New solar lighting: Our top picks

solar lights

By harnessing energy from the sun, solar lighting is the most energy efficient lighting solution available today. What’s more, due to the fact solar lights don’t require a mains connection, they can be positioned virtually anywhere, don’t require an electrician for installation, and can be stored away when not in use. Not only that, solar lights are very environmentally friendly, providing a fantastic way for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

Here at Lyco we believe solar lighting has a big future ahead of it, which is why we’ve recently expanded our solar offering, including new wall lights, stake lights, security lights, decorative lights and much more – here are some of our top picks from the new solar lighting range.

Cole and Bright bollard lights

These stainless steel bollard lights by Cole and Bright would make for a particularly stylish and practical lighting solution within the grounds of a hotel or restaurant. The built in PIR sensor boasts a 120° detection range for 8 metres and provides 10 lumens of light on stand-by, increasing to 50 lumens once movement is detected. This makes this fitting ideal for illuminating walkways or paths.

Duracell solar LED lights

Ideal for illuminating hard to reach or awkward spaces such as stairs or decked areas, this set of four flush solar lights from Duracell offers an easy-to-install lighting solution without the need for any hard wiring or batteries. Simply position each light in a sunny spot, and using their own individual solar panels, these lights will shine for up to eight hours once fully charged.

Chester solar wall lights

Wall lights fulfil a number of different requirements, serving both aesthetic and practical purposes, depending on where they are positioned. This modern looking, brushed steel wall light by SolarCentre is a real eye-catcher, and will shine for up to ten hours once fully charged. The solar panel can be positioned up to 1 metre away from the light, allowing for optimal exposure to daylight, while a convenient power-saving mode reduces brightness while doubling the running time.

Rock lights

Lighting has the potential to completely transform an outdoor space, and these subtle solar rock lights can do just that when positioned amongst flowers, shrubs, and rockeries. Manufactured from resin and styled with a natural rough finish, these little lights provide up to eight hours of illumination on a full charge. These lights would also work well for lining walkways, paths, or small driveways.

Cast metal solar powered floodlight with PIR sensor

This Duracell LED flood light is an ideal solution for illuminating driveways, pathways, entrances, and car parks. The light will automatically turn on as visitors approach your premises and then turn off after one minute – using precious energy only when it’s truly needed. Due to the light snapping on whenever movement is detected, motion sensor lights can also help bolster on-premises security and deter unwanted visitors. Alternatively the constant ‘on’ mode will provide light for two hours when fully charged.

To view our full range of solar lights click here, or feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how solar lighting could benefit your business.

What is Li-Fi and how does it work?

What is Li-Fi and how does it work

In most simple terms, Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is a way of wirelessly transmitting data through visible light. Unlike Wi-fi, which uses uses radio waves for transmission, Li-fi utilises light waves, which presents a number of key benefits:

  • Speed – Li-Fi is thought to be 100 times faster than standard Wi-fi.
  • Security – Because Li-fi transmits the internet via light, it effectively limits access to anyone within the same room as the light source. This makes is more difficult for outsiders to access private networks.
  • Availability – Whether in the home, office, or other commercial environment, Li-fi makes it possible for the internet to be available wherever there is a light source, i.e. virtually anywhere within a building.

Of course, Li-fi also has some disadvantages over Wi-fi, namely the fact it only works when the lights are turned on, which limits outdoor and night time usage. Also, the fact that light cannot pass through walls may be good for security, but it also limits the effectiveness of Li-fi in spaces that have lots of physical barriers.

Li-fi in action, via purelifi.com

Practical applications for Li-fi

The unique nature of Li-fi technology makes it particularly suitable for a variety of applications, both in domestic and commercial environments. For example:

  • Providing internet in densely populated spaces – Areas that are densely populated, such as hotels, shopping centres, or universities tend to have complete coverage from artificial lighting. This allows for a constant supply of fast internet access for users as they move through that space. Additionally, because light waves cannot penetrate walls, individual rooms can benefit from having an uninterrupted wireless connection, that isn’t affected by a large number of people competing for internet access at the same time.
  • Localised advertising – Li-fi makes it possible to transmit advertising or promotional information through shop display lighting, allowing for more seamless shopping experiences.
  • Augmented reality – Li-fi can provide localised information within a single light source, which could be useful in museums, galleries, and similar environments, as information about exhibits can be downloaded to the visitor’s device, directly from the light source illuminating the object they are looking at.
  • Underwater communication – Unlike radio waves which are quickly absorbed by water, light can penetrate at much longer distances.
  • Protecting sensitive data – Due to the localised nature of its signal output, Li-fi has the potential to increase security within environments which hold a lot of sensitive or valuable data. Healthcare, for example, is an industry which may benefit from the increased security of Li-fi technology in the near future.

Li-fi may not have gone mainstream yet, but there’s already plenty of businesses looking to this technology as a way of improving day-to-day efficiencies and customer experiences. One such example is the Best Western hotel chain, which put Li-fi front and centre in its ‘hotel rooms of the future’ event.

Speaking after the event, Best Western GB’s CEO Richard Lewis said, “LiFi is the future for the hospitality industry therefore we are delighted to showcase it for the first time”. As owners of hotels, bars, restaurants and other hospitality establishments seek to provide better experiences for their guests, and appease an increasingly mobile-centric population, emerging technologies such as Li-fi will become more and more important.

Whether Li-fi lives up to the hype is yet to be seen, but there’s no denying that this exciting new technology could be a huge game changer in a number of industries, as well as within the home. For more information about Li-fi and its applications check out www.lifi-centre.com.

Introducing Soraa LED lighting

Introducing Soraa LED Lighting

Lyco is delighted to announce the arrival of Soraa, the latest lighting brand to be added to our ever-growing range of LED lighting.

Hailing from California, Soraa is an innovative company that began producing high quality LED lighting in 2013. Brainchild of Nobel Prize Winner, Shuji Nakamura (dubbed the ‘father of modern LED lighting’), Soraa’s lighting solutions leverage science to produce a quality of light that is comparable to natural daylight.

Soraa prides itself on offering LED lamps that provide unprecedented colour performance and beam control in smaller, brighter, and more efficient ways than other bulbs. Soraa LEDs deliver a crisp, efficient beam, with quality distribution and glare control.

Colours are rendered much more vibrantly with Soraa compared to other artificial light sources because its spectrum offering is complete, matching or even exceeding the natural spectrum of daylight, but without any of the harmful ultraviolet radiation and continuous variations that come with natural light sources.

What makes Soraa unlike other LED bulbs?

Colour rendering

Soraa Vivid lamps offer a color rendering index (CRI) of 95 and R9 (deep red rendering) of 95, providing exceptional light emission in parts of the light spectrum that are missing from many first generation, Low CRI LEDs. Many features in our environment, such as faces, food, fabrics, and furnishings, contain complex hues of colour that don’t look quite right unless they are lit with spectrum light containing these essential colours.

Whites

Many conventional LEDs have slightly blue tinge, and as such, are not always able to render white materials completely accurately. As a result, white materials can look off-white or yellow under incandescent and conventional LED lamps, even those with a high CRI. Soraa has engineered its bulbs to render white materials with optical brightness using violet light, rather than harmful ultraviolet light, delivering a bright, white appearance that is optimal for illuminating fabrics, clothing, cosmetics, paper products, and appliances.

Energy efficiency

In addition to their high quality light output, Soraa bulbs make use of modern LED technology, making them an energy efficient choice when compared with traditional incandescent bulbs. Switching to Soraa LED bulbs can therefore lead to significant cost savings over time.

Hassle free dimming

Soraa LED lamps are designed to dim reliably and smoothly and have been tested with a wide variety of leading brand fixtures, dimmers and transformers to ensure full compatibility with most commercial lighting systems.

Minimal spill and crisp shadows

The three core components of directional lighting are the beam, the field, and the spill. Beam and field are considered as genuinely useful lumens while any lumens that fall outside of this quota are referred to as “spill.” Many traditional light sources, particularly halogens, project a significant amount of spill, meaning much of the energy consumed by the bulb is wasted.

Many modern LED designs incorporate accessories such as recessed trims and lenses which help to eliminate this spill. Soraa’s technology takes this a step further by delivering a circular beam, which results in minimal spill, soft transitions, and high centre-to-edge colour consistency.

How Soraa can work for your business

Lighting for museums and art galleries

The vivid colour, white light rendering, and directional beam with crisp shadowing provided by Soraa makes for an ideal light solution in settings where accurate definition is needed, such as illuminating artworks and artifacts in museums and galleries.

Lighting for hospitality

It’s no secret that poor lighting can have an adverse effect on customer experience within the hospitality industry – last year we conducted a survey that revealed nine out of ten consumers would be put off revisiting a bar, restaurant or hotel if the lighting was bad.

Soraa lamps can help alleviate this problem by offering complete control of beam, brightness, colour, and intensity, making it possible for business owners to showcase their venues in the very best light.

Lighting for retail and fashion

Directional display lighting and accurate colour rendering is an essential part of showcasing retail merchandise. The sale of products such as cosmetics, clothing, furnishings, and paints, for example, depend largely on customers’ ability to distinguish fine gradations in colour, which is only truly possible with perfect full spectrum lighting. Other products with optical brighteners, such as paper, appliances, and electronics also depend on perfect spectrum light to bring out their whiteness. Soraa is an ideal lighting solution in retail settings because its beam accurately renders colours and provides crisp shadowing, ideal for providing a clean and inviting display in and around retail environments.

Click here to find out more about Soraa and to see the range of products available from Lyco.