Audio Buying Guide

Audio Buying Guide

Make sure your interior design is always seen in the best light. Set the mood with a little help from our fab ceiling lights and boudoir-esque lamps. Check out loads of top tips and advice in our buying guide.

Just click onto one of the links below to find out more.

Lighting Schemes

There are 3 main types of light, using a good combination of all 3 will complete and complement the look of your home:

Ambient - General lighting that replaces natural daylight

Task - Lighting targeted at specific jobs, for example reading

Accent - Used to add interest into any room through texture, focus and shape.

Indoor Lighting

Hallway/Reception Area
This area will require some general light to make the area feel warm and welcoming. For high large hallways a statement piece can really add a sense of character such as a chandelier. If space it at a premium wall lights, down lighters or a small pendant may be more suitable. Consider using energy saving light bulbs in this area.

Living Rooms
Typically the main focal point of the whole house and where a number of different activities take place therefore lighting has to be practical, versatile and atmospheric. This means a combination of ceiling and wall lights, complemented with floor and table lamps is required. For TV viewing a soft ambient light is preferable to help relaxation. To highlight painting and pictures accent lighting is essential, up lighters are excellent at this.

Dining Room
This is an ideal room for that special centre piece such as an oversized chandelier or decorative pendant. Hung directly over a table will provide light and focus on the table. Consider the use of wall lights to create an ambient atmosphere.

The Kitchen
The main consideration in selecting lighting for the kitchen area is focusing on the work areas i.e. work surfaces. Light must be directed towards these areas as this is where it is most needed. Directional halogen spotlights are ideal as they provide high levels of illumination. Avoid all forms of portable lighting as this may prove hazardous.

For safety reason staircases should always be well light. The hanging of a bright pendant is probably the simplest way of providing enough light to ensure the stair edges are defined. Consider using energy saving light bulbs in this area.

Some form of task lighting will be required if you like to read in bed, table lamps are a good solution or perhaps consider a swing arm bracket lamp or spot lights. Spot lights are also useful near wardrobes to help the selection of clothes. A chandelier could add a touch of glamour.

Children's Bedrooms
There are a number of considerations when choosing lighting for children’s rooms; it needs to be safe, bright and colourful preferably. Using wall and ceiling lights will provide ample general lighting and will be safe for little fingers. If task lighting is required for children doing homework then lamps are the answer.

The over riding factor when selecting bathroom lighting is safety. All light fittings are given IP (Ingress Progression) ratings. This rating relates to the products ability to resist water penetration. In addition bathrooms are split into Zones. Only lights suitable for each zone should be fitted in those areas.

Zone 0 (IP68 Submersible to 9 metres)
Extremely water tight light fittings suitable for under water use, in steam rooms and saunas

Zone 1 (IP65 Jetproof)
Only a light fitting graded Zone 1 should be fitted in areas where it could be subjected to a jet of water e.g. from a shower head.

Zone 2 (IP44 Splashproof)
This type of light fitting should be fitted wherever it may be splashed with water. Glass or ceramic light types are ideal for the humid conditions associated with bathrooms.

Lighting Types

Table Lamps
Table lamps give a room warmth and depth due to the soft light they produce. The golden rule when checking the suitability of a table lamp is to ensure the lamp is no higher than eye level when seated and remember to check that the flex is needs to be long enough to reach the socket. Choose lamps with flexible arms for task lighting.

Floor Lamps
Floor lamps can be used to create areas of light and shade which add interest and warmth to a room. For a modern contemporary look we offer co-ordinating floor and table lamps. To add flexibility Mother and child lamps feature a main lamp and a second directional light which is ideal for use when reading. Most Floor lamps also feature the use of dimmer switches and foot switches or a combination of both for ease of operation, increased design flexibility and energy savings.

Desk Lamps
Excellent for task lighting and for the home office, desk lamps are a must when a well-lit area is required. Look for lamps featuring desk clamps or a weighted base, these will provide great versatility. Adjustable arms allow movement for effective positioning so you can focus the light in on a specific area.

Ceiling Lighting
The colour, shape and material of a ceiling light or shade will make a considerable difference to the overall look or a ceiling fitting or lamp. For lamps we recommend that the shade is in proportion to the size of the base. Ideally the shade should be no smaller than one-third of the height of base. Drum shaped shades tend to look more contemporary than conical or coolie shades, which are more traditional. Pendant shades come in all shapes, sizes and colours and are a quick and easy way to update a pendant fitting without the need to do any electrical installation.

Bulb Types

It is important that you fit the correct bulb type within you light fitting. The characteristics of different bulb types means making a good selection will ensure you get the most out of your light fittings.

Tungsten (Incandescent)
The light emitted from these bulbs is considered to best replicate natural daylight, are good value, have a life cycle of around 1000 hours but are inefficient. There are various size, shapes, wattages and colours available.
Colour: give a warm light
Lifetime: 1,000 hours; based on an average use of 3 hours per day
Dimmability: Fully dimmable
Warm-up: Instant light
This type of bulb is currently being phased out under both Government and EU Regulations in favour of more energy efficient types.

The light emitted from these bulbs is brighter and whiter than that of a Tungsten bulb. However they are generally more expensive but last much longer and are more energy efficient than equivalent Tungsten bulbs. There are various size, shapes, wattages and colours available.
Colour: give a bright, white light
Lifetime: 2,000 hours; based on an average use of 3 hours per day
Dimmability: Fully dimmable
Warm-up: Instant light

Energy Saving
As they name suggests these bulb types have superior energy efficiency compared to both Tungsten and Halogen. The unique design means these bulbs use energy passed through a gas to generate light whereas Tungsten and Halogen rely on generating light from heat (using a filament), making energy saving bulbs up to 80% more efficient and safer for children as very little heat is produced.
Colour: give a warm, white light
Lifetime: >8,000 hours; based on an average use of 3 hours per day
Dimmability: Non-dimmable but some limited dimmable versions available (not recommended for touch lamps)
Warm-up: less than 60 seconds

LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode. This is a relatively new technology in lighting bulbs but they have excellent energy saving capabilities. At present though there is a limited range available and the costs are high.
Colour: give a warm, white light
Lifetime: >20,000 hours; based on an average use of 3 hours per day
Dimmability: Dimmable versions available (not recommended for touch lamps)
Warm-up: Instant light

Energy Saving vs. Standard Equivalent
7w = 40w
11w = 60w
20w = 100w

Bulb Cap Types

There are 5 main cap types:

BC (Bayonet Cap) - B22
SBC (Small Bayonet Cap) - B15
ES (Edison Screw) - E27
SES (Small Edison Screw) - E14
GU10 (Twist-Lock)

Bayonet caps are those that require pushing into place before turning to secure. Edison Screw caps are simply screwed in to place.

The cap type will be indicated within the product description.


All light fittings must be fitted in accordance with the current IEE wiring regulations and building regulations.

We recommend a qualified electrician is employed for this task, and that the product's fitting instructions are always followed.

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