Frequently Asked Questions

We at Hegarty Lighting are happy to answer your questions during opening hours at 023 883 4780 or via our contact form.  We have also compiled a list of frequently asked questions which you might find helpful.

  1. Do I get more light from shades pointing down as opposed to shades pointing upwards?
  2. What are LEDs?
  3. What are the economic advantages of using LEDs over conventional light sources?
  4. What does a life of 50,000 hours mean in the case of LEDs?
  5. Is lifespan reduced if the LEDs are frequently turned on and off?
  6. How much longer does an LED last than a conventional light source?
  7. Can I dim an LED bulb?
  8. How much light do I need in a room?
  9. What do I do about task areas such as kitchen islands, areas over the sink and counter tops?
  10. I have an old house and only one light in my kitchen.  What is the brightest light available?
  11. How do I light my dining area?
  12. What is the best way to light my hallway?
  13. How efficient are led bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs?
  14. How do I compare different bulb brightness?
  15. What do "cool white" and "warm white" mean, and what is CCT?
  16. What is the maximum wattage bulb that can go in a chandelier?
  17. What is the maximum wattage that can be got from a single pendant?
  18. What is the difference between a floodlight and a spotlight?
  19. Are you open on Sundays?

Do I get more light from shades pointing down as opposed to shades pointing upwards?

If you have got a white ceiling it doesn't make a lot of difference as the ceiling reflects the light.  The upward shades reduce the glare of the bulbs.  If you have a dark ceiling you should choose downward facing shades.

What are LEDs?

LEDs are light emitting diodes. These are electronic components that convert electrical energy directly to light through the movement of electrons within the material of the diode. LEDs are important because due to their efficiency and low energy, they are beginning to replace most conventional light sources.

What are the economic advantages of using LEDs over conventional light sources?

Although the initial cost of conventional light sources is less than LEDs, the operational and maintenance costs of LED are significantly lower. LEDs, having a longer life, reduce maintenance and lamp replacement cost.  Because LEDs need to be replaced less frequently, the owner spends less on new lamps and the labor needed to change them. LEDs also consume less energy; thus the overall cost of a LED system can be significantly lower than that of conventional lighting systems. 

What does a life of 50,000 hours mean in the case of LEDs?

50,000 hours would imply 5.7 years if the light is operated for 24 hours in a day, 7.6 years if the lights are on 18 hours per day and 11.4 years for 12 hours a day.

Is lifespan reduced if the LEDs are frequently turned on and off?

Unlike discharge lamps, LEDs are semiconductors and their life span is not affected by the number of times they are turned on and off.

How much longer does an LED last than a conventional light source?

Typically, an LED will last four times longer than a CFL and 25 times longer than an incandescent source that puts out the same amount of light.

Can I dim an LED bulb?

Yes, you can dim some LED bulbs.  It will be written clearly on the packaging if they are dimmable. You must however have a low wattage dimmer switch as well.  A conventional dimmer switch will not recognise the LEDs as their wattage is so low.

How much light do I need in a room?

Here's a handy formula to figure out how much light your room needs: Multiply the length of the room by the width to find the total area in feet.  Multiply the area by 1.5; this is the total wattage you'll need to light the room. 

For example: If your room is 17 feet wide and 20 feet long, the total area is 340 square feet. Multiply 340 by 1.5, and you'll get 510, so you'll need 510 watts of total light to efficiently light your room. 

Tip: When installing downlights in your kitchen, use a mix of wide-angle downlights for ambient lighting and narrow-beam downlights for task lighting over your cooker, sink and counters.

What do I do about task areas such as kitchen islands, areas over the sink and counter tops?

Besides the general lighting guidelines in the above answers, these areas call for more concentrated lighting since they are normally work areas. Linear Lighting systems can provide solid, brighter light on work surfaces. Also, soffits above cabinets and other concealed locations add a warm, comfortable atmosphere to your kitchen. A decorative pendant with 2 or 3 shades (depending on the size of the island) can be installed over your island for sufficient light and to add a decorative element to that area.

I have an old house and only one light in my kitchen.  What is the brightest light available?

The brightest kitchen light that we have here at Hegarty Lighting Ltd would be a twin flourscent giving the equivalent of 500 watts of light.  Don't worry they look better than they used to!  Just put the code SFPL255 into our search engine.  This modern light is one of our top sellers.  It has two 55 watt CFL tubes which give the equivalent of 275 watt of light each. It gives an excellent and even dispersion of light but is not dimmable.

How do I light my dining area?

Normally, a decorative pendant (single light – since this is generally a smaller eating area) or a chandelier with a down-light will do the job while providing plenty of light on the table surface. Use a dimmer to soften the light for mood dining when entertaining and to turn up higher for homework.  See question about dimmable LEDs.

What is the best way to light my hallway?

There should be a light every 2.4 - 3 metres. Either flush mounts or semi-flush fixtures can be used depending on the ceiling height (once again, remember that the bottom of the light fixture should be at least 2.1 metre from the floor).

If you have a long hallway, you may want to install wall lights for added light and beauty. The rule again is that wall lights are hung roughly 1.5 metres from the floor, spaced 1.8  - 2.4 metres apart along the wall.

How efficient are led bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs?

The efficacy of the newer led light bulbs is more than five times higher than comparable incandescent bulbs. In other words, led light bulbs use only about 20% as much electricity to produce the same amount of light. However, because led bulbs direct a larger percentage of light where it is needed, in many applications they are as much as ten times as effective as incandescent bulbs, reducing energy use by 90%.

How do I compare different bulb brightness?

When you're shopping for lightbulbs, you can choose your next lightbulb for the brightness you want by comparing lumens instead of watts. A lumen is a measure of the amount of brightness of a lightbulb -- the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the lightbulb.  See the chart underneath for a lumen to watt conversion.

What do "cool white" and "warm white" mean, and what is CCT?

The Colour Correlated Temperature (CCT) is given in the description of each of our white led bulbs. The colour (CCT) of our white bulbs ranges from a warm yellow white (2700K) to a cool blue white (7000K). 

By comparison, a typical incandescent bulb has a CCT of 2800K. A typical halogen is a bit higher, maybe 3500K. Daylight white is 4500K and a cool white fluorescent is 6000K or more. 

The human eye adapts to background light so that even a daylight white bulb will look slightly blue in a room illuminated mainly with incandescent bulbs. Similarly, an incandescent bulb will look very yellow or even orange in midday sunlight.

What is the maximum wattage bulb that can go in a chandelier?

Realistically the maximum wattage bulb that go in a chandelier is 40 watt each.  The reason for this is most of the lampholders are made of plastic.

What is the maximum wattage that can be got from a single pendant?

Most lampholders in pendants are made of plastic so the maximum wattage recommended is 60 watt.  60 watts in an incandescent bulb is equivalent to 700 lumens. This may not be bright enough but you may use either a CFL bulb or a LED bulb with lower wattage but higher lumen output.  Eg a 20W CFL bulb is equivalent to 1300 lumens (equivalent 100W) or a 17W LED bulb equivalent to 1520 lumens (equivalent 120W).

What is the difference between a floodlight and a spotlight?

Led spotlights output a narrower beam of light, typically less than 45 degrees wide. Most of the light from a spotlight is concentrated onto a relatively small area producing a bright spot. Led floodlights output a wider beam of light, up to 120 degrees, so the light from a floodlight is spread out over a much larger area. 

Because the light is more concentrated, a spotlight will appear brighter than a floodlight but only within its narrower beam. A spotlight is more suited to illuminating objects and a floodlight is more suited to illuminating areas.

Why do my outside lights go grey and the paint come off?

Ireland has a maritime climate and the salt air is very hard on all metal fittings.  The best solution is to use a product made from resin  like those in the Fumagalli range or a fitting with a galvanised finish.

Are you open on Sundays?

No, we are open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm.