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How to make your in-store lighting work for you

in-store lighting

The end of the national lockdown is on the horizon. If our customers’ buzz is anything to go by, most of us are looking forward to April 12 almost as eagerly as we looked forward to Christmas! So let’s talk in-store lighting.

If you’re a retail business owner, you’re probably run off your feet getting your shop ready for the big day. We certainly know that we are!

But, while you’re dusting off the shelves and making double-sure that the layout of your premises is bright and welcoming but still COVID-safe, have you stopped to consider what an important part in-store lighting will play in making your relaunch a success?

When it comes to creating perfect interior lighting for shops, offices, schools, churches, and other public and private buildings, there’s nothing that Oliver Lamps’ expert in-house technical team doesn’t know. So, if you’re a shop owner who wants to use your in-store lighting to your best advantage, here are a few tips and tricks to think about…

Don’t be afraid to be up-front!

Your shop front is your calling card. Make sure it’s working for you 24/7. Even when your shop is closed, prospective customers will still be walking or driving past and glancing inside, so you should never miss an opportunity to turn their heads whenever possible.

For example, even though our shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, has been closed since the lockdown started, we’re regularly taking calls from people who see a product they like in our window and want to know if they can order it online. Quick answer: Of course they can! Even if an item’s not currently in stock (or you’ve seen it somewhere else entirely), we’ll always do our very best to source it for you.

Think carefully about how your shop window is displayed.

Use track lighting, spotlights and pendants to highlight products and encourage people to come inside, and keep at least some of those lights on after you’re closed at the end of the day. LED lights are perfect for this because they’re low-energy, so they won’t run up your electricity bill, and they don’t burn hot even when they’re used over an extended period, so you can have peace of mind that your lights will stay on, but your empty shop will stay safe.

Don’t clutter up the front window, though. The temptation is to fill it up with all the best-looking products, but less is always more when it comes to shop-front design. It also helps if passers-by can see beyond the products and into the shop to get a tantalising glimpse at the other goodies you’ve got in there. In-store lighting will help you achieve that.

Get the right ambience for the right products.

When we think about ‘ambience’, we’re usually thinking about the comfortable, inviting atmosphere we want to create inside our own home. We don’t usually think of ambience when we’re walking around a shop, looking for something to buy.

But creating ambience in a retail space, especially if you’re selling products like furnishings and homeware, is extremely important. After all, you want your customers to be able to look at the items and imagine how perfectly they’d fit in their own homes. At the very least, you’ll want all your items to be visible and your shop to be a place your customers will want to spend time inside, feeling relaxed and looking around.

Think carefully about your in-store lighting temperatures and colours. Cooler colours (up to 6000K) give a sense of space and airiness. They tend to appeal to younger customers. Warmer colours (between 2700K to 3000K) are cosier and more inviting and tend to attract an older, upmarket clientele. As far as CRI (Colour Rendering Index) is concerned, white is excellent for displaying fabrics, clothing and accessories, and red (rendered very carefully) is popular with all kinds of retailers, including butchers, bakers and fashion stores. Always ensure that the lighting you choose works well with the products you want to sell.

Remember, if you want to create the illusion of ‘natural’ light (in a changing room, for example), high-quality downlights with a high CRI will let customers see the clothes’ true colours much better.

Use a lighting system that can be easily adjusted whenever you want to change your shop’s layout. Suspended track lighting is excellent for that because you can place it anywhere, and it’s simple to install.

Consider how you’re going to mix ambient lighting with accent lighting. The ambient lights should always be subtle enough to keep everything in view, whereas the accent lights should highlight the products you especially want customers to notice. This is sometimes called ‘hot lighting’ or ‘lighting hierarchy’ because it focuses your customer’s attention on the key merchandise without overwhelming their senses.

LED tape is perfect for creating integrated lighting on shelving. According to research, customers pick up twice as many items from shelves with integrated lighting than those without.

Use LED linear lighting to lead your customers around the store.

LED linear lighting is a continuous, uninterrupted strip of light that illuminates the aisles and encourages your customers to move comfortably from the front to the back of the shop without missing anything. It’s much more effective than old-fashioned fluorescent strips because fluoro tubes have to start and stop and are prone to uncomfortable buzz and flicker. LED linear lighting is much more practical and effective because it can be linked seamlessly together, suspended from the ceiling or recessed, and is effortlessly controllable. Like all LED, it is more cost-effective and has a much longer lifespan too.

If you’re a commercial business owner who’s looking for a bespoke lighting solution to make your retail or office space even more inviting for customers and visitors, don’t forget our expert design and installation team is always here to help. Just give us a call on 01328 855028 or email [email protected] to find out more. In the meantime, we wish everyone a safe and successful April 12 reopening, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all inside our own store very soon!

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Let’s celebrate Britain’s lighting ingenuity!

lighting innovation

Did you know that March 5 – 14 was British Science Week 2021?

On their website, www.britishscienceweek.org, British Science Week is described as ‘a ten-day celebration of the innovation that led the United Kingdom to excel in science and technology’, so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate Britain’s achievements in home lighting! For example, the American inventor Thomas Edison usually gets all the credit for dreaming up the light bulb, but did you know that an English inventor called Joseph Swan patented his own incandescent bulb at precisely the same time as Edison and sued Edison for patent infringement? And, bringing things right up to date, have you heard the UK is leading the way in a new form of LED light bulb technology that doesn’t just make the bulbs 10% more efficient but also cheaper to manufacture and buy?

Want to find out more? Stand by to be enlightened!

The genius of Joseph Swan

Sir Joseph Wilson Swan was born in County Durham on 31 October 1828. He was only twenty-two years old when he set out to invent the very first light bulb. It took another ten years before he was able to demonstrate it and nineteen more years before he’d ironed out all the technical problems well enough to be granted a patent (how’s that for perseverance?!)

A year later, in 1880, Joseph Swan’s patented light bulbs were being installed in homes and public places across England, beginning with his own house. Soon afterwards, The Savoy Theatre in London became the first public building in the world to be lit up entirely by electricity. On the first night, the public needed so much reassurance about the new technology that Richard D’Oyly Carte, the Savoy theatre’s builder, had to smash a glowing lightbulb in front of the audience to prove how safe it was!

Swan vs Edison

In 1881, ‘The Swan Electric Light Company’ started commercial production, and soon afterwards, the Royal Navy began to install Swan’s light bulbs on board their ships. However, Swan soon realised that he had some serious competition from across the pond, in the form of US inventor Thomas Edison. Edison had patented his own light bulb in 1879, although his plans for the device were very different. Whereas Swan’s design was low-resistance with a short life span, Edison’s bulb was a high-resistance lamp with a long life that could be used as part of a larger-scale electric lighting complex. Despite these variations, Swan argued that he’d got there first and sued Edison for patent infringement, which the British courts upheld. As a penalty, Edison had to make Swan a partner in his electric company, and the ‘Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company’ (more commonly known as ‘Ediswan’) was born in 1883. It’s also interesting to note that even the US Patent Office decided Edison’s patent was invalid, not because of Swan, but because it also duplicated another American inventor’s work.

General Electric takes over

Ediswan sold two different kinds of lamps – one made with a cellulose filament (which was Swan’s invention and only available in the UK), and the other with a bamboo filament (Edison’s invention, made available outside the UK.) You could argue that was a sneaky move on Thomas Edison’s part because it meant his light bulb became internationally well known, whereas Joseph Swan’s light bulb was kept safely within Britain’s shores. And then, when Thomas Edison became one of the founders of the General Electric company in 1892, GE exploited Swan’s patent so they could legally produce light bulbs with cellulose filaments in the US and across the globe. They kept making those bulbs until 1904 when their own ‘General Electric Metallized’ filaments updated Swan’s invention and took electric lighting to the next level.

As a result, Thomas Edison’s reputation as a lighting pioneer has gone from strength to strength, whereas Joseph Swan’s contribution to light bulb history has largely been forgotten. But Swan didn’t disappear; in fact, his patent for making carbon prints revolutionised the photographic industry.

Introducing graphene: the UK’s cutting-edge light bulb technology

In 2004, two Russian scientists from The University of Manchester produced a ‘miracle material’ called graphene, which – among its many other benefits – makes LED light bulbs more energy-efficient than ever before. As a result of their ground-breaking research, the scientists went on to win the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

What is graphene?

Graphene is a material that’s composed of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is a million times thinner than a human hair and two hundred times stronger than steel. It can be used for a wide range of applications, including rapid charging of electric cars, improved water filtration, and as a coating on the filament of LED light bulbs that dissipates heat and makes the bulbs 10% more energy efficient. This means your light will stay just as bright but at a much lower wattage.

Physicists have known about graphene since the mid-20th century, but Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were the first people to turn it into something that can be used in the physical world.

The UK government is so confident about graphene technology that it has invested £38m in The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute, and first-generation graphene bulbs are already on the market. They’re designed to last 25% longer than other LEDs, and they also run approximately 16% cooler than standard filament LED lamps. Although it is still very early days for this new technology, the UK has its sights set firmly on leading the world!

If you’re interested in finding out more about graphene bulbs, give us a call! We don’t currently have any in stock, but we’d be happy to source them for you, and we might even order some for our shop if customer demand is big enough.

And finally… an LED light that requires no energy at all

Just imagine; one day, it might be possible to run an LED light bulb for absolutely no power at all!

That’s what UK inventor Malcolm Wright thinks, and he’s found a way for LEDs to piggyback off the power supply of other appliances so they can effectively be run free-of-charge. He’s called his invention EEBL, ‘Electrical Energy By-Product Lighting’, and he’s already powering his living room lighting from his TV and his garage lighting from the pump in his garden pond.

The bad news is, according to the Intellectual Property Office website, it looks like Mr Wright’s patent ceased in January 2020, so it might be a while before we see his fantastic idea employed in everyday life. Still, it took Joseph Swan 29 years to bring his light bulb to market, so you never know what the future’s got in store!

While we’re on the subject of stores (!), even though a no-cost LED future is still a distance away, don’t forget that your friends at Oliver Lamps are here right now for all your home and business lighting needs, and much more besides. If the government’s ‘easing lockdown’ arrangements go to plan, our fabulous shop will be reopening very soon. Until then (and even afterwards!), our expert team is always here to help. Just give us a call on 01328 855028 , email [email protected], or use the contact form on our website.

Stay safe, and we’ll see you again very soon!

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Sleep and lighting: How well are you sleeping?

sleep and lighting

Sleep is so important to our wellbeing. We don’t know about you, but a lot of people seem to be having more trouble sleeping during this latest lockdown. They wake up tired, spend the day exhausted, go to bed feeling wiped out and… boom! Frustratingly, they spend most of the night lying awake.

Have you ever wondered why that happens?

Well, we decided to do a bit of research for you!

The more you worry about not getting to sleep… the worse your insomnia will become

That sounds like a ‘what came first – the chicken or the egg’ dilemma, doesn’t it? But, according to sleep experts, that’s precisely what happens.

The more you lie awake and worry about not being able to sleep, the more tense and anxious you become. How many times have you laid there thinking, “Why can’t I sleep? My body’s exhausted, but I can’t turn off my mind. What’s wrong with me?” and it feels like you watch every hour tick around on the alarm clock? That’s because sleep likes to play games with us, like that boy or girl who pretended not to like you when you were at school and then spent all their time trying to get you to chase them around the playground.

Here’s the bottom line: you’ll never get to sleep if you struggle. Accept you’re awake, stay quiet and let your body relax, and the chances are better that sleep will eventually come.

Don’t lie awake for longer than twenty minutes… get up and do something else instead

Yes, you know, that’s another ‘chicken versus the egg’ dilemma!

After all, how logical does it sound to get out of bed when getting to sleep is your real priority?

But sleep experts call this ‘stimulus control.’ Instead of lying in bed, move to another room and read a boring book or an old copy of ‘Setsquare Weekly’ (with apologies to any set-square collectors who might be reading this 😊.) Stretch gently to release tension, and only go back to bed when you feel sleepy and can barely keep your eyelids open.

How does ‘stimulus control’ work? Because it retrains our mind and body to understand that bed is where we go only when we’re ready for sleep. The big problem with lying awake for hours on end is that we start to dread going to bed and our relationship with the bedroom and sleep becomes very negative. Stimulus control teaches us to break that cycle.

Even if you’re tired during the day, don’t go to bed early

We’ve talked about our body’s circadian rhythm in previous blogs, but here’s a quick reminder in case you’ve forgotten the details…

Our circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock. We wake up with the daylight, and we go to sleep when its dark. We generally feel more active or more lethargic during our waking hours, depending on the quality of light we’re experiencing. That’s one of the many reasons why smart LED lighting in offices and homes is such a brilliant invention, because it means we can keep our bodies in tune by giving us enough light for whatever activity we’re doing. Even if we don’t have access to natural light via a window, smart LED lighting keeps our circadian rhythm on track.

Anyway, when we haven’t slept well the night before and try to make up for it by spending a few extra hours in bed in the morning or going to bed earlier than usual at night, we’re disrupting our circadian rhythm and that only makes matters much worse. Taking ‘cat naps’ during the day can be a bad idea too, because it decreases something called ‘sleep debt’, which means we won’t need as much sleep at night.

The best solution is to maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time every night of the week and using an alarm to wake up at the same time every morning. Don’t look at your cellphone, watch TV or read in bed at least thirty minutes before bedtime, avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol several hours before going to sleep, and keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool.

What are the best and worst types of light for sleep?

Of course, we couldn’t finish this blog without talking a bit about lighting!

For years, sleep experts have told us to switch off electronics and avoid looking at bright lights before bedtime. However, early research suggests that some light colours may help you sleep better – especially warmer colours, like red and pink.

That’s because colours that are close to red on the light spectrum increase melatonin, the hormone that helps control our body’s natural wake/sleep cycle. It’s all tied up in the way specific colours and brightnesses of light stimulate the photoreceptors in our eyes and how our eyes send that information back to our brain and tell it how much melatonin to release.

It’s also a lot to do with our individual make-up, because some of us have a preferred light colour that can make us fall asleep more quickly. For example, one research study found it took participants 21.2 minutes to fall asleep in white light, 21.1 minutes to fall asleep in darkness, but only 12.3 minutes to fall asleep to their preferred colour.

Babies and children are affected by light differently to adults because their melatonin production seems to be more suppressed. That’s why children’s night lights should have warmer colours, and you shouldn’t expose babies and children to blue and white lights before bedtime.

Avoiding blue light in the bedroom is something adults should do too. According to some evidence, blue light (and maybe even green light) can negatively affect our quality of sleep, which is a big reason why we shouldn’t look at electronic screens when we go to bed. There have also been studies that suggest violet light could have a similar effect on us as blue light, and exposure to green and purple light could also prevent us from falling asleep. However, a lot of research still has to be done on all those claims.

In the meantime, if you’d like to improve the quality of your sleep with some warmer coloured LED lighting, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly, expert team will always be here to help and advise you, even while our physical shop is closed due to this seemingly endless lockdown! All you’ve got to do is give us a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or use the contact form on our website.

We’ll be continuing the health theme in our next blog by answering another question we’re sometimes asked, ‘How does lighting affect our eyes and bodies as we get older?’

If that’s something you’ve ever wondered about too, or even if you haven’t (!), we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

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OLIVER LAMPS’ TOP 5 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

resolutions

Happy New Year!

Everyone at Oliver Lamps hopes you and your loved ones had a fabulous Christmas and that you’re enjoying a safe and peaceful start to 2021 (although, now the UK’s back in lockdown, it feels less like a new year and more like Groundhog Day!)

Still, even though most of us are currently stuck at home wondering which box set to binge-watch next, it hasn’t stopped a lot of people we know from coming up with a few New Year’s Resolutions. Believe it or not, some of them have even got all their New Year’s Resolutions completed already:

  1. Go to the gym every day (whoops, can’t do that, what a shame, leave it ‘til next year)
  2. Spend more time with family (whoops, can’t do that, make a note to look at it again after Easter when we’ve had our vaccinations (hopefully))
  3. Wash hands more regularly and sing Happy Birthday more often (already doing that: BIG TICK 😊)

At Oliver Lamps, we’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions too, and we think they’re a lot more useful than the three we’ve just listed.

So, here they are. Give them a read and see if you agree.

1: Save More Energy and Become More Eco-Friendly

Last summer, a study commissioned by Princes Fish revealed that a third of UK households became more eco-friendly after the first lockdown. The changes those households made weren’t big, uncomfortable-to-stick-to ones, either. They were just small changes that quickly became great habits, like:

Only filling the kettle with as much water as they really need (31%)

Turning electrical appliances off at the socket (27%)

Washing clothes at lower temperatures (22%)

And can you guess what No. 2 on the can-do list of Brits who’ve become greener was?

Turning off unused lights!

Believe it or not, the countrywide cost per annum caused by UK households leaving their lights on after they go to bed is £1.32 billion! That means, simply by flipping a switch, you could save yourself over £280 a year and significantly help to reduce the number of extra carbon dioxide emissions that are damaging our planet.

Doesn’t that sound like a New Year’s Resolution everybody should be adopting?

2: Save More Money

What’s one of the best ways to save more money?

Replace your energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LEDs!

15% of the average UK household’s energy bill is spent on lighting.

If you replaced every incandescent bulb in your house with an LED bulb, you could save around £40 per year on bills and cut your energy costs by £75 over the bulb’s lifetime. Even if it cost you £100 upfront to replace all your existing bulbs with LEDs, that’s still a massive saving. Also, a traditional incandescent bulb only lasts around two years (based on three hours’ daily use) whereas an LED bulb used under similar conditions lasts for ten years or longer.

As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, that sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?!

3: Save the Planet

Listing all the reasons why we should do everything we can to save the planet would make this blog longer than ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ (and with a lot fewer wizards!) so here are just two reasons to get you started:

  1. Climate change isn’t just a problem for future generations, it’s a problem we’re facing right now: key climate-stabilising systems are already beginning to fail. When they do, vast quantities of carbon dioxide and methane will be released and push global warming to the point where humans and other species on our planet won’t be able to cope.
  2. Levels of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and water vapour) are already too high. Because greenhouse gases stop radiation from escaping into outer space, the Earth’s surface and atmosphere are gradually overheating. This will cause higher sea levels, more severe weather, and increased air pollution. Ultimately it will have a disastrous effect on all life on this planet.

So, how do you save the planet?

We’ve already listed a few ways in New Year’s Resolution No.1: Save More Energy and Become More Eco-Friendly, but there are hundreds of more things you can do including:

  • Buying LED light bulbs
  • Switching to a utility company that generates at least half its power from wind or solar energy
  • Ensuring your home is adequately insulated, and draughts are efficiently sealed off
  • Reducing water waste
  • Avoiding disposable plastics
  • Using more energy-efficient appliances

Want more ideas? https://www.earthday.org/ is a great place to start.

4: Save More Time

Sticking to this New Year’s Resolution will be as easy as falling off a log (or, to be more accurate, falling asleep on the couch while your smart tech does all the hard work for you.) Using smart home technology like video doorbells, wireless security cameras, and colour changing LED lighting you can control through an app (or Amazon’s Alexa) and even control remotely when you’re not at home won’t just save you more time, it will make life safer and more convenient too.

So, get this New Year’s Resolution started now! At Oliver Lamps, we stock a fantastic range of smart tech that will improve your world and leave you free to focus on the more important things… like watching The Queen’s Gambit again.

5: Keep Life Simple

This is the easiest New Year’s Resolution of all! For all your home lighting, business lighting, and smart tech needs, come to Oliver Lamps! Even though our shop is currently closed due to the COVID lockdown, we’re still open for orders and restricted deliveries, and if you phone us, email us, or contact us via our website or Facebook page we’re always happy to help. For those lucky people who live in or close to Fakenham, we’ve moved as much of our stock as possible into our shop window, so make sure you take a look when you’re enjoying your daily exercise along Oak Street! Otherwise, simply contact our friendly team on 01328 855028 or [email protected] and we’ll do the rest!

Stay safe, stay smiling, and see you again soon, everybody!

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Our top tips for an energy-saving Christmas

energy saving at christmas

For many of us, Christmas is the most magical time of the year. Let’s face it, after the 2020 we’ve all had, we deserve as much joy and magic as we can get! But it’s also the time of year when a lot of households use a massive amount of energy and kickstart January with a hefty electricity and heating bill. That’s the kind of ‘Happy New Year’ surprise you really don’t need!

At Oliver Lamps, we want to help you use your energy in the most efficient, money saving, and planet-friendly way possible. So, here are our top tips for reducing your energy consumption over Christmas, while still enjoying a merry and bright festive season!

Be LED smart

Home lighting – especially Christmas lighting – can be one of the biggest energy wasters at this time of year.

Although we don’t currently sell Christmas lights, we’d encourage you to shop with a reputable supplier and put LED Christmas lights at the top of your list when you’re choosing festive decorations. There are a lot of different types available – for your Christmas tree, around the house and outside your home – and LEDs use up to 90% LESS ENERGY than traditional incandescents. They also have an average lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, which is a whopping 48,000 HOURS LONGER than incandescent filament bulbs.

LED lights are much, much safer to use as well. A lot of people keep their Christmas lighting switched on throughout the day and night, which can be especially dangerous when using filament bulbs because there’s a high risk of fire. Even over short periods of use, filament bulbs can grow very hot very quickly, so imagine how hot they’ll become over several hours.

LED bulbs run a lot cooler than incandescents. Even though they do produce heat and may feel hot to the touch when used over prolonged periods, they produce light at a significantly lower temperature than other bulbs. In fact, an LED light in its hottest part is still only half the temperature of a halogen or incandescent bulb that emits the same amount of light. As a result, there’s much less chance that an LED bulb will catch fire AND they work at a lower voltage. LEDs are also far less likely to break, and they’re better at withstanding the cold and damp weather; that’s perfect if you want to use them to decorate the outside of your house.

And while we’re on the subject of outdoor lighting, please check out the great range of outdoor string lights we’ve got in store when we reopen at the beginning of December! Plus, even though we don’t stock Christmas lights, coloured LEDs can be just as delightful and eye-catching and can create a cheerful, inviting ambience in every home. Unlike Christmas lights, you can enjoy them the whole year round as well! We’ve recently put some fabulous, coloured LEDs in our shop window and they’re grabbing as much attention as the more conventional Christmas lights hung up around the town!

Why not pay us a visit or give us a call to find out everything we have to offer?

This is important

When you buy LED Christmas lights, DON’T buy them second-hand and DO make sure they carry the British Safety Kitemark or CE Safety Standard mark. ALWAYS inspect cables and bulbs for damage before using, replace them if they’re unsafe, and dispose of them responsibly. DON’T run cables under carpets because that’s a big fire risk and ALWAYS keep the lights away from flammable objects, pets, and curious tiny children.

Timing is everything

Of course, one of the many advantages of LED smart lighting is that you can control it at the touch of a finger, or simply by asking your Alexa or Siri to make the changes for you. After all, who wants to leave the comfort of their cosy armchair to dim the lights when they’re feeling sleepy after Christmas dinner? Or setting a timer to limit the amount of time your lights are on is also a great money-saving (and home safety) suggestion. That way, you won’t wake up in the middle of the night, worried that you forgot to turn the Christmas lights off.

Energy-efficient lighting controlled via a smart app or timer can also be a big bonus if you’re lighting up your garden or the exterior of your home. On average, a household that doesn’t use outdoor energy-efficient lighting over the Christmas period can easily add an extra £20-£30 to their energy bill.

More energy saving ideas

Not using it? Unplug it!

Turn off and unplug any electrical appliance you won’t be using over the Christmas period unless it has to remain on ‘sleep’ or ‘standby’ to function correctly. Items like computers, printers, TV and games consoles can drain a lot of energy.

Wash on a lower temperature

There always seems to be so much more clothes washing to do over Christmas, and a lot of people think that washing on a higher temperature will make their items cleaner. That often isn’t the case. If you wash your clothes with the right detergent at 30 degrees, you use up to 40% less energy.

Keep those Christmas presents working… planet-consciously!

A lot of Christmas gifts, especially children’s toys, require batteries. Instead of wasting money on disposable batteries, which can be extremely harmful to the environment and wildlife if they’re not disposed of properly, choose rechargeable batteries instead. Even though you’ll get slightly longer life from a disposable battery in high-drain devices like toys and torches, the battery life of disposable and rechargeable batteries is virtually the same in low-drain devices like remote controls and clocks. Much more importantly, you can use rechargeable batteries again and again, saving you money, frequent trips to the shops, and reducing the likelihood of very grumbly kids and dads on Boxing Day! Rechargeable batteries also use up to 60% less energy.

What’s cooking?

We tend to use the oven a lot more than usual over Christmas, but how many times do you switch the oven on and off to cook things separately, when putting several items in at the same time could save you both time and energy? A full oven uses the same amount of energy as a half-empty one, so why waste the heat? Also, a microwave uses less energy than an oven, so use your microwave as much as possible to heat up your food.

Keep warm but turn down the thermostat!

Wearing some warmer clothes or snuggling under the duvet to watch the Christmas blockbuster is a lot less expensive (and more environmentally conscious) than turning up the thermostat. Turning up your thermostat by just one or two degrees can result in a 40% increase in your energy bills!

Also, keeping curtains closed at night will retain heat inside rooms and prevent warm air from escaping through the windows, and always move furniture or bulky items away from radiators because they’ll trap the heat.

There you have it – our top tips for an energy-saving Christmas! In the meantime, don’t forget that our shop will be reopening as soon as lockdown’s eased at the start of December (check our Facebook page, website, or give us a call for opening times) and our friendly team are always here to take your calls and answer your email enquiries. If you’re looking for a stylish lighting-related Christmas present, or a classy home furnishing to brighten up your festive lounge or bedroom, you’ll be delighted by what we have in store. Give us a call on 01328 855028 or email [email protected] to find out more.

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Want to buy lighting online? Here’s what you need to know!

buy lighting online today

Have you ever bought lighting online before? It’s probably one of those purchases you’ve usually made in person.

Over the past few months, our shopping habits have been forced to change. Because so many shops are closed, we’re ordering more products than ever over the internet.

Where lighting is concerned, that can be a tricky thing to do. Depending on what you’re looking for, lighting can be a pricey investment. It’s also very personal and unique to us – i.e. we need to see it for ourselves to be sure it’s right – so buying lighting online can seem a bit daunting if you’re not sure what you want.

At Oliver Lamps, we’re always focused on making your shopping experience as easy and hassle-free as possible. That’s why we were so excited to open our shop at the beginning of the year, so we could meet more of our customers face-to-face and it would be more convenient for everybody. But now that so many people are finding it safer to shop from home – even when there isn’t a lockdown happening – we want to make sure that your Oliver Lamps shopping experience is easy and hassle-free online too.

What should you consider when you’re ordering lighting online?

Are you shopping with a reliable supplier?

When you buy lighting from Oliver Lamps, you can be confident you’re purchasing from the very best. We’re a family business, and we’ve been selling top-quality lighting for 62 years. Our knowledge, expertise, and customer service is second-to-none. Also, unlike many online retailers who can be impossible to get hold of if you’ve got a problem or want to ask a question, our friendly team will always be here to deal with your enquiries during working hours (even if our shop is closed!)

Do the products come from a reliable manufacturer?

At Oliver Lamps, we only source our products from the very best manufacturers. For example, TCP Smart (the company who produce our smart lighting and smart tech products) are a globally renowned lighting industry leader. All the other manufacturers we work with – from bulbs to light fittings, lampshades to home furnishings – produce outstanding quality items too.

Can you order hassle-free?

Our website is easy to use, and adding items to your basket and purchasing them at checkout only takes a couple of clicks. You can pay via credit card, Paypal, or direct bank transfer, and even arrange for items to be sent to a different address. Buying online from Oliver Lamps is safe, secure, and transparent, and in the unlikely event you’re unhappy with your order, get in touch, and we’ll go the extra mile to sort it out for you.

Can you get friendly, helpful guidance and technical advice when you need it?

We offer such a wide range of LED lighting options that we’re always prepared for any question you’ll want to ask us! You’ll always be able to contact us during working hours, and in the rare instance there’s something we can’t answer immediately, we’ll get the answer for you as quickly as we can.

Is it easy to return or exchange lighting products you’ve purchased online?

We know that buying lighting online can be difficult. It’s easy to order the wrong product by mistake or realise it’s not the right product for you after it’s been delivered. If you’ve ever got an issue with a product you’ve bought from Oliver Lamps, get in touch, and we’ll fix it without any stress or unnecessary costs.

Do the products come with a genuine manufacturer’s warranty?

Yes, they do, and if any of our products fail under warranty, you’ll be able to repair or replace them without any hassle.

We realise that some LED lighting products can seem expensive, which occasionally discourages people from ordering them online. The good news is, you won’t only see immediate returns in energy efficiency and life expectancy when you buy LED bulbs from Oliver Lamps. If a bulb you’ve purchased from us happens to fail within thirty-six months from the purchase date, we’ll give you a replacement bulb completely free of charge and with no questions asked.

Also, that thirty-six months is the absolute minimum you’ll be covered for. Depending on the product, your warranty could extend for up to five years.

Does the supplier have an environmental policy?

If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs this year, you’ll already know that we do! At Oliver Lamps, we’re committed to being as green and planet-friendly as possible, which includes recycling packaging to reduce waste and, whenever possible, using a carbon-neutral delivery service to deliver our products to customers. We’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and limit our impact on the environment whilst still providing an efficient and professional service to all our customers.

What online deals have you got right now?

We’re glad you asked! Whether it’s online or in our shop, you’ll always find plenty of fantastic bargains at Oliver Lamps.

At the moment, we’re trying to brighten everybody’s day by offering some of our most popular items at sale prices. Take a look at our website to be sure you don’t miss anything because you’ll find plenty of unbeatable offers like:

This versatile TCP Smart Colour Changing Smart Bulb (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-colour-changing-smart-gls-smart-bulb-bc/) can create the perfect ambience in any home with over 100 different colour changes. You can dim it, set it to a timer or routine, and control it remotely by using your voice or the TCP Smart app on your phone or tablet.

Or, if you want a more traditional bulb that will save you plenty of money (as well as lots of energy), this Integral Dimmable Filament GLS Lamp (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/integral-dimmable-filament-gls-lamp-b22-bc-4-5w/) is a terrific deal. It’s got an average lifespan of 15,000 hours and exudes a warm white light that’s equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent. This product has a bayonet cap, but we’ve also got an Edison screw version available at the same sale price.

If you’re looking for a bulb that’s still traditional but a little bit more unusual, you can’t beat a candle lamp! This Integral Dimmable Filament Candle Lamp (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/integral-dimmable-filament-candle-lamp-b15-sbc-3-5w/) has the style and versatility of a halogen bulb but, with an average lifespan of 15,000 hours, it lasts a lot longer and will save you a lot more money and energy. There’s an Edison screw version on sale too.

Finally, even though the nights are getting longer and darker, there’s no reason why the outside of your house still can’t look elegant and welcoming! Take a look at this ultra-cool Brushed Chrome Wall Lantern (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/230v-ip23-e27-wall-lantern-brushed-chrome/) to find out what we mean!

Those are just a few of the essential lighting products we’ve got on sale right now, but please hurry because they won’t be on sale forever! Having said that, though, you’re always guaranteed to find a lighting bargain at Oliver Lamps!

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Smart Home Security

A man with a smart light

Does your home feel ‘as safe as houses’? If it doesn’t, we can help!

A lot seems to have happened since our last blog.

Another lockdown’s on the horizon, and the autumn is well and truly here.

We don’t know about you, but here at Oliver Lamps, it feels like we blinked and suddenly the summer disappeared! Now that the clocks have gone back (as if anyone needed an extra hour added to this year!) the days are greyer, rainier, and cloudier, and by 4 pm it’s already starting to get dark. By 5 pm, nightfall has properly set in and seems to last forever, or at least until 6 am the next morning.

That means we’re spending between 12 and 13 hours of every day in significant darkness. That’s daunting enough on a well-lit city street, but when you live in a town, village, or the countryside – where street and external lighting is either non-existent or kept at a minimum – it becomes even more of a problem.

The bottom line is: whether or not you love this time of year (for us, the jury’s still out on that one!), the fact that the nights are getting longer means it’s more important than ever to start thinking about your home security.

Between September 2019 and August 2020, there were 2,439 burglaries, 361 robberies, and 6,569 instances of criminal damage and arson reported throughout Norfolk. You can find a complete list of all the statistics here: https://www.ukcrimestats.com/Police_Force/Norfolk_Constabulary.

We’re not mentioning these numbers to scaremonger you, but because we want to highlight the importance of keeping your home even more secure during these particularly difficult autumn and winter months.

Home lighting and security: what to consider

It’s important to keep outside areas properly illuminated, either with a permanent light or by using lights that are set on a timer and/or can be motion-activated. Entrance doors, side pathways, the forecourt, garage, and above the entrance to a driveway or alleyway are all places to position reliable lighting.

Any area that’s not overlooked by you or your neighbours (like rear doors, outbuildings, and obscured parts of the garden) will also benefit from lighting that is motion-activated or can be controlled via a wall switch from inside the house. Where gardens are concerned, don’t rely on feature lighting. Not only won’t it give you the security coverage you need, but it often has to be turned on and off from inside the garden itself, which defeats the purpose of staying protected. A motion-activated floodlight that’s located high up on the wall of your house and angled so that it completely illuminates your garden is often the best solution.

Inside the house, setting your lights to turn on and off throughout the day if nobody’s home is definitely something to think about. It’s well known that burglars prefer to target empty houses, and they don’t always wait until night-time to do it, so it makes sense always to give the illusion that your home is continuously occupied. Don’t keep your hallway or outside carriage light permanently switched on because that’s a tell-tale giveaway you’re probably not there. Instead, programme the lights to switch on from time to time in individual rooms, so it looks like you’re moving around.

A video doorbell with an onboard light and two-way speaker is another invaluable safety precaution. If you’re home, you can see who’s there without opening the door. If you’re away from home, you can see who’s there and talk to them as if you’re inside the house.

Now that so many of us are working from home the video doorbell’s become an essential household device because it means we don’t have to disturb ourselves to keep answering the door every time the bell rings. We can see who’s there via our phone or tablet and either talk to them remotely, open the door to let them in (if you’ve got that tech installed), tell them to drop the parcel at the back of the house, or completely ignore them.

When you’re looking at the lighting around your home, think like a burglar. Don’t give any unwanted callers a reason to stop and investigate. Your home lighting should be warm and inviting for you, your family and your visitors, but with some careful preparation, it can also be a powerful deterrent to potential intruders.

Get LED smart!

The good news is, with Oliver Lamps’ fantastic range of LED lighting and smart tech products, keeping your home safe isn’t hard to do. It’s also a lot simpler and cheaper than you might expect as well.

At Oliver Lamps, we’re determined to offer you the very best products at the very best prices. That’s why we stock TCP Smart.

TCP (Technical Consumer Products) are an industry leader in high-quality, energy-efficient lighting and smart tech products, and their excellence is recognised all over the world. TCP Smart products are quick and easy to set up and let you take full control of your home lighting, security and power from wherever you are. You don’t need a hub, there are no expensive subscriptions, and your products start working the moment you connect them to your Wi-Fi.

One of the many big pluses of TCP Smart is that you can control your lighting etc. from anywhere in the world through your phone or tablet as long as you have access to a Wi-Fi connection. Potential unwelcome visitors will think you’re home even when you’re not, so they’re much less likely to consider your house an attractive target.

Using your smart device, you can set timers, programme routines, and dim your lighting remotely. You can control your smart lighting with your voice, using Siri or a home assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, and you can even make your lights change colour if your bulbs have that capability.

Here are just a few of the fabulous TCP Smart products we currently offer:

This LED filament bulb (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-smart-wifi-led-filament-classic-bulbs/) is a classic design, and perfect for everyday use around the home.

This LED downlight (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-smart-wifi-led-downlight/) is a stylish and practical way to illuminate a room, especially a lounge, kitchen and bathroom. It provides localised light wherever you need it and helps to create a fantastic ambience.

This regular colour changing bulb (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-colour-changing-smart-gls-smart-bulb-bc/) isn’t just perfect for keeping your home secure (because it will give the impression things are happening inside), it’s also great for lifting your mood on a dreary wintery day.

This Wi-Fi camera (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/wifi-camera/) will give you peace of mind wherever you are because you’ll always be able to check what’s happening inside your home. When it detects motion, it sends an alert directly to your mobile phone, so you can view live-stream, take pictures and record videos, and speak to your visitor from anywhere with two-way communication. It’s not just excellent for alerting you to intruders; it’s invaluable if there’s somebody at home who’s elderly or infirm and you need to look in on them from time-to-time to check they’re okay.

These are just a few examples of the smart lighting and tech we’ve got available for you every day, here at Oliver Lamps. And the best thing is, all the items we’ve just mentioned in this blog are currently ON SALE AT REDUCED PRICES! If you buy them now, you’ll feel secure anywhere, AND you’ll be saving money.

If you’d like to buy any of these products, you can order them from our website, drop into our lovely shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, or give our friendly team of lighting experts a call on 01328 855028. We’re always here to help.

Until next time, stay safe, everybody!

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The Oliver Lamps Commitment to Sustainability

Want to help us save the planet?

If there’s anything the current pandemic has taught us, it’s how powerless we can be in the face of nature. But while the globe was on lockdown some positive things happened too. Being forced apart brought many families, friends, and communities closer together. We became more aware of our own health, and our responsibilities to look after each other’s health. We’ve pulled together, and supported each other, and while the lockdown was at its height, we also saw how quickly the natural world started to repair. With fewer cars on the roads, planes in the sky, and ships in the sea, pollution, the rate of carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases plummeted. Air and water quality dramatically improved. Plants, fish, animals and other wildlife even began to return to regions where they hadn’t been seen in decades.

Unfortunately, though, there was a downside.

Because we’d been told to stay at home, a lot of us ordered takeaway food and used delivery services to buy our household essentials. Because online ordering was sometimes the only option available to many people, it increased the use of plastic packaging that can’t be recycled. A lot of the packaging inside that packaging was unnecessary, too! How many of us have ordered a small item over the internet and had it delivered in a massive box filled with polystyrene chips or half a dozen airbags?

And, perhaps worst of all, as soon as each country’s lockdown ended the pollution and carbon emission levels quickly returned to normal. In some places, like China, they’ve even surpassed what’s usual.

So, here’s today’s question: what could each of us do to make things better?

At Oliver Lamps, we’ve always taken our corporate and environmental responsibilities very seriously. Back in 2015, all the United Nation’s Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (usually known as the Global Goals or SDG’s) to tackle issues like climate change, poverty, and gender equality by encouraging all of us to act more sustainably and responsibly. The SDG’s are something all businesses, no matter how big or small they are, have been urged to follow, and one of the SDG’s we’re most passionate about at Oliver Lamps is SDG 13 – Climate Action. It’s something that everyone here is committed to, and we’d like you to think seriously about it as well.

What we can do together

At Oliver Lamps, we’re focused on energy saving and recycling.

Energy saving
From a saving energy perspective, using LED bulbs and smart LED lighting is one of the easiest, most eco-friendly choices you can make. LED bulbs aren’t just miles more energy-efficient than all other types of lighting, they’re safer to use, safer to dispose of, and they’ll save you a massive amount of money on your energy bill. Even though they cost a little bit more than traditional incandescent bulbs, their average lifespan is twenty times longer (the average rated life of an LED bulb is 20,000 hours, while a filament bulb lasts only 1,000 hours) and, working from an example energy rate of £0.19 kilowatt’s per hour, an LED bulb will cost only £19 over its lifetime. An incandescent bulb, however, would cost you £152 over the same period.

In terms of energy saving, we also turn off the lights when we don’t use them (we sometimes keep the lights running on our window display, but because they’re LED the energy usage is minimal), turn off computers and other appliances at the end of the day (nothing is kept on standby unless it’s necessary), and whenever an electrical item has to be replaced we always update it to an energy- efficient product where possible. We also keep a very close watch on the energy consumption in our shop and offices, and we’re always trying to look for ways more savings could be made.

At home, you could do the very same things:
• Switch to LED bulbs.
• Use smart LED lighting.
• Turn off lights when you’re not in the room.
• Turn down your thermostat (it’s estimated that almost half the money spent on energy bills is absorbed by heating and hot water costs, and turning your heating down by just one degree could save up to £80 a year.)
• Install a smart thermostat, so you can control your home’s heating more efficiently and only warm the rooms you’re using.)
• Switch off computers, TV’s and other appliances overnight, or only keep them on standby if it’s necessary for their operation.
• Don’t charge phones or tablets overnight; charge them during the day so that you can disconnect them as soon as the battery’s full.
• Only boil the water you need when you’re taking a tea or coffee break (according to British Gas, if we all only boiled the water we needed for a cup of tea, we’d save enough electricity a year to power the UK’s street lights for a month!)
• Only use the dishwasher when it’s full, and make sure it’s stacked properly.
• Wash your clothes at a lower temperature (washing at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees will help reduce your energy usage and cutting out one wash cycle per week could take £5 off your annual energy bill.)
Recycling
As a business, we recycle all our packaging and use other company’s packaging whenever we can to reduce waste. Whenever possible, we also use the carbon neutral delivery service DPDgroup to deliver our products to customers. DPD precisely measures the carbon footprint per parcel and reduces it any way they can. They also offset their remaining emissions by funding clean energy projects all around the world.
At home, you could:
• Recycle your paper and cardboard (newspapers, magazines, leaflets, boxes, etc. – but remember to remove any tape from the boxes before putting them in the recycling bin.)
• Recycle your metal cans (but clean them out beforehand because contaminated containers can’t be recycled.)
• Recycle some types of plastic (items made from PET (like water bottles), HDPE (like milk cartons and shampoo bottles) can usually be easily recycled but check with your local authority if you’re unsure.)
• Recycle textiles and unwanted clothing (maybe donate them to a charity bank at your local supermarket?)
• Instead of using plastic plates and cutlery for picnics, barbecues, etc., choose sustainable, recyclable tableware instead.
• Recycle your garden waste (talk to your local authority, who might supply you with a recycling bin especially for that purpose.)
• Recycle wood at your local recycling centre.
• Small electrical appliances can be taken to your local recycling centre.
• Batteries are considered a hazardous waste product, so be careful when disposing of them. Check if your local recycling centre will take them.
• Paint is also considered a hazardous waste product, so talk to your local authority before disposing of it. Many recycling centres won’t receive paint, but councils sometimes have a hazardous waste amnesty when they’ll temporarily accept paint and other hazardous waste items.

On the other hand, if there’s only a small amount of paint in the can, you could dry it out by adding something absorbent like sawdust or cat litter and then, once dried, put the paint can in your general waste bin.

Recycling light bulbs
At Oliver Lamps, we’ve made this one easy! If you’ve got any old light bulbs – of any type – that you don’t need anymore (including bulbs that no longer work), just bring them to our lovely shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, and we’ll recycle them for you!

Alternatively, LED bulbs are safe to be recycled at your local recycling centre.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes must be recycled because they contain small amounts of Mercury that’s harmful if discarded in landfill.

Old-style incandescent bulbs are not recyclable and should be thrown away in your waste bin. Don’t be tempted to recycle your old light bulbs with your glass bottles and jars because they are made from a different type of glass and also contain metal parts.

We hope this blog has given you plenty to think about, and we especially hope you’ll join us in energy-saving and recycling and making our little part of the planet a cleaner, greener, healthier place to be. If you’ve got any questions about how LED lighting can help your home or business become more environmentally friendly (and save you a lot of money along the way!) please don’t hesitate to give us a call (01328 855028), drop us an email ([email protected]) or pop into the shop. It’ll be great to see or hear from you and we’re always happy to help!

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Conservatory lighting inspiration!

conservatory lighting

In our last blog, we talked about how carefully planned lighting can totally transform your outdoor space this summer. But what about autumn and winter, when the weather gets darker, and we’re spending more of our evenings indoors? If you’re lucky enough to own a conservatory, you’ll know they’re a perfect way to continue enjoying your garden without having to leave the house, but lighting a space that’s enclosed by so much glass can have its challenges. After all, a conservatory that’s designed to be flooded with light during the day can quickly turn into a pitch-black claustrophobic goldfish bowl after night falls.

With that in mind, we wanted to share a few lighting ideas to make your conservatory more inviting and maximise your enjoyment of this valuable space. With a little bit of know-how and a pinch of Oliver Lamps magic, it’s easy to make your conservatory a place you’ll enjoy all year long!

What’s your conservatory design theme?

A lot of people make the mistake of turning their conservatory into a room where they ‘just hang out when it’s sunny.’ They’ll put a few pieces of furniture in there, maybe throw a rug down on the floor, and then wonder why they don’t use the conservatory so much after the summer’s finished.

The answer’s simple. Like any other room in your house, you need to give your conservatory its own identity. Make it a place you’ll want to be in all year round, and think carefully about how your choice of lighting can make that happen. For example, because most conservatories tend to be very bright, white, open-plan spaces, it feels logical to choose lighting that’s more modern or retro. But did you know that conservatories were first ‘invented’ back in the 16th Century when wealthy landowners used them as greenhouses to grow exotic fruits and plants inside the house? They called these greenhouses ‘orangeries’, and it wasn’t until the 19th Century when people cut down on the horticulture and started using them as living spaces.

With that in mind, there’s no reason you can’t turn your conservatory into anything you want! Modern lighting could look fantastic, but something a little more traditional might be amazing too. Take a closer look at the space, decide on a theme, and then visit Oliver Lamps to discover all the exciting ways we could make your vision a reality!

Keep it subtle

Your conservatory was built to harness natural light, so don’t overwhelm the space with lots of different types of interior lighting. Ideally, you only want to use interior lighting in the evening or on those days when the weather’s overcast and the visibility is low.

Ceiling lights/pendant lights are a terrific way to illuminate a conservatory, especially if the roof is covered and you can’t see the sky. However, if you’ve got a transparent roof that lets you look up at the stars, you probably won’t want a ceiling light getting in your way! One solution could be a chandelier-type ceiling light with clear crystals that will help to reflect any natural light that’s still streaming into the room, but it might still hamper your favourite view of the universe.

So, instead of a ceiling light, let’s think of other less obstructive ways to keep your conservatory illuminated. You could use spotlights and clusters to illuminate from the top-down without blocking too much of your view, or you could subtly define the space with one or two well-placed table lamps, or use picture and poster lights to highlight particular objects or artwork. If you’ve got a large planted pot in the room, you might even use an uplight to add some drama to it when everything gets dark outside.

Also, don’t forget about wall lights. The beauty of wall lights is that they’re a fantastic source of warm, ambient light and they won’t clutter up your floor space. If you choose adjustable wall lights, you can also alter the direction of the beam to point at whatever you’re doing.

Want something even more understated? LED string lights are a brilliant way to decorate a solid-coloured wall, and are especially attractive later in the evening when you want to keep the vibe in your conservatory sleepy and low-key.

Go with the flow

Just because it’s dark outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy your garden. However, if it’s dark outside and light inside, you’re effectively staring into a one-way mirror. One way to avoid that (and get your view of the garden back) is by keeping the lights low inside the conservatory and then mount some outward-facing lights on the exterior of your conservatory pointing towards your garden. Alternatively, you could use some of the outdoor lighting tips we mentioned in our last blog to keep certain parts of your garden illuminated, so those areas are always visible while you’re sitting snugly in the warm. Smart LED lights are perfect for keeping a balance between internal and external light because you can adjust them without leaving the comfort of your armchair and never lose sight of the outside world as night falls.

Even better, if you carefully combine lighting colours, so the theme of your indoor lighting is the same as your outdoor lighting, you can create the effect that your conservatory and garden are both flowing into one.

How can we help?

Summer is the perfect time to get your conservatory lighting ready for autumn, and you’ll love the wide range of lighting and lighting accessories we’ve got waiting for you at Oliver Lamps. From LED bulbs to ceiling lights, wall lights to table lights, string lights to nightlights, and lighting systems and smart tech that will brighten up your day and make your whole life more comfortable, you’ll find everything you need to turn your tired or neglected conservatory into a scintillating sanctuary you’ll never want to leave!

All you have to do is call into our shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, or give our friendly team a call on 01328 855028. You’ll also find a lot of useful ideas and information (including our current opening hours) on our brand-new website/online store. However, we’ve still got a lot of products to add to the website so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, give us a ring or drop us an email at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help.

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How to use lighting to make your outdoor spaces magical!

outdoor lighting

Now that we’re able to see more of our family and friends (socially distanced, of course!) it’s time to make the most of our outdoor spaces. Believe it or not, with Oliver Lamps on your side, there’s a lot you can do to make even the smallest garden, patio or terrace look like a Midsummer Night’s Dream wonderland!

Make your own outdoor cinema

All you need is a large white sheet you can use as a cinema screen (you could attach it to a wall or fence or peg it to your washing line, but make sure you weigh it down, so it doesn’t flutter in the breeze) and a projector connected to your DVD/blu ray player, laptop or streaming device. Projectors used to be incredibly expensive, but they’ve tumbled in price over the past few years. Just remember that the more lumens the projector has, the clearer and brighter the picture will be. Choose a projector that’s at least 3000 lumens for the best home cinema experience after night falls.

Arrange a few fairy lights around your garden or terrace, and maybe use some taped lighting on the ground to replicate the aisle lights in movie theatres, and then settle down to enjoy the fun! Worried about getting bitten by bugs? Lighting a few citronella, lavender, or lemon balm candles should keep those pesky midges and mozzies at bay!

Build a garden bar

Home bars have really taken off since lockdown began, and if you enjoy a little bit of DIY it’s a great way to give your garden or patio a talking point! How about an exotic-looking tiki bar made from sheets of bamboo and surrounded top-and-bottom with a fringe of LED lights? Or a classy gin bar with some subtle LED lighting to light up the sheltered seating?

Don’t feel like building your garden bar entirely from scratch? No problem! You could convert a corner of your garage into an impromptu cocktail lounge, with twinkling lights along the walls to outline the space and a couple of tables with some chic decorative table lamps. Or why not transform your humble shed into a nautical hideaway with some ceiling drapes and rope lighting? All it takes is a little bit of paint, patience and know-how, and a smidgeon of creative inspiration!

Host the perfect garden party

There is still a limit to the number of guests you can invite, but you can still give your garden party pizazz. Festoon lighting and string lighting are terrific ways to add zing to any outdoor gathering. However, if you don’t have a space you can hang overhead lights from, you can still make the occasion memorable by combining a variety of different lights to create the ideal ambience! Why not arrange fairy lights on your fencing or strung around the gazebo? Lanterns spaced at intervals to create light and shadow and stake lights to add colour and illumination to your flower beds? Also, don’t forget to add tape lighting to delineate steps and the edges of decking so your guests can safely see where they are walking.

Enjoy a romantic date night

It’s easy to add a touch of romance to any outdoor space. You could conjure up a dreamy canopy of stars by hanging some string lights or fairy lights in the trees and around the patio; you could use LED lanterns to turn the dining space into an intimate grotto and divide you and your loved one off from the rest of the world. Finally, don’t forget to choose a gorgeous lighting decoration (or maybe fairy lights inside a mason jar?) to use as a centrepiece on the dining table. The golden rule of less is more applies here. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to overdo it!

And where can you find all the incredible lighting you’ll need to make these amazing outdoor projects a reality?

At Oliver Lamps, of course!

Apart from decorative lighting, we also stock a wide range of LED lighting products that look terrific and will enhance your home security too.

We have LED wall-mounted fittings that are fantastic for indoor and outdoor use.

Our stylish LED wall luminaire’s that make fantastic drop-down spotlights.

You’ll find a selection of LED wall lanterns, in both traditional and modern designs, as well as eye-catching stainless-steel LED wall globes.

Our round LED wall lights and twin LED wall lights will create a range of different effects, both indoors and outdoors.

Our LED bollards make terrific landscaping features (not to mention they’ll also keep your pathways, entrances and exits a lot safer.)

We’ve also got decking lights and garden/plant spike lights that are ideal for adding atmosphere and can be used for breath-taking effects. 

Get in touch

Want to find out more? Our friendly expert team are always here to help! Just give us a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email [email protected]. You can visit our shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham so you can see everything for yourself! If we don’t have what you’re looking for in-store, don’t worry, we’ll always be happy to order it for you!

Have a fantastic summer, and let your outdoor lighting imagination run wild!