Health and Safety at work guide

“Health and Safety” – words guaranteed to generate a collective groan wherever a group of business owners or managers are gathered together. Having said that, work safety is important to everyone, whatever their role in a business. When an accident does occur, it matters to the employee who gets injured, obviously, but for you the employer it’s bad news too, as important contracts may not be fulfilled due to employee absence. Health and Safety products help businesses to operate as they should.

Duty of Care

An employer’s work safety “Duty of Care”, applies regardless of outside influences such as the weather. Our old friend, the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act of 1974, requires that you carry out a Health and Safety Assessment and that needs to take into account any effect that adverse weather conditions may have on work safety or indeed the safety of anyone who comes on to your premises. Remember that “Etc” tagged on the end of the Act’s title? It means it covers people who are not actually at work, such as customers.

Employees also have a duty of care that they should be aware of – for their own and their colleagues’ work safety. That should be covered in the training they initially receive about how to carry out their jobs safely and effectively.

Smoke, Fire, Exit!

Your Health & Safety Assessment may well indicate situations where you need to provide specific items of equipment in order to fulfil your work safety obligations. This is where Lyco can help. Experience shows that the most popular items by far, are Kidde smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and Health and Safety signs (including emergency exit signs). You may need “No Smoking” signs to help prevent fire starting or signs to indicate designated Smoking Areas if you have any.

Safety under foot

Grit boxes may be needed so that you are prepared when adverse weather strikes and walkways etc. are ice-bound. Keep the boxes filled up with Lyco’s thaw granules. They become very popular each winter. If, despite all your best efforts, someone does have an accident, you’ll really need that First Aid Kit that you bought just to comply with the law!

Shut that door!

Lyco can supply all of these and more. For instance, fire doors need fittings and equipment to make them effective when there is a fire and to enable you to live with them when there is not. Straightforward door closers, or more sophisticated devices such as Dorgard and freedor, can all be found on Lyco.co.uk.

The Dorgard, a simple fire door retainer which holds the fire door open in normal circumstances to allow free passage but which automatically releases the door to close when the fire alarm sounds. It can even be set to release automatically at night. This one device helps with compliance with both disabled access requirements and fire safety and is approved by fire authorities.

If you need a closer for something a bit more heavyweight – then the Ryobi Large External Door Closer merits serious consideration. As its title suggests, made by leading manufacturer Ryobi , it’s perfect for heavy doors and for fire doors that need to be kept closed except for passage through. It’s an extremely robust unit and as such it is very popular for use in situations where doors suffer rough treatment such as schools and other public buildings.

Lyco can help

Whatever your particular work safety issue may be, if it needs a particular product or piece of equipment to resolve it, you can bet that Lyco will be able to help. In this day and age everyone has to take work safety seriously. Most people actually want to!

Why not take a look at our full range of Health & Safety Equipment?

Looking for more news, inspiration and advice? Try our Lighting Advice section.

Energy Saving GLS – Traditional Bulb Replacement

The traditional light bulb that has been such a familiar part of our lives for generations is soon to be no more, replaced by Energy Saving GLS Light Bulbs. Before long the incandescent lamp will be just another relic of the past. Already the sale or importation of pearl or frosted bulbs is prohibited throughout the EU although existing stocks can still be sold. Those stocks have already dwindled to the extent that it is now virtually impossible to source such bulbs.

Replacing old friends

It is all in the interest of reducing our carbon footprint by means of energy saving and the new bulbs that have taken the place of our old friends are all energy saving in one form or another. When energy saving GLS light bulbs first appeared in the shops many people were put off first by their appearance which was radically different to what we were all used to and then by apparently inferior performance in terms of light produced for a given wattage.

Things have moved on since then. Manufacturers soon realised that sticks and spirals were not to everyone’s taste so alongside these shapes which so proudly proclaim their up to the minute nature they produced energy saving GLS light bulbs that look quite similar to the more familiar incandescent bulbs. They fit in existing fittings so much better too and perform much more like the old bulbs. Now you don’t have to worry. When the last of your stock of traditional bulbs finally expires you will be able to replace it with a new energy saving lamp such as a low energy GLS from Lyco that will not only use as much as 79% less electricity and save you money that way but will also last at least eight times longer than the old type and save you even more even though it costs more to buy in the first place.

What’s in a name

In case anyone is wondering, the term ‘GLS’ simply stands for ‘General Lighting Service’ and refers to the kind of bulb to be found in any household and ‘Energy Saving GLS’ is the same thing but in an energy saving form. The standard energy saving GLS light bulbs already mentioned work on the same principle as a fluorescent light tube which is why the earlier designs look rather like a small tube doubled over or a group of straight tubes.

You can have energy saving with brighter light by using Energy Saving Halogen GLS bulbs as a direct replacement for your old incandescent bulbs. These work by heating Halogen gas inside them just like your car headlamp bulbs. You get the energy saving of Halogen bulbs, about 30%, at a price much closer to that of the traditional bulbs and you still get twice the life of an incandescent lamp, at 2000 hours. You’re saving money again as well as helping the environment. A great example of these are Osram Energy Saving Halogen Bulbs.

Switching problems overcome

Dusk to dawn sensors, time switches and dimmer switches have always been a problem for Energy Saving GLS Light Bulbs but Lyco have the answer in Phillips Dimmable Master LED GLS. These bulbs are more expensive again but they come with a 3 year guarantee and give a colossal saving in energy consumption of 80%! LED Energy Saving GLS Light Bulbs work on an entirely different principle to any of the others. They contain a light emitting diode, an electronic device that produces a lot of light for a very small amount of electricity. It is the most efficient method yet discovered of converting electrical energy into light energy.

Do yourself a favour!

For long term savings it would be well worth while for any householder to replace all the old incandescent bulbs in the house with the appropriate Energy Saving GLS Light Bulbs rather than waiting for the old bulbs to go ‘pop’. If you want to do the planet a favour and save money at the same time it’s worth thinking about right now.

Take a look at our full range of Energy Saving GLS Bulbs.

Looking for more news, inspiration and advice? Try our Lighting Advice section.

Emergency Lighting – Helping you get out – FAST

Emergency lighting is a crucial element in the rapid evacuation of any kind of building in an emergency situation. No matter how large and unobstructed the emergency exits, or how well thought out the emergency evacuation procedures may be, if the building is suddenly plunged into darkness, escaping becomes near impossible. Exits cannot be located, best laid plans collapse, the exits are rendered useless and wholesale panic ensues. It’s a fair bet that more fatalities will occur because of that than because of the original emergency.

In these situations light is life! Fortunately we live in a time and place where the law of the land does not allow us to turn an emergency into a total disaster in this manner. Any establishment that welcomes the general public in through its doors is required by law to provide adequate means of getting them out again quickly in any emergency, including the provision of adequate emergency lighting.

It’s more than mere compliance

If all you want to do is comply with the regulations in the cheapest way possible then emergency lighting can be provided in the most basic form. However the kind of premises that are under an obligation to provide emergency lighting are frequently those whose patrons expect them to offer a stylish ambience rather than the most basic facilities.

That being the case you probably go to considerable trouble and expense to provide an elegant and sophisticated venue. Crudely designed basic emergency lighting will rather detract from that impression of suave sophistication and there is no need to put up with that.

Eye catching save lives

Modern, well designed emergency lighting is eye-catching without being intrusive. People should notice it as a reassuring indication that the place is well managed without feeling intimidated by it.

Some excellent examples of tastefully designed and effective emergency lighting can be found on here on Lyco. An emergency LED bulkhead light is a neat rectangular unit with legend boards indicating route to safety, whilst this emergency sign box incorporates a 4 Watt LED to perform a similar function.

Signs like these that show the way to get out and remain illuminated when the power fails are vital but you need lights in the area where the customers are gathered that also stay on or come on when the electricity supply goes down. Likewise any passageways leading to safety will need to remain illuminated at least until everyone is out of the building. Several of Lyco’s emergency lighting products are ideally suited to these situations. The 3W LED compact emergency downlight in a white finish is one such product. Only 40mm in diameter it fits unobtrusively in the ceiling gently glowing green when all is well and providing a bright white light if the mains power fails.

If you already have low energy or low voltage down lights installed, the Low Voltage Halogen to Emergency Downlight Kit might be just the thing for you. It converts low energy mains or low voltage downlights into emergency lighting and there is also an LED option available.

The lighting that a venue has to have in place to ensure compliance with the law and to help save lives in an emergency doesn’t need to be purely functional. The aesthetic appeal of the place can be enhanced by installing good looking emergency lighting.

Take a look at Lyco’s full range of Emergency Lighting

Looking for more information / inspiration? Check out our Lighting Advice section.

Modern chandeliers – when to use one

Modern chandeliers are simply an updated version of a type of light fitting that has been popular for centuries. They owe their name to their original purpose which was to hold candles. Back in medieval times or even earlier, houses usually consisted of one large covered space used by the whole household for everything, eating, sleeping, and all the usual domestic activities. Indeed in larger houses several families might well have occupied one “Great Hall”. After dark, one candle wasn’t much use in such a hall but people found that by fastening two pieces of wood together in the form of a cross with an upward pointing spike on the end of each cross-piece, sticking candles on each spike, no doubt the original “four candles,” and hoisting the whole assembly above the heads of the people they got much more light.

History of chandeliers

Over the centuries chandeliers became more and more elaborate with the number of candles increasing and decorative crystal droplets being added to reflect and refract light adding to the overall effect. Then came electricity and the modern chandeliers we know today took the place of candle lit fittings. Chandeliers probably reached the peak of their popularity in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries when the great houses enjoyed their heyday.

Since then their popularity has continued despite the decline in the fortunes of the great houses. There may be fewer of the classic mansions of the rich and famous with their huge rooms but today’s modern chandeliers have found other markets. Large hotels and places of entertainment with their large reception rooms and ballrooms are ideal situations for large and elaborate chandeliers. Electric lights don’t leave sooty deposits so that modern chandeliers are much easier to keep clean than their candle-lit forebears. In fact, now that hotels and other public buildings are all no –smoking areas, annual cleaning is usually sufficient. Maintenance really amounts to just that and replacing the occasional expired bulb. Even that is needed less frequently if, as highly recommended, low energy or LED bulbs are used to save on energy costs and improve green credentials.

Chandelier placement

Install modern chandeliers in large public rooms and areas where normal ceiling lights just don’t cut it! Chandeliers will give such rooms that look of luxury and opulence that makes the premises stand out from the crowd and at relatively modest cost too! That touch of flamboyance works particularly well when the building is a re-furbished old mansion. You need classic lighting for classic rooms and the subtle touch of glass in a chandelier gives exactly that. If you happen to have the task of fitting out a luxury liner then really nothing else will do for the classy restaurants, lounges and ballrooms.

Contemporary chandeliers

Lyco Direct is where you’ll find the modern chandeliers you need to make that big bold statement with your new lighting. There you’ll find chandeliers ranging in size from the 8 arm Poesy at ¾ metre diameter down to the more compact but no less elegant Charleston 3 Light Chandelier” Charleston 3 light chandelier at just 380mm diameter, less than ½ a metre.  That means that modern chandeliers are no longer exclusively suitable for large public rooms and the mansions of megastars and footballers!

The more compact designs are ideal for the lounge of a normal house. You too can make that bold statement without going over the top. So if a simple ceiling lamp doesn’t provide quite the effect you want have a good look at modern chandeliers. They’ll do the trick every time!

Take a look at Lyco’s range of Modern Chandeliers

Looking for more information / inspiration? Check out our Lighting Advice section

Commercial Lighting Explored

Commercial lighting in the 21st Century is a far cry from the hanging bulbs with enamel coolie hat shades or the cold harsh glare from fluorescent tubes of yesteryear. Now the choice of commercial light fittings available is almost unlimited. In this feature we look at some of the best commercial lighting options available, with a big focus fluorescent based lighting options.

Release your inner designer

Lighting has become an essential part of the designer’s toolkit, particularly commercial lighting because in many ways it is commercial buildings that present the greatest challenges to the designer’s skills whilst at the same time providing him or her with the greatest scope. Skilful use of light and shade are recognised as being of the utmost importance in creating an environment that is not only practical and efficient as a workplace but also a pleasant and comfortable place to be in.

The “Designer,” in this context may be a shop fitter or an electrician whose customer relies on them to advise on the most suitable commercial light fittings to use in particular situations. Their knowledge and experience of commercial lighting enables them to do so.

Size efficient batten lighting

Fluorescent battens may be the most appropriate for general illumination, such as the Lyco Undergraduate range of High Frequency luminaires . These offer increased efficiency with long life due to their sturdy construction. Prismatic diffusers not only provide a more even spread of light but also protect the tubes from dust and damage. Being so robust these luminaires are easy to handle and transport, making the contractor’s life a little less stressful!

Smaller and softer lighting

Much of the art in commercial lighting lies in selecting just the right luminaires for a particular area. While the Undergraduate range may be ideal for larger areas, in smaller spaces  ASD Lighting’s Profile Ceiling Light may be more appropriate with the added advantage of being suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Recessed commercial lighting

Luminaires flush with the ceiling have great appeal and there the fluorescent fitting leads the field. That’s particularly efficient in the High Frequency models with their flicker-free light, low heat output and silent operation.

All the benefits of High Frequency come with Lyco’s fluorescent batens. Commercial light fittings are available in such an incredible variety of models that the list seems endless but we must just mention Low Energy Wall Light or ceiling light if preferred. Its lovely glow effect is due to its double D low energy bulb and opal glass diffuser and so economical in operation too!

Commercial lighting lamps

This vast range of commercial light fittings needs a correspondingly extensive array of lamps to choose from. The leading types used in commercial lighting include fluorescent tubes T12, T8 and T5, in lengths to suit, usually between 2 feet and 6 feet, Double D and 2D lamps for round or rectangular fittings and GU10 and MR16 lamps for individual spots. GLS lamps and candle bulbs are ideal for decorative light fittings.

Obviously no shop fitter, electrician or other business owner can carry all this information around in their head. That’s what commercial lighting specialists, Lyco, are for. Your contractor can present them with the most unusual specifications and come away with exactly the right commercial light fittings for the particular project.

If this subject interests you why not take a more in-depth look at our Commercial Light Fittings.

Looking for more lighting news, inspiration and information? Check out our Lighting Advice section.