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Are you buying the right lightbulbs in your workplace?

The humble light bulb has evolved hugely in recent years and there are now more variations and types of lighting products available than ever before, which can make buying lights and bulbs a difficult task for many businesses according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.

Over the last few years, the company has seen a seismic shift in the types of products customers are buying and says there are further changes to come. Lee Wright, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Slingsby, says: “Traditional, incandescent light bulbs are already a distant memory with so many new lighting products being developed and launched over the last few years. Today there are a huge range of products available ranging from LEDs and halogen through to triphosphor and fluorescent tubes.

“There are also several new products on the horizon, such as bulbs made with graphene, which is 200 times stronger than steel and one million times thinner than human hair, which means it conducts electricity and heat very effectively. The technology should go on sale soon and will compete with LEDs, in terms of price, energy efficiency and lifespan.”

Lee adds: “However, as a result of the choices available, many workplaces understandably find buying lights and bulbs a minefield because with such an array of products to choose from, that all vary in terms of cost and energy efficiency, it can be difficult to know where to start. Plus, whilst most homes rely on just one or two main types of bulbs, workplaces can often use lots of different types.”

Here is a guide outlining the main differences between the major types of lighting products most commonly sold in the UK. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) – This is the standard type of energy-saving light bulb – it’s generally cheap and available in a wide range of sizes and outputs. They are very cost-effective and although early designs used to illuminate slowly, this has improved hugely in recent years. However, the jury is out about the light they emit with many people saying it is too artificial.

Halogen – These emit a similar bright light to an old-style incandescent light bulb due to them both using a tungsten filament. However, they are less energy efficient compared to lots of other common bulbs. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Most use around 90 percent less energy than an incandescent light bulb, making them one of the most energy efficient options on the market.

When this is combined with their long life-span, they are often the most cost-effective option long-term, despite the fact they can be expensive to initially buy.

Fluorescent tubes – These are generally highly efficient, low cost and can be used in an extensive range of environments which makes them one of the world’s most popular lighting solutions. 

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