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“Superb service” and speedy troubleshooting? It’s all in a day’s work at Oliver Lamps

superb lighting products

Sometimes, despite the best-laid plans, things go wrong. When that happens, the litmus test of whether you’re dealing with the right supplier or installer is how hard they’ll work to put the problem right.

(And, by the way, anyone who tells you that what they provide will never, ever go wrong is not to be trusted. Failures sometimes happen, especially where electrical appliances are concerned. That’s just a fact of life.)

Here’s an example of an unexpected issue we faced while working with a very big client just as COVID arrived and we had to act fast to correct it. If you’re currently working with an installer/supplier who isn’t Oliver Lamps, ask yourself this question while you read it: would your present installer do this for you too? If the answer’s no, get in touch and let’s talk!

A big job with a small timeframe

Our client had 3,000 halogen light bulbs they wanted to replace with energy-saving LEDs as quickly as possible, and all in one go so that it wouldn’t impact their daily operation. This was in early 2020, and just as we were about to visit the client to undertake the site survey the pandemic hit, which meant we couldn’t go to their premises in person. Instead, the client remotely took us through the building via a Zoom video chat so we could assess their needs and plan the installation remotely, which was far from an ideal situation. However, it did mean that, as soon as our team was allowed to go inside, we’d have everything we needed to get the job done.

Or so we thought.

The problem was when we were finally able to enter the building and replace and install the 3,000 lights, we discovered that a couple of the new LED bulbs didn’t work. As we mentioned in a recent blog, that occasionally happens but it’s very rare. In fact, when you do the maths and work out what the failure rate of two LEDs out of 3000 is, it comes to 0.0666666667%. When you consider that the lighting industry standard for LED lamp failure is 3%, and the industry standard for the ‘acceptable rate of failure’ of electronic devices is between 10%-15%, it gives you an idea of how tiny the problem we had to deal with was.

Still, even though it was a tiny failure rate, it still wasn’t acceptable. We’d made a commitment to the client to get everything installed without any glitches, and we were focused on keeping it.

We immediately contacted our supplier and asked them to send us replacement bulbs as a matter of urgency, so we could install them before our team left the site. That’s something we’re able to do, here at Oliver Lamps. In fact, when we select our partners and suppliers, ‘seamless efficiency’ and ‘fast response times’ are two boxes they’ve got to be able to tick.

The result? The replacement LEDs arrived on site the very next day which meant the mammoth task of replacing and installing 3000 lights was completed in the agreed timescale, and our client wasn’t aware there had even been an issue.

Of course, if the job had been a lot smaller – let’s say a conventional office building or sports hall with only a few dozen lights to install – our team probably wouldn’t have still been on site when the replacements arrived the next day. But, if that ever happens, we’ll always pull out all the stops to install the replacements asap or the lighting supplier will pay for the on-site installation as part of our partnership agreement. Either way, there’s no extra cost to the customer and the inconvenience is always kept to a minimum.

Something else to remember: our lighting is also covered by a seven-year manufacturer’s guarantee so if anything goes wrong within those seven years the appliance will be replaced with no questions asked and a new seven-year warranty will immediately take effect. That means you’ve always got peace of mind that if something unexpected kills your bulbs (the majority of LED failures are actually caused by extreme energy spikes, not by problems within the bulb itself) Oliver Lamps has always got you covered.

Here’s a quick testimonial from another very satisfied client:

We purchased product for an install at local council offices. Upon installation, one of the items failed. I called Colin @ Oliver Lamps, advised of the issue and the following day we had a replacement delivered directly to site! Meaning no time lost due to return visits to site. 

A superb service, resolved by one simple phone call.

Mark Worraker

Operations Director

J Cook LTD 

If you’d like to find out more about our first-class lighting and energy products and/or our expert and hassle-free installation service, give us a call on 01328 855028, send us an email at [email protected], or pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY. We’re looking forward to giving you top-quality products, high-quality service, and absolutely priceless peace of mind!

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Energy bill worries? Don’t get hoodwinked by cowboy deals

energy bill cowboys

Energy bills are rocketing. We’re all looking for the best ways to save money, and there are a lot of cowboys out there offering sensational energy deals that are too good to be true. Except the customers who fall for those deals don’t realise they’ve been sold a pig-in-a-poke until it’s too late, and by that time, the cowboys have galloped off into the sunset, and there’s usually nothing they can do about it.

Some deals are too good to be true

Right now, because of all the concern and confusion surrounding rising fuel prices and the increasing need to find cheaper, more sustainable forms of energy to keep our homes, vehicles, and businesses running, a lot of cowboys are taking full advantage of the situation by hooking people on energy solutions that seem like a great deal but are actually inferior products poorly installed with no degree of customer care and no follow-up service when things go wrong.

The same goes with products like lighting (bulbs, fittings, and/or installation); smart tech; home security; electrical appliances; even those fly-by-nights who show up at your door with an unbeatable offer to slash your energy bills by installing ultra-cheap super-duper new windows.

Please don’t fall for any of it.

The thing about cowboys is that they’re only focused on chasing the next job. They hook their victims in on price, deliver sub-standard results, and then move on quickly before word gets around what bandits they are.

How do you avoid getting ripped off by cowboys? It’s easy.

Only work with a company or a supplier that’s very well-established and has a reputation you can trust, like Oliver Lamps.

Oliver Lamps is a third-generation family-run business with over sixty years of experience in the lighting industry. When you buy lighting from us, you can be confident you’re purchasing the very best quality at the very best price. It’s precisely the same with everything else we offer, including EV charging, solar charging, and lighting installation; our knowledge, expertise, and customer service are second-to-none, and we only work with partners and suppliers who can guarantee the same.

Don’t focus on price at the expense of quality.

If you want good quality, you’ll probably have to pay a little more for it, but never forget that buying cheap is always buying twice. We’ve recently read a lot of stories in the newspapers and on social media sites like LinkedIn about people who purchased products a year ago and sometimes paid a hefty premium for, only to discover it’s a load of rubbish and the company that installed it has disappeared into thin air. That kind of scam is very, very big right now.

When you pay a little bit more money for quality, you’re saving a lot more money in the long run.

Buying from Oliver Lamps means you’re buying with the confidence you’re getting a high-quality product or service that is fully backed up by the full manufacturer guarantee. In the unlikely event that anything you purchase from us fails under warranty, you’ll be able to repair or replace it without any hassle. In fact, a lot of the product we install is also covered by a five- or seven-year warranty with the first one or two years covered on-site, giving you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, it will be put right quickly with no arguments.

Partnerships are the secret to our success

Oliver Lamps was founded when entrepreneurial publican Harold Oliver travelled to London to source elegant lighting for his north Norfolk gastropub. After talking with some of the lighting industry’s most prominent players, Harold didn’t just return with the high-quality bulbs he needed for the Rose & Crown; he’d also started to establish the partnerships that would take Harold and his wife, Muriel, on an utterly unexpected journey…

…founding Oliver Lamps and turning it into one of the UK’s most trusted and respected independent lighting specialists.

At Oliver Lamps, we take exceptional care in selecting the lighting suppliers, EV manufacturers, solar innovators, and other providers and artisans we work with. We do our research, we only work with partners who share the same high standards we do, and even though we’re a company with very old-fashioned values of quality and customer service, we’re never afraid to change things up to give our customers the best deals and results. Whatever you buy from us – whether it’s a single LED bulb, an EV charger, or a complete lighting installation – you’ll always receive the best quality, care, customer service, and after-sales support, not just from your team at Oliver Lamps, but from all of our partners and suppliers too.

You’ll also only have one point of contact if you’ve got any enquiries or something goes wrong, so you’ll never be given the run-around, and you’ll always know who to talk to to get the problem sorted. Not only that, but we’ll also always respond quickly and take full responsibility for putting things right.

And, while we’re on the subject of things going wrong…

If anyone says that what you buy from them will never go wrong, don’t believe it.

Because if you do, and when it goes wrong, you’ll either a) be left with something you can’t use anymore, that the company you bought it from won’t take responsibility for repairing or replacing, or b) have the hassle, stress, and inconvenience of going into a dispute with the company until your problem’s fixed… if it ever is.

There’s no use in pretending that failures never happen. Lights, EV chargers, smart tech etc., are all electronic and, like any other type of electronics you’d buy – a tv or a microwave, for example – they could go wrong at any time.

However, we can assure you that, in our experience, failures aren’t habitual. It’s extremely rare for one of our products to go wrong, but you won’t need to worry if it does. We’re there for you, we’ll give you our full support, and we’ll do whatever needs to be done to put it right. As we mentioned a moment ago, everything we supply also has full backup from the manufacturer, so you’re covered for every eventuality.

Even though we’re a small company, Oliver Lamps always gives you a lot more than you’d get anywhere else on the high street.

From the first moment you contact us or walk into our showroom, we’ll do everything we can to make you comfortable, answer your questions, provide what you need, and always be here to help. We’re highly responsive too. For example, our sales team recently received a lighting enquiry from a business, and we were able to visit their premises, make an inspection, go back to our warehouse and then return to the customer with a selection of different solutions all in the same day. That’s not the kind of service you’re likely to find elsewhere, and we’re very proud of it.

When it comes to LED lighting, EV charging, energy sustainability, smart tech, and home decoration, Oliver Lamps is your one-stop-shop! Just pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY, call us on 01328 855028, or send us an email at [email protected], and we’ll do the rest!

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How sustainable are you?

How sustainable are you?

A couple of weeks ago, it was Earth Day – a time to think about how sustainable we all are.

With everything else that’s going on in the news, you’d be forgiven for missing it, which is why we wanted to take a few moments to talk about it today.

Why?

Earth Day isn’t some trendy new ‘Let’s Jump on the Save the Planet’ bandwagon idea. 22nd April 2022 was Earth Day’s 52nd anniversary.

That’s more than half a century’s worth of Earth Days. Incredible, isn’t it?

Most people think issues like global warming, pollution, melting icecaps and shrinking habitats are subjects that only started appearing in headlines over the last twenty or so years, but scientists and environmentalists have been warning us about the irreversible damage our consumption of fossil fuels is doing to the Earth since April 22 1970.

What is Earth Day?

Every year on 22 April, over 1 billion people across more than 190 countries take action to raise awareness of the climate crisis and everything else we should be doing to keep our world clean, safe, and healthy for future generations. It’s a truly international day that’s solely devoted to our planet, promoting sustainability and conservation, and drawing attention to how we must stop and reverse all the damage we’re doing to our environment.

If you’re a regular customer or reader, you’ll know that encouraging sustainability, saving energy, and doing everything we can to minimise our global footprint are very important to all of us here at Oliver Lamps.

It’s why we’ve expanded our energy-efficiency offerings from LED to EV to Solar power and beyond because we want to make conserving, recycling, and using energy more efficiently as easy as possible for everybody.

We believe that one of the biggest obstacles preventing us all from doing our best to save the planet is that there’s just too much going on in our busy lives to think about it.

For example, when it comes to something that should be as simple as recycling your household waste and dividing what’s recyclable and what’s not between your different household bins… are you honestly doing it as carefully as you should?

Don’t feel guilty if you aren’t. Hardly anyone does, even though most of us want to.

Except life gets in the way. Like when you leave the lights on in an empty room or keep an electrical appliance on energy-guzzling standby because you’re already onto the next task, and it doesn’t even occur to you to flip the switch or press the ‘power off’ button.

But if you did, you’d be helping to conserve the Earth’s valuable resources, reduce toxic greenhouse gas emissions, and shave at least £120 a year off your energy bill. According to experts, you could save as much as £500 a year if you used all your lights and appliances more efficiently. And that doesn’t even factor in the incredible good you’d be doing for our environment.

That’s why Oliver Lamps wants to help you take all that hard sustainable work off your shoulders by becoming your go-to one-stop energy efficiency shop.

So you can cut your bills, make your life easier, and do your bit to save the planet every single day without even having to stop and think about it.

Our friendly team will always give you the very best advice on everything you need to do to reduce your bills and follow a more sustainable, energy-efficient lifestyle. Up to now, you may have thought you’re doing as much as you can to save energy and lower costs, but we bet we’ve got plenty of suggestions up our sleeve you haven’t thought about.

Not just suggestions but practical sustainable solutions you can take home and start using instantly, from a simple energy-saving LED bulb to the latest lighting and home security Smart tech. Or you could book a chat with our brilliant installation experts and find out how installing an EV charger on your premises won’t just save you money and save the planet; it could make you money too! Or what about harnessing the power of solar? Think again if you’ve never thought about installing solar because it feels too complicated and expensive. We’ve partnered with some of the UK and Europe’s leading recyclable energy innovators with the sole aim of making all this exciting technology more accessible and affordable for you. We’re going to tell you more about that in our next blog.

In the meantime, why not pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, call us on 01328 855028, or email [email protected] to find out more? We’re looking forward to helping you make your world a cheaper, brighter, and more planet-friendly place!

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We are your one-stop renewable energy shop!

renewable energy

You don’t need to go anywhere else for your renewable energy needs when you’ve got Oliver Lamps to rely on.

For example, suppose you pop into our fabulous shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY, to buy an LED bulb or check out our incredible range of Smart tech, light fittings, bespoke lampshades, or home furnishings. In that case, you could also find out about EV charging your home or business or harnessing all the awesome cost-saving power of solar energy.

Or, if you’ve got an energy-saving problem that needs solving, your friendly team at Oliver Lamps can help you with that too. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll definitely know somebody who will!

That’s because we work with an incredible number of trusted partners all over the UK. All of them are at the top of their field, whether it’s EV, solar, or any other kind of renewable energy innovation. Not to mention that our talented installation team also love a seemingly impossible mission – over the decades, we’ve designed and installed lighting for countless big and small office buildings, shops, warehouses, garages, churches, sporting arenas, concert halls, and other weird and wonderful venues. There’s absolutely no challenge you could give us that we or our partners won’t be able to tackle.

Here are a couple of recent examples

After they read one of our recent blogs, the owners of a popular Norfolk shopping and eating complex wanted to learn more about EV charging. That’s because, just like us, they’re passionate about offering their customers the very best services and facilities they can while cutting costs, generating invaluable extra revenue, and minimising their C02 footprint. They also wanted to take advantage of the OZEV workplace charging grant while it’s still available, and, considering how fast government policies and the global energy market are both changing right now, who can blame them for not hanging around? Although we all hope that the workplace charging grant won’t disappear anytime soon, why take that chance when we already know that petrol and diesel vehicles will be fazed out over the next decade? EV isn’t just the future; it’s happening today!

But they had a problem. Their electricity supply board was already running at full capacity, and they worried that installing EV chargers would tip them over the edge. So, they came to Oliver Lamps and asked if we had a solution.

After listening to their requirements, discussing their options, and working closely with one of our fantastic solar energy partners, we offered the client a simple but innovative solution that not only solves their capacity problem so they can install EV… it’s going to save them a lot of money across the rest of their business as well!

Want to know what it is? Let’s say that solar and EV work exceptionally well together, and solar panels aren’t just designed to go on the roof!

Another customer came to us, worried about their rising energy bill but convinced they couldn’t afford to get solar installed. A well-known company had already given them a quote that was well over £500k and, despite the fact they’d eventually make that money back (and much more) over the long term, that kind of up-front outlay just wasn’t feasible.

Working in partnership with our solar experts, we offered them a solution that was almost £100k cheaper than their first quote… something their accountants and bank manager were a lot more willing to get behind!

What’s the moral to these stories?

Whatever your renewable energy needs are and whatever obstacles seem to be holding you back, we’ll always be able to help you find a better solution. In the extremely rare circumstance that we can’t (which hasn’t happened yet), we’ll at least be able to point you in the right direction.

We have the country’s very best lighting and energy-saving experts on our team, and we’ve worked hard to develop close, trusting relationships with the UK’s (and Europe’s) leading renewable energy partners and suppliers.

And that’s why Oliver Lamps really are your one-stop lighting and renewable energy shop!

To find out more, give us a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or visit our showroom and say hello. Whatever your question or concern, no matter how big or small your problem, our friendly team will always be here to help you!

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Did you know you can charge your electric vehicle via solar power?

Oliver Lamps solar power

Let’s start with the bad news. As we write this, there are petrol and diesel shortages across the U.K. If you drive a conventional gas-guzzling motor and you’re lucky enough to find a garage that’s got any petrol or diesel, filling up your tank will cost you a small fortune. And, before you even get to fill up your tank, you’ll almost certainly be stuck in a queue of unhappy drivers who are desperately trying to fill their tanks up as well. But look on the bright side, at least the sun’s been shining.

Now, the fantastic news. If you drive an electric car, the petrol and diesel shortages won’t affect you. You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint, saving a heap of money, and if your electric car is entirely electric, you currently won’t have to pay any road tax. Even if it’s a hybrid vehicle, your road tax will be considerably reduced.

Plus, while you drive past that long queue of frustrated petrolheads in the brilliant sunshine, you could have the added satisfaction of knowing that all that lovely solar energy will be getting stored up for your E.V. charger, ready to ‘fuel up’ your electric car overnight.

That’s right. You can use solar power to charge your electric car!

All you have to do is get in touch with Oliver Lamps and we’ll tell you how!

Oliver Lamps has gone solar.

On top of all the other fabulous energy-saving innovations we offer, Oliver Lamps have teamed up with the U.K.’s brightest solar energy experts so that you can tap into the power of sunlight too!

Solar isn’t something we’ve talked about before, but it’s a part of our business that’s quickly becoming huge. More than one million households across the country already rely on solar energy and – wait for it – there are currently six times more public E.V. charging points than there are petrol pumps in the U.K., with around two hundred more public charge points being installed every week… and that doesn’t even take into account the rapidly growing number of E.V. home charger installations!

It’s not hard to see why so many businesses and homeowners are jumping on the solar bandwagon. With the alarming and seemingly never-ending rise in energy prices, not to mention the growing shortage of fossil fuels and the incredible damage those fossil fuels are inflicting on our planet, making the change to cheaper, more sustainable, and environmentally friendly sources of energy has become more important than ever.

Also, as we mentioned in our previous blog, installing an E.V. charger could generate an invaluable revenue stream for your business. Plus, if you’ve got solar panels on your business or home, you might be eligible to apply for The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), a government scheme that pays businesses and homeowners for the excess renewable electricity they generate and put back into the National Grid.

How does solar energy work?

Solar energy is drawn from the electromagnetic radiation of the sun. It is renewable, sustainable, inexhaustible, and entirely free of charge. Solar energy generates heat and electricity by (most commonly) using a solar P.V. (Photovoltaic cell) panel to absorb and concentrate the sun’s light and heat.

What are the main advantages of solar energy?

  • Solar energy is renewable, free of charge, and 100% inexhaustible.
  • There are no toxic or air-polluting emissions and no greenhouse gases.
  • Using solar energy will help the fight against climate change.
  • Using solar energy will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, the electricity grid, and natural gas.
  • Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry, creating employment and wealth.

What are the disadvantages of solar energy?

  • The initial cost of installation (although grants are available)
  • Location; i.e. some parts of the country get more sunlight than others.

Having said that, solar panels can still work reasonably well in cloudy weather and – despite the traditional view that the U.K. isn’t especially sunny – we do receive approximately 60% of the equivalent solar radiation found at the Equator. Also, solar panels work more effectively in temperate regions than in very hot countries, which means the U.K. is the perfect place to take advantage of solar energy!

Stand by for some trivia!

  • Under average U.K. weather conditions, one kilowatt of solar panels should generate between 700-900 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year.
  • In 2020, renewable energy – solar, wind, hydro, and biomass – overtook fossil fuels to become the U.K.’s leading energy source.
  • Solar power is the third most generated renewable energy in the U.K., after wind and biomass.
  • According to the U.K. government’s Digest of U.K. Energy Statistics (2020), solar P.V. energy makes up 28% of the U.K.’s renewable energy mix. In 2011, it only made up 1%. What a difference nine years makes!
  • The U.K. has a combined capacity of 13.26 GW of solar P.V. power, which is enough for three million households.
  • If we all worked together to treble the U.K.’s solar energy capacity, total U.K. carbon emissions could be cut by 21.2 million tonnes per year by 2030. And what else is happening in 2030? That’s when the U.K. will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans!
  • The U.K. is currently No.8 in the global ranking for the use of solar energy… and, thanks to the solar geniuses who work with Oliver Lamps, we’re moving closer to the top of that ranking every year!

Want to know more?

Just give our friendly, expert team a call on 01328 855028 or drop us an email at [email protected], and we’ll do the rest. Even though it’s getting busy for the bright sparks in our showroom and our experts and installers in the outside world, we’ve always got time for you!

P.S. Don’t forget our showroom is at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY. If you’re in the area, please pop in and say hello!

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Announcing our exciting new partnership

EV charging partnership

You already trust Oliver Lamps to supply you with the very best in LED and conventional lighting.

If you read our last blog, you’ll also know that we can make installing EV charging painless and very competitively priced for you too. And, if you act now and take advantage of the government’s OZEV Workplace Charging grant while it’s still available, you might even cover the costs of installing EV on your business premises completely! Even if the grant doesn’t cover all the costs, you’ll still receive up to £350 per installed chargepoint, which will take an enormous sting out of the bill… and you won’t have to do a thing to get it! We’ll take care of the installation and all the headachey grant application paperwork for you!

All you’ll have to do is enjoy the incredible energy efficiencies and revenue generation your new EV chargepoints will give you, plus the peace of mind that you’re doing something essential and beneficial for the planet.

So, to make all that happen, doesn’t it make sense that we’d want to team up with an EV charging manufacturer that’s just as innovative, customer-focused and environmentally responsible as we are?

That’s why we’re so excited to be working in partnership with Zaptec, the Norwegian EV pioneers who are bringing the very best cutting-edge charging technology from the coast of Norway to the rest of the world!

“Zaptec who???”

Although they’re relatively new to the rapidly growing EV market, Zaptec succeeded in becoming the leading supplier in the Norwegian corporate market in just two years. Since then, they’ve established offices in Sweden, Switzerland, France, Denmark and Germany… and now it’s the UK’s turn.

And who are one of the first UK companies Zaptec wanted to partner with? We are!

At Oliver Lamps, we’ve nurtured fantastic relationships with all the major EV manufacturers, and we’re proud to install their products too. Still, we wanted to give Zaptec a special nod today because most people in the UK haven’t heard of them yet.

Trust us, though; you will very soon!

Oliver Lamps+Zaptec = the perfect EV combination!

Just like we’re always doing our best to help the environment and tackle climate change by championing energy-saving LED lighting, recycling everything we can and using a carbon-neutral delivery service to transport our products to customers (among lots of other initiatives), Zaptec are also focused on changing the world for the better by creating a more sustainable, electrical future.

Zaptec are passionate about building a greener world and enabling more efficient ways to travel while still celebrating everything that makes us human. As humans, travel and exploration are in our blood, and one of the main objections people raise when they think about electric vehicles and sustainable transport is… but what’s the point? You’ll never be able to drive very far on a single charge, and you’ll be constantly stressed out, worrying that your car or van will run out of juice before you can reach your destination (or the nearest chargepoint) in time.

The truth is, that’s not the case anymore!

The latest electric vehicles can travel a surprisingly long way on a single charge, and the growth explosion in the EV market means that chargepoints are popping up at garages, hotels, pubs, and other businesses, literally everywhere. That’s why Zaptec were so keen to work with us, and we were eager to work with them, because we want to do everything we can to help build the UK’s EV infrastructure and make EV charging something that all our customers can benefit from.

Whether you’re taking a quick jaunt to the shops or carrying an essential delivery to the other end of the country, Oliver Lamps and Zaptec are passionate about being the power behind your journey. How do we do that? It’s simple!

  • Zaptec offers leading-edge, green-tech charging solutions that combine the latest technology with intuitive, human-centred design…
  • …and Oliver Lamps takes control of everything from locating the best place for your chargepoints to go, arranging the seamless, hassle-free installation, and applying for the OZEV grant on your behalf. All you have to do is agree to apply for the grant before the chargepoints are installed because the government doesn’t allow us to apply on your behalf retrospectively.

Don’t forget that means you’ll save up to £350 per chargepoint! If you install a single chargepoint with two guns, that counts as two chargepoints, so you could recover as much as £700!

What are the benefits of installing EV on your premises?

It can generate your business a lot of extra revenue. You’re in complete control of how much you charge drivers for using your chargepoint, so once your electricity supplier has taken their cut, you can put the rest of that money straight back into your business!

It gives your business added value by showing your clients and customers how forward-thinking and environmentally responsible you are. Installing chargepoints for extra revenue also demonstrates a lot of financial savvy, which will keep your bank and shareholders happy as well!

It’s always wise to future-proof yourself as early as possible, so you’ll already be ahead of your competition when electric vehicles become the norm.

In 2030, the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, and all new cars and vans will be fully zero-emission from 2035. The electric future’s coming. Doesn’t it make sense to be ready for it now (while the EV grants are available) instead of later, when charger and installation costs will no doubt go through the roof, and installers will be so run off their feet you’ll probably have to wait months for your chargers to arrive?

Here, at Oliver Lamps, we’re as passionate about helping your business innovate with EV as we are about providing high-quality lighting services. By working in partnership with Zaptec, and all our other great EV suppliers, you can rest assured we’re doing everything we can to make your EV journey as efficient and stress-free as possible.

All you’ve got to do is call us on 01328 855028 or drop us an email at [email protected], and our friendly EV experts will sort out the rest!

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Did you know that Oliver Lamps can help you with EV charging?

Did you know that Oliver Lamps can help you with EV charging

Let’s talk EV charging. Over the past few months, we’ve already seen power charges rise significantly across the UK. Considering the tragic events currently taking place less than two thousand miles away in Ukraine, it’s almost certain that the energy situation is going to get worse.

In fact, when the EU leaders met in Versailles a few days ago, the need for everyone to do as much as we can to conserve energy and look for better ways to use sustainable, renewable energy in our homes and businesses was something they underlined.

It’s no wonder that the electric vehicle market is growing at an incredible rate, especially when you consider that the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and all new cars and vans will be fully zero-emission from 2035.

If you’ve already taken the important energy-and-cost-saving step into EV or are thinking about doing so, Oliver Lamps can help! Plus, if you’re installing EV for your business, we can show you how to monetise it to help take the sting out of those nightmarishly accelerating power charges!

How can we do that?

It’s simple. Thanks to the excellent relationships we’ve built with the UK’s best EV charging station manufacturers, plus an exciting new relationship we’ve developed with one of Scandinavia’s top EV suppliers, we can offer you outstanding terms on EV charger installation! Plus, if you install your chargers now, we can help you take full advantage of the government’s OZEV (Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles) Workplace Charging Scheme grant. We’ll even apply for the grant on your behalf, so you won’t have the pain of doing all that paperwork yourself, and you’ll have peace of mind that your EV installation is in the safest, most expert hands possible.

What’s the OZEV Workplace Charging Scheme grant?

The OZEV scheme for workplace electric vehicle charging means your business will be eligible to receive grant funding for up to 40 charge points at your premises. That means you’ll receive up to £350 per installed chargepoint, which will considerably reduce your initial outlay of costs and might even cover the cost of the install completely!

Plus, if you install a single chargepoint that has two guns, that counts as two chargepoints, so you’ll be able to recover up to £700 for it!

The only essential thing to remember is; you must agree to apply for the workplace charging grant before the charge points are installed. You can’t do it retrospectively.

No need to worry, though. We’ll walk you through the terms and conditions when you contact us, and we’ll do all the hard work for you!

How can an EV chargepoint generate revenue for your business?

It’s simple. Let’s say you’re a pub, hotel, or B&B with a chargepoint installed. When an electric vehicle driver wants to charge their car or van at your chargepoint, they’ll swipe their contactless card or use an app to instantly pay you for the power they’re using. So, suppose your electricity supplier charges you (for example) 30p per kilowatt-hour. In that case, you could set your customer 50p (or whatever you decide it should be) per kilowatt-hour for using your chargepoint! That’s money that goes straight back into your business!

Considering that some hospitality clients we work with are expecting to pay an extra £50k or more in energy prices this year, that’s truly a cash injection lifeline! Also, let’s face it, every business needs all the financial assistance it can get right now, and installing EV is a guaranteed way to make that happen.

What are the four key benefits of installing an EV charger?

1.     It’s an invaluable revenue generator.

2.     It’s something you can do to help your business right now, and at the same time, you’ll be future-proofing your business for the years ahead. 2030 is just around the corner, so doesn’t it make sense to embrace EV today and stay ahead of your competition?

3.     The OZEV Workplace Charging grant is available now and could potentially pay for your entire installation. There’s no guarantee it will still be around in another few months, so please don’t miss out.

4.     It gives your business added value. When your customers know you’ve got EV chargepoints installed, it underlines how you’re going the extra mile to make their lives easier and help to create a better, more environmentally friendly future for all of us. It’s a great social media selling-point too!

Other things to remember.

·      Oliver Lamps offers national EV installation coverage! Even though we’re based in Norfolk, we can arrange your installation and apply for the grant on your behalf wherever you are in the country.

·      You won’t have to wait ages for your installation! As soon as you contact us and give us the go-ahead, we’ll get everything arranged, and your grant application sorted.

·      EV is more important than ever! Oil and diesel aren’t just expensive, unsustainable and toxic, they’re a rapidly dwindling resource, and vehicle manufacturers are fazing them out in 2030. Eight years isn’t a long time. Remember when Donald Trump won the US election? That was six years ago! Don’t let the 2030 faze-out sneak up on you and lose your opportunity to claim the OZEV grant. Make the change to EV now!

What should you do next?

Give us a call on 01328 855028 or drop us an email at [email protected]. Our friendly, expert EV installation team are standing by to assist you.

PS. If you’re a homeowner who’s thinking about installing an EV chargepoint, you may already know that the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) has just ended. The (hopefully) good news is we’ve heard a rumour that something else will replace the Homecharge grant in the future, but what it’s going to be, who knows? Rest assured, though, as soon as anything changes we’ll keep you enlightened!

 

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Could you do more to help save the planet?

can you do more to save the planet_

When you see the news headlines, it’s easy to feel like there’s not a lot you can control in this world.

But one thing you can control is the impact you’re having on it so that our planet will be healthier for generations to come.

That’s something we’ve always focused on here, at Oliver Lamps. And, if you haven’t joined us yet, this is the perfect time to get involved – especially if you’re a fan of a particular animal whose habitat is endangered because of what we’re doing to its environment.

Why we’re taking Climate Action

Climate Action is one of the 17 Global Goals that all the United Nation’s Member States signed up to back in 2015. The Global Goals are designed to tackle issues like climate change, gender equality, and poverty, and businesses throughout the UN have been encouraged to sign up to at least one or two of the goals and make the world a better place.

The goal we’ve signed up to is called SDG 13 – Climate Action.

  • We always turn off the lights when we’re not using them, except sometimes in our window display. However, because the lights we use in our window display (and the rest of the business) are LED, the amount of energy they use is extremely minimal.
  • We turn off our computers and other appliances at the end of the day (unless it’s necessary to keep them on standby). Whenever we replace an electrical item, we always choose an energy-efficient product whenever possible.
  • We do our best to be environmentally friendly in everything we do. We recycle all our packaging or use other companies’ packaging to reduce waste, and we use the carbon-neutral delivery service DPDgroup to carry our products to our customers.
  • We can help you with your recycling too! If you ever throw out any of your old light bulbs – even the ones that no longer work – bring them into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, and we’ll recycle them for you.
  • We’re leading the way with electric car charging in Norfolk! Electric cars aren’t just greener than other vehicles because of their much lower emissions; they’re more energy-efficient and easier to maintain too. At Oliver Lamps, we can help you take charge of all your electric car charging needs, including fully warranted approved installation, access to grants, and unbeatable finance options. We’ll tell you more about this exciting new initiative very soon but, if you can’t wait, call our expert team on 01328 855028 and select Option 3.

The important things to know about bulb recycling

If you can’t bring your old bulbs into our shop, here’s what you need to know to dispose of them safely.

What kind of light bulb is it?

All LED bulbs should be recycled, not thrown into your ordinary garbage bin. That’s because, even though they’re safer to use than other bulbs and are much more energy-efficient, they do contain hazardous elements like arsenic and lead. For that reason, it’s vital that LED bulbs don’t enter the normal waste cycle.

Just as importantly, LED bulbs are made up of invaluable components like diodes, transformers, and semiconductors that need to be recycled so they can be reused in new products. They also contain rare earth elements and metals like gallium and indium. Recycling the glass of an LED bulb is essential too.

Incandescent bulbs don’t just drain energy and drive up your power bill; they can also be challenging to recycle because fewer recycling plants are able to process them. If you can’t bring your old incandescent bulb to us so that we can send it to the proper recycling specialists for you, wrap it up carefully and put it in your regular household bin. Please avoid putting incandescent bulbs in your recycling bin because they’ve got a higher melting temperature than other glass or bottles, and all it takes is one incandescent bulb and you’ve potentially ruined a whole collection of recyclable glass.

If it’s a fluorescent light bulb, it can create a severe health hazard for both ourselves and our environment if it isn’t disposed of properly.

  • The bulb should be carefully broken.
  • It should be washed to remove any contaminants.
  • A Distiller should be used to extract the elemental mercury.
  • The glass, metals and plastics should be broken down into even smaller pieces and then separated before sending them to recycling.

See why it’s a lot easier and quicker just to bring them to us instead?!

Join Oliver Lamps, and let’s save the planet together!

If you’d like to know more about how LED lighting can make your home or business environmentally friendly, sustainable, and a lot cheaper to run, pop into our shop, give us a call (01328 855028) or drop us an email ([email protected].) We’ll always be here to help you make the world a brighter, healthier place!

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Love is in the air!

Love bulb

It’s February, which means Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and a chubby little guy with a quiver full of arrows is about to make life very confusing for anyone who finds an anonymous romantic card sitting on their doormat.

It’s also the time when anyone who forgets to send a card to that extra special person in their life ends up in very deep water.

It’s easy to be cynical about Valentine’s Day, mainly because the only people who really seem to benefit from it are greeting card company owners. However, considering love and joy often seem to be in such short supply around the world right now, you could say that celebrating Valentine’s Day is more important than ever.

Dazzle your beloved!

If you want to make your loved one’s Valentine’s really special (or show yourself a bit of love instead), we’ve got plenty of fabulous Valentine’s Day themed home furnishing treats in stock at Oliver Lamps. After all, a card will only last a day, but a beautiful home decoration from Oliver Lamps will be cherished forever. Also, because we specially handpick our items from some very exclusive suppliers (and even make some of them in-house), you’ll be very unlikely to find anything like it anywhere else. What are you waiting for? Pop into our store at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, and be dazzled by everything we’ve got available at prices that will make your heart skip a beat (but in a good way!)

Don’t forget that how you use your lighting is a fantastic way to show your romantic side, too. After all, there’s a reason why you’ll always find dim lighting in swanky restaurants, and the smoochy scenes in romcoms nearly always take place around candlelight. Soft, warm lighting is key to creating romantic vibes, and colour-changing LED bulbs are a can’t-fail way to conjure up a romantic mood.

  • Use warm colours like red, orange, and pink.
  • Use dimmers to turn down the lights. Even better, use warm dimming LEDs to transition from a whiter to a more sunset-red colour temperature.
  • Concentrate the light on a focal point in the room. For example, if you’ve got a romantic dinner planned, the light should be subtly placed above and around the dining table. Alternatively, you could put a lantern, fairy lights or candles on the table and let them do all the illuminating for you!
  • Turn off any other lights in the room to keep the rest of the room in shadow. However, a carefully placed lamp or a subtle spotlight illuminating a reflective object could also create interesting highlight effects. Don’t go crazy with the reflective objects and surfaces, though. Where any type of mood lighting is concerned, never forget that less is nearly always more.

We’re feeling the love

At Oliver Lamps, we’ve always loved what we do. More than sixty years ago, our founder, Harold Oliver O.B.E, went in search of the perfect light bulb and discovered a passion for lighting that would be passed down through generations and flourish into a business that’s still proudly family-owned.

The success of our business is also thanks to the love our team members have for what they do.

We’ve always offered fantastic, competitively-priced products coupled with excellent service and aftercare. Our highly-trained sales team and expert lighting technicians and installers are the best in the business, and their unrivalled combination of knowledge, talent, commitment, and enthusiasm is what makes Oliver Lamps so special. It’s also why our high standard of customer service and customer care has always been Oliver Lamps’ hallmark, putting us miles ahead of our competitors, especially the corporates where customers are mostly just another faceless sale.

So, whether you’re looking for some romantic lighting and furnishings for Valentine’s Day or the perfect lighting and furnishings for any other time of year, Oliver Lamps will always be here to exceed your expectations.

Oh, and if you can’t make it to our showroom, don’t forget you can always phone us on

01328 855028 or email [email protected] (or leave a message on our Facebook page!)

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Take the sting out of rising power charges

Take the sting out of rising power charges!

Now that we’re well and truly into 2022 and the Covid restrictions have been lifted, it’s the alarming increase in energy charges that’s got everybody worried. That’s why it’s essential to take a closer look at the lighting you use at home because even making a few small changes could save you an incredible amount of money in the long term and do our environment, our planet, and future generations a massive favour!

Why is energy-efficient lighting so important?

Using energy-efficient lighting will help to reduce your electricity bills and lower your carbon dioxide footprint. The average UK household spends at least 15% of its electricity bill on lighting, but if you replaced all the bulbs in your home with LEDs, that figure would fall dramatically.

When traditional lights first went on the market more than a century ago, only about 5% of the electricity they used was turned into visible light. Then, when Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) arrived, they used around 70-80% less electricity than equivalent traditional bulbs did, which made them much more energy efficient.

LED lights are even more efficient than CFLs, which is why they’ve pretty much replaced CFLs entirely. They are designed to fit almost any light fitting in the home, and they achieve full brightness the moment you switch them on, unlike other bulbs that take a while to warm up. LEDs are also much more adaptable than CFLs and can be used everywhere inside and outside the home for general lighting, exterior lighting, spotlighting, dimmable lighting, security lighting, and even chandelier lighting.

The important thing to remember is…

Get your lumens right!

Sometimes, when people have never used low energy light bulbs before, they choose a bulb that isn’t bright enough for its purpose and then complain that low energy light bulbs give a lesser quality of light.

They’re wrong. LED bulbs give a far better quality and brightness of light than any other type of bulb currently out there, but when you choose an energy-saving bulb, you’ve got to get your lumens right.

Traditional bulbs use watts to determine how bright the bulb is, but watts don’t measure brightness; they measure power consumption. Because energy-efficient bulbs use a lot less power (i.e. fewer watts) than traditional lamps, you should always focus on the lumen output when selecting an energy-efficient bulb… that way, you won’t be disappointed!

For example, if you’re replacing a traditional 15-watt bulb with an LED, you’ll want an LED bulb that’s 140 lumens. Replacing a 25-watt traditional will require a 250 lumen LED. 40-watt traditional = 470 lumen LED. 60-watt traditional = 800 lumen LED. 75-watt traditional = 1.050 lumen LED. 100-watt traditional = 1,520 lumen LED.

Don’t worry, though; if you’ve got any doubts, our friendly experts will always know the perfect LED bulb you should use.

Choose the right colour

Low energy light bulbs come in a wide range of colours and, to be sure the bulb you choose gives you maximum comfort and efficiency, it’s essential to match the colour of the bulb with the task you’ll be using it for. For example, ‘warm white’ or ‘soft white’ LED bulbs are usually more suitable for household lighting, whereas ‘cool white’ bulbs are better for office spaces.

Look for the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) number printed on the bulb’s packaging, usually next to the lumen number. In general, a mid-range CRI of 80 or above is sufficient for most household uses. However, if you want your light to render the colours around you more accurately, a CRI of 90 or more is better.

Let’s talk savings

On the face of it, an LED bulb is a bit more expensive than a traditional incandescent. However, a single LED bulb has an average lifespan of 20,000 hours, whereas an incandescent lasts only 1,000 hours. So, even though the LED bulb seems pricier, it will last at least 20 times longer than the incandescent and, if it doesn’t, bring it back to our shop with your receipt, and we’ll be happy to replace it.

As far as energy savings go, an LED bulb uses far less power than a traditional bulb to generate the same amount of light, i.e. where a traditional bulb might use 40 watts, an LED bulb will only use 5 watts to do the same job. Although energy rates are still wildly fluctuating, if your energy rate is £0.20 per kWh (kilowatt-hour), the LED bulb would cost £20 over its lifetime. The traditional bulb would cost you £160 over the same period.

Think how much money and energy you could save if you replaced all the traditional bulbs in your home with energy-saving LEDs.

Other tips for reducing your lighting bill

Always turn off the lights when you don’t need them. If you switched off your lights every time you leave the room, you could shave an average of £14 a year off your household lighting bill.

Do you need all those lights on at the same time? Some people will put the main light on, plus a table lamp, plus a task light. Is that really necessary, or would just the main light do?

Use Smart lighting to make it easier to automatically switch lights on and off, dim them or raise them without leaving your armchair, or time them to switch on and off for added security when your house is unoccupied.

Make sure all your lighting switches are easily accessible, so turning them off isn’t a hassle.

Clean your light bulbs, lampshades and light fittings regularly, so no dust or debris can reduce the quality of the light. Also, dark materials can absorb some of the light a bulb emits, so think about replacing darker lampshades and fittings with shades and fittings that are more transparent. Don’t forget, you can even bring your own choice of material to our shop, and we’ll make your bespoke lampshade in-house!

Summing up

LED’s key advantages are:

  • More energy efficiency
  • Lower energy bills
  • Improved safety (because, unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, LED’s emit virtually no heat)
  • Considerably longer lifespan
  • Greater versatility and colour choice (LED lights come in all shapes and sizes so you can place them virtually anywhere you choose, operate them via a dimmer switch or remotely, and select the colour temperature that will give your home or workspace the perfect ambience)
  • Instant lighting and more efficient light dispersal (unlike incandescent bulbs, LED lights don’t have to warm up – they’re bright from the moment they’re powered on. Also, you can direct the light wherever it’s needed so no light is wasted) 

And, if you purchase a LED bulb from us and it doesn’t last as long as it’s supposed to, we guarantee to replace it free of charge.

At Oliver Lamps, we also carry a wide range of electrical accessories, including dimmer switches, rocker switches and sockets. If we don’t have what you’re looking for in stock, we’ll be delighted to order it for you. Plus, of course, we’re always here to answer your questions! Even if you can’t visit our fabulous 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, showroom in person, our friendly team are only a phone call (01328 855028) or an email message ([email protected]) away.

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Get ready to brighten up your 2022!

Get ready to brighten up your 2022!

Happy New Year from everybody at Oliver Lamps!

We hope your 2022 has started safely and successfully and that the next twelve months will have plenty of fabulous surprises in store for all of us.

And, while we’re on the subject of fabulous surprises in store, that’s precisely what we’ve got planned for you over the coming year. Over the next few weeks, we’ll have some exciting new home accessories in stock that we’ve especially chosen to add sparkle to your Spring and va-va-voom to your Valentine’s Day, including photo frames, cushions, picture frames, clocks and doorstops. Some of them are even in-store right now, so why not pop into our fantastic showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham and take a look before another early bird swoops in to sweep them up?!

Also, don’t forget that our hugely popular handmade lampshades are now being made in-house too. All you’ve got to do is come to our shop, pick out your fabric (or bring in your own material), and we’ll do the rest! Our turnaround times are very fast at the moment, so your gorgeous bespoke shade will have pride of place in your home before you know it, and you could even make it the focus of all your interior design dreams for 2022! After all, every journey begins with a single step and, once you’ve got your eye-catching statement lampshade in place, there’s no limit to what you could do next!

Our Top 5 LED Lighting Resolutions

It might seem a bit early to be thinking about a Spring clean, but this is the perfect time to do a bit of quick and easy LED lighting maintenance to keep your LED bulbs working perfectly! Even though the average lifespan of most LEDs is approximately 50,000 hours, and some LEDs can even last up to 100,000 hours depending on usage, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of regular maintenance on them. Don’t worry – it’s not technical, and it’s not time-consuming! All you’ve got to do is follow these simple lighting resolutions to ensure you’re getting the very best brightness and value out of your energy-saving, cost-cutting and environment-friendly LED bulbs and appliances!

Clean the bulbs regularly

All lights, even LEDs, collect dust and other particles that can impair their performance. In extreme cases, too much accumulated dust and debris can even cause shortages.

Remove the light bulb (preferably before you’ve switched it on for the day; otherwise, make sure it’s switched off and cool to the touch before you take it out of the fitting) and gently wipe it over with a dry microfibre cloth. Never use a damp/wet cloth, cleaning sprays, polishes, or abrasive materials because they can easily damage the bulb.

If you’re cleaning a halogen bulb, always wear gloves or use a cloth to handle it. Avoid touching the bulb’s surface with your bare hands because the oil from your skin can cause a hot spot that may reduce the bulb’s lifespan.

Don’t forget to clean the light fittings too. Once again, use a dry cloth. If there’s any hard-to-remove dirt on the fitting, and it’s not close to any wiring or sockets, moisten the cloth very lightly with a fine spray of water. Be extremely careful, though; moisture and electrics can be a shocking combination!

Replace faulty light bulbs and fittings

If any of your LED bulbs or light fittings aren’t working correctly, replace them. Always recycle your old light bulbs by taking them to your local waste disposal centre or bringing them into our store, where our friendly planet-conscious team will recycle them for you! Whatever you do, please don’t dispose of CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs or fluorescent lights in your regular household waste because they contain trace amounts of mercury.

Also, if you’ve still got a few halogen bulbs hanging around, this is the optimal time to replace them with money-saving LEDs!

Don’t forget your outdoor lighting

If you thought the dust and debris build-up in your interior lighting was terrible, that’s nothing compared to the dirt build-up you’ll find on your outdoor lighting! Luckily, though, this should be just as quick and simple to deal with because outdoor lights are designed to be tougher than their indoor counterparts. Simply wiping the surface with a damp cloth should be enough, paying particular attention to removing the dirt, mud, and yuck off any solar cells. If any of your lights are elevated (like floodlights and security lights), use a stable ladder to reach up to them, don’t be tempted to lean precariously out of a window!

LEDs don’t like humidity!

Avoid using LED bulbs in excessively humid environments because moisture can shorten their lifespan, just as it will for every other bulb type. Depending on what the bulb is being used for, you might also notice some ‘water fog’ developing on the bulb in overly humid environments (projector bulbs can be especially prone to this.) Water fog is a rare phenomenon in the ordinary home; it usually occurs when there’s so much humidity around the bulb that a water mist is generated because of the difference between inside and outside air temperatures. If that ever happens, don’t worry; the mist should disappear after a period of continuous use. However, be aware that if those humid conditions are ongoing, it’s not going to do your bulbs or appliances any favours and could cause problems down the road.

When in doubt, always talk to us first!

LED is the most reliable lighting on the market, but you still have to use LED lights correctly and be sure that the bulb you’ve chosen is fit for its purpose. For example, plugging your LED lamp into the wrong current can prevent it from working properly and lead to damage. Too much rapid switching on and switching off of lights (we know someone who does this with the hall light to call her cats down for supper!) isn’t a good idea either. Also, some types of LED bulbs are more suitable for certain lamps and light fittings than others. Don’t forget, if you’ve got any questions, we’re always here with expert advice and to ensure you’re never less than delighted with your new lighting purchase! Just come into our shop, call us on 01328 855028, or email [email protected] if there’s ever anything we can do to help!

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How Oliver Lamps Saved Christmas

‘‘Twas the night before Christmas
And we’re sorry to say
That when Santa reached Fakenham
The lights failed on his sleigh

“Oh no this is terrible”, Santa said to his crew
“Because without lights to see by
All the little boys and girls of England won’t get their presents this year…”
“What about my nose?” asked Rudolph.
“Sorry to break this to you but it’s not much brighter than a halogen bulb,” replied Santa, “What we need is the brilliant brightness and energy and cost saving power of LED.”
“Let’s get on with the poem,” said an elf.

‘‘Twas then that they saw,
Shining warmly below,
The shop window of Oliver Lamps,
And Santa knew where to go.

“What an excellent store!”
Santa exclaimed with joy,
“And they don’t just sell great lighting
These home furnishings… oh boy!”

(“He’s pushing his luck with this rhyming thing now,” said Donner to Blitzen.
“And Rudolph’s really got the hump over that comment about his nose,” Blitzen said to Donner.
And wondered, not for the first time, why whenever he talked to Donner he felt inexplicably hungry for a kebab.)

“So thanks to Oliver Lamps
Santa could see where to go
He sailed back up to the sky
With a jolly “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

And all the sleeping girls and boys
Got their Christmas gifts and toys
Although some of them woke up early
Because having a bunch of LED lights on a sleigh shining right through your window at one o’clock in the morning is enough to give anyone a bad night’s sleep.

So please remember to switch your LED lights off when you’re not using them, everybody.
It saves energy. It saves money. And it’s better for the planet.”

AND THAT’S HOW OLIVER LAMPS SAVED CHRISTMAS!

(Copyright: Charles Dickens, Fakenham, 1879, after a long night of cheese and dodgy prosecco)

Happy Christmas everybody!

Well, it’s been another strange ol’ twelve months but this is the season to celebrate the good times and look forward to the even better. So, when you look back over 2021, what’s your favourite memory? We took a random poll of the terrific team at Oliver Lamps and here’s what they said:

Sarah’s favourite memory of this year? “We won the Christmas Window Competition.”

Lucy: “Happy to be back full-time and feeling a lot more involved again.”

Jade: “The first day back in the office after lockdown and seeing everyone’s smiley faces and greeting our lovely customers again”

And we are all looking forward to a relaxing Christmas and a prosperous new year!

But one thing’s for sure.

We’ve got the best customers, clients and friends any lighting emporium could ever wish for (ooh… emporium… we’re getting a bit Christmas Carol now!) and we want to thank you all for your custom, support, and overall brilliantness throughout this weird but occasionally wonderful year.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all again in the new year and helping to make your 2022 as light and bright as possible!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year, everybody!

See you in January!

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All you need for Christmas is… Oliver Lamps!

Christmas lighting

Well, okay, we’re probably not exactly all you need for Christmas.

After all, we don’t sell mince pies, and we don’t sell toys (although we’ve got a very cute line in children’s night lights, and if any of your favourite people are into tech, we’ve got some fabulous Smart lighting and Smart security offerings too!) but, if it’s fantastic lighting, cosy home furnishings, great prices and the warmest welcome in Fakenham you’re looking for, Oliver Lamps is the place you need to be!


That might be the longest sentence we’ve written all year.

Seriously, though, Christmas has come early at Oliver Lamps! A few days ago, we were lucky enough to win the Christmas Window Competition run by the Fakenham Events Committee. It’s a massive honour, and there were so many other incredible window displays entered in the competition that bringing home the top prize really is the fairy on top of our 2021 tree. And we promise that’s the last cheesy Christmas metaphor we’re going to use in this blog.


Also, thank you to all our friends and customers who have congratulated us and told us how beautiful our shop is looking this Yuletide. Between you and the Christmas Window Competition judges, it’s lovely to see our hardworking team’s artistic efforts being appreciated!

Now, if you’re still racking your brains for a terrific Christmas present (or a well-deserved treat for yourself), our lampshades, cushions, and fish bubble lamps are proving mega-popular!

It’s time to get shady! (Don’t worry, at Oliver Lamps, that’s a good thing!)

Our lampshades have been selling so well over the past few months that we’ve started making them in-house. We can make them from your favourite material (just bring the material to our shop and we’ll do the rest!) or, if you’ve seen a material or a design you like, we can source it for you.

Alternatively, if you’re already frazzled from making lots of Christmassy decisions, we’ve got a brilliant range of materials and designs for you to choose from already in stock, so why not pop in and select one of those? Depending on whether the material’s already available, whether we have to order it in, or whether you provide it, the turn-around from order to finished lampshade is usually between 7 to 14 days.

Although we don’t currently offer bespoke in-house choices with our cushions (mainly because our current design range is already fab!), in-house cushions could be a real possibility in the new year depending upon customer demand, so watch this space over the coming months!

What’s that? You want to know more about our sea-lightful fish bubble lamps?!

As the lobster in The Little Mermaid said, “Your fish is our command!” (Or was that the genie from Aladdin? Whoops… that reminds us… we haven’t booked our seats for the Christmas panto yet…)


Anyhoo, back to the bubble lamps!

They come in four sizes.

• A 40cm bubble lamp containing three fish and two balls.
• A 61cm bubble lamp containing various coloured balls.
• An 89cm bubble lamp containing six fish (that’s almost your own shoal!) with a button so you can select the bubble speed.
• And, finally, a 120cm bubble lamp containing eight fish (that’s definitely your own shoal!) with a button to vary the bubble speed.

All the lamps are colour changing – all you need to do is wash the contents, fill the lamp with deionised water, switch on the lamp, and enjoy! They look so cool that even Aquaman would give them his Trident of Approval… if he could stop saving the world long enough to take a trip to Fakenham and visit Oliver Lamps! Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, but it’s on our list to Santa, so you never know!

Our Christmas opening times!

This one’s easy to remember. We’re open at our usual times all the way through to Christmas Eve and then closed for the rest of the holiday. We’re re-opening on Tuesday 4th January so make sure you put the date in your 2022 calendar!


Finally, don’t forget that we’ve still got lots of goodies in stock to make your home look and feel extra Christmassy! We’ve got Christmas decorations, our ever-popular illuminated twig trees, Christmas reindeer, Christmas doorstops and Christmas gonks.

Why not drop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY, and prepare to be sleighed by all our tempting offers and prices? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist that one!) Or, if you’re too busy to visit us in person, give our friendly elves a call on 01328 855028 or email [email protected], and we’ll do the rest.


Stay jolly, stay safe, and see you in a couple of weeks for our last blog of the year!

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LED trivia to dazzle your friends with!

LED trivia to dazzle your friends with!

Fakenham’s Christmas lights have just been switched on, and the whole town – as well as the rest of Norfolk and the world – is finally ready for the festive season!

How about you?

Of course, what would the festive season be without a bit of trivia to amaze your family, friends, and work colleagues with at all those endless Christmas get-togethers? And, as we love a bit of trivia ourselves – especially when it’s related to LED lighting – we thought we’d share some of our favourite facts and figures with you. Keep them handy, so when Uncle Ken starts rambling on about how he only got a stocking full of coal and oranges on Christmas day, you can change the subject and rescue all your rellies from having to listen to that story for the millionth time this lifetime! Or keep them to yourself, so you’ll know precisely why LED is the perfect, cost-friendly and energy-efficient lighting source for every home and office… and instantly remember that Oliver Lamps is the perfect, cost-friendly and people-friendly place to buy your LED bulbs this Christmas and throughout the new year!

Hold on to your brainboxes! Here we go!

  1. What does LED stand for?

    Light-Emitting Diode.

  2. What’s a Light-Emitting Diode?

    A Light-Emitting Diode is a semiconductor light source that combines a P-type semiconductor with an N-type semiconductor. Don’t worry about the science; simply remember that P-type semiconductors have a larger hole concentration and N-type semiconductors have a larger electron concentration. This means that when you put enough voltage through them, the electrons and the holes have a big party at the P-N junction and release all their energy in the form of light.

  3. How much energy will Cousin Stanley’s dancing release at this year’s Christmas disco?

    That one’s impossible to answer but, back in 2008, two lighting geniuses in the Netherlands created the first sustainable dance floor that turns the kinetic energy from footsteps into electricity and generates enough power (35 watts per floor tile, to be exact) to keep the entire nightclub’s LED lighting system working. There’s also a company in London that puts electromagnetic generators under floor tiles. When people walk across them, each step can create up to 4 joules of off-grid electrical energy. Why not try that with Cousin Stanley and he might unknowingly keep your LEDs on well into the new year!

  4. How do LED’s change colour?

    That’s all to do with something called emission wavelengths and how they’re combined so the human eye can see them. For example, there are two typical ways of creating white LED light: one is by mixing a blue LED with yellow phosphor, the other is by combining the three primary colours – Red LED + Green LED + Blue LED – together.

  5. LED’s convert nearly 100% of the energy they consume into light.

    That’s a humungous improvement on old-fashioned energy-guzzling incandescents, which only convert about 9-10% of the energy fed into them into light.

  6. LEDs DON’T contain any mercury, and they’re at least 95% recyclable!

    On the other hand, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) DO contain mercury and, because their fluorescent tubes die long before the rest of the lamp’s components, they also create hundreds of tons of unnecessary toxic waste every year.

  7. LED lamps are tough to break

    But if you break an incandescent lamp there’ll always be a lot of smashed glass to clean up; PLUS, if it’s a CFL, you’ll have the added danger of leaked mercury to worry about.

  8. LED bulbs don’t heat up like incandescents.

    It doesn’t matter how long your LED bulb is on; it still won’t burn you when you touch it. Anyone who’s ever touched an incandescent after a few minutes knows it’s a very different and painful story!

  9. LED’s have a very long lifespan

    If the average LED bulb was left permanently on throughout the whole of its life, it would take at least three years to burn out. Or let’s think about it another way. It took Tolstoy six years to write War and Peace. If he’d had an LED light bulb in his office (unfortunately, he was around a bit too early for LED) and installed it on the first day he started writing, he could have written War and Peace 3.3 times over, and the LED bulb would probably never have needed changing. Or, if you’re a Daniel Craig fan whose 2021 was ruined because No Time to Die is his last Bond movie, you could have installed an LED bulb in 2006 when the first Daniel Craig 007 film, Casino Royale, was released and it would still have been burning brightly 15 years later when you came home after No Time to Die mumbling, “I can’t believe they… [Whoops! Spoilers! Forget we said anything!].

  10. LED breeds significantly less bacteria than incandescent or fluorescent lighting

    You know when you go to your local supermarket and see LED light being used in the fresh food display? That’s because LED breeds significantly less bacteria than incandescent or fluorescent lighting.

  11. LED lamps have something called ‘Instant On’.

    Unlike incandescents and other forms of lighting, LED lamps have something called ‘Instant On’. That means, when you switch on any LED light, you instantly get its full brightness. Other types of lighting don’t only take a while to reach full brightness; their life span can be significantly reduced if you switch them off and then back on within fifteen minutes of them heating up.

FINAL FUN FACT: The famous Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree in London will be unveiled this year on Thursday 2 December. The tree is a traditional gift from the Norwegian people, who have sent a tree to us from Oslo every year since 1947. The people of Oslo felled this year’s tree on 16 November, and then it was loaded onto a lorry and driven more than 100km from Oslo to the port of Brevik, where it was transported onto a ship and set sail to the UK. The tree is very carefully wrapped up during its journey because any contact with salt water can damage it.

Once it arrives at Trafalgar Square, the tree is decorated in traditional Norwegian style and is usually covered with more than 600 white lights.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go to all that fuss to make your home look festive and fabulous this Christmas – just pop into Oliver Lamps! We’ve got light-up twig trees, lots of Christmas tree decorations, Christmas cushions, Christmas doorstops, Christmas gonks and reindeer (but not real ones – they’re too messy!), in fact, everything you need to get into the Christmas spirit! Pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY and prepare to be enchanted! Alternatively, give us a call on 01328 855028 or drop us an email at [email protected].

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon and making your Christmas extra bright and magical!

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It’s time to celebrate the Magic of Light!

festive lighting

It’s easy to take light for granted. We flip the switch (or ask Alexa to turn the lights on for us), and there it is. Easy peasy.

So, as we zoom towards Christmas faster than Rudolph after he’s eaten some dodgy reindeer food, we thought this would be the perfect time to talk about how important light is. Not just because it brightens up our world and lets us see things more clearly, but because light is at the centre of so many significant and well-loved celebrations. In fact, light is currently bringing illumination and joy to festivals all around the world.

Take Diwali, for instance.

Diwali is one of the most important festivals in Indian culture. Although the date for Diwali changes slightly every year, this year’s Diwali was held only a few days ago. It’s a five-day celebration known as the Festival of Lights; in fact, ‘Diwali’ is a shortened version of the word ‘Deepavali’, which means ‘series of lights’. Over the five days of the festival, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains worldwide decorate their homes and businesses with oil lamps, candles, and many other forms of light.

What’s the significance of light during Diwali?

Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

According to the Diwali story, Sita, the wife of the Hindu God Lord Rama, was kidnapped by the demon king. When Lord Rama rescued her, and they returned to their kingdom, the villagers lit thousands of oil lamps so Lord Rama and Sita could find their way back home on the moonless night. This is why light is key to the festival. It’s also why Diwali is a time of massive firework displays, to symbolise Lord Rama’s coming back to his people.

Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. It’s a time for feasting and dancing and visiting with family and friends. It’s also an opportunity to pause for a while, take stock of the past and look forward to the future.

But it’s not just Diwali that celebrates light!

Every year, between late October to March, winter Illuminations festivals are held in cities across Japan. One of the oldest of these events is the Kobe Luminarie, a memorial to the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. It’s a spectacular display that uses thousands of LED lights and attracts more than three million visitors annually.

In Valencia, Spain, the festival of Las Fallas takes place from the 15th to 19th March. The festival borrows its name from the Latin word for ‘torch’ and is held during Mascleta, which is nineteen days worth of firecracker displays and fireworks spectaculars.

France has its own Festival of Lights. It takes place in Lyon, starting on December 8 every year, and usually lasts for four days. During this time, every householder places candles outside their windows to show their gratitude towards Mary, the mother of Jesus.

One of the most important celebrations in Taiwan is the Pingxi District Lantern Festival, during which thousands of lanterns are decorated with good wishes and released into the sky. There’s also a firecracker ceremony and a famously risky fireworks display called the ‘beehive of fireworks’, symbolically held to ward off evil and disease.

Another global celebration of light is the Chinese lantern festival which marks the end of the Chinese New Year. Next year, this will take place on Tuesday, February 15. On this day, people send lanterns up into the sky or float them on the water. Some more technologically savvy citizens even dress up drones with brightly coloured lights and fly them over the towns and cities.

Let’s not forget Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight nights and days and usually falls within November or December. It is also known as the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean revolt against the Syrian-Greek army. The most well-known Hanukkah tradition is the lighting of a commemorative Menorah, a multi-branched candelabra with nine candlesticks (one for each night of Hanukkah plus an extra candlestick to light the others.) Ever since 1998, the world’s largest Hanukkiah – which is a whopping 32-feet high! –forms the centrepiece of the Festival of Lights held in New York’s Central Park.

Hanukkah is a time for present-giving, game-playing, and sharing delicious food with family and friends. Chocolate coins are also traditionally handed out during the holiday.

And then, of course, there’s Christmas!

Christmas needs no introduction, and Christmas lights have been slowly appearing in our malls, streets, and shop windows since the middle of October! If there’s ever a time when it’s impossible to ignore the magic that LED lighting brings into our lives, it’s right now. Let’s take Norwich, where we’re based, for example. There are already LED Christmas trees and garlands of LED Christmas lights all over the city centre. Over the next few days, the famous Norwich BID Tunnel of Light is going to make its very welcome return too.

This will be the seventh year that the Tunnel of Light sparkles up the city centre, and – at 45-metres long – it’s one of the largest Tunnels of Light in Europe. Believe it or not, it takes more than 5.6 miles of cable and 57,000 LED bulbs to make the tunnel dazzle so spectacularly.

And, on the subject of dazzling, if you want to dazzle and amaze your friends with more fabulous LED facts and figures, that’s what we’ll be talking about in our next blog! In the meantime, we’re currently getting all our fantastic Christmas stock ready in time for Fakenham’s Christmas lights switch-on on the 27th of November, so make sure you visit us early and don’t miss out! We’re going to have a lot of mega-tempting Christmas gifts in store, including some brilliant Christmas-themed home furnishings! Stay tuned to find out more!

Please remember, for all your lighting needs at any time of year, our friendly, expert team are always here to help. Just pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY, give us a call on 01328 855028 or drop us an email at [email protected].

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Happy Halloween!

ghost light

Regular readers might recognise the bewitching pup in the picture… yes, it’s Barley, the star of our April blog!

When Barley’s older sister, Poppy, passed away last Christmas, Barley found it very hard to adjust to living without her. He got particularly anxious during the night. But, when his human mum Lucy brought one of our LED nightlight’s home to see if it would help, that all changed. The nightlight quickly became Barley’s best friend, and it wasn’t long before his night-time anxiety disappeared.

The April blog also featured a lot more information about pets and lighting and included a few things to think about so that your precious pets will feel safe and calm around your lighting and electronics. If you didn’t read it, you’ll find it here! (scroll down a bit and look for Barley’s photo; the blog’s called ‘Is LED lighting safe for our pets?’)

So, because it’s Halloween, and – as you can see – Barley loves getting the chance to dress up a bit, we thought we’d do something a bit different and tell you a spooky lighting-related story!

Have you heard of a “ghost light”?

If you’ve ever worked in the theatre, you almost certainly have.

A ghost light is a small, single-bulbed light that’s always switched on just before everyone goes home and the theatre is closed for the night. It’s usually some kind of floor lamp, and it’s always set up so that it illuminates the dark stage.

From a practical point of view, this makes a lot of sense. If someone is working late in the theatre, the ghost light will let them see where they’re going when they walk across the stage. Theatre stages have a lot of hidden obstacles like trap doors, bumps, and holes, not to mention props and scenery and often a big, gaping orchestra pit. If there wasn’t a ghost light, you could imagine the painful problems an unsuspecting work person might get into.

But there’s a more traditional, eerie reason why every theatre has a ghost light, too.

It’s widely believed that every theatre has at least one ghost. When you think about it, that’s not a big stretch of the imagination. After all, when you consider the hundreds of actors and stage crew who have worked in most theatres, not to mention the thousands of audience members who have come there to watch their performance, at least a few of them would probably have died here, right? You hear about famous actors dying on stage or backstage all the time!

Not to mention, the theatre was a happy place for all of those people. They loved it here when they were alive, so why wouldn’t they want to come back here when they’re dead?

And that’s the real reason why the ghost light tradition started, so – when the light was switched on – there would be just enough illumination for the theatre ghost to perform or dance on stage during the night when nobody else was around.

Some people believe in ghosts. Other people don’t. But, regardless of what you believe, isn’t that a wonderful tradition? There’s something beautiful and magical about it, and when you think that it still happens in every theatre, in most parts of the world, every night… isn’t that kind of cool? It’s a single, simple, unified act that shows so much respect for the past.

Barley’s favourite theatre ghost story

The Maddermarket Theatre, which is pretty much slap-bang in the middle of Norwich city centre, first opened as a theatre in 1921. However, it was originally built in 1794, and it’s said to be haunted by several ghosts.

Probably the most famous ghost is a monk, who has been seen many times around the building. He’s been spotted walking across the stage, opening and closing doors, and even moving the actor’s costumes around and hiding their wigs! But no one’s afraid of the ghost because he’s a very friendly spirit. Once, when an actor forgot his lines onstage, he felt the monk give him a hug to reassure him. More dramatically, the monk knocked a young actress out of the way just before a light plummeted down onto the stage exactly where she’d been standing, very possibly saving her life.

What’s the lesson Barley wants us to take away from all this, particularly if we’re the parents of children who might feel a bit spooked during Halloween?

“Ghosts aren’t anything to worry about. If you think you see one, you probably didn’t. Chances are it’s just your imagination working overtime! But, if it is a ghost, they’ve only come by for a quick visit to say hello and check you’re okay. There’s absolutely nothing to be scared of.

“And, if your little ones (or your pets) still need a bit more reassurance during the night, your friends at Oliver Lamps always have a fantastic selection of LED nightlights, animal-themed nightlights and fairy lights in stock.

“For example, our cute Canar duck has a controllable LED light and can be powered via batteries or a USB cable. It has a super soft and hygienic silicone body, and you can change the brightness of the light with a simple push of its heart-shaped button. That’s not just soothing for your child; it’s useful for you too, especially if your baby has to be changed during the night and you want to adjust the light without waking them.

“Or, if a duck night light sounds a bit quackers, check out the range of Petit Akio nightlights we have in store. Each Petit Akio nightlight features a different adorable character in a clear dome-shaped case, with the LED lights inside the character casting just the right intensity of soft, colourful glow. Is your child still finding it hard to get to sleep? No problem! The case is touch-sensitive, so you (or they) can activate the light with just a tap of a fingertip or use the inbuilt 15-minute timer. The nightlight is rechargeable, portable, and powered via a USB. What could be more convenient?

“Looking for more night-time decoration? Oliver Lamps also stock charming duck-shaped string lights, which are perfect for hanging above your toddler’s bed or around the walls of their bedroom. After all, when your child wakes up from a scary dream, there’s nothing like a garland of endearing light-up-the-dark friends to reassure them that everything’s okay and put them back to sleep.”

Excellent work, Barley! We’ll make a lighting salespuppy out of you yet!

If you’ve got any questions, or if you’d like to find out more about the incredible range of lights, light fittings, smart lighting and home furnishings we’ve always got available in our showroom and online, drop into our shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, call us on 01328 855028, or email [email protected].

After all, there are plenty of tricks happening this Halloween season, so why not come to Oliver Lamps for some treats?!

Happy Halloween!

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Our top five conservatory lighting ideas

conservatory lighting

Here’s a quick bit of useless trivia: the word ‘conservatory’ comes from a combination of two Italian and Latin words – ‘Conservato’ (which means to store or conserve) and ‘ory’ (which means a place for.)

Originally, conservatories were nothing like the conservatory many of us are lucky enough to have at home. They were places used for the storage and conservation of food, and they weren’t made out of glass. It was only a few centuries later when botanists and travellers started to bring exotic plants and fruit trees back to the UK from warmer, sunnier countries that they turned into anything like the kind of conservatory we’re familiar with today. Even then, they were closer to elaborate greenhouses than relaxing living spaces. That’s why you might sometimes have heard conservatories being called ‘orangeries’.

So, now we’ve got that quick bit of history out of the way, let’s look at some bright-spark lighting ideas for what is already one of the brightest rooms in the house.

Make the most of natural lighting.

This is a bit of a no-brainer when you think about it; why worry about planning all-day-round conservatory lighting when the conservatory will be flooded with plenty of natural light during daylight hours? Having said that, you still want to think about some practical lighting you can use in here on darker days and especially during autumn and winter.

Pendant lights are great for that kind of job, and they can be hung just as easily from a beam or a sloping ceiling as they can from a flat roof. For a larger conservatory that’s also used as a dining space, you could add uplights that will throw some interesting silhouettes and textures onto the ceiling when you point them towards plants (vines and hanging plants are ideal). Alternatively, you could plug in some Square Highlights or set up enough spotlights around the four sides of the room to either bathe the entirety with light, or only turn on specific spotlights to highlight certain areas. Coloured and dimmable LED spots would be fabulous for that purpose and give your conservatory an entirely new ambience every time you’re inside it!

Light the outside

When you’re lighting a conservatory, you don’t want to go over the top. There’s an extremely fine line between dark hole, magical, and dad’s throwing a very embarrassing disco party, and unless you’re dad and you’re into disco, you don’t want to cross it.

The other important point to remember is, when it gets dark at night, the conservatory can suddenly feel like you’re sitting in a mirrored goldfish bowl.

A way to avoid that is by placing key lights in the garden, preferably around an arbour or gazebo, so you’ve got something to look at that’s got size, shape and depth. Winding some fairy lights around the trunk of your favourite tree or even planting spots in the flowerbeds can work nicely too. That means you’ll lose a lot of that mirrored glazing effect inside your conservatory because your gaze will be directed out through the glass at the lights in your garden. However, to make that trick really effective, you’ll still have to keep your conservatory lighting at a low level to reduce extraneous reflections.

Think about lighting decorations

A conservatory is a creative space, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity off the leash. You could hang fairy lights or a chain of small LED or solar lights around the walls or from the ceiling to create a grotto or firefly effect. You could add some artwork or a small water feature and use carefully placed spotlights or uplights to highlight them. Or how about putting up a wire framework to suspend the lights overhead and then setting the Smart LEDs to twinkle gently at different times like stars or fairy lights?

You could also look out for some cleverly designed architectural lights, i.e. the kind that have been turned into coffee table ornaments like small sailing boats. It’s always worth dropping into our showroom to check out the wonders we’ve got on offer, or if you see any lights or lighting ornaments that you’d like us to source for you, just let us know!

Create a cosy dining space

Don’t just use your conservatory for dinner parties; use it for smaller, more intimate dining too! All you’ve got to do is find a corner space that’s large enough for a beautiful round table and two or four chairs, and then place a decorative lantern on the wall to cast a warm, gentle glow. Alternatively, you could hang a stylish pendant light directly above the table or use a selection of different sized candles to give the space a sensual 17th century-boudoir ambience. Always be very careful when you’re using and placing candles, though. Make sure they’re securely held upright in holders and well away from any plants, furnishings or materials that could be flammable.

Be safe and practical

The only problem with letting your lighting imagination go wild is… you need enough sockets to plug the lighting in!

Unless you’re a certified electrical wizard, it’s always advisable to consult with a lighting specialist and a qualified electrician before running any new electrical wiring into your conservatory. That’s because conservatories can have humidity/damp problems and internal temperatures that you won’t face in most other rooms in the house (besides the bathrooms, of course, and possibly the basement and loft areas.)

Some people put a 5 amp lighting socket in their conservatory to plug in uplights, floor lamps or table lamps. A 5 amp lighting socket is different from a regular socket because it’s part of the lighting circuit, which means it is switched on and off with the other light switches in the room.

If you’re using extension leads, make sure they don’t become trip hazards and never overload them. Always push the plug of the extension cord securely into the wall, don’t daisy-chain extension cords together to reach across the room, and limit each extension cord to a single appliance. Also, make sure the extension cord you use has the correct rating for the product you’re plugging into it and that it’s marked for either indoor or outdoor use.

So, there you have it – our top five tips for awesome conservatory lighting (well, four lighting tips and one tip of potentially life and property-saving safety advice!) As always, don’t forget that your friendly, expert team at Oliver Lamps are always here to answer your questions and supply all your lighting needs. We’ve also got an ever-changing selection of fabulous bulbs, light fittings, lamps, lighting decorations and home furnishings for you to choose from, so there will always be something new and exciting for you to discover. All you’ve got to do is pop in and see us at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, call us on 01328 855028, or email [email protected].

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

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Outdoor Lighting: Five Great Ways to Make Your Garden Glow!

Outdoor Lighting Guide

Welcome to the next part of Oliver Lamps’ essential home lighting guide!

How has your July been so far?

Rumour has it that the UK’s got a heatwave to look forward to, so even though there are quite a few rooms left to talk about inside the house, we thought we’d use the next couple of blogs to take a quick detour out into the garden.

In the past, we’ve talked about the importance of three types of light – Ambient Lighting, Task Lighting, and Accent Lighting. We’ve also talked about how crucial it is to look closely at the natural light coming into a room so that you can plan your perfect lighting scheme around it.

But, where a garden is concerned, all those rules go out the window. So, when you’re looking for great ways to make your garden glow, you’re essentially only going to be using external lighting later in the day when dusk creeps in and night starts to fall. That’s when your lighting choice really comes into its own, and you can transform your whole outdoors into a ‘secret garden’ that’s dramatic, adventurous, cosy and welcoming.

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first…

Tip 1: Take a close look at your garden

In your garden, natural light is king. However, when you’re planning how to light your garden, you should still look at it just like any other living space in your house.

That means asking yourself the questions:

What does this garden mean to you? What are your favourite parts?

What kind of activities are you going to do out here when night falls? Is it a place where you’re mostly going to entertain friends on a warm summer evening – maybe by holding parties or barbecues, or something more formal like stylish dinner parties on the patio? Perhaps you’ll use the plain back wall as an outdoor projector screen and hold your own private cinema?

Or, if you’ve got a smaller garden with less space to socialise, maybe you just want to highlight some of the plants, flowers and architecture so that you can enjoy looking at them from the comfort of your conservatory?

How will you integrate safety lighting into your design so that you can keep your garden well-lit and secure without spoiling the ambience you’re trying to create?

When you’re clear about what you want to use your garden for, you’ll have a much better idea of what your lighting should look like.

Tip 2: Zone your garden

If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, or if odd angles, paths or trees break up your medium-size garden, work out which areas will look best lit up and which areas you’d like to downplay. Also, factor in those parts of the garden that need more light so that people can safely see where they’re going (like paths, steps, and secluded areas.)

A helpful way to do this is by waiting until nightfall and then taking a torch into the garden and shining it on everything that’s around. You’ll notice obstacles in the dark that you’d never realise need to be illuminated when you’re looking at the garden during the day. You’ll notice details – especially plants, trellises, ornaments etc. – that will look terrific when you shine your torch on them from different angles. What directional lighting brings out the best of those features? Make a note because those are the places you might want to highlight, uplight or downlight when you put your lighting plan together.

Tip 3: Don’t rule out ‘daylight’ lighting

Even though garden lighting comes into its own at night, there might still be places where you’d like to install lighting so you can discreetly highlight darker ‘statement’ areas during the day, and especially at that ‘transitional time’ as the light changes at dusk.

Go outside a few times during the day. See how the sun moves across the garden throughout the morning, afternoon, and early evening. Choose the best vantage point and take some reference photos on your phone every couple of hours, so you’ve got a timeline of where the shadows fall, and then you can plan your lighting accordingly. Is there a part of the garden that gets darker after lunchtime that you could use lights to help stand out? (like fairy lights on a gazebo or wrapped around the branches of a tree?) Is there a water feature that catches the light beautifully when the sun is at its highest but fades into the background when the sun moves further around the garden?

Lighting is incredibly versatile, and you can create very different effects by placing your lights in different ways. Don’t forget; you could also set your lighting on a timer so that it gradually begins to illuminate a shadowy part of your garden at a particular time of day. Using different lighting colours can make a difference here, too, so that your artificial lighting isn’t conflicting with the daylight but, instead, is adding extra detail to make your garden look subtly more magical.

Tip 4: Always install garden lighting carefully

This tip is essential, and we can’t overstate this point enough.

Garden lighting is prone to the elements, and electrics and nature tend not to mix too well if you don’t install your lighting correctly. That means always using a qualified electrician, especially for lights that are on a higher voltage.

Unless they’re solar-powered, most garden lights either work via the mains or a transformer that has a 12 or 24 low-voltage current. You can work out the size of the transformer you’ll need by multiplying the number of bulbs you want to use by their wattage, but it’s always advisable to use a larger transformer so that you can add more bulbs or upgrade their brightness in the future.

If your garden requires an outdoor power supply (usually a waterproof socket with an RCD (Residual Current Device) that will quickly break the current to protect you from harm), ask an expert electrician to install it. Once it’s safely installed, you may be able to fit some of the smaller low-voltage lights on your own, but – even then – always be careful and never take second chances where electricity is concerned (and that includes in the rest of your house, too.)

Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to be quirky

Always remember, this is your garden, and your garden should be a place where, first and foremost, you’re free to express yourself.

A lot of people are afraid to wholeheartedly imprint their personality on their garden in case it’s too overpowering, but who want to spend time in a boring garden that’s just like everybody else?

You’re not everybody else. You’re unique. Your garden should be a statement of that.

So, if you want to turn your garden into a miniature Alice in Wonderland universe, go ahead and do it and use your garden lighting to accent those details proudly. Or, if you want your garden to be a little more subdued and Zen, do that too, and pull back the lighting so that it’s more subtle and understated.

Now that we’ve got all these ground rules covered, it’s time to have fun with all your garden lighting possibilities… we’ll talk about that next time!

Until then, don’t forget we’re always here to meet your lighting needs, whatever they may be! Just give us a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or – even better – pop into our fabulous showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham and talk to us in person! We’d love to welcome you into our lighting cavalcade and show you all the exciting products and options we’ve got on offer (including our increasingly popular home furnishings!)

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Our Top 5 Tips for Awesome Kitchen Lighting!

Our Top 5 Tips for Awesome Kitchen Lighting!

Let’s talk kitchen lighting.

In our last blog, we talked about lighting and furnishings, and we know from the feedback we’ve got that a lot of people found it helpful.

So, over the following few blogs, we’re going to talk about how to organise the perfect lighting in every individual room of your house (and even outside your house too.)

By the time we’re finished, we hope this series of blogs will make up a handy lighting guide that you’ll want to keep referring back to in the future.

Because here’s the thing – when we look at a room and think how tired it seems and wouldn’t it be good if we changed those countertops, put up some new shelves, or hung different wallpaper, we’re often overlooking a solution that isn’t just simpler and quicker; it will cost us a lot less money and hassle as well.

Because one of the fantastic things about lighting is that when you know how to use it and place it correctly, you can transform any room in your house without physically changing a thing.

Today, let’s look at the kitchen.

Tip 1: Be aware of the different types of light

There are three main types of light, and we’ll be talking about them a lot in all of these blogs. Once you understand what each type of light is, it will make planning the perfect lighting a lot easier.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the main source of light, and most – if not all – of it should be cast from your ceiling. Think chandeliers, recessed lighting, pendant lights etc.

Task lighting

The big problem with ambient lighting is that, because it enables you to see the whole of the room, it inevitably creates shadows that could make performing specific tasks difficult.

That’s what task lighting is all about. Task lighting ensures that certain important areas are appropriately illuminated so you can safely see what you’re doing.

For obvious reasons, that’s especially important in a kitchen! Think strip lights and downlighting over work surfaces, islands, and the oven hob.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is the little touches that really highlight how well put together your room is.

Think of them like fine details, although they can sometimes be used for ambient or task lighting too.

Think lighting on shelves and cabinets so that you can see your ingredients and kickboard lighting, which doesn’t only add a stylish touch to the lower edges of the room, it can help you see where you’re going when all the other lights are switched off.

When you know how to combine ambient, task, and accent lighting in every room, you can transform your home in all kinds of different ways.

You can even make a room appear larger, make up for insufficient natural light, or hide bits of the architecture you’re not too fond of!

Tip 2: Consider where the natural lighting falls

If you’re planning an entirely new kitchen, that’s great because you’ve got an empty canvas to work from.

So think carefully about how you want to use the area, where you’re going to place things, and the different activities that will be happening within each space.

Factoring in the amount of natural light you’ve got available is always important.

Some kitchens can be very small with only one window, usually above the sink area, but others – especially open-plan kitchens – might have larger windows or even a skylight, so much more light coming through from the outside world.

The same thing applies when you want to change the lighting in your existing kitchen.

Where is the natural lighting coming in, and how far does it extend? Also, don’t forget that if your dining table is under the skylight (which is great for enjoying lunch during the summer), what about when you’re having an evening meal, and it starts to get dark outside?

How will you mix and match your natural lighting and practical lighting so they’ll work perfectly together as night falls?

Tip 3: Identify the critical lighting areas

Many kitchen designers like to keep the whole space light and neutral, relying mainly on a combination of ambient lighting, task lighting, and natural lighting.

They call it ‘light layering’, and it starts by identifying the parts of the kitchen where you’ll need more light than others:

Over an island

If you’ve got an island you use for food preparation, a combination of hanging lights and recessed downlighting can be a good idea.

On the other hand, if you only use the island as a social space (i.e. with stools around it, so people can chat to you while you cook), a set of two or three pendant lightings spaced evenly above the countertop may be all that you need.

Ensure there is at least 30 inches between the bottom of the pendant light and the top of the island.

Beneath cabinets

As we mentioned a moment ago, ambient lighting can often leave shadows in areas where you need more visibility. That’s especially true where the underside of cabinets is concerned.

LED strip lights are a perfect way to fully illuminate the counter space beneath cabinets (especially if the cabinets are low, so they don’t receive any ambient lighting) and also show off the cabinet’s interior, so your favourite glassware and china can always be on display.

Puck lights are terrific for spotlighting essential areas on the countertop and also set a fantastic mood.

Above work surfaces

Suspension lighting is another handy way to stylishly illuminate work surfaces, especially if your kitchen has a high ceiling.

Under-cupboard spots fitted directly above the working area will ensure you’ll always receive bright, concentrated light. But make sure you fit them as close to the front edge of the cupboard as you can; otherwise, all you’ll be illuminating is the back of the wall!

Tip 4: Don’t forget the importance of ambient light

Ambient lighting is crucial in a kitchen because, more than almost any other room in the house, it’s a place that’s busy and active, so that takes precedence over creating ambience and atmosphere (the other room is the bathroom.)

If you’ve got a smaller kitchen, one ample ceiling light in the centre of the kitchen might be all you need.

Larger kitchens, where the light has to splash across a much bigger space, will probably gain more benefit from recessed downlighting.

In a larger kitchen that includes a dining area, confining the recessed downlighting to the kitchen and hanging pendants or suspended lighting above the eating zone can be a great combination.

When you know how your ambient light works with your task lighting and natural lighting, you can begin to plan the lighting layout that works best for you.

Ceiling-mounted lights that allow you to position the spots wherever you need the light to be directed are another solution.

Make sure you choose lights with the correct beam width, though, otherwise you still won’t be able to see what you’re doing, but you’ll look like you’re making dinner in the middle of a science-fiction movie!

Tip 5: Stay Smart and in control

As we’ve mentioned so many times before (and we’ll keep banging on about it whenever we’ve got the opportunity!) Smart LED lighting isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity that every home should have.

In terms of the kitchen, it means you can control the lights in every part of the room either at the touch of a button or by asking your home assistant (Alexa, Siri, etc.) to do it for you.

That’s especially useful if you’re in a larger kitchen where you only need to keep the lights brightest in the ‘working part’ of the space or, as the natural light begins to fade, you can bring up the practical lights without having to stop what you’re doing.

Smart colour changing LED lighting will allow you to instantly alter the colours to change your mood, too.

That’s especially useful if you didn’t feel like cooking dinner that evening, and you want to lift your spirits!

At Oliver Lamps, we’ve got all the lighting solutions you need to make your kitchen a room you’ll be proud of.

We’ve also got Smart LED lighting technology available at a price that’s very easy on your bank account!

To find out more, give our friendly team a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or, even better (because we’d love to meet you in person!), pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY.

Stay safe, and we’ll be back with more top lighting tips for another room in your house very soon!