Category Archives: FAQs

Frequently asked questions about lighting

How to identify types of compact fluorescents

Fixtures such as those found in bathroom shaving lights are often made for push-in fluroescent tubes. Identifying which one you have is important as the different types are not compatible, so will not fit if you get the wrong one – however, as most of us don’t save the box it came in, this can be tricky. 

A push-in compact fluorescent

Luckily the Lamp Company website’s search facility makes this easy by using pictures of the lamps, then the bases to help identification.

Once you’ve established what type of tube it is, choose a wattage – although part numbers vary enormously by manufacturer, it’s normally easy to ascertain the voltage as it will be the number in the approximate range of 9-55.

Lastly, the colour temperature – basically this is a personal choice. For those who want a cooler, more blue light that is nearer daylight colour rendering, choose a higher temperature – over 4000K (sometimes called colour 84, or cool white). For a more “cosy light”, choose a lower temperature – 2700K or 3500K (82, 83 or 835 – warm white, or just white).

If you need help with any of the areas covered above, our expert sales team are ready to help – you can email them or call on 01462 490066.

What is colour temperature?

Colour temperature is a measure of how the different output of white lightbulbs are distinguished.

It reflects that the vast majority of an incandescent bulb’s light comes from thermal radiation – essentially the temperature of the filament indicates the colour of the light.

Because compact fluorescents and other lamps generate light by different processes, they are assigned a Correlated Colour Temperature which indicates how the human eye would perceive it.

Low temperatures are “warmer”, with a yellow tinge that makes them suitable for home lighting. The higher temperatures are bluish-white – suitable for task lighting.

Kelvin colour temperatures in chart form
At the Lamp Company, we indicate the colour temperature in our compact fluorescent part codes by the following abbreviations:

82 2700K Very Warm White
83 3000K Warm White
835 3500K White
84 4000K Cool White
86 6000K Daylight

What to do if a compact fluorescent lightbulb gets broken

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs contain a tiny amount of mercury (just enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen) – if the lightbulb is broken, a small proportion could be released. The Health Protection agency has investigated any potential health effects of this and concluded it would not pose a health risk to anyone immediately exposed.

As well as the normal precautions you would take to prevent cuts from broken glass, you should ventilate the room. On hard surfaces, use a damp cloth to wipe the area; on soft surfaces, duct tape (or similar) can be used to pick up any powder or small pieces – both should be put in a sealed plastic bag along with the rest of the broken lamp.

Then contact your local authority or use this map to find where to dispose of the broken lamp – or contact our team of experts on 01462 490066 or at

How to identify what lamp you need for your car

If you need a new bulb for your car, chances are that it won’t be the same ones needed at the front as at the back of the vehicle. Whether it’s halogen, xenon or filament technology, it can sometimes be a job for the weekend to get hold of the bulb itself, let alone changing it. How much easier to order the bulbs online or on the phone and have them posted to you!

The Lamp Company stocks over 400 different types of auto bulbs for motor vehicles – whether you are replacing the indicator bulbs, headlamps or interior light, we are certain to have the auto bulb available. If you know the auto bulb you require, you can shop for auto bulbs on our website.

If you are uncertain of the exact auto bulb you require, send us details of the make, model and year of manufacture of your vehicle to or phone us on 01462 490066. We will be pleased to advise you of the lamps required for the vehicle.

How to dispose of compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

Energy saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs contain a minute amount of mercury (just enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen) and so should not be put in the normal household waste, but disposed of at a recycling centre.

Several hundred Sainsbury’s branches now offer this facility and the lamp recyclers Recolight have also provided a helpful map to help find your nearest branch.

Of course, if you have any queries about the disposal of energy saving lamps, our experts will be able to help you – you can phone on 01462 490066 or email us at

CFLs disposal
Don’t throw CFLs in the bin!