Posted on Leave a comment

Announcing our exciting new partnership

EV charging partnership

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

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

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

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

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

“Zaptec who???”

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

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

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

Trust us, though; you will very soon!

Oliver Lamps+Zaptec = the perfect EV combination!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the benefits of installing EV on your premises?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we do that?

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

What’s the OZEV Workplace Charging Scheme grant?

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

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

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

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

How can an EV chargepoint generate revenue for your business?

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

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

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

1.     It’s an invaluable revenue generator.

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

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

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

Other things to remember.

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

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

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

What should you do next?

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

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


Posted on Leave a comment

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!

Posted on Leave a comment

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!

Posted on Leave a comment

Bathroom Lighting: Five top tips for getting it right

Five Top Tips for Awesome Bathroom Lighting

Bathrooms are weird places, aren’t they?

We don’t spend a lot of time in them, but when they start to look a bit faded and boring it can really get us down.

But spritzing up a bathroom can be tricky because it’s usually such a small space that it’s hard to know what to do with it.

This is where cleverly thought-out lighting can be a bathroom-beautifying winner!

Tip 1: Make a plan

As we mentioned in our last blog, getting the layers of light right is hugely important. Even though a bathroom is small, there are still lots of different lighting choices you could choose for the vanity/sink area, the bath area, and the shower area. You also have to consider how much natural light comes in through the window. Because the windows are usually frosted glass or treated to prevent people from outside seeing in, the light is generally more hued or subdued than in other parts of the house.

However, don’t go so crazy with your choices that each separate area looks like its own individual zone. The trick is to make the areas distinct but cohesive, so everything works together, and it doesn’t look like three different people arranged the lighting!

Tip 2: Think about the layers of light

When you layer light properly, you’re enhancing your bathroom’s beauty and subtly playing down the areas you don’t want to be too noticeable. Start by thinking about the ambient light, which is the main ceiling-based light that will cast most illumination around the room. Then, depending on the décor you have, a chandelier, pendant, or carefully arranged series of recessed lights are the most popular ways to go.

Where the vanity, mirror, and shaver point are, think about the kind of task lighting you’ll use so you can easily see everything you’re doing in that area. This part of the bathroom can be the most daunting for many people because badly-placed light can be unforgiving when we’re looking in the mirror, applying our make-up or tweaking that troublesome hair off the end of our nose. Under-counter LED lights along the top and bottom of your cabinets are one way to go, but make sure they’ve got a splashproof IP rating of at least IP44.

Alternatively, depending on the amount of space you’ve got to work with, you might consider an illuminated mirrored cabinet (for a smaller space), LED bulbs framed around the mirror like you’re an old-time Hollywood movie star (for a bit of glitz and glam) or stylish wall sconces arranged symmetrically on either side of the vanity area.

Finally, think about the kind of accent lighting you’ll use to highlight your bathroom’s architecture and décor. Small spotlights and strip lights are one solution, or maybe a wall uplighter for a larger bathroom?

Tip 3: Some advice about side-mounted sconces

If you’re going to use a side-mounted sconce, making sure it sits at precisely the correct height is key.

The shade opening of a glass down-light should sit a little bit below eye level.

The shade opening of a glass up-light should sit slightly above eye level.

If you’re mounting the sconces on either side of the bathroom mirror, make sure there are a few inches of clearance on the left and right of the mirror. If you’re lighting a master bathroom, 100 watts per fixture is enough to create the right amount of cross-illumination, whereas a smaller bathroom/powder room might only require 40 watts per fixture.

Tip 4: Smart LED lighting can make all the difference!

When you use Smart LED to control the brightness of the lights, it means you can put them up high when you need to or bring them down to a relaxing low glow to make bath night more peaceful. In other words, at just the touch of a button on your iPhone or tablet, or a simple command to Alexa, you can turn your bathroom from a conventional utility area into a soothing hideaway. You could even program the lights so that only one part of the bathroom is illuminated while the rest is in darkness, or use colour-changing bulbs and truly get creative!

Tip 5: A few other useful tips to consider

LED bulbs with a CRI of 90 or more and a colour temperature of between 2700K and 3000K are perfect for bathrooms. 2700K light tends to be more flattering and gives the bathroom a warmer feel.

Vertical lights on either side of a mirror (like that old Hollywood look we mentioned a moment ago) are fabulous for applying make-up because they provide maximum light coverage without casting shadows. Also, when natural light isn’t an option, LED is the best kind of lighting to use for applying make-up because it projects evenly across your face. Never use yellow, rose, or fluorescent lighting when you’re putting your slap on!

Want to make the tub area special? Use a sconce, because the light from an overhead fixture can often be too harsh if it isn’t diffused or directed carefully.

Always stay safe and keep to the electrical safety regulations. All bathroom fixtures must be waterproof, and the IP rating for each fixture can be different according to where in the bathroom it’s going to be used. (IP means ‘Ingress Protection’ and is the level at which the fixture is protected against moisture and dirt.) For example, only full submersible IP67 fittings must be used inside the bath or shower basin; the area directly above the bath or shower requires IP65 fittings, and fittings placed outside the perimeter of the bath or shower and to a certain height from the floor must have a rating of at least IP44.

Please note, this advice is for rough guidance only because standards and requirements change all the time. Always seek the advice of a qualified electrician before installing new lighting fixtures in your bathroom.

And there you have it – Oliver Lamps’ top 5 tips for awesome bathroom lighting! I wonder what room we’ll be looking at next time? You’ll have to come back in a couple of weeks to find out!

In the meantime, don’t forget Oliver Lamps are always here with the best lighting and home furnishings deals and the friendliest expert service. To find out more, give our friendly team a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or, even better (because we’d love to meet you in person!), pop into our showroom at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, NR21 9DY.

Stay safe and see you again soon!

Posted on Leave a comment

How can better lighting help our eyesight as we get older?

eyesight and lighting

Lighting can help you protect your eyesight as you age, and we’ve got some tips to share with you.

None of us likes to think too hard about getting older, but it’s an unavoidable fact of life. One day you’re running around with all the energy in the world, spotting something you want in a shop window from the opposite end of the high street, and then the next you’re making weird noises as you get off the sofa and you can’t get in the shop because you can’t see where the door handle is.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what we mean. Someone who’ll remain nameless patted the cat at the end of their bed this morning, but it was actually their tracksuit bottoms. We’re not saying who it was. It definitely wasn’t me.

Anyway, moving on quickly…

How our eyesight ages

After the age of 40, you may notice your eyesight beginning to deteriorate and your eyes feeling more strained. It won’t happen overnight, but you might catch yourself squinting as you try to read a text on your smartphone or focusing on objects up close will be challenging. It’s annoying but it’s usually nothing to get unduly worried about, although it’s a sensible idea to get your eyesight checked as soon as you notice the changes. This disturbance in vision is generally caused because the lens inside your eye is losing its flexibility, which decreases the amount of light entering your eye and makes it more difficult to focus. Your ability to accurately see colours may be affected too.

This process is called presbyopia, and the bad news is that it generally becomes more advanced as we continue getting older. Suppose you’re prescribed reading glasses or contact lenses. In that case, you might find the prescription changes more frequently, or you’ll need one pair of eyeglasses for ‘occupational’ tasks and another pair for day-to-day activities like housework or watching tv.

Other sight changes might include:

  • Focusing your eyes becomes harder and slower because the ciliary muscles that support the eye are gradually losing strength.
  • Less light reaches the retinas because the pupils start to shrink.
  • The light entering your eye becomes more scattered, which is caused by the thickening of the cornea.

On average, by the time we reach the age of 65, most of us will:

  • Require more light to see clearly.
  • Become more sensitive to glare.
  • Respond more slowly to lighting changes, such as stepping from a dark environment into a bright one.
  • Notice a gradual loss of peripheral vision.

How lighting can help

Increase the light levels in your home and office

Because older eyes usually need twice as much light as younger eyes, make sure that task lighting of at least 1300 lumens is available in the areas you’ll need it most (i.e. desks, worktops, under cabinets.) Increase the ambient lighting and use smart lighting or dimmer switches to easily adjust the brightness.

Avoid lighting discrepancies

Because older eyes find adjusting to light changes difficult, keep the light level as smooth and unfluctuating as possible between room to room.

Make light switches clearly accessible at all entrances and exits

This is especially important in areas of the house that older people may be using late at night (i.e. bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms.)

Keep stairs, hallways, landings, and entryways well lit

Plug-in LED night lights, LED strips, rope lights, and overhead spotlights are excellent for this and will minimise the risk of trips and falls. For obvious reasons, never use extension cords in these areas and keep extensions safely tucked out of harm’s way in other parts of the house.

Choose light bulbs with a high CRI

A light bulb’s Colour Rendering Index (CRI) tells you how accurately it displays colours, so that the colours can be perceived more easily by the human eye. Older eyes tend to have a problem distinguishing between spectrums of blue, purple, and green, so bulbs that are between eighty and one hundred on the CRI scale are more efficient for work, study, and crafting spaces, and anywhere it’s important to see different hues (i.e. when painting a room).

Unfortunately, getting older is something we can’t avoid, but making even small adjustments to your lighting will make the process of getting older a lot easier. That’s where Oliver Lamps will always be here to help because all the different types of lighting and appliances mentioned in this blog – from CRI LED’s and dimmer switches to plug-in LED night lights, worktop lighting, desk lamps and everything in between – are currently available online and (when the lockdown eventually ends) directly from our shop. If you’d like to find out more, give us a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or check out the catalogue on our website. Please remember, the catalogue only features a small part of what we stock, so get in touch if you’ve got any questions. We’ll be delighted to assist you.

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

Posted on Leave a comment

How to save BIG with LED!

In the words of Sir Michael Caine (who’s apparently quite fed up with people saying this because he claims he never actually said it) “Not a lot of people know that” last week was Big Energy Saving Week in the UK. Big Energy Saving Week is a national campaign dedicated to helping people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they’re entitled to, and why it wasn’t top of the national headlines between Jan 18-24 is anyone’s guess. It’s not like anything important has been happening, is it?! 😊

So, in belated honour of Big Energy Saving Week, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to remind you how money-saving LED can slash your bills and save you bucket-loads of money. That feels more important than ever now it’s winter, the long dark nights are creeping in earlier, and most of us are using our domestic lights more often because we’re locked down at home.

How will LED light bulbs save you money?

LED bulbs can save you a lot of money for two important reasons:

  1. They require much less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, halogen light bulbs, or energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs.)
  2. They have a much longer lifespan than their incandescent, halogen, or CFL competition.

Let’s do the math

Unfortunately, a few people are still put off by the perceived expense of replacing their traditional, short-lived, energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs with only marginally more costly LED. But it’s not just the initial cost they should be thinking about. It doesn’t matter whether you’re replacing incandescent’s, halogen’s, or other energy-friendly bulbs like CFLs with LEDs, you’ll still make a handsome return on your initial investment. In most cases, you’ll start seeing that return immediately. If not immediately, you’ll definitely notice a significant return over the LED’s lifetime.

A 6-watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent or a 14-watt fluorescent.

Even though the older style bulbs are cheaper to buy, an incandescent will only last about 1,200 hours before it has to be replaced. The average lifespan of an LED bulb is 60,000 hours, which is approximately fifty times longer. That’s fifty incandescent bulbs you’d need to buy to match the lifetime of a single LED bulb… now that older style bulb doesn’t seem like such a good bargain, does it?

As far as your energy bills are concerned, a 60-watt incandescent is also going to use a great deal more electricity than a 6-watt LED. As a very approximate rule, if a 60-watt incandescent bulb were capable of lasting 60,000 hours (which it isn’t), it would cost you around £700 in energy. On the other hand, a 6-watt LED costs around £80 in energy. Even when you factor in the extra cost of the LED bulb (which is a lot cheaper now than it used to be), that’s still a saving of £600 or more when you switch to LED, and you won’t have the expense and inconvenience of buying the fifty incandescent bulbs required to match the single LED’s lifetime (which would easily be £50-£100, meaning the LED bulb has paid for itself!)

Or let’s look at it this way (and please remember this is just an approximate example): if you have 15 incandescent bulbs in your home and you use them over 60,000 hours, that would cost you in the region of £12,000. Using 15 comparable LED bulbs in your home over 60,000 hours would cost approximately £1,300. That’s a whopping £10,700 saving!

Something else to think about

LED lighting won’t just reduce your energy bills; it will also reduce your CO2 emissions and give you a much smaller carbon footprint.

Because recent figures indicate that 22% of the total electricity generated in the UK is used for lighting, switching to LED lighting will help to reduce both national electrical consumption and the volume of chemicals released into the atmosphere which are adding to climate change.

How many more reasons do you need to switch to LED?

If you can think of any, let us know, and we’ll do our very best to answer them!

We’re always here to help

Even though our shop is still closed due to the national lockdown, our friendly expert team are always at the end of a telephone or an email! Whatever we can help you with, whether it’s placing an order, answering questions about our products, sourcing specialist lighting products for you that we don’t currently stock, or telling you more about how Oliver Lamps’ LED lighting can help save you money, energy, and be more environmentally friendly, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01328 855028, drop us an email at [email protected], or get in touch via the contact form on our website.

Stay safe and see you again next month!

PS. Just in case you’re interested, the Big Energy Saving Week website is here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Thank you for brightening up our year… how can we brighten up your Christmas?

christmas lights

Christmas is almost here and 2020 is almost at an end, and it’s safe to say that very few people will be sad to see it go. It’s been a challenging year for everyone.

So this is a perfect opportunity to look forwards to the future, and also give a quick glance backwards at the last twelve months.

Can you believe that we opened our gorgeous shop almost a whole year ago?

We want to say thank you to everyone who’s supported us through this difficult and sometimes anxious time; from our wonderful customers who have visited our shop or reached out to us online, to the magnificent keyworkers we’ve been proud to assist during the lockdowns and beyond, and to everyone who clicks on our social media, reads our blogs, and takes a few moments each month to make writing these little pieces worthwhile.

We’d also like to thank our friends and colleagues in the local community. Despite the terrible timing (!), our decision to open our shop in the heart of Fakenham at the beginning of the year will always be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We’re very proud of our little home, and we’re especially proud to be among you all.

Merry Christmas!

Now let’s talk about something seasonal!

How much do you know about Christmas lights?

When you’ve run out of games to play after Christmas dinner, and discovered Pass the Parcel doesn’t work so well when you’re doing it over Zoom (we gave it a go last week, but the parcel just bounced off the laptop screen), why not point towards all the glittery Christmas lights on the tree and amaze everybody with a bit of Christmas lighting trivia?

  • The tradition of Christmas lights is believed to have been started by the protestant reformer, Martin Luther, way back in the 16th century. The story goes that he was so enchanted by the stars shining through an evergreen forest that he took a tree home and tied candles onto its branches to cheer up his family. Martin might have been a famous reformer, but Health and Safety obviously wasn’t high on his agenda! (Even if there’s a power cut that lasts until new year, please don’t put candles on your Christmas tree at home!)
  • Thomas Edison created the first-ever Christmas light display during Christmas season, 1880. He laid eight miles of underground wire to power strings of lights around the outside of his New Jersey laboratory. The result was described by one dazzled spectator as “a fairy-land.”
  • Two years later, Mr Edison (aka ‘The Wizard of Menlo Park’) was at it again! He was the first person to decorate a Christmas tree with lights, covering the evergreen with 80 blinking red, white and blue electric lights, and sitting the tree on top of a revolving box. We don’t know about the tree, but we bet Edison felt dizzy when he received his energy bill. He should have invented LED first!
  • But, unfortunately, the world had to wait another 80 years for the LED light to arrive. It was invented by General Electric’s Nick Holonyak, Jr., in 1962.
  • LEDs convert nearly 100 per cent of the energy they use into light. An incandescent lamp only converts about 9-10 per cent.
  • LED bulbs have an average 20,000 – 25,000 hours’ lamp life. Compared to incandescent bulbs (with an average 1,000-hour lifespan) and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps, which have an average lifespan of 10,000 hours) that’s enlightening information!
  • The largest LED Christmas light sculpture was unveiled in Moscow, Russia, on December 12, 2015. It was made up of 23,120 colour-changing LED lights.
  • LED light bulbs save you money, save energy, and help to save the planet. A LED bulb that uses only 5 watts of power does the same job as an incandescent bulb using 40 watts but would only cost £19 over its lifetime. The incandescent bulb would cost £152 over the same period. That means if you replaced 8 incandescent bulbs in your home with LED, you’d save a whopping £1227 a year! Why not bring one of your incandescent bulbs to our shop after Christmas – we’ll plug it into our ingenious LED bulb machine, and you’ll be able to see the savings for yourself!
  • The most lights on a Christmas tree was 194,672. It all happened in Malmedy, Belgium, on December 10, 2010, and the tree was hung with a total of 350 3-metre-long garlands fitted with 576 lights on each.
  • If you use exterior LED lighting, or even put a LED bulb in your porch light, it will attract fewer moths and creepy crawlies! Why? Because, unlike incandescent lamps and CFLs, LEDs don’t produce large amounts of bug-attracting ultraviolet and infrared radiation.
  • The most lights on a residential property were hung by the Gay family in LaGrangeville, New York. They took the title on November 28, 2014, with a grand total of 601,736 lights. That’s almost double their 2012 346,283 lights record!
  • If you use a LED bulb for 24 hours every day, it will last for 6 years. If you only use it 4 hours a day, you’ll get a whole 17 years of life out of it!
  • The world record for most lights on an artificial Christmas tree is 518,838. It was awarded to the fittingly named “Christmas Lights Man”, David Richards, from Canberra, Australia. David also used to hold the Guinness World Record for “the largest image made of LED lights.”
  • It costs 83 per cent more to use incandescent Christmas lights instead of energy-efficient LED. That means, if you use LED, you could save an average £10 on Christmas house light decorations and at least £3 on Christmas tree lights over the month of December.
  • Finally, here’s an electrifying statistic from our buddies in the US: if America replaced just 50 per cent of their incandescent lights with LED lights during the Christmas season, the potential energy savings would be at least $17.2 billion. With that sort of money, Santa could put a warp drive on his sleigh, and he’d have delivered our presents before we even made it to bed on Christmas Eve!

Let Oliver Lamps make your Christmas and New Year brighter!

We don’t only sell an extensive range of high-quality, competitively priced LED light bulbs in all shapes, wattages, and fittings! Why not drop into our shop (or give us a call) before Christmas and find out what else we’ve got to offer?! From stylish lamps, shades, and light-fittings, to fun and comforting nightlights that will help little ones sleep peacefully; from smart tech that will seamlessly control all the lighting in your house and even change the lighting colour to suit your mood, all without leaving the comfort of your armchair (or even having to be at home to do it!); and from security smart tech designed to keep you, your family and your home safer, to a fabulous hand-picked selection of gorgeous home furnishings and accessories… there’s much more at Oliver Lamps than you might expect! And we’re adding brilliant new items all the time!

Plus, of course, we stock one of the UK’s best ranges of high-quality, competitively priced LED light bulbs too! (Or did we already mention that?!)

Want to know more?

That’s easier than putting a carrot on a reindeer and saying, “No red nose for you this year, Rudolph. Santa’s gone vegan!” Whenever you need us, we’ll always be here to help. Just give us a call on 01328 855028, email [email protected], or visit us at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham; we guarantee you a very warm welcome, although please check our opening times if you’re making a special trip because our hours will be a little different over Christmas.

Stay safe, and have a very Happy Christmas. See you in the new year!

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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!