How to save on lighting

Today it’s a lightly different Ask the Designer post. Last week my dad told me that we should change ALL lighting bulbs to LEDs. Crazy right? I mean why would I want to add another job to my to-do list which is so long I can’t see the end of it. It’s never ending. One job is ticked off and another 5 so how appears. Especially now before Christmas. BUT. When he told me that he runs his living room lighting on 5kW he got my attention. So why now?

I don’t know about you but with the shortest day of the year approaching fast I’ve noticed that we have our lights on from around mid afternoon into late night, if I have to work. So our lights are on for almost half a day. Plus with Christmas on top  we have more lighting  on than usual.

So I’ve teamed up with Tom from Direct Trade Supplies and basically asked him to give me reasons why and how we can all save some money on electricity/lighting and feel good about it all because it’s “eco-friendly” too.

Over to you Tom. I’ll be back at the end of this post with my thoughts so read on.

False economy

With the cost of living pinching people across the board, it’s no wonder that homeowners are trying to find new ways to save a bit of money. Yet lighting is a precarious and sometimes misunderstood subject, there’s this common perception that buying the cheapest light bulbs available is the best way to save you money, which in that instant obviously will do, yet in the long run buying cheap isn’t going to do you favours.

You should always consider the maintenance costs attached to lighting, we’ve all had those moments when you go to turn on the lights and the bulb blows, sometimes even spookily pre-empting it, but if this happens every other week you need to question how these lightbulbs are benefiting your home. You can have the lowest priced light bulbs in the world but if you’re constantly replacing them with new ones, their attractive affordability soon gets dashed.

 Pay more now for less in future

Although initially you may be put off by the higher price tag that comes with midrange to high end bulb types, more often than not it’s these models that turn out to be the most cost effective. This kind of thinking can be applied to most things, if you need to buy paint for the family living room then buying cheap will leave your walls more susceptible to peeling, damage or colour defects; even if it isn’t necessarily noticeable straight after implementing.

If you need a light bulb to power a rarely used outdoor garden toilet, then fair enough a cheap bulb may just do the trick, but lighting up a busy family home or office, where lights are often turned on and off, energy efficient bulbs are definitely the way to go. Energy saving lamps such as LEDs possess a significantly greater lifespan than regular bulbs, the average LED lightbulb contains a lifetime ranging from 10,000 – 20,000 hours, that’s over years worth of power without disruption.

 Less energy is good for the planet

Of course, like Jessie J once said, it ain’t all about the money. It is also the well being of the planet you’ll be improving. Replacing existing halogens and fluorescents with LED lights will help to reduce the energy you use, thus being kinder to our environment.

Various organisations and campaigns have been longing for the mass inclusion of energy saving bulbs, rigorous trials, tests and experiments have proved the significant amount of energy that could be saved by using energy efficient lighting. This means that not only do these products cater for homeowners who want to save a bit of cash but they’ll also positively contribute to the wider picture, a picture that sees the end of energy wasting halogens and fluorescents that damage the earths ozone.

New technology brings better brightness

People may think that using low energy lighting will have a negative effect on the brightness or quality of the light emitted. This really isn’t the case, low energy lights can now replicate and even better the light beams produced by powerful and heavyweight halogen or fluorescent models. What’s more LEDs are also much more flexible in terms of size, colour and adaptability.

LED bulb options


Whether it’s a single bulb with a fixed colour or a selection of multicoloured bulbs that can change their colours, LEDs allow you to get creative and expand your lighting experience. Lighting systems such as rgb strip lights enable users to modify the mood and atmosphere whenever they like, using compatible remote controls to turn up the brightness and adjust the colours. LED striplights are perfect for using in hard to access areas, their slimline construction makes them the perfect asset for fiddly locations.

 Switching to LEDs is easy

Rearranging the way in which you approach your  lighting doesn’t need to be a huge upheaval. All it requires is a simple switch around of bulbs and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards. Applying LEDs will see you maximising the power and life expectancy of your lighting, a desirable trait for any busy household, family or work scenario which is looking to reduce the figure on their electricity bills. Not only is it good for the individual but it has a knock on effect throughout the land, including polar bears on the North Pole and the vital biosphere that surrounds us.

Thanks Tom for this useful information. Seeing it first hand, LED lighting not only gives you nice clear light but also lighting manufacturers are creating beautiful light features as well.

I recently completed a project where I had to consider LEDs lights when designing and buying for the project, as above image. Take a look the products.

 Floor lamp with integrated reading light




Desk lamp





 Table lamp










Ceiling lights

This is a really cool pendant system. We chose 3 pieces and hang them next to each other in the same height but in different directions. This example is more squared than the one we installed but same principle.



How about you? Have you switched to LEDs in your home? If not, would you be considering changing them in near future? Let me know. It’s alway nice to hear from you guys. If you have any questions about LEDs, be sure to contact Tom.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends. The more we spread the word the better!

Karolina Barnes


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