FAQs about Lightbulbs Direct

How are you able to offer such low prices?

Lightbulbs Direct uses a “direct only”, low overhead business model. We have no retail premises and by using direct marketing and on-line ordering we keep our overheads as low as possible so that we can pass these savings on to our customers.

Which brands do you sell?

We only choose the top brands for all our products. These include household names such as Osram, Crompton, GE, Philips and Sylvania that we know, from personal experience, provide top quality, reliable and high-performance lamps.

We have specifically chosen not to sell “un-branded” lamps which although cheaper often turn out to be lower quality, short life (even as little as 2 weeks!!) and hence poor value for money.

What technologies do you sell?

Here at Lightbulbs Direct, we offer all types of lighting technology, from traditional incandescent, fluorescent tubes, and halogen lamps to energy-saving compact fluorescent and the latest in LED technology.

We also stock a number of specialist lamps such as High-Intensity Discharge lamps designed for illumination of large spaces to niche usage lamps such as Germicidal lamps used for water treatment, disinfection, sterilisation and food sanitation, Infrared heat lamps which have varying uses such as keeping food warm and animal husbandry and Ultraviolet lamps used for a variety of purposes such as glow in the dark blacklights, bug-zappers and more.

General FAQs

What is the difference between a “lamp” and a “light bulb”?

These terms are often interchangeable but “lamp” is really the generic term since this covers all sorts of lighting technology. See our glossary for further details of this and many other terms.

Do all light bulbs get hot?

Halogen lamps and traditional incandescent lamps give off a large amount of heat, however, LED lamps and Compact fluorescents give out far less heat than traditional light bulbs, this makes them ideal for use with lampshades made of delicate materials that can be damaged by heat.

All lamps do however give off some heat and should not be used in a totally enclosed light fitting unless there is some way for the heat to escape.

Are “Energy Saver” and “Long Life” light bulbs the same thing?

Yes and no! Compact fluorescent lamps do generally have a much longer life than ordinary incandescent light bulbs but there are also many other types of “long life” light bulb, most of which do not also save energy.

Generally, a normal incandescent light bulb will have a rated life of around 1000hrs whereas compact fluorescent energy-saving light bulbs have a rated life of between 3,000 and 15,000 hours, modern LED lamps can have much greater rated life and range from 10,000 up to an incredible 50,000 hours.

FAQs about compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs

Do they flicker when you turn them on?

Yes, they do, but unlike early energy saver lamps, the latest designs generally include electronic rapid start circuitry to make the lamp light-up in less than 1 second with virtually no flickering.

Don’t they give a rather harsh light?

Some older designs had quite a high “colour temperature” (see glossary) which may be perceived as “colder” but many energy-saving lamps now use a “warm white” coating to make the light very similar to a normal incandescent light bulb.

Do they take time to “warm-up”?

The latest compact fluorescent lamps “warm-up” very much faster than older designs, typically reaching 95% of their full light output in under a minute.

They are always too long and stick out above my lampshade!

Again, with the latest designs, this need not happen. Many compact fluorescents are now so small that they are virtually the same size, or even smaller, than ordinary light bulbs. If the light bulb is visible, you can choose from one of the designs that use a decorative outer light bulb to cover the fluorescent tubes.

FAQs about halogen lamps

Are halogen lamps energy-saving?

Halogen lamps are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lamps, saving an average of 30% energy. However, compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps can save as much as 50-80% energy over traditional incandescent lamps and the newer LED technology light bulbs often have an incredible energy-savings of 80% plus compared to traditional incandescent lamps.

I have been told that you should not touch the outside of a halogen capsule. Is this true? If so, why is this?

Tungsten halogen light bulbs, tubes and capsules are made of quartz rather than ordinary glass so that they can operate at a much higher temperature. If the quartz envelope is contaminated with oils from your skin it tends to develop a hot spot in this area that can reduce the lifetime of the light bulb dramatically.

To prevent this, tungsten halogen lamps should be wrapped in tissue when you install them, removing the tissue once the lamp is firmly seated. If the capsule does get contaminated you can remove fingerprints with a tissue moistened with a solvent such as alcohol or methylated spirits.

FAQs about LED lamps

Are LED lamps energy-saving?

LED lamps are the most energy-efficient lamps currently available with incredible energy-savings of 80% plus compared to traditional incandescent lamps.

Are LED lamps dimmable?

Yes and No! LED technology works very differently from more traditional lamps, while LED dimmable lamps are available, not all LED lamps are capable of being dimmed and some dimmers are incompatible with LED lamps read our guide on LED dimming here.

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