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Halogen lamps have been used in our homes since the 1950s. In the 1980s in Australia fluorescent lamps were encouraged as a more efficient light source than halogen. Today LED lighting is seen as the most effective and efficient light source for the residential sector. Halogen lighting presents an attractive warm yellow glow which creates a homely feeling and is particularly popular in older homes. However, halogen lighting also come with negative aspects as well. Halogen lamps have a high wattage (usually 35 watts each) making them expensive to run. This high wattage is due to the energy lost in heat when light energy is produced. This heat presents a fire danger in the home. Energy Safe Victoria has tried to combat this hazard by introducing “fire cups” to be installed over halogen downlights, and hazard signs to be visible from the man hole into the roof space, to avoid insulation installers covering the downlights with insulation. It is now illegal for halogen downlights to be installed in new homes in Victoria.
Fluorescent lighting became an attractive alternative to halogen due to the lower wattage (usually around 20 watts each). However, the slow starting time and medium life span meant there was an opening in the market for another alternative light source.
At the turn of the millennium LED burst onto the residential lighting scene as a more efficient light source than halogen and fluorescent and with a much longer life. Initially with a high set up cost, the product was refined and manufacturing costs lowered resulting in a light source that today is trumped by no other in the residential sector.
LED lighting is now available in the same homely “warm-white” colour as the traditional halogen lamps and downlights. It is also now available at an affordable price which means the savings on your electricity bill (due to the lower wattage of LED vs Halogen) will reimburse the installation cost in a short amount of time. We always recommend that home owners replace old halogen fittings with LED fittings.
Sensor lighting is a great way to provide a level of security and convenience to the exterior of your home. It is also a fancy extra to add to wardrobes, pantry’s, butler pantry’s or hallways.
However, sensor lights can be a nuisance at times and have settings which can be helpful to know about.
Ensure exterior sensor lights are installed and directed away from street pathways, streets and trees with moving branches. Even with this done, sensor lights can be a nuisance on windy nights when trees and plants move around. The easiest way to combat this is to turn the sensor lights off at the light switch on windy nights.
Sensor lights at times won’t operate when you walk in front of them, will switch on and off without anything in front it, or will stay on longer than the set time. When this happens, turn the light switch off for 10 seconds or longer, and then switch back on. This should reset the sensor light and restore it back to usual operation