So I takes less power to run them.

The effectiveness of how bulbs light a room is measured in lumens. Traditional incandescent bulbs produce 17 lumens per watt. LEDs produce 77 lumens per watt.


Why are they popular now?

In the past, the cost of producing LEDs made lightbulbs using them too expensive for widespread use.

Since 2000, however, the price of the materials used as semiconductors in LEDs has dropped markedly, so they have become much cheaper to produce and buy.

Even though they are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, the fact they last far longer means they are a good long-term investment. They have a lifespan of 50,000 hours or more. That’s 25 times the lifespan of a halogen bulb.


Looking for an electrician in Cardiff or South Wales to give you expert advice or a no-obligation quote? Check out what we can do for businesses /commercial-services/ and domestic customers /domestic-services/ or call us on 0845 003 6856.









How to slash the cost of running your Christmas lights


Are you tempted to turn your home into a Christmas grotto? Are you holding back because you’re worried about the electricity bill?

Some families love lighting displays on their roofs, trees, windows, garages, and on standalone items like light-up reindeer, snowmen, and Father Christmas.


These days, though, we’re all concerned about the impact on our bills and on the environment.

A display of thousands of lights with traditional lightbulbs can cost more than £170 to run for a month, the Energy Saving Trust has warned.

It says that powering kind of display can also produce enough carbon dioxide to fill 140 telephone boxes.


How can you save money on your outdoor Christmas lights display?

Swap your traditional, incandescent bulbs for strings of LED lights. They use up to 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs.

To replace a 60 watt bulbs, you need 6W LED lights. According to research by Comparethemarket.com, a single 60W incandescent bulb costs, on average, £26.65 to run for a year if left on for 10 hours a day at an average price of 12.2p per kilowatt hour – that’s 0.07p per day.

Replace that with an LED, and the average annual bill becomes £2.66 – or 0.007p per day.

Running 1,000 incandescent 60 watt lights for a 10-hour day would cost around 70p. Running 1,000 LED lights for that day would cost 7p.

Running 1,000 LED lights for the 12 days of Christmas for 10 hours a day would cost £1.10.

How much you’d pay depends on the wattage of your bulbs, how long you leave them on, and your tariff.


Across a large display, however, the decision to use LEDs could slash the cost of running your lights dramatically. It also cuts the impact on the planet in greenhouse gases.

Consider installing solar-powered lights for the garden displays, instead of powering them from your mains. They use photovoltaic panels to gather power during the day to keep your lights twinkling at night – with a zero running cost.

Does your electricity tariff give you cheaper energy at certain times? It’s worth checking before you decide on when your switch-on times should be.

You could also choose to limit the times you switch on to weekends or just a few nights a week.

Think about where you place your lights. You may not need as many to make an impact if you place them carefully.


How to save cash on your indoor display

Swap your incandescent tree lights for LEDs to cut the running cost.

If you’re worried about the bill, keep your strings of lights to your tree, or one place in your home. You can use reflective decorations to maximise their impact and hang other decorations like holly, ivy, baubles, or oranges studded with cloves in other parts of the room to make it feel festive. 

Need help with your domestic lighting? Do you need an electrician in Cardiff? Check out our services here: http://www.sonikelectrical.co.uk/domestic-services/