IP44 lighting for outdoors – our top 10
Colour temperature & rendering explained
Colour temperature and colour rendering are terms you’ll see when buying lights, but what exactly do they mean? These specifications will help you choose exactly the lighting you need. They are rooted in physics, but can be simply expressed:
- Colour temperature refers to the overall colour of white light. It tells us whether a lamp or light fitting has a warm bias (i.e. red or yellow) or a cool one (i.e. blue).
- Colour rendering relates to the underlying colours in any light source. White light is a mixture of many colours, which are not individually visible. To accurately show the colour of any object, that colour must be hiding in the light.
A useful example – the sodium street lamp
Have you ever noticed how, under traditional street lighting, it’s near-impossible to see most colours? This is an exaggerated example of poor colour rendering. It means the colour you’re trying to identify is not contained in the light.
The street light—despite its lowly colour performance—still has an overall colour. Its strong yellow hue gives it an estimated 1800K colour temperature (yellower than any household bulb).
Kelvin colour temperatures
Remember that kelvin colour temperatures are counter-intuitive: higher temperatures mean cooler colours (e.g. 2700K is warm and 6500K is cool).
Lighting technologies have specific colour properties, which may help you make good buying choices:
- Incandescent light is always warm in colour temperature (e.g. 2700K) and excellent for colour rendering, containing all colours of the visible spectrum. It is, nonetheless, relatively poor for displaying violet or blue colours, which are muted by its warm bias.
- Halogen light is always warm in colour temperature (e.g. 3000K), and excellent for colour rendering. It is better balanced than incandescent light, with stronger radiation of cooler blue and green colours despite its warm hue.
- Fluorescent lights are made in all colour temperatures, achieved by varied use of phosphors. Colour rendering is inferior to filament lighting. However, the ability to combine cool colour temperatures with high-quality colour rendering allows some fluorescent lamps to imitate daylight. The Sylvania T8 S.A.D. Fluorescent Tube is a great example of this.
- LED lights are also made in various colour temperatures. Again, colour rendering is inferior to filament bulbs, though it is of a high enough standard for most purposes. The best colour rendering in LED technology is prohibitively expensive compared to fluorescent equivalents. Dimmable LEDs have the advantage of maintaining their colour at all brightness levels, which is not true of filament lamps.
Below are two spectral distribution charts. Very simply, you can deduce from the smooth diagonal of the incandescent bulb that its colour rendering is more predictable than fluorescent lighting (LED is similarly disadvantaged). This benefit is offset by the strong red bias, which subdues violet and blue colours and is controllable in modern technologies.
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CRI (colour rendering index) ratings indicate the quality of colour rendering. They measure how accurately a light can render eight colour patches against expected results. The scores represent percentages (e.g. CRI 80 is 80% averaged accuracy). Although this specification is lenient and limited in scope, it gives some indication of quality of light. It says nothing about colour temperature or bias.
It is widely accepted that the human response to warm lighting is relaxation, whereas cooler lighting makes us more alert and focused. Thus, warm lights are used in homes and hospitality settings, whilst cool lights are found in work places and schools.
In the following examples, we’ll demonstrate alternate lighting choices in related applications:
In the dining area of a restaurant, a light such as the Edit Como Glass Pendant is bound to create an impression. Here, you’d want to fit a warm white lamp to emphasise the shade and create a relaxing mood.
Back in the kitchen, cool white LED light panels will help staff to stay focused and alert. Cooler light also appears brighter to humans, and in the case of LEDs is slightly more energy efficient.
In a furniture shop, you’d need warm light to emulate residential lighting. High-quality colour rendering is important to ensure vivid, accurate colours. Try using LED Spot and Track lights to focus lighting at your displays, alongside warm floor lamps to replicate the customers home.
A cool white light might be used in a shop such as a fish mongers. The aim is to emphasise the colour of the product. The Flash recessed display light is a good option in this instance.
Picture lights have improved greatly since the original halogen options. LED fittings are now both better value, but also better for the photo or artwork it is adorning. They give off minimal UV radiation compared to their halogen and incandescent predecessors, therefore they emit no harmful toxins and are safe to use for many years.
For more lighting information, advice and ideas take a look at our Lighting Advice section.
Choosing A Floodlight
Floodlights are useful for many purposes, whether lighting a building, car park, driveway, garden, fountain, patio, tennis court, tree, or yard. They can be used in accent, task, or security lighting. You’ll want to choose the best floodlight for the purpose you have in mind; this article will look at various floodlight specifications and steer you towards the correct choice.
With filament lighting (i.e. incandescent), bulb wattage and the amount of light produced are directly related. LED technology is not like that. Two LED products of equal wattage can emit different amounts of light, depending on energy efficiency. Comparing LED products by actual wattage is therefore meaningless.
Equivalent wattage addresses this problem by translating the amount of light produced by an LED (or fluorescent) product into the wattage of an equivalent filament lamp (in this case halogen). You can use the table below to choose floodlights by their equivalent wattage for various applications.
|Application||Equivalent (standard halogen) wattage|
|Small patio (9m²)||80W|
|Back yard of house||80W|
|Small garden (50m²)||150W|
|Medium patio (25m²)||300W|
|Medium garden (200m²)||500W|
|Large patio (100m²)||500W|
|Industrial loading bay||1000W|
These are estimations only and may not be applicable on every occasion.
One aspect of floodlighting that needs attention is containment of light. If you have neighbours a short distance away, chances are they won’t appreciate their property being blasted by escaped floodlighting.
Most floodlights, as their name suggests, produce a wide beam of light. The beam angles do vary, but you can also control light by ensuring it’s only as powerful as necessary and with careful positioning. The naturally directional output of an LED floodlight helps to cut out stray light.
Choosing a colour temperature
One important specification in floodlighting is its colour temperature. If you’re looking to highlight architecture, warm white floodlights help create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere. They’re ideal for many home or hospitality applications.
A cool white or daylight floodlight is arguably a better choice for security purposes. This is because cool white light appears brighter to our eyes and hence starker and more of a deterrent. This is even more the case when it is suddenly activated by a PIR sensor (see below).
A cooler colour temperature is wise if you’re looking to buy a floodlight for working under. Not only does it look more natural, but it also stimulates alertness and concentration.
You might choose a colour temperature to emphasise garden hues. Cool white is good for water features or silvery metallic surfaces while warm white does well with brick or wooden structures, plants and shrubs. Colourful autumn and winter growth benefits from warm white light.
PIR and dusk to dawn sensors
A PIR sensor triggers light automatically when it senses movement within a given range, making it especially useful in security lighting. The duration of light can often be set by the user.
A dusk to dawn sensor is slightly less economical than a PIR sensor, because it automatically keeps light switched on for the duration of the night. This is useful if you want to create the illusion of a property being occupied and/or to enhance surveillance.
A solar floodlight is costlier than a standard luminaire to buy, but is subsequently free to run. The Suri Solar LED Twin Floodlight with PIR Sensor combines a solar panel with a PIR sensor. It charges by day and delivers up to a 200 lumen output for 10 seconds when movement is detected.
Floodlights brighten up an exterior for aesthetic or security purposes, and they’re available these days with sleeker, more attractive, less conspicuous designs. Check out Lyco’s extensive floodlight range and discover how you and your property or business can benefit.
For more useful information and guidance see our Lighting Advice section.
Coastal lighting – things to remember
Regardless of where you are in Great Britain, you’re never really more than about 70 miles from the sea. The coast plays some part in most of our lives, even if it’s only a place where we occasionally go to relax with family or friends. It’d be a rare British photo album that was bereft of any seaside snaps!
If you are running or opening a business near the sea – perhaps one that caters specifically for the holidaymaker like a B&B or seafront hotel – effective exterior lighting helps create that all-important first impression. But as we’re about to discover, coastal locations present particular challenges for specifiers, designers, or end-users when it comes to choosing suitable materials and products.
Various influencing factors dictate the amount of airborne salt that a coastal property is subjected to. These include topographical features such as beaches and cliffs, land and water temperature differences, wind speeds and direction, sea and surf turbulence, and land projections into the sea. Coastal salt is hygroscopic – it attracts water, thus it easily creates a highly corrosive electrolyte solution that acts as a catalyst to oxidation and rust. This only gets worse as the seasons warm up and humidity rises.
A building that is close to sea water is patently exposed to more salt than one that is several miles inland, whether it’s by direct spray or splashing, although this may be mitigated by a sheltered or calmer location such as a harbour or estuary. Regardless, if you’re within a few miles of the sea you’ll save yourself needless hassle and expense by investing in the right kind of light fitting from the outset.
Material gains – misconceptions and making the right choice
When choosing exterior lights for a coastal property you’d be forgiven for thinking that stainless steel may be a good choice of material. After all, under ordinary circumstances it lives up to its name by not staining or corroding easily. However, stainless steel is manufactured to a variety of tolerances and is graded accordingly; the type of stainless steel you’ll typically find in lighting products is no match for airborne sodium chloride and its high-speed corrosive effects.
Installing standard-grade stainless steel at a coastal location will result in staining and corrosion within a short space of time; even regular marine-grade stainless steel can sometimes be susceptible to corrosion in harsh environments. In any case, marine-grade stainless steels such as types 316 or the more resilient 2205 are prohibitively expensive for the purposes of lighting manufacture, so aren’t typically used.
Brass is another popular choice for outdoor lighting under normal circumstances, but in coastal areas it becomes vulnerable to corrosion by the same path as stainless steel – a process that is accelerated in either of those metals when temperature and humidity levels rise above an optimum salt activation level (10°C and 76% humidity in the case of sodium chloride, which is the predominant chloride in coastal salt). Most types of brass are prone to a process called ‘dezincification’, which increases vulnerability towards corrosion, and excludes it as a suitable and affordable material for coastal lighting products.
Light-fitting materials particularly suitable for coastal areas are:
- Bronze, a copper alloy that oxidizes very superficially to produce a protective layer—the attractive verdigris patina that is often seen in outdoor bronze statues. Be sure to double-check for coastal suitability, as ‘bronze-finish’ lights are unlikely to be resistant to salt corrosion.
- Galvanised steel is coated with a zinc oxide and once exposed produces a protective compound called zinc carbonate, which retards corrosion. Note that products manufactured in galvanised steel are likely to be irregular in texture and finish, which is often considered an inherent part of each item’s unique appeal.
- Copper can be pre-treated to preserve its polished finish or left to its own natural devices to form a weather-resistant patina (copper carbonate). Again, the more natural look is sometimes preferred.
- Polycarbonates are often used in no-nonsense exterior lighting designs, and are an ideal choice for coastal applications where function takes precedence over decorative appearance. Construction is usually extremely tough – resistant to vandalisation as well as the elements.
Maintenance of coastal lights
Whilst polycarbonate products are intrinsically low maintenance, copper and galvanised steel used in a corrosive coastal environment can benefit from a regular dousing with fresh water. General cleaning of a galvanised surface can be carried out with laundry or car wash soaps, taking great care to thoroughly rinse afterwards. Avoid any type of abrasive or mechanical cleaning that is likely to breach the zinc patina of the product, as resulting damage means the coating has to then repair itself, and by digging into its reserve of zinc this reduces the effective lifespan of the fitting. Try to rinse your exterior lights around once a month.
Tried & Tested Bestsellers
To supplement this guide to coastal lighting, please allow us to point you towards a selection of high quality products that are resilient to corrosive sea air!
In terms of galvanised steel lights you might like the Vejers Standard Wall Lamp or perhaps the Dan Outdoor Up & Down Light for garden or paving areas. You’ll note that many of our exterior lights are Scandinavian in origin, the Scandinavians being vastly experienced in lighting design for harsh environments!
We also offer handsome copper lights suitable for coastal locations such as the Blokhus Wall Light. This light comes with a 15-year anti-corrosion guarantee, and as you’d expect offer complete weather-proofing, as evidenced by the IP54 Ingress Protection rating.
Finally, we have an exclusive range of solid brass outdoor wall lights that are coastal resistant and new to our site for 2020. These are amazing value and come with a 5 year guarantee.
Lyco has an extensive range of coastal resistant lights, so whether you run a restaurant or B&B, a hotel or residential home, or any other form of business that happens to be within 10 miles of the sea, you can be sure we have your needs covered!
For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.
Lighting for schools, colleges and universities
When installing school lighting there are many factors to consider. The wellbeing and performance of students and staff are primary concerns, and numerous aspects of lighting are influential in this. Natural window light is encouraged in schools, which has long been known to positively affect mood, energy and concentration.
Colour temperature in artificial lighting has an important role to play, too. A cool white light source makes students more focused and generally improves performance, whilst a warmer light may be useful when engaging young children in calmer activities.
Specific levels of light, or illuminance (measured in lux on the plane surface) are also recommended, usually in accordance with British and European Standard 12464-1 (Lighting of Indoor Work Places). Here are some of the recommended lux levels applicable to schools, listed by application:
- Corridors: 100 lux
- Foyers, entrance halls, canteens: 200 lux
- Libraries, sports halls, gymnasiums, lecture theatres, classrooms, computer rooms: 300 lux
- Laboratories, kitchens: 500 lux
- Technical drawing room: 750 lux
Standards and regulations
Aside from the above-mentioned British and European Standard 12464-1, regulations relating to school lighting include the following:
- Education (School Premises) (England) Regulations 2012: Regulation 8
- The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010: Regulation 23E
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992: Regulation 8
Lighting requirements: area by area
Lighting requirements in schools, colleges and universities are diverse. Let’s look at some of the key objectives to consider when lighting specific areas of an education premises:
Areas of transition between outdoors and indoors are potentially hazardous. It takes time for our eyes to adjust to different strengths of light. For this reason, entrance halls are required to be brighter than corridors.
The Perform LED Batten produces a powerful output of light and boast a phenomenal 35,000 hour lifespan and use significantly less energy than T8 or T12 fluorescent tubes.
Corridors and staircases
The main objective here is safe flow of traffic, bearing in mind that corridors and staircases will also be part of an emergency escape route. The Integral 12W Cool White LED Emergency Slimline Flush Light with Microwave Sensor detects movement using a microwave sensor, which can see through lighting enclosures as well as glass-windowed doors.
The Integrel Flush Light can be used at the ends of corridors, and wired to trigger several lights in a slave circuit when a corridor is approached. As an emergency light, it also provides up to three hours of battery backup operation during a power failure.
For escape route purposes there’s the Eterna LED Emergency Bulkhead. This comes with a customisable legend set and can be used in corridors, stairwells, and even on the exterior of a building thanks to its IP65-rated dust and water protection.
Classrooms require a uniform distribution of light, avoiding harsh shadows or excessive modelling. An illuminance of 300 lux is suitable for general tasks among younger students, whilst a higher 500 lux measurement is ideal for detail activities or for older students in adult education classes.
An LED Light Panel is an extremely clean, flush-fitting installation that will not harbour dust, dead bugs or bacteria. Unlike recessed fluorescent fittings, an LED panel does not lose any of its light in an elaborate system of louvres and reflectors. It is naturally directional, which makes for extremely efficient light output (light fitting efficiency is measured as LOR, or Light Output Ratio).
Laboratory lighting has to be robust, IP-rated for resistance to chemical splashes, and needs to deliver a smooth, glare-free light. Lyco offers both IP44 and IP65 rated LED Panels.
Dining areas need to be relatively well lit, with brighter lighting than adjacent circulation areas. Choice of lighting will depend on structure, available window light, and ceiling height. Large pendants are sometimes used in dining halls, whilst recessed LED downlights or panels provide a tidy solution for lower-ceilinged modern canteens.
For professional lighting applications, the Luceco Eco 5W Dimmable Warm White LED Fire Rated Downlight offers great value for money. This 50W equivalent warm white LED fire-rated downlight is certified with an IP65 rating, making it ideal for bathroom and washrooms, including above a shower. It complies with the latest regulations being fire resistant, and is supplied with a 3 year guarantee.
Outside an educational facility, safe orientation must be enabled at all times. This includes clear visibility around pathways and entrances, and in adjoining school areas such as playgrounds, bike sheds and car parks.
A weatherproof floodlight with built in PIR sensor is perfect for these purposes. The PIR sensor triggers light when movement is detected.In a lot of fittings PIR sensor can be overridden if required for continuous illumination. These fittings also make an effective security light, acting as a deterrent to intruders with its bright output of cool white light.
Converting to LED
Lighting usually accounts for at least 25-30% of a school’s energy bills, so it’s little wonder that many are looking for more energy-efficient solutions. Lighting schemes that are 10-20 years old are greatly outmoded in terms of economy and performance.
By replacing an old fluorescent system with modern LED lighting, up to 60-70% savings can be made on energy bills. LED is up to 90% more energy efficient than incandescent light sources. Maintenance costs are also slashed, and interruption to classes through lamp-changing virtually eliminated.
An LED conversion will reduce your school’s carbon footprint and save substantially on energy bills. Initial investment is invariably returned within a few months.
Lyco has helped some of the UK’s largest companies switch to LED lighting and can help you upgrade in many ways, from offering a no-obligation free survey through to full installation and ongoing support. To find out how your school lighting can be transformed, contact Lyco today!
For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.
CFL Bulbs – a handy guide
A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) is a slim fluorescent tube folded or twisted into a small size. This type of bulb first emerged in the 1980s, but never sold in the desired numbers. Since then, the appearance of CFLs and their quality of light have been greatly improved.
Advantages to CFL
LED technology is better in some respects than fluorescent, but both offer major advantages over filament lighting. Here are some CFL benefits:
- A CFL uses about 70% less energy than an equivalent halogen bulb and is often close to LED technology for efficiency.
- A CFL emits light in all directions, so it is a natural replacement for incandescent lighting. (Tip: always check the size of a CFL against your light fitting before buying, as the bulbs tend to be a bit larger than originals.)
- The lifespan of a CFL is usually between 8,000 and 20,000 hours, which is 8 to 20 times longer than most traditional incandescent bulbs.
- CFLs are still cheaper, on average, than LED bulbs. They needn’t cost much more than halogen when sourced from a specialist seller such as Lyco.
- CFLs emit a soft light that flatters nearby decor.
The main drawbacks of a CFL are lack of dimmability and the warm-up time needed to reach full power.
CFL examples: lamp types
The various CFLs available include the following:
- A 2D lamp produces lots of light for slim fittings such as bulkheads. Note that 4-pin CFLs are usually dimmable, which is rare in CFLs (requires dimmable control gear in the fitting).
- Pin-fitting CFLs are used in dedicated low-energy fittings. Just to confuse you, these bulbs are named differently according to brand. If you’re looking for a specific pinned CFL and have a code, find it quickly with our handy CFL code look-up chart.
- Spirals and sticks have standard bayonet or screw-fit bases. Their look takes some getting used to, but is often hidden anyway by shades. Decorative bulbs are designed to be seen and is a popular choice in hospitality settings and homes.
- GLS bulbs are available in CFL form, and they make a good replacement for incandescent bulbs with their bright, omnidirectional light. Our Low Energy GLS Bulbs last 5 times longer than most original filament bulbs while costing only a little more.
- CFL candles tend to be slightly larger than other types of candles and don’t have a clear finish (sometimes preferred for decorative fittings). They do emit a soft light with little glare, however, which makes them ideal for eye-level fittings as well as some ceiling lights.
- Golf balls and globes are both sold in CFL form. A CFL like the Low Energy Globe is usually used in open ceiling lights and emits enough light for a large room.
- CFL reflectors replace the incandescent reflectors often used in ceiling lights. Like the originals, their reflective interior coating gathers light and creates a spotlighting effect. Unlike the originals, they are energy efficient.
Feel free to browse our full range of energy saving CFL bulbs.
For more advice and guidance take a look at our Lighting Advice section.
Display lighting – professional show-offs
Display lighting is designed not to draw attention to itself, but to show off things like artworks, museum exhibits, shop merchandise, theatre stages or trophy displays. Whatever your business entails, professional display lighting will get you noticed.
Here are just some of the display lighting possibilities available from Lyco:
Surface Mounted V Recessed
Display lighting comes in surface-mounted or recessed forms. The former is easy to install and easy to move if you need to change exhibits. For discreet, modern lighting that blends smoothly into the decor, recessed fittings fit the bill.
Spotlight fittings are common in display lighting. Many are fixed in position, which is okay in some cases, but what if your display often alters? Track lighting lets you move spotlight heads along a track so you can place light anywhere in a room.
Even more versatile is a 3-circuit track lighting scheme, which gives control over three sets of lights in the same installation. You can switch or dim each of the three lighting groups to suit your needs using triple wall switches (dimming requires compatibility in the spotlight heads). This is not possible with standard track lighting, where all lights are controlled by a single switch.
An alternative to track lighting is wire lights. These are particularly useful on uneven or beamed ceilings and make a stylish choice in their own right. With wire lights, small LED or halogen 12V spotlights are suspended on a double wire that stretches across the room.
Pictures are found almost everywhere, whether in homes, hotels, museums, offices or restaurants. Doctors and dentists hang relaxing images in waiting rooms. Many of these applications benefit from picture lights, which draw attention to the art and help create mood.
LED technology is useful in picture lights because, unlike halogen, it does not project IR heat and comes in a choice of colour temperatures. You can choose a colour of white that enhances the picture. Warm white flatters skin tones in a portrait, for instance.
Suitable for a variety of purposes are LED Flexi-strips. The easy-to-install strips can be fitted along shelves, under kitchen cabinets or inside display cabinets. Normally, you won’t see the discreetly installed strips; only their eye-catching effect is visible.
Lighting an object from beneath creates a dramatic effect. Outdoors, Floodlights are used in this way to light tall trees. Inside, Uplighters are ideal for showing off sculpture, houseplants or other features.
Our full range of Retail Display Lighting may be of interest to you.
Looking for more inspiration, news and information? Check out our Lighting Advice section.
Corridor lighting – fabulous but forgotten
In many buildings, corridor lighting is outdated, inefficient and ripe for an overhaul. Modern LED and fluorescent fittings use much less energy than older lights and are often paired with movement sensors or dimmer switches for even greater savings.
The way you choose to light a corridor will depend on the type of building. Chaotic settings such as schools need practical fittings, but a hotel can afford to be more aesthetic.
Schools, hospitals, care homes, sports centres
In busy buildings, corridor lighting has to be tough. Lyco sell a wide range of LED panels, which usually slot into existing ceiling voids to replace fluorescent lights. Many panels can also be surface mounted using available kits. Special diffusers are included in these fittings to achieve an even, wide spread of light. You’ll normally want to select a cool white light for work or study locations.
Hotels, restaurants, spas
Hospitality premises don’t need the same robust corridor lighting that’s used elsewhere. However, low-profile or recessed fittings maximise space and do reduce the chance of damage. For discreet, modern lighting.
In corridors that are rarely occupied, movement sensors save money. The sensor (also called an occupancy sensor) triggers light when it detects movement. A microwave movement sensor sees through doors and thin walls, so it can switch on light as the corridor is approached.
Hotel corridors often include floor lamps, table lamps, picture lights and wall lights. Niches or corners are good places to put floor or table lamps, along with suitable furniture or furnishings.
In most buildings, corridors form part of an emergency escape route. That being the case, by law they have to include emergency light fittings. There are two main types:
- A maintained emergency fitting is used as a regular light, but stays switched on in the event of a power cut.
- A non-maintained fitting is kept switched off and only activates during a power cut.
For expert advice about emergency lighting, we recommend a visit to the ICEL website.
Colour, light & space
Light and colour affects the way a corridor is seen. Pale walls and bright light give a greater feeling of space.
Corridors are in-between areas, but the journey from A to B never has to be dull or unpleasant. In fact, it offers the chance to show off attention to detail.
For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.
Daylight Tubes Explained
Daylight tubes are fluorescent lamps that emit light with a natural daylight colour. Daylight seems neutral to our eyes, especially in the middle of the day, but in fact it’s a cool bluish white. It has a colour temperature of between 5000K and 6500K. The higher the figure along the kelvin (K) scale, the cooler or bluer the light is. Most daylight bulbs and tubes are rated at around 6500K.
A chief benefit of using daylight tubes is that the light looks brighter and more natural than other artificial lighting and is less likely to cause eyestrain. Cool white light also increases alertness and concentration, making it ideal for offices and schools. It’s a good choice for high productivity and exam success. You’ll find it in city cafés, too, where fast customer turnaround is needed.
An example of how light colour affects us is seen in a computer screen. This is effectively a 6500K light that upsets sleep patterns if used late at night. The reason we have warmer lights in the home, generally, is that they help us unwind at the end of each day. Daylight is for our busier times.
Daylight tubes v SAD tubes
You can think of SAD tubes as enhanced daylight tubes. They’re used to help or prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder: a form of depression caused by lack of exposure to daylight.
Like regular daylight tubes, SAD tubes emit a daylight coloured light, but they are more consistent at bringing out natural colours in surrounding items. This superior colour rendering also makes them useful in settings such as art studios, photo labs or print shops.
The most popular fluorescent tube sizes are the T5 and T8. The ‘T’ tells you the lamp is tubular, and the digit indicates the tube’s width in eighths of an inch (e.g. the T8 has a 1” diameter).
Fluorescent tubes generally increase in energy efficiency the thinner they get, to the extent that some compete with LED technology. You can see that in the G.E. 28W High Efficiency T5 Daylight Tube, which produces an impressive 87.5 lumens of light per watt.
T8 tubes are popular partly because they replace phased-out T12 tubes in older fittings. The two use identical caps for connection. To extract the best possible performance and lifespan from a T8 tube, modern high-frequency (HF) fittings are recommended.
Poor lighting is dismal in a home and creates a downcast mood in a workplace. Daylight tubes or SAD tubes produce lots of natural-looking light for work or pastimes and will put you in a better place. They’re also cheap to buy and run.
Why not take a look at our current range of daylight tubes.
For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.