Category Archives: all-time best-seller

How to Program Varilight V-Pro dimmers to Optimize the Performance of Dimmable LED Lighting

Varilight is a very much praised and appreciated brand especially because of its great LED dimmer switches, and recently they put out some videos via their Varilight TV channel on YouTube.

Watch the video below and see the step-by-step instructions for the Varilight V-Pro dimmers – switching between trailing edge and leading edge modes, and then returning to the factory settings.

The Varilight V-Pro dimmers are set to run in trailing-edge mode (MODE 1) by default. This versatile mode is suitable for most types of lighting, including many dimmable LEDs. It is also “gentler” on the load (this is MODE 3). An alternative trailing-edge mode (MODE 3) may improve the performance of some dimmable LEDs and dimmable CFLs.

Some other lighting loads, including some types of LED lights, perform best with leading-edge control. This dimmer can also be set to run in leading edge (see MODE 2).

Changing the driving mode between trailing edge (MODE 1) and leading edge (MODE 2)

  1. Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MAXIMUM brightness setting (turn fully clockwise)
  2. Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses).
  3. Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off.
  4. Step 4. To select MODE 2, turn the know fully anti-clockwise. The lights will flash two times. This will show that the dimmer has been set to MODE 2. The dimmer can now be operated normally in the new mode.

To return the dimmer to MODE 1, follow the same procedure again. The light will flash once. This will show the dimmer has returned to MODE 1.

Changing the driving mode between trailing edge (MODE 1) and alternative trailing edge (MODE 3)

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  1. Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MAXIMUM brightness setting (turn fully clockwise).
  2. Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses).
  3. Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off.
  4. Step 4. To select MODE 3, turn the know fully anti-clockwise then fully clockwise. The lights will flash three times. This will show that the dimmer has been set to MODE 3. The dimmer can now be operated normally in the new mode.

To return the dimmer to MODE 1, follow the same procedure again. The light will flash once. This will show the dimmer has returned to MODE 1.

Adjusting the minimum brightness

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The minimum brightness setting of the Varilight V-Pro dimmer can be adjusted to achieve the optimum dimming range for a particular load. If your lights are flickering when they are dimmed to a low level, you can increase the minimum brightness of the dimmer, which may prevent this from happening.

If the lights are brighter than you would like when the dimmer is set to minimum, you can try reducing the minimum brightness setting of the dimmer.

  1. Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MINIMUM brightness setting (turn fully anti-clockwise).
  2. Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses).
  3. Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off.
  4. Step 4. Turn the knob fully clockwise. As soon as the lights come on, start to adjust the minimum brightness, then leave at the desired level. After 3 seconds, the new setting will be saved.
  5. Step 5. Now continue to use the dimmer as normal, with the new minimum brightness.

Resetting the Varilight V-Pro LED Dimmer

How can we reset the dimmer? The dimmer can be reset to its factory settings, and this will restore the driving mode to trailing edge (MODE 1) and default minimum brightness setting.

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  1. Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MAXIMUM brightness setting (turn fully clockwise).
  2. Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses).
  3. Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off.
  4. Step 4. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses). The light will come ON and dim down to OFF indicating a successful factory reset. Then the light will flash once showing the dimmer has returned to default MODE 1 (trailing edge). The dimmer can now be operated normally in the new mode.

How you can have LED Lighting all Around the House even on a Low Budget!

LED Light Fittings at Sparks - a wide collection of LED lights and LED lamps

The LED lights are no longer merely a fancy light-emitting diodes solution for coloured lighting or indicators on electrical devices and appliances; the LED technology is evolving to the point that today you can safely have LED lights all around the house, and this even with a low budget!

LED Light Fittings at Sparks - a wide collection of LED lights and LED lamps

As seen above, we at Sparks we have a dedicated section that compiles most of the LED lights and LED fittings that we do at the moment, and even at a glance you will be amazed at the wide range of light fittings available that either use or can take LED light bulbs!

LED Lighting All Around the House – even with a Low Budget!

If you are like most of us, you would like to have LED lights (since they are both energy saving and “the new thing”) all around the house, and, if possible, these lights should also be dimmable.

And we know this because MOST of our customers ask us via email, website, phone, chat, twitter, and in person something like this, I want a LED light that is dimmable – do you have any? Of course we do :) and we will continue to bring them in as long as the are high quality, serviceable, replaceable, and with an excellent feedback.

And the greatest thing about the LED lights is that their price is going lower and lower, even though they incorporate the latest LED technology! Here are some of the LED lights you could install all around the house without having to bleed money or have a heart attack when you see the price:

Indoor LED Lighting

The wide range of LED Lights for interior lighting includes LED wall lights, ceiling lights, table lights, undershelf lights, bathroom lights, table lights, bedside lights, etc.

ELAN-LED downlight, dimmable, available in White, Chrome, and NickelFor example, the ELAN-LED range of LED downlights is a great solution for dimmable downlights offering a neutral white or a warm white light and coming in white, chrome, or nickel finish. And if you want to change the bezel of this fitting, you can easily do so with the available brass, black, or chrome bezels available, both in a round and in a square version.

Moving to the pendant lights, the Firstlight 8613 bar pendants and most of the high quality pendants can use a LED light bulb, many of which are also dimmable.

For a nice concealed lighting we would recommend the USLED range of LED undershelf strip lights – nice looking under-shelf strip lights for anywhere in the house (except the bathroom). In the bathroom you can either use some IP44 rated wall or ceiling lights which take LED, and above the mirror the OMLED10 will definitely save you both money and energy.

Do you want to have a bedside table lamp or an LED spot light with a flexible head mounted on the wall by the bed? There’s a wide range of bedroom LED lights, from LED table lamps to children lamps, bedside lamps, reading lamps, etc. You should definitely check out the NX326 Mento LED light.

Outdoor LED Lighting

Outdoor LED flood light in White or BlackSay “good bye” to the high wattage and high energy consumption halogen flood lights and “Hello” to the energy saving LED flood lights!

Whether you want to light up the building facade or make sure unwanted visitors are surprised by the PIR-triggered light beam, the LED flood lights are now more affordable and useful than ever.

For a more concealed lighting and highlighting outdoors you can safely use the many LED strip lights for outdoor. They come in warm white, cool white, or even in RGB color changing if you prefer this, and some of them can be even remotely controlled.

LED outdoor wall light: the Astro Lighting Puzzle LED lightFor a more fancy rectangular wall mounted LED fitting you should take a look at the Astro Lighting Puzzle AX0931 LED light – it will puzzle both you and your guests as you can hardly see where the light source is!

And if you are not convinced yet, we would like to invite you to visit the LED lighting section on our website where you can see more, read more, and choose the best LED light fitting that you need.

If you’re from around London and you would like to see how the LED downlights, wall lights, strip lights, etc look like, you can pay us a visit in Archway at our Lighting Showroom – we’re open daily from 8.00am to 5.00pm, and on Saturday from 8.30am to 2.00pm.

Top 3 LED Ceiling Lights on Stock Clearance at Sparks – Best Bargains!

Illuma Shower Downlight in Chrome with Fire Protection

From time to time we like to let our visitors and customers know of our clearance lines, especially the LED light fittings that are both very popular and are on SALE at the moment.

Out of the hundreds of LED ceiling lights, wall lights, interior or exterior lights, etc we have selected the Top 3 LED ceiling fittings – light fittings from great manufacturers that can use LED lamps or fittings that include the LED lamp in them.

Latina Square Glass Ceiling Light takes LED Lamps
Latina Square Glass Ceiling Light - it can take LED Lamps

Manufactured by Astro Lighting and ideal for interior ceiling lighting, the Latina Square Glass fitting is a 9cm x 9cm recessed fitting with stunning features. You can safely use an LED light bulb with this fitting, and as for the price, you can’t get anything better than that: as low as £3 + VAT per fitting (if you buy over 10). Great as a kitchen light, bathroom light (zone 3 only), office light, corridor light, etc. Search for it on our website for: 5506.

Illuma Shower Downlight in Chrome with Fire Protection

Illuma Shower Downlight in Chrome with Fire Protection

Coming with two interchangeable glass covers, this Illuma Fireseal downlight is fully IP65 rated (can be used in the shower) and fire rated (can be used in a fire rated ceiling, being tested up to 130 minutes). It can use an LED light bulb and is fully dimmable as standard. Ideal for damp and humid environments such as kitchens, bathroom, showers, exterior soffits, etc. Search on our website for: DF1082CH.

Twin LED Adjustable Downlight on Rectangular Bar

Twin LED Adjustable Downlight on a Rectangular Bar

The Astro Lighting Nardo LED downlight is an adjustable fitting with two LED round spots (included) fitted on a brushed aluminium rectangular base. Energy saving fitting (2 x 1W LED spots, cool white) for mounting anywhere in the office or at home, either by itself or in a group of LED downlights. Can be purchased online – search for AX5590 on our website – or you can see it in our showroom in Archway, North London.

If you’re re-thinking your lighting design at home or you’re looking for a cheaper LED downlight, maybe even a fire-rated downlight that can take LED lamps, bookmark this article for further reference – and don’t forget to share it with your friends!

Time to Replace the Old Fluorescent Modular Fittings with the New LED LuxPanel!

Time to Replace the Old Fluorescent Modular Fittings with the New LED LuxPanel!People call them “office ceiling tile lights”, “recessed modular lights”, “modular neon lights”, or even “modular ceilings” / “modular ceiling panels”, but everyone knows what we’re talking about: it’s the square light fittings on the “fake ceiling” in the office.

Most of these fittings are fluorescent, with a long life and energy saving properties, allowing you to change the battens when they run out….Very convenient and yet, as time goes by, the modular ceiling lights are not that nice to stay.

This is why we would recommend you would consider changing these old modular square ceiling lights with the new range of LED panels – more modern, more energy saving, and cost saving at the same time!

Fluorescent Modular Ceiling Lights vs. LuxPanel LED Lights

We have to admit, some of the most popular light fittings we have sold and are currently selling are the fluorescent fittings, and out of these, the modular lights are particularly popular with offices, conference rooms, meeting venues, etc.

Fluorescent Modular Ceiling Lights vs. LuxPanel LED Lights

 

But times are changing and what used to be energy saving one year ago is now becoming more energy consuming than what is now available. As popular and energy efficient as the fluorescent modular luminaires are, the LED LuxPanel modular fittings provide an ideal alternative that is both cost and energy saving!

First of all, the LuxPanel LED modular lights save over 50% of the power (and this is a lot, when it comes to commercial lighting).

Secondly, the air you breathe in the office is at least 25% cleaner since the heat emitted by the LuxPANEL is much lower. This also means that the life of the air conditioning plant is extended, as it is not worked so hard.

Thirdly, there’s absolutely no maintenance (no lamp change), no expensive disposal costs (no harmful materials are used in the LED panel construction), and the productivity of the staff is considerably improved!

Oh, and you yourself will feel better when you work in a pleasant bright environment. It is proven that the LED is a green alternative to the general lighting and to fluorescent fittings in particular, and they have no harmful chemicals (as the fluorescent fittings do) that can contaminate water or the air.

Plug-and-Play Easy Installation is Back

Plug-and-Play Easy Installation is BackWhy do you need to get a driver or a gear tray for the modular fluorescent lights, which need to be mounted and maintained, when you can have a simple plug-and-play installation of the LED Panels? The LuxPanel LED can be mounted either flat on the ceiling or suspended on the “fake ceiling” in the office / commercial environment.

They offer you the bright yet neutral white light needed, and have a standard size of 600 mm x 600 mm. As standard, the LED LuxPANELs are supplied with plug and play remote control gear – you simply need to plug in the panel and it will work!

With a lifetime of 50.000 hours, an extended guarantee of 5 year guarantee (after you register it online here: www.bgelectrical.co.uk/guarantee), and 1 year on-site warranty by the manufacturer, we would say that the LED LuxPanels are the best solution for the office ceiling lighting! Why not replace those old fluorescent modular ceiling lights with the newer and cooler LED square LuxPanels!?!

Further reference: see the complete presentation of this range by BG Electrical, and purchase online the standard LED panel and the emergency LED maintained panel (via Sparks).

Are the Most Expensive Chandeliers also the Best Ones for Your Lighting Needs?

Are the Most Expensive Chandeliers also the Best Ones for Your Lighting Needs? [in the picture: Tiara Pendant Light, one of the best chandeliers at Sparks]We are not called and known as “the Sparks and Lights” showroom simply because “we sell lights”.

Rather, we have been in Archway, North London, for over 20 years now, providing the latest in the lighting design and light fittings, and at the same time offering you the best advice for the light fittings you need either at home, in the office, or for the project you’re working on.

So, we know a thing or two concerning the light fittings. Many times our customers would ask us,

What’s the Best Chandelier You Guys have in Stock?

It is a general question, but the answer is not as easy as you think. We can tell them that a certain crystal chandelier looks great, or a pendant with elegant mother of pearl chips would be nice.

But we first need to know where the chandelier will be installed, what will that room or venue serve as, what kind of lighting you have in the room, what is the design of the room, what is the traffic like for that room, what’s the purpose of the chandelier, what is the room size, what’s the height of the ceiling, etc.

There are many questions which need to be answered before the decision about, The Best Chandelier for Me, can be made. This brings us to our initial question,

Are the Most Expensive Chandeliers the Best Ones?

First of all, yes, the most expensive chandeliers like the Black Umbrella with Gold Interior (introduced here), the Tiara Star Pendant (featured above), the Flos Fucsia 3 Cone Pendant, and other Artemide, Flos, Nemo, and Franklite chandeliers – they all are excellent, with amazing designs and finishes, and they are also manufactured to the highest lighting industry standards.

However, is the most expensive chandelier in a lighting showroom meet the need you have at home? Do you really need the most expensive crystal chandelier in the living room? Do you really need the fanciest chandelier at the office as a centerpiece above the table?

These chandeliers may be the best ones, but you need to consider whether they are the best ones for you, meeting your lighting needs.

Some of the Most Popular Chandeliers and Pendants

This blog post is not meant to discourage you to purchase the fancy chandeliers in our showroom or on our website, but it is only a reminder: make sure you know what type and style of chandelier you need!

You can always pop into our showroom to get more exact advice on this matter, but if you would allow us to suggest you one range of pendants that people prefer, it would be the Balun pendants. In the picture: a wide range of finishes and colors for the Balun Pendants, available at Sparks

You can always pop into our showroom to get more exact advice on this matter, but if you would allow us to suggest you one range of pendants that people prefer, it would be the Balun pendants.

Large umbrella-style hanging lamps coming in different transparent or opaque finishes, the Balun pendants are great especially for companies, offices, waiting rooms, restaurants, modern homes, and other similar settings (read more about the pendants on our blog here, here, and here.

Many of our customers prefer them, and so we would like to recommend them that you would also have a look here to check them out!

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