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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.”


(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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Seen a light you loved but don’t know where it came from? We’ve got a challenge for you!

light detectives

Have you ever gone to an Airbnb, a hotel, a restaurant… well, pretty much anywhere!… and saw an unusual light bulb or light fitting that you thought was really cool?

Have you ever looked at that bulb, light fitting or lampshade and thought, “That would look great in our house! I wonder where they got that?” or, “Wow, something like that would make a fantastic Christmas present for [insert lucky person’s name here]”?

Well, it happened to one of our customers a few weeks ago. They were spending a few days in an Airbnb on the beautiful North Norfolk coast and saw a pendant light shade hanging in the kitchen that they really liked the look of. They hadn’t seen anything even remotely similar to it before, and they asked the owner if they knew where it had come from. The owner didn’t, but they were pretty sure their interior designer had sourced it from somewhere local.

So, instead of having a relaxing holiday and soaking up the last of this year’s brilliant sunshine, our intrepid customers scoured through all the lighting and home decorating shops in the area to track the pendant shade down.

Did they find it? Not a chance!

Did the owner take pity on them and contact the interior designer to ask where they got it? You bet!

Did the interior designer remember where they got it? Not a chance part two!

And that’s when our footsore and disheartened customers had a genius idea! They took a photo of the pendant shade on their smartphone and, as soon as their holiday was over, they brought it into our showroom and asked us if we’d ever seen it before.

No, we hadn’t. In fact, we’d never seen anything remotely like it either, although we could understand why our customers loved it so much.

But you know how much your friends at Oliver Lamps love a challenge, so you won’t be surprised to hear we immediately went into full Sherlock Holmes mode to try and track it down. It took us a while but eventually, we found it.

And guess what?

Now, the exact same pendant lampshade our customers fell in love with during their holiday has got pride of place in their own kitchen! Not only that, but we managed to get it for them at a bargain price too.

And that gave us a bright idea!

The next time you’re out and about and see something lighting-related that you’d really like to own for yourself, take a photo of it (preferably a few photos from different angles, especially if it’s something unusual), bring it into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, and we’ll do our very best to hunt and gather it for you! Or, if you can’t visit our showroom personally, email the photo to [email protected] and we’ll be in touch!

Go on… give us a challenge! What have you got to lose?!

Breaking Oliver Lamps News!

Everybody loves a home furnishing that’s been handmade because we know nothing like it exists anywhere else.

And that goes double when you’ve been involved in the handmaking process yourself, by picking out the fabric your unique handmade item is made from.

That’s why our fabulous new handmade lampshades have become really popular with our customers because they’ve got the added advantage you can come into our shop and select your own fabric to make it extra special. You can even order matching cushions too!

Want to find out more? You know where we are, and we’d love to see you! Alternatively, drop us an email, use the contact form on our website, or give our eager-to-please experts a call on 01328 855028.

Come back soon for our Halloween Spooktacular!