Led Lighting Facts.

Led lighting is slowly becoming the lighting option of choice over halogen and florescent lighting in homes and offices all over the country. Its easy to see why with the huge energy savings along with the longer lamp life, although lamps/fittings can initially cost a lot more than their halogen or florescent equivalents that can be offset against the savings you will see in your electricity bills. Also with many lamps having between a 3 and 7 year guarantee you can see why Led’s are becoming so popular.

A few things to look out for when purchasing Led lamps are power consumption doesn’t always equal light output, so just because one lamp might be 9 watts and another 5 watts it doesn’t necessarily mean that the 9 watt lamp will be brighter. Lumen output per watt and total lumen output need to be taken into account along with the quality of the Led chips used in the lamp, the lens used and heat dissipation of the lamp will all be factors of how bright a light will be. It is definitely worth spending a little bit more and investing in a good quality lamp and reaping the benefits of the energy savings along with a great light output.

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RCD consumer unit upgrade and RCD explained

A recent consumer unit upgrade got me thinking, us electricians tell homeowners about the importance of RCD protection and that everything we do has to be protected by one. But a lot of customers ask me the same question what is an RCD and what does it do? So here goes.

An RCD is a safety device that automatically switches off when a fault occurs, disconnecting the affected circuit from the electrical supply quickly to prevent a fatal shock. The RCD helps to protect you from electric shock by constantly monitoring the electrical current in the circuit, if it detects the flow going down an unintended path, such as through a person touching a live wire the RCD will activate and disconnect the supply from that circuit, reducing the risk of serious injury or death.

RCD’s have been mandatory for electricians to fit to cover virtually all circuits in new homes, rewired homes or on any additions or major alterations to existing installations since 2008.

So if you have an older consumer unit not incorporating an RCD it may be advisable to look into getting it upgraded.

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The dangers of non fire rated downlights

Downlights are a popular and attractive way to brighten up your house, but poorly installed and not to the manufactures instructions can be a huge fire risk to your home.

Downlights come in a lot of different forms mains (230v rated), low voltage (12v via a transformer), LED, fire rated and non fire rated. It’s always recommended to fit fire rated fittings and a regulation to fit this kind of fitting if there is a habitable room above the one where lights are being installed, or if installing non fire rated fittings to fit a fire hood to each light.

The dangers of non fire rated downlights came to my immediate attention recently. Having been called out to a job to look at some downlights that had stopped working, on closer inspection after taking one of the fittings down (non fire rated downlight) the transformer had been left leaning on the halogen light, which had melted the transformer and left brown charring on it. In the right or should I say wrong circumstances this could have caused a fire in the customers property.

I myself would never fit non fire rated downlights. Make sure existing downlights do not have any noticeable marking or scorching around them and are not installed near furniture, curtains or similar combustible materials and not covered in a loft space.

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Qualified electrician

According to recent surveys upto a quarter of people do not check credentials of their electrician before hiring them. Half of all house fires are caused by electrical accidents.

Estimates say there are around 20,000 non -registered electricians currently operating in the country. With it being very simple to check credentials online via scheme providers websites. (NICEIC,Napit,Elecsa etc).

Here are some pictures of jobs we have been called out to and found potential fire risks.

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Dangers of overloaded circuits

Recently found this when changing an old rewireable type consumer unit to a 17th edition dual RCD unit. The sockets circuit had been overload with electrical heaters, which was a huge fire risk as you can see from the melting on the wire’s insulation in the picture. Great care must be taken not to overload circuits especially on old style consumer units.

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