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Category Archives: Technical Jargon

Light Bulb Fitting Finder (Caps and Bases)

September 26, 2012   

Some confusion can arises when referring to ‘fittings’. A light fitting is the ‘socket’ into which the light bulb is installed. However, many people speak of the ‘fitting’ on the lamp itself, referring to the part of the lamp that secures it into it’s holder. This is the ‘cap’ or ‘base’ and both holds the lamp in position and provides the connection to the power supply. read more …

Luminous Efficiency in Light Bulbs

October 26, 2011   

In a 120 volt, 100 watt “standard” bulb with a rated light output of 1750 lumens, the efficiency is 17.5 lumens per watt. This compares poorly to an “ideal” of 242.5 lumens per watt for one idealized type of white light, or 683 lumens per watt ideally for the yellowish-green wavelength of light that the human eye is most sensitive to. read more …

Light Bulb Burn-Outs

September 26, 2011   

How Light Bulbs Burn Out

Due to the high temperature that a tungsten filament is operated at, some of the tungsten evaporates during use. Furthermore, since no light bulb is perfect, the filament does not evaporate evenly. Some spots will suffer greater evaporation and become thinner than the rest of the filament.These thin spots cause problems. Their electrical resistance is greater than that of average parts of the filament. Since the current is equal in all parts of the filament, more heat is generated where the filament is thinner. read more …

Vacuum vs. Gas-Filled Light Bulbs

March 26, 2011   

At first, incandescent bulbs were made with a vacuum inside them. Air oxidizes the filament at high temperatures. Later, it was discovered that filling the bulb with an inert gas such as argon or an argon-nitrogen mixture slows down evaporation of the filament. Tungsten atoms evaporating from the filament can be bounced back to the filament by gas atoms. read more …

Safety, Handling and Disposal

June 2, 2010   

A safety signThere are potential hazards when handling any type of lightbulb, so due care and attention should always be taken when doing so. This is especially the case with CFL lamps which contain traces of mercury required for operation.

Caution Hot!

It may seem obvious, but many types of lamp will get hot during operation. This is especially the case with halogen bulbs. Please bear this in mind when installing and removing lamps and also when choosing their positioning. Make sure they are mounted out of easy reach and away from combustibles such as soft furnishings. Many manufacturers will provide details on safety exclusion zones for lamps that run at high temperatures.

read more …

What is the Beam Angle?

June 2, 2010   

The beam angle of a lamp is the angle at which light is emitted. As a reference a standard halogen GU10 bulb will use a beam angle of some 38 degrees. Within limits it doesn’t make much difference if the beam angles are slightly different – for example you would be unlikely to notice the difference bewtween 35 and 38 degrees. However, a bulb with a beam angle of 80 degrees will spread the light over a larger area and so the amount of light that falls in a particular space will fall. read more …

What is Colour Temperature?

June 2, 2010   

Colour temperature is a measure of how warm or cool the light given off by a lamp appears. ‘Warm’ colours appear tinged with yellow and generally feel soft and cosy. Cool colours are tinged with blue and appear whiter, making them a more ‘honest’ and unforgiving light more suitable for working environments than relaxing. read more …


Halogen, Low Energy (CFL) or LED? Confused?

June 2, 2010   

Confused looking man

We regularly receive calls from customers that know the lamp fitting that they require, but find the number of choices slightly overwhelming. Why are there so many variations? Which will be best suited to your needs? Why are LED’s so expensive? Hopefully the following condensed guide will point you in the right direction.


LED light bulbs represent the latest lighting technology, rapidly out dating existing products as they continue to improve. Their popularity lies in an extremely long life span, which can be a staggering 25 times longer than the halogen equivalent (up to 50,000 hours) and incredibly low power consumption. Suggested replacements for a 50w GU10 halogen lamp will draw around 4.5w, which needs little explanation, that’s less than 10% of the power!

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Why Lumens as a measure of performance can be misleading

January 9, 2009   

OK so now the wise men of Europe have decided to make it mandatory to show lumens output on the box. This has got to be a good thing – hasn’t it?

Well not entirely – you could properly argue that wattage is a pretty hopeless way of measuring light output as it a measure of power consumption, but rightly or wrongly people have got used to it and broadly feel comfortable with it. Lumens , however are a measure of light output BUT a lumen is a measure of the total light output of a light source rather than an accurate indicator of the amount of useful light produced. The amount of light