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Bob Cole Electrical

What is an LED? 

A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a device consisting of a semiconductor that emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it. LEDs can be used for a wide range of lighting applications. It is predicted that LED lights are the future for energy-efficient home lighting.

How long do LED bulbs last? 

LED light bulbs have a much longer life span compared to standard halogen bulbs. In fact LED bulbs last up to 50000 hours – that’s over 5 years of continuous operation! When you install new LED lights you may never have to replace the bulbs again.

How long is 50000 hours?

LED light bulbs have an operational life-cycle of over 50000 hours, this equates to:

5.7 years (24 hours per day)

7.4 years (18 hours per day)

11.4 years (12 hours per day)

17.1 years (8 hours per day)

Are LED lights cost-effective? 

LED light bulbs are highly energy efficient, resulting is significant electricity savings over the life of the bulb. Electricity costs are on the increase. The average household lighting bill in the UK is around 300 per year. Replace your existing halogen bulbs with LED bulbs and you can cut your lighting costs by up to 90%. That’s an average saving of over 270 per year!

Can LED light bulbs be used with dimmers? 

Yes. Certain types of LED bulbs are dimmable, For standard household dimmers you need a trailing edge or low voltage LED dimmer switch.

Why do I need to replace my dimmer switch?

The minimum wattage figure on the dimmer switch is too high, typically the majority of leading edge dimmer switches are 60 watts which is way too high for operation with dimmable LED bulbs. This is why you need an LED compatible dimmer switch for use with dimmable LED bulbs.

Does a GU10 LED bulb give the same brightness as my old halogen bulb?


Do LED light bulbs switch on immediately or do they have to warm up? 

LED bulbs are instant on, which means the do not require any time to warm up. Also, LED bulbs do not give off any potentially harmful IR or UV emissions.

Does the level of light produced reduce over the lifetime of the LED bulb?

Yes. The level of illumination does decrease over the life span of an LED bulb. However due to their extremely long life cycle, this is barely noticeable.

Do I need to replace my fittings to use LED bulbs? 

No. The majority of our LED bulbs are designed to be retrofit. This means that LED light bulbs are made to fit in existing light fittings

Why do I need an LED-compatible transformer?

You may only need a transformer if you are buying 12v bulbs all 240 bulbs do not require a transformer, 12v bulbs are MR16, G4 and MR11.

Standard electronic transformers can cause certain types of LED bulbs to flicker, resulting in permanent long-term damage to the LED bulb itself. This problem is most evident in 12V MR16 LED bulbs where a standard transformer does not provide a smooth flow of current, causing flickering problems. To avoid damaging your new LED bulbs it is always best to use LED drivers/transformers.

Do I have to have fire-rated fittings? 

Ceilings provide an important barrier that helps to prevent the spread of fire and noise between the floors of a building. Installing recessed downlights punctures this barrier and can reduce the effectiveness of this safety barrier.

Installing fire rated downlights helps to protect your premises from the effects of both fire and noise pollution and aids compliance with new building regulations governing the installation of downlights. Made from intumescent materials, fire rated downlights seal the gap between the ceiling and the fitting to offer up to 90 minutes protection against the spread of fire into the void spaces within your ceiling / loft space. Fire rated downlights are more expensive than non-fire rated downlights. However, the worst decision you can make is to buy cheaper models that look exactly the same only to find out from the electrician fitting them, that building regulations require fire rated downlights for that situation.

What fittings should I have for my bathroom?

Any fittings being placed within a bathroom/wet room/shower room should not only be Fire Rated but also be waterproof and hold a suitable certification of IP65 or higher in order to be compliant with relevant building regulations for bathrooms.

What does IP65 mean? 

The IP, or Ingress Protection rating of an electrical product is a guide that is used to detail the strength of the enclosure that surrounds the electrical components. See Guide.

In the case of LED lights bulbs, the IP-rating measures the tolerance to the effect of dust particles and the level of protection against water or liquids. IP65 means that the LED bulb is totally protected against dust and can withstand low-pressure jets of water from all directions – with limited ingress acceptable.