Seeing the New Year in a new light

We hope your Festive Season was everything you hoped and expected it to be. But now the last guests have gone, it's January, and it's dark. So, what lights are available to help you fix this?

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Happy New Year! We hope your Festive Season was everything you hoped and expected it to be. But now the last guests have gone, it’s January, and it’s cold and dark. Back to reality …


Believe it or not, the days are actually getting longer – but you could be forgiven for not noticing. At this time of year, most of us are not only heading to work in the dark and going home in the dark, but what daylight there is in the short hours in between often needs a bit of help.


But there is good news! While fluorescent strip-lighting (functional, but oh so dreary) is still with us (for as long as the tubes last, anyway!), the days of the incandescent filament lightbulb are well and truly over, replaced by successive generations of bulbs that last longer, cost less to run, emit an increasingly pleasing light and are (slowly) coming down in price.


So, what’s available? And how suitable would these new lights be for your home or workplace?





The light-emitting diode (LED) is today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly developing lighting technology. Directional in nature, LED lighting is becoming increasingly versatile. There is a bulb or lamp suitable for almost any use around the home. Thanks to their long lifespan and energy-efficiency, LED lightbulbs can save the average household a significant amount of money. However, they remain rather pricey to buy. If you need directional lighting – over a kitchen worktop, say – LEDs will fit the bill perfectly, but you would need several light fittings to light up a room of any size. Because of their directionality, LEDs are arguably better suited to the workplace than the home.





Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are actually miniature versions of traditional fluorescent tubes. As screw-in or bayonet-type bulbs, CFLs can be used in the same way and in the same light fittings as standard incandescent light bulbs, while using up to 75% less energy and generating very little heat. CFLs are also much longer-lived than incandescent light bulbs, making them a very economical choice for general residential lighting. They can, however, take a minute or two to reach peak performance, and (although some manufacturers would have you believe otherwise) generally don’t work too well with dimmer switches. There is also talk of phasing them out from 2025 as they, like their fluorescent forebears, contain toxic materials – particularly mercury. For now they remain available, are cheap to buy and long-lasting, will fit any standard lightbulb socket and would be equally suitable for the home or the workplace.





What a difference a decade or so makes. Once the ‘must-have’ lighting solution in any workplace or home that wanted to appear chic and cutting-edge – jewellers especially loved them for the way they made those diamonds sparkle – sales of most halogen lightbulbs have been banned since September 2021. The government, and others, are pressing consumers to switch to LEDs (see above) which use much less power while producing a similar quality and directionality of light, and in many cases can be fitted in ‘halogen-ready’ bulb sockets with little or no adaptation. Whether at home or in the office, if you’re unlucky enough to be sitting on a stockpile of halogen lightbulbs, there’s no law that says you can’t use them – but it makes sense to start planning your eventual switch to LEDs.



Let there be light!

If you’re thinking of changing or upgrading the lighting systems in your home or workplace, talk to us! Tell us about your requirements, and we’ll be happy to offer advice and point you in the right direction. Our experienced engineers can carry out any installation work required – to the highest standard, keeping disruption to a minimum.



Ask the experts


Contact Excel Electrical on 01508 488007 or email

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