Information - Technical FAQ's
Q. Do I need a special dimmer for halogen light fittings?
A. Electronic low voltage transformers can be dimmed using a regular domestic resistive dimmer switch. Care should be taken however, when selecting a light with a wire or 'torroidal' transformer as these lights can buzz when dimmed.
A. Regulations state there are specific areas where you should use enclosed lights in a bathroom. Different zones, 1 and 2 identify the degree of protection needed within certain areas of a bathroom. Outside of zones 1 and 2, any lighting fitting can be installed. We recommend you check with your electrician first as there can be different interpretations to the regulations.
Q. Can you tell me about low energy lighting regulations?
A. Sure. If you are building a new house or converting a property you are required to fit a number of low energy light fittings. This normally equates to 1 in 4 fittings being low energy. Our sales staff can offer advice on this should you need further information.
Q. I have lots of bayonet low energy lamps at home but am told they are not technically classed as energy efficient, is this right?
A. I’m afraid it is right. Your bulbs are energy efficient. However, if you need to comply with building regulations then a low energy fitting must only accept a ‘dedicated’ fluorescent bulb. The reason for this is that a bayonet LE bulb can easily be changed for a non-LE type.
A. All low energy lights must have a certain level of efficacy, currently 40 lumens per circuit watt. Basically it’s about how efficiently a lamp converts energy to light. Light sources included within this band are fluorescent lights, some LED lighting and cold cathode lighting.
Q. I’ve been told low voltage lights are low energy light sources. Is this correct?
A. No, this is a common misconception. Within the realms of building control, low voltage halogen spots are not classed as low energy.
A. Generally the answer is no, you cannot dim low energy fluorescent lights. Some energy efficient bulbs can be dimmed but they are limited in brightness.
Q. LED lights look really bright when you look at them, does this mean I can use them for general lighting?
A. No. Although LED’s appear bright they currently do not have the power to replace a low voltage or compact fluorescent downlight. LED’s are still best used for effect and localised lighting.