Q: Why are there so many different types of white light?
A: The colour of white light ranges from warm white to cool white. 2700K and 3000K are warm white temperatures, and are best used for domestic lighting, as they are more yellow and closer to the halogen and incandecent lights that we are used to.
The most common cool white temperature is 4000K, which is usually used for commercial and office lighting. 6000K - daylight white - is used when bright light is needed for work such as painting, when you need to see true colour. Whichever you choose to use for your project, it's important to keep the same colour temperature across all your fittings, as the difference is jarring to the eye.
Q: What kind of lights are suitable for bathrooms?
A: Because the bathroom is a damp environment, the fixtures and fittings need to be protected from getting wet. The British Wiring Regulations divide the areas of a bathroom into numbered zones, each of which requires fittings to have a specific IP rating; the wetter the zone, the higher the rating needs to be. For more information go to http://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/53/section-701/index.cfm
Q: Why do my LEDs flicker when I dim them?
A: If your LEDs are flickering, that means that the LEDs are not compatible with the dimming module you're using. The major suppliers carry out extensive testing and have lists of compatible products for their items. For example, if you are buying a new dimmer switch, check with the manufacturer which light bulbs they recommend.
Q: When do I need to start planning lighting?
A: Earlier than you'd probably expect! When working on a new build, it's ideal to start thinking about your lighting scheme as soon as possible. By treating lighting as a structural aspect of your build rather than a decorative one, the process becomes much more streamlined, as you can co-ordinate the installation with the architect, builders and electrical contractors. Planning your lighting early means that your scheme becomes an integrated part of the build, and all unsightly cables are beautifully concealed.
Q: What's the difference between a lamp and a bulb?
A: Put simply, there is none. 'Bulb' is the consumer term, and in the electrical industry, bulbs are referred to as lamps (bulbs are for growing, not for glowing!)