You may have noticed that the energy efficiency label on the packaging of LED lamps has changed, and some LED lamps now have a rating of E; do not be alarmed, they are still energy efficient! The reason the energy labels look different is that the rating system has changed in Europe and in the UK, and this blog post tells you everything about the new energy efficiency labels for LED lamps. Some customers were quite intrigued to purchase a 5W or 6W LED lamp and find out that the energy efficiency label says it is E or D. We had quite a few calls and emails from customers concerning this, so we thought we should explain to the best of our ability what all this means. How come an A+++ energy-rated LED lamp is now a D energy-rated lamp? Read below to find out more concerningThe new rules for energy labels for lighting products.The old energy label vs the new energy labelThe new energy efficiency requirementsThe contents of the Light Products New Energy LabelHow to Read the Packaging for a LED LampNew Energy Efficiency Label - FAQConclusion and Further ReferencesWhat are the New Rules for Energy Labels for LightingThe reason there are no more A++, A+, etc is that there are some alterations to the rules for energy efficiency labels. These were triggered by the new EU 2019/2020 Single Lighting Regulation (SLR, laying down ecodesign requirements for light sources and separate control gear) and the new EU 2019/2015 Energy Label Regulation (ELR, laying down energy labelling requirements of light sources). The SLR replaces and repeals three regulations: (EC) No 244/2009, (EC) No 245/2009 and (EU) No 1194/2012, giving a single point of reference for compliance, and it defines in new terms the light sources covered under the regulation and separate control gear. By light sources, we mean anything that emits light such as LED lamps, LED modules, LED luminaires, etc. These new and more stringent minimum efficacy thresholds on light sources and separate control gear push the lighting industry forward to innovate and improve energy efficiency beyond existing technology. Furthermore, they encourage design for a circular economy, reducing refuse and increasing reuse. Products now need to be designed to be more reliable, even upgradable, and the "right to repair" is now enabled; furthermore, they need to contain more recyclable material and be easier to dismantle. All these are good both for consumers and for the earth, for less waste will end up in a landfill. The ELR replaces and repeals two regulations: (EC) No 874/2012 and (EC) No 2017/1369. It defines the new energy labelling requires for packaging, sales literature, websites, and distance selling. All products requiring energy labels will need to be registered into the EPRLEL database, and a QR code that links to the technical product info is mandatory. In the UK, these rules were incorporated into the UK law under The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021 2021 No. 1095. According to Integral LED, one of our lighting suppliers, "These are new European Commission regulations which were ratified and published in December 2019. Since the UK has left the European Union, it decided to replicate the technical requirements and combine them into one UK regulation known as a Statutory Instrument. In practical terms, this means the new lighting regulations will apply to EU member states and the UK in a near identical fashion – only specific regulatory markings are likely to vary, for example, CE/UKCA and EU/GB flags on point of sale energy labels."The Old Energy Label and the New Energy Label: what's the DifferenceIt is not just the label that changed but the energy rating has also changed. The old ratings lost clarity as the efficiency essential to the previous regulation had maxed out. There were products rated A, A+, or A++, while the E and F ratings had become redundant. There was a need for better energy ratings to make things more clear and improve the understanding of the energy rating classifications. Here is what the old EU Energy Label used to look like, with a rainbow colour scale going from Green to Red, and a lettering scale from A+++ to E. Here is what the new EU and UK energy labels look like; the revised scale is still green to red in colour, but the lettering scale is from A to G, with more energy efficiency needed to achieve these levels. Just as a quick reference, many lighting products that were rated A++ in the old energy label will now be rated C or D in the new energy label. See here some of the newest LED lamps with the best energy label rating. The New Energy Efficiency RequirementsJust as a comparison, what used to be 120lm/W in the A++ class before 2021, now it is class E in the new energy efficiency requirements.The reason lighting products have lower ratings now on their new label is not that they are less efficient; rather, they consume the same amount of power as they always have, but now their energy efficiency has been lowered. The old energy ratings A+, A++, and A+++ no longer exist; the new scale is from A to G, and B and C ratings are the best in class, the most energy-efficient lights. Unfortunately, there's no way to compare the old label with the new one due to the new energy efficiency requirements. Full explanations and details regarding the Energy Label can be found via this website, and there's a PDF that can help you understand more concerning the label. The focus has shifted from Watt to Lumen; yes, wattage is important, but more light output is appreciated. For example, a 20W halogen spot is equivalent to 190lm LED 12V and 110lm LED 230V, while a 15W incandescent bulb is equivalent to 140lm LED and 130lm energy-saving bulbs. The contents of the Light Products New Energy LabelAccording to the new rules, the new energy labels need to contain certain items, such asThe supplier's name and model number. This refers to the manufacturer's name and the model number of the LED lamp. Energy Rating: the new energy rating on a scale from A to G. Power Consumption: the number of kWh/1000h consumed by the LED lamp; it is rounded up to the next single watt. QR code: QR code to access the detailed product information sheet registered in the European Commission's EPREL database.A wide range of Integral LED lamps can be found on our website, and there are many LED lamps with high efficiency available via LED Light bulbs.How to Read the Packaging for a LED LampOn light products' packaging, you can now find a lot of useful information by reading its label. The new rules are being applied from the 1st of October 2021, and the lighting manufacturers need to indicate either by icons or text concerning the following features:Energy label: The light sources energy consumption in kWh per 1000hWattage: the on-mode power for the light source in WLuminous Flux (lm): indicating how much light the light source emits. A high Lumen value means a more distinguished light. Kelvin (K): is a colour temperature scale used to indicate how warm or cold the light output is perceived. Outdoor use: it indicates whether the light source can be used outdoor - this has to be on the packaging. Beam angle: the angle of the light output in degrees or the range of light output angle.Dimming: the dimming icon indicates whether the light source is dimmable or not. Lifetime: it indicates the light source's lifetime in hours from the start of use until the light output has degraded to less than 70% of the original output. Ra-value (Colour rendering index, CRI): the Ra-value indicates the light source's ability to reproduce a lifelike colour; daylight, for example, has a Ra-value of 100. Here is a list of LED lamps with CRI 80.QR Code: Further product information will be available to consumers via the new QR Code included in the labels. The product manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the QR code links to a relevant information source, this could be for example the new EU product database or their own website. New Energy Efficiency Label - FAQQ: Why are there two different energy labels with my product?A: Over the last 20 years, the energy efficiency of products has improved. This means the information on the energy label needs to change to ensure it can continue to help you find the best products. As the new information is phased in, there will be a short time when products may feature both the old and new labels.Q: Why do the two labels show different information for the same product?A: The new label will show different energy ratings for your product. This may seem strange but the new label has been updated to take into account how you use your products at home, as well as provide more detailed information on other features of the product. This will give you a more accurate and realistic idea of how your product will perform over its life.Conclusion and Further ReferencesThe matter of the energy labels for the light bulbs/LED lamps is a complicated and vast one, and in this guide, we do a quick overview of this issue. There is nothing to worry about if you purchase a LED lamp that has an energy rating of E or D according to the new label; you simply need to check the lumens output and make sure it is low wattage, and it will save you £££ of your bills. Read more on this topic via the following links:Guide to energy performance certificates (via Energy Saving Trust).New Lighting Regulations 2021: what you need to know (via Integral LED)Energy ratings: everything you need to know (via Energy Saving Trust).The New Energy Label for Light Sources (via Label 2020 Europe). The New EU Energy Label Explained (via gov.uk). About the changes to energy rating labels this year (via ML Accessories).
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With the balmy weather we are experiencing during the spring or the summer, people are taking to their gardens now more than at any other time of the year. But why should nighttime mean the end to your enjoyment of your home’s exterior when you can have very nice garden lighting? The light fittings from Integral LED illuminate your garden spaces, allowing you to enjoy them well into the pleasant summer evenings and nights. Previously, sophisticated outdoor lighting belonged to only the most expensive of properties. However, Integral LED has now made it affordable to light up your garden in style. In this article, Sparks will examine how the average homeowner can spruce up their outdoor space at a very reasonable price. The problem with outdoor lighting - corrosive weather elements Ian Major, Product Consultant at Integral LED knows the field of LED lighting extremely well. He has many profound insights into how these types of lights may change outdoor lighting forever. Many current outdoor lights are ground lamps, which are excellent for lighting up garden pathways or verandas. Pathway lighting is kept at a low level for obvious reasons - it looks most elegant there and guides people as they walk in the dark. As Mr Major states, they create a: “Visual theatre of the main garden scene” However, the lights being so close to the ground creates problems that could affect the functionality of the lamps themselves. They are often located in areas such as the very fabric of the path or driveway. Even in cases where the luminaire is IP67 rated, there may still be cause for concern. There are widespread flaws with the design of the electrical installations which we place so close to the ground. These flaws mean that water does find its way into the luminaire, which is certain to deteriorate their functionality and lifespan. How LED lighting has revolutionised outdoor lighting: views from an expert LED lighting has made elegant outdoor lighting become increasingly within budget, according to Mr Major. LEDs are relatively robust compared to other forms of lighting and so they can withstand all types of weather. This is Britain after all - and we may experience plenty of drizzles even during glorious periods of sunshine! A wonderful example of an Integral LED light that combines elegance with water-resistance is the Ciclo IP54 outdoor wall lamp. It is a compact, stylish, and contemporary LED luminaire - weatherproof and hard-wearing. It is designed to last against the elements while bringing a designer look to its surroundings. There are many reasons for Integral LED lights superior resilience to weather conditions. As described above, problems arise when electrical installations are installed too close to the ground, drastically lowering their life expectancy. Another Integral LED fitting Garden Lighting is the IP54 rated black Curve LED wall light coming integrated with a 7.6W 3000K 360lm LED light and an integrated PIR sensor. Mr Major believes that the team at Integral LED have addressed this fundamental flaw in low-level outdoor lighting. They identified ‘cable suction’ as the main cause of water ingress from the surface of a garden. This is when - simply by operating - a lighting installation can draw water into its very core. Obviously, this will result in reduced functionality. Integral LED lights have been designed to actually increase in temperature while they are in operation. This means that heated air will expand, which prevents water access to the sealed bulb of the LED fixture. How Integral LED’s smart lights deal with excess water in garden spaces for Garden Lighting The heated air produced by the Integral LED lights means there will be no water intrusion while they are operating. However, there is still the run-off water, that has not made it into the luminaire, to deal with. Integral LED has come up with a brilliant solution to this issue. Whilst the light is not in use, the assembly effectively becomes a small water pump. This then pushes moisture in the air along the cable towards the fitting body of the device. The fitting body of the light comes with Integral LEDs ingenious ‘H20 Stop’ device. The H20 Stop deals with divergent water within the electrical cabling of the lamp, and prevents the damage done by corrosive moisture. Integral LED has also brought out an excellent range called the ‘Pathlux in-ground’ series. The Pathlux lights use the innovative H20 Stop technology for maximum weather resistance. They also have solid-state light sources which are famous for their longevity - these are lights that could last a lifetime! Key reasons to buy Integral LED outdoor lights The main reasons Integral LED offers a superior outdoor lighting range are outlined here: Reliability. The elegant ambience they provide. Resistance to corrosive elements that occur outdoors. Protection against water ingress. The innovative use of technology, for example, ‘H20 Stop’. Longevity. In conclusion, we at Sparks wholeheartedly recommend the brilliant outdoor light fittings made by Integral LED, whether they are ground lights, wall lights, or ceiling lights; of course, they are all LED lights, and they are suited for exterior lighting.
Halogen GU10 lamp caps have been a staple in British households for decades, being one of the most recognisable light bulbs out there. However, the LED revolution of recent times has introduced us to GU10 LED lamps, which offer the same classic design but with increased efficiency. In this article, we will explain why it is time to make the switch over to LED GU10 bulbs and brighten your home in style! Pre-existing problems with GU10 lamp caps Alan Tulla, the technical editor at Lux, took a look at GU10 lamps over three years ago, and found they were lacking in some departments. He stated that none of the lamps available had a clearly distinct edge and many didn’t have a smooth gradation of light from the centre to the outside. Another problem was variety: all the lamps had very similar beam widths, which appeared wider than the figures quoted on the packaging. Another negative feature for many GU10 lamps was the power rating which was often minuscule; for instance, the ‘Compton’ has a power rating of 0.41. This is compared to the higher end of the spectrum - the Verbatim GU10 which has a power rating of 0.96. Although light output is usually measured in watts, the power rating is important. A low power rating means that the light has to draw more current. For electricians, this is a hassle, as they must resize fuses in larger domestic houses in order to compensate for the poor power factor. The times have changed: improvements made to GU10 lamps Lux conducted testing on the new ‘breed’ of LED GU10 lamp caps at the Lighting Association laboratories in Telford. Alan Tulla notes that the lamps they tested were under regulations stating that the lumens quoted on the packaging must be contained within a 90-degree beam. However, not all the manufacturers did this, which led to some confusion: Sparks will discuss only the GU10 lamps that followed these guidelines. Tulla was deeply impressed by Integral LEDs GU10 lamp offering, which he gave a four out of five-star rating. He stated that: This is another GU10 with a high colour rendering index, CRI, of 98. It really does make a difference in domestic and hotel locations. The beam is broadly circular and has a soft edge. It’s a nice looking lamp. Sparks sells a wide range of Integral LED and Megaman GU10 LEDs. The 6W Classic PAR16 from Integral LED comes in at an incredible £4.20 (including VAT), which is great value for money. This non-dimmable LED lamp incorporates a stylish engineered lens with an affordable GU10 lamp cap. This lamp from the ‘Classic’ range offers directional light with a beam angle that closely mirrors that of familiar halogen lamps. It also boasts the energy-saving and long-life benefits of LED lighting. The CRI rating is above 80, offering a high quality colour rendering. A wide range of Integral LED GU10 bulbs can be found on our site here. Megaman offers a similar quality of GU10 LEDs, with great energy ratings, high CRI’s and low costs. What’s more, the 4.5W GU10 LED Spotlight is priced exactly the same as Integral LED’s Classic PAR16 at £4.20 (including VAT). It is the ideal LED spotlight for retrofit applications such as showrooms, reception areas, meeting rooms, offices, lounges and kitchens. The two products mentioned above have another similarity as well as price. They both hold an impressive A+ energy rating and a low wattage consumption rate. This makes them very eco-efficient and demonstrates how GU10 lamps have progressed for the better in recent years. Why you should make the switch to GU10 LED bulbs The future of the GU10s clearly lies with the GU10 LED bulb. These lights are up to 90% more efficient than standard halogen GU10 bulbs, so a 5W bulb can provide up to 50W of light output. The lifespan can give you up to 50,000 hours of usage, and to put into perspective, at 4 hours use per day, this could equate to thirty years of use! There are also plenty of dimmable versions on the market including the aforementioned PAR16 from Integral LED. These bulbs are available in warm white or cool white colour temperatures, and a broad variety of colours - they are ideal for accent or display lighting. So what are you waiting for? Ditch your wasteful halogen GU10 lamps (if you didn’t do this yet) and replace then with the stylish, eco-friendly LED lamps today.
We here at Sparks Direct are delighted to announce that we have received three separate nominations for the 2019 Electrical Wholesalers Awards! These nominations include awards for best Electrical Wholesaler Website, best Sole Branch and best Customer Service. Now, we need your vote to help us win these accolades… Vote here. At Sparks, we pride ourselves on being ‘switched on’ for service. That means delivering quality products and customer care in an ever changing market. We provide a solution for every type of customer. Thanks to this dedication we have been shortlisted for these highly sought-after awards, which will be voted for by the electrical wholesaler community. This includes (of course) you - our customers and our visitors. We hope these awards would be well-deserved for this company and in this article we will explain why we believe this is the case. Sole Electrical Wholesaler Branch nomination We are proud to have been nominated as one of only five finalists in the ‘Best Wholesaler: Sole Branch’ category, facing stiff competition from across the entire UK. Sparks Electrical Wholesalers (or ‘Sparks Direct’) have been operating as a sole branch for over 30 years now, since we opened our doors in 1988. Over this time, our lighting showroom has become a well-known feature on Holloway Road, one that thousands of Londoners will have seen, visited, and talked about.. Sparks have provided a wide range of top quality electrical goods, including lights, LED lamps, switches, sockets, ventilation systems, thermostats and underfloor heating. Another crucial part of our business has been information. We have provided expert advice to electricians, trades people, building contractors, interior designers and, of course, the general public. In an effort to be ‘customer-centric’ we have adopted a number of convenient policies. We are open 6 days every week and we offer recommendations in store from our trained staff; also, we offer phone support. We pride ourselves on being part of the fabric of Archway’s community as written about here. This article details the key reasons Sparks Direct has kept the physical store alive (and very healthy) in a digital age. The essential reasons behind our enduring popularity are: our product knowledge, competitive pricing, product availability, brand recognition and customer service (another category we have been nominated in!) 2019 Best Electrical Wholesaler Website Award nomination Our digital team - with more than 10 years of experience in the field - ensures the content and technical specifications are correct and up-to-date, as constant changes are made by manufacturers. We provide information on a wide range of products such as switches, sockets, lights, bulbs, LEDs, ventilation fans, tools and electrical testers kits. These are provided by some of the most well-respected manufacturers in the industry including Astro Lighting and Integral LED (for lighting), and Envirovent and Airflow (for ventilation). The team behind our website strives to find the highest quality videos, guides and pictures for every item that we sell online. As well as processing online orders, we offer technical support and are always working to improve the quality and usability of our site. As part of our ‘customer-centric’ approach, we offer 30-day returns and free deliveries on orders over £100 (plus VAT). We remain on top of the ever-changing information. This means you can rest assured we are recommending the correct light bulb for the light fitting you desire and the right LED driver for the energy saving LED light you want. Our website has many functionalities including a ‘question and answer’ service that will provide accurate responses to any question - big or small - that you may have about individual products. The excellent quality of our online customer services and review feedback is part of what keeps both visitors and customers coming back to us. We also have one of the most active blogs in the field of electrical wholesalers. At Sparks we release bi-weekly updates on the latest trends, newest technologies, products, lighting designer profiles and many industry-related topics. The content of our blog posts varies widely, so that it appeals to a broad audience of readers. For instance, you can read about the practicalities of using tubular heaters in hard-to-reach areas of your home during cold months. Or, you may read about the importance of setting up a ‘whole home’ alarm system and advice on which one to use. If you have an interest in lighting design, then we have a series of profiles on the world’s most influential lighting designers. There is something for everyone on our blog, which we hope keeps customers informed. Best Electrical Wholesaler Customer Service Award nomination We were thrilled to receive the nomination for ‘Best Customer Service’, as Sparks has always strived to be a ‘customer-centric’ business. This model is made up of a friendly in-house team, phone support, online chat, email support and online review feedback, through sites such as Feefo and Trustpilot. On Trustpilot we have an outstanding 9.3/10 rating for customer service (at the time of writing), a score which we believes speaks for itself, and the genuine customer reviews via Feefo give us a 4.8 stars out of 5 (at the time of the writing). Sparks have polished their in-house customer services over the course of 30 years, and have earned the respect and confidence of contractors, electricians and the general public. The combined expertise of Sparks’ over-the-counter salespeople is impressive – they have a comprehensive knowledge of the items we stock. Their support extends from the basics which an ordinary customer may ask about, to more complex advice for electricians. Whether you need to know if your new light fitting can be dimmed or you want to hear about the latest domestic distribution boards - we at Sparks have you covered. In recent years, we have reviewed how we should expand and improve our online services. Using Google Reviews and Feefo we analyse genuine customer reviews. We then make the necessary changes to keep our customer services relevant, and turn one-time users into patrons. What your vote means to us here at Sparks Sparks Electrical Wholesalers remains a popular and important part of the local community, who have supported us with their custom throughout the years. In response to this support, we have improved our services across all fields and provided a modern ‘customer-centric’ service. Our nominations in three different categories for the 2019 Electrical Wholesalers Awards has heartened us and have proven that our approach has been a success. We would be delighted if you, our amazing visitors and customers, could support us once again and give us your vote here! Vote for us here.