Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Nationwide Street Lighting Debate Latest- Kent Police oppose street lighting switch off in their county.

The UK debate on how best to save energy and cut carbon in street lighting continues. Counties involved in the debate are now concerned with the issue that turning off street lighting may increase crime levels. 

Exeter's plan is to turn of lights between 12:30am and 5:30am on minor, less busy roads. Loughborough followed suit by switching off around half of all its streetlights from midnight to 5:30am as part of the Leicestershire county attempt to cut energy costs. 
Instead of turning its lights off, Gloucestershire county council has indicated that it is moving ahead with a plan to install LED street lighting across the county. The county council stated on its website that, 'Approval was given for the council to go to the market and invite proposals for a 12 year contract to replace our street lighting with LED technology.'

Gloucestershire has made other attempts to save energy on its street lighting. By dimming lights on main roads and implementing partial night lighting it is working towards reducing the annual £2 million that its 60,000 street lights consume in electricity, but it believes that using LED street lighting will include further benefits such as, 

- 'Up to 50% reduction in energy usage.'
- 'They can also be dimmed to any level of light output with a corresponding decrease in energy use.'
- 'Low usage- 70% reduction in street light lamp maintenance costs.' 
- 'Better quality of light.'
- 'Fewer faults.' 
- 'Less light pollution.' 

Wigan, has become the latest UK municipality to switch street lighting to LED, now joining with Liverpool and Glasgow.  The borough is investing £11 million to replace 31,000 lights with LEDs.

'I know some councils are switching lights off to save money but I don't think that's something people would want in Wigan Borough,' Wigan Council Leader Lord Peter Smith said in a press release. 'We’ve instead come up with a new scheme to replace our existing lights with LEDs which will still offer the same service the public expects but will be considerably cheaper.'

Wigan has opted for Philips LEDs and control systems, and is counting on Philips to cut their electricity bill by 60%, save them £1 million a year and provide lighting that will last for twenty years plus. 

Whilst several areas have decided to replace their street lighting with LEDs, most of the counties involved maintain that turning off the street lights during the early hours will make a long term energy saving, most probably to avoid paying the initial costs of LEDs. What  cannot be overstated is how much energy, money and time LEDs would save the councils but finding a spare £11 million like Wigan, is a mean feat for most councils. 

The debate over street lighting is now concerning other issues than its costs, worryingly, taxi drives in Chepstow are showing their dissatisfaction with the street lighting being switched off for several hours in the night by claiming that it will increase their chances of running over hard to see drunkards!

 Chepstow have already started turning off street lights between midnight and 5 in the morning in an effort save £180,000, a mere fraction of the money that could be saved by switching to LEDs. 

Meanwhile, Kent County council have promoted that switching off street lighting in the dark hours is 'safe and sensible' but the resident backlash has stated that switching of street lighting is anything but. Kent police are backing residents, they suggest that street lighting has proven to cause reductions in crime levels.
Kent began switching off street lighting in quiet areas from 1am to 6:30am and Police have been monitoring the crime levels in such areas since. They confess its too early to tell whether crime levels have indeed increased but its concerns are partly based on a report from the professional association, the College of Policing. 

And so, the debate continues...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Philips Diamond Spark Candles used in Harrods Wedgwood Concession.

Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, the most famous department store in the world is now home to Philips LED Diamond Spark Candles, the next generation of MasterLED candles. The Wedgwood concession in store where the Candles have been used is lit by chandeliers. With Wedgwood being a global brand acclaimed for its luxury home and lifestyle products it was essential for the chandeliers to have the best possible lamp providing the best possible illumination.

The chandeliers were originally fitted with 15W halogen candle lamps when the Wedgwood Concession was first opened. Although they created the correct visual effect, their high heat output meant that the comfortable conditions that Harrods requires could not be maintained by the air conditioning. Furthermore, the inefficiency of the halogen candles was wasting an awful lot of energy. 

To solve these problems, Harrods initially replaced the halogen candle lamps with standard LED candles but these did not fulfill the sparkling standard that was provided by the original halogen lamps. The Philips Diamond Spark Candles were the best solution. The next generation candle lamps feature a revolutionary lens shape and design that refracts light differently in order to create incandescent-like, glittering light effects. 

The MasterLED Diamond Spark candles have brought the sparkle back to the Wedgwood concession. Not only do they enhance the appearance of the chandeliers themselves but they make the luxurious Wedgwood products even more appealing to customers. By making this change from a 15W lamp to a 4W (now 3.5W) Diamond Spark candle, Harrods has reduced its electrical installation load by 74%, creating a huge saving on their energy consumption. The candles also produce much less heat than the halogen lamps meaning that their air conditioning costs have also been cut. In addition to this, the candles have a lifetime of 20,000 hours which means the lamp replacement cycle will be extended and maintenance costs reduced. 

Mark Fleming, Harrods Engineering Technical Manager commented that, 'The chandeliers now look brilliant and the shop floor staff are very happy with the new candle lamps. We will be specifying them for all of the chandeliers throughout the store in the future.'

If you want to replace your outdated halogen candle lamps for these fantastic Diamond Spark candles please go to www.ledspecialist.co.uk to purchase yours now! 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ambient Lighting Affects Your Experience, Poor Lighting Drives Customers Away From Restaurants. - Summary of Lux Magazine Article

    According to a survey carried out by energy provider, NPower, nearly one third of British people have walked out of a pub or restaurant because the illumination was not up to scratch. 'Big hospitality', a lighting trade publication found that 17% of the 1,500 people surveyed avoided an establishment because the lighting was too bright and 12% due to the lighting being too dim. 

    Npower's head of customer service for small business, Rachel Vincent, stated that, 'We can probably all think of an occasion that has been spoiled by a restaurant or bar not getting the ambiance right, and lighting is a crucial part of that, she continued that, 'Our research shows how damaging bad lighting can be to the success of a small business. For this reason, business owners need to think more than just their menus or location. Ambiance is vital to securing new customers and getting old ones to return.' 
‘We can probably all think of an occasion that has been spoiled by a restaurant or bar not getting the ambiance right, and lighting is a crucial part of that,’ said NPower’s head of customer service for small business, Rachel Vincent. ‘Our research shows how damaging bad lighting can be to the success of a business. For this reason, business owners need to think about more than just their menus or location. Ambiance is vital to securing new customers and getting old ones to return.’
The survey also found that lighting was more important than price to 66% of customers when deciding on an establishment for a date, and was also more important than music for 53% of them. A staggering 88% said that the lighting in general would affect how much they enjoy a date or romantic meal. 
It goes to show that lighting is much more important to people that you might expect. Its not just in restaurants that lighting ambiance needs to be perfect in order the achieve the best effect, hotels for example need to do all that is required to make their guests as comfortable as possible. If lighting affects one's mood, experience and comfort so much, it is obvious that making adjustments at home could create more ambiance and make your home a more comfortable place to live. 
To make your home more ambiant whilst cutting costs and reducing energy consumption please go to http://theledspecialist.co.uk/ to browse our selection of leds. Chose colour warm white or 2700K (Kelvin) for the most warming colour of led lighting to give your home a more ambient glow. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Led Lighting Saves on Energy Costs and Cuts Carbon Footprints.

Businesses that swap their conventional lighting for LED sources could save as much as 85% in energy consumption, according to Paul Higgins, associate director at The Carbon Trust. The Trust is an organisation which helps businesses to find ways to cut their carbon emissions and operating costs. 
Lighting costs can account for up to 40% of a building's electricity consumption therefore the potential reduction of energy bills from using LEDs is certain to be worthwhile. 
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have been in use for over forty years, most commonly as the standby indicator on your television. However in the present day, due to the constant advances in technology, Huggins suggests that they are utilised in a much wider range of applications, from office to amenity lighting, accent and display lighting, even for illuminating large interior and exterior areas. Although switching to LEDs is a relatively expensive initial purchase, due to using a fraction of the electricity of traditional incandescent lamps, effectively they pay for themselves several times over before they need to be replaced. Furthermore, since the introduction of the LEDs into the market, prices have decreased substantially. 

Angel of the Light
The Necessary Angel (artangel.co.uk), a boutique style shop in Keswick, Cumbria, specialises in contemporary jewellery all hand-crafted in Britain and has experimented with lighting solutions since its establishment in 1990. 
Johnnie Walker who owns the company with his wife, Deborah Cowin has commented that "lighting is so vital for a jewellery business, the most important consideration for us is the brightness, followed by the coolness. Heat affects the texture and longevity of the display cabinets, which are made of wood. And anything that lessens the impact of the environment is good."
The Necessary Angel used dichroic halogen lamps to highlight its displays for many years, Walker has said that "the dichroics were cheap and bright but very hot, used a lot of energy and burned out regularly. We gradually introduced LEDs and then, a year ago, when we refitted the shop, we swapped to LEDs for all our displays, using strips in the cabinets and single bulbs containing three LEDs to focus on the individual pieces of jewellery." 
Walker continued to comment that, "The LED strip lights replaced three 20-watt halogens on a lighting strip and a couple of compact fluorescents. We tend to refurbish the shop every five years so the lights should outlive the cabinets. We will definitely get a return on our investment. There has been a leap in LED lighting in the last five years. They're affordable, very bright and damn reliable."

The Led Specialist Lights the Way
The Led Specialist sells over one hundred different types of LED lamps, including GU10s, candles, low voltage MR16s, golfballs, AR111s, strip lighting, par lamps and many more. Lamps can be a bit confusing so please see our website (theledspecialist.co.uk) for more information on the lamps we offer, how long they last and which lamps they can replace. We offer competitive prices on LED lighting solutions so start saving money on your energy bills now!