brightbox lighting

DESIGNED
A Love Hate Relationship – LED vs Halogen
April 25, 2016
Living room

AS A GREAT LOVER OF TRADITIONAL HALOGEN LIGHTING I FACE A CONSTANT BATTLE IN LIGHTING DESIGN AS THE LATEST LED TECHNOLOGY IS NOTHING SHORT OF QUITE INCREDIBLE. I SUPPOSE IT IS AN INEVITABLE EVOLUTION THAT NO ONE, EXCEPT THE PEOPLE WHO REMEMBER THE FEELING OF A SOFTLY LIT SPACE, WILL BE ABLE TO STOP. LED IS HERE TO STAY AND IS DRAMATICALLY IMPROVING YEAR ON YEAR. FOR ME THOUGH HALOGEN LIGHTING WITHIN A BUILDING OR GARDEN IS A SIXTH SENSE, A FEELING OF WARMTH, WHICH is very difficult to REPLICATE WITH LED. IT FEELS SIMILAR TO REPLACING A MUCH LOVED RECIPE INGREDIENT WITH A MORE SYNTHETIC ONE, A GENETICALLY MODIFIED EQUIVALENT WHICH IS NEVER QUITE THE SAME!

I believe the answer is to design a balance, like most things in life. I think now everyone is becoming aware that LED uses a fraction of the electricity to achieve a very acceptable level of light output. This means that for the majority of the functional lighting it is now important to be using LED downlighting, this is not only good for the environment but essential for our pockets.

I have selected the Orluna downlighting range as my choice of downlights for the Brightbox Lighting Product portfolio because of their awe-inspiring attention to quality and detail. Made in the UK, the engineering is obviously the best in the world. However more important is the quality of the light that the Quad 50 and Quad 70 engines produce. The new Quad 70R engines achieve no less than 95 CRI (colour rendering Index) They manage to achieve this by using an MTG Chip by Cree Led who is arguably one of the best-LED chip manufacturers in the world.

There are few equivalents out there that rival the Orluna product for design style, build quality, heat dispersion and light output quality. So much so that I have chosen to live under these fittings with my family in my own home. When deciding on LED lighting in your own home, you must be very vigilant. There are options galore for inexpensive downlighting, BUT BEWARE as there can be problems. Colour consistency of cheaper downlights is the most common issue, but mainly for me, it is the concern that cheaper LEDs can usually flicker with your incoming power cycle. It will usually be too fast for the human eye to see but is, nevertheless, still there and has the potential to cause health risks including migraines, etc. If you are going to fill your home with LED light please ensure you make a good decision on the quality of your purchase as you are living under this artificial light day in day out, working, cooking under it, dining, entertaining under it, washing, cleaning under it, making love under it, watching TV under it. This is your home and your family environment. It is important to ensure it’s a natural place, not a synthetic space!

Fire Rated – Required or Not?
March 3, 2016
table lighting types

When faced with the task of choosing recessed downlights for your home or business, one of the first questions you maybe asked is; do you want fire rated on non-fire rated downlights?


When a hole is cut into a ceiling to mount a recessed downlight into, a potential fire hazard is created. Plaster board ceilings (for example) have a natural ability to act as a fire barrier. In any building where people maybe living or inhabiting above, the ceiling below must be fire rated. Fire rated downlights are used to restore the fire integrity of a ceiling.

In the event of a fire, the downlight hole is like a gateway that allows fire to spread through, unchallenged. Once the fire starts to spread through this hole it has direct access to the adjoining structure, usually made from wooden ceiling joists. Fire rated downlights seal off the hole and slow down the spread of fire. Modern fire rated downlights are fitted with an intumescent pad which swells up when it reaches a certain temperature and blocks the spread of fire. The fire then has to find another way around – delaying its progress.

This delay allows occupants to escape the building or ideally allows additional time for the fire to be extinguished. You will notice that some fire rated downlights are rated at 30, 60 or 90 minutes. This rating depends on the structure of the building and more importantly how many floors it has. The top floor of a block of flats for example would require a 90 or possibly 120 minute fire rating, whilst a ceiling in the bottom floor of a house would be 30 or 60 minutes.

If you cut into a ceiling you must restore it to its original condition and not interfere with its natural ability to act as a fire barrier. Surface mounted downlights don’t need a fire rating just recessed.