Buying guides

Light selection

BULBS, SWITCHES AND DIMMERS

Discover all you need to know about the types of bulbs we offer, plus which lighting accessories are available in our collection

View our Lighting buying guide here

Lightbulb technology

LED

LED Bulbs are energy efficient and long lasting. They use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulb sources which significantly reduces waste and saves money in the long term. They are proven to last longer than that of a traditional halogen bulb, lasting up to 15,000 hours which is 8 x longer than halogen. All of our lights which require LED have a recommended bulb type on the product page. 

Smart bulbs

LED bulbs that you control remotely from your smart device through wifi or bluetooth.  You can set timers, turn your lights on and off and with some bulbs, create the perfect lighting level and colours to suit your mood. A number of smart bulbs can also be controlled with your voice, working with products such as Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit devices for hands-free voice control. 

Halogen

Halogen is being phased out in most light bulb types (excluding specialist bulbs), due to being energy inefficient. Where applicable, you will find the recommended LED bulb type on the product page.

Lumens, Kelvins & Watts

Lumens

Lumens refers to the brightness of the light bulb. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light bulb.

Lighting a room will take roughly 800 Lumens, depending on the size of the room. A lower number will create a soft, ambient atmosphere.

Watts are no longer used to correlate with the brightness but as an approximate guide:

1600 Lumens = 100W
1100 Lumens = 75W
800 Lumens = 60W
450 Lumens = 40W

 

Kelvins

Kelvins are a measurement of the light bulb’s colour temperature. A low kelvin value produces a warm yellow light, while a higher value produces a cool blue light.

Less than 3000K produces warm light. 2700-3000K is the standard range for indoor lighting. 3000-4500K gives a neutral white light which is good for workspaces and offices. More than 4500K produces a cool white light or daylight effect, which is good for reading.

Watts

Watts are no longer the measurement used for brightness. Instead, please refer to Lumens. Watts referred to how much energy a light bulb uses. The higher the wattage, the more energy it needs.

Lighting products are still tested to an original incandescent or tungsten wattage which is why many products still have a ‘Max Tested Wattage’ label.

Bulbs and cap types

Bulb types

Candle

Classic

Golf ball

Globe

Spiral

Reflector

Spotlight

Capsule (G9/G4)

Decorative

Linear (R7S)

Tube

Smart

Cap types

Edison Screw ES/E27

Small Edison Screw SES/E14

Bayonette Cap BC/B22

Specialist G9/GU10/G4

To find out about the different lighting styles we offer, which feature these bulb types, view our lighting buying guide.

LIGHTING ACCESSORIES

Switches

Add a switch to control the same light from more accessible and different locations in a room.

Fridges and ovens sometimes need higher-rated amps in the switch, which is something to bear in mind when installing a new appliance. We offer a 20-amp double pole switch with a neon indicator, or for appliances that require a 13-amp fuse, switched fused spurs are included in our assortment.

Dimmers

Dimming a light bulb can help with reducing energy consumption and you can quickly and easily change the mood of the room with the varying light intensity.

Smart Plugs

A smart plug lets you turn any light or lamp into a smart light and control it using your phone and with a virtual assistant such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit.

Recommended dimmer ratings

 

V-Pro Rotary Dimmer

V-Pro Touch/Remote Dimmer

Incandescent

1-10 bulbs, max. 400W

1-10 bulbs, max. 350W

Halogen

1-10 bulbs, max. 300W

1-10 bulbs, max. 200W

Dimmable CFL

1-8 bulbs in mode 3

1-8 bulbs in mode 3

Dimmable LED

1-10 bulbs, max. 100W

1-10 bulbs, max. 100W

FAQs AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

What wattage rating do I need?

  • The total wattage to be used by the switch/dimmer (eg 1x 10 arm light rated at 20 watt each = total 200 watts) and should not exceed this
  • Some mains voltage Halogen lights require dimmers that run at double their total wattage
  • Consult a qualified electrician for further advice

Can I use a dimmer with fluorescent lighting (energy saving bulbs CFL)?

Only dimmable CFLs can be dimmed using a Varilight V-Pro dimmer

What types of lighting can I control using a dimmer?

  • Varilight V-Pro series dimmers are programmable with a choice of dimming modes
  • They have an adjustable minimum brightness setting for the widest compatibility
  • All V-Pro dimmers offer superior dimming technology to deliver the best possible dimming performance for a given load
  • V-Pro dimmers are suitable for mains lighting, most dimmable electronic transformers and dimmable low energy lighting, including dimmable LEDs
  • Always choose LEDs that are described as 'dimmable'
  • V-Pro dimmers are not suitable for wire-wound "toroidal" transformers, non-dimmable fluorescent lighting, energy saving bulbs and fans
  • Mixed loads are not recommended

How do I control dimmable electronic transformers?

  • To calculate the load of your lighting when using transformer in a circuit, add the VA ratings of the transformers (not the wattage of the bulbs)
  • Follow the halogen rating guidelines above, but with a maximum of 5 fully dimmable electronic transformers per dimmer circuit

What is a programmable dimmer?

  • The V-Pro dimmer series have three different dimming modes can be set by the user, as well as a programmable minimum brightness setting, to optimise performance and deliver the full dimming range potential of a particular lighting load.
  • Follow the steps outlined under the heading 'Programming' on the instruction leaflet

Environmental information

  • CFL bulbs contain a minute amount of mercury
  • All our bulbs are well within the safe, legal limit of 5mg
  • CFL bulbs also emit a minimal amount ultraviolet radiation
  • As a precaution keep them at least 30cm away from exposed skin
an arrangement of bulbs in lamps

ORDERING

What are my delivery options?

FREE Standard delivery on orders over £50

Our standard UK delivery costs £3.50 if you spend less than £50. We also offer next and named day delivery for an additional fee.

Click & collect from our shops

Click & Collect is free for orders of £30 and over, or £2 if you spend less. For £3.50, we can also deliver to a Collect+ store convenient for you

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OWNING A SWITCH OR DIMMER

Safety Tips

If your dimmer is buzzing…

  • Some dimmers will emit a hum when turned to their lowest setting
  • This is quite normal for some types of dimmer - it may vary in intensity depending on the type of lighting unit being dimmed
  • Change to a V-Pro dimmer to alleviate the problem

If you break a CFL bulb...

  • Ventilate the room for 20 - 30 minutes
  • Always use gloves to remove debris and dispose of by recycling

General light bulb advice

  • Dust on the surface of a bulb could reduce the bulb output by 50%, so keep them dust free
  • Clean light bulbs with a dry cloth only
  • Before removing a bulb from a fixture, turn it off and allow it to cool 
  • Consider LEDs for children’s rooms - they don’t get as hot as other types of bulbs 
  • If you break a CFL bulb, ventilate the room for 20—30 minutes and use gloves to remove debris - remember to recycle it afterwards
  • Use a plug timer to fit over your existing lamp plug socket for security and energy-saving purposes - alternatively use an electronic timer or smart lighting 
  • Turn incandescent and halogen bulbs off when you’re not using them - they’re less efficient than CFLs and LEDs

Disposal

All CFL and LED bulbs should be recycled at your nearest recycling bank, which will be found at www.recycle-more.co.uk (please note that we can't be responsible for the content of external websites)