2014 Christmas and New Year Opening Times at Sparks – Happy Holidays!

It has been a great year with many great experiences, lots of new customers, some awards, new visitors, a new website design, new lighting shows we’ve been to, and new ranges of LED light fittings in stock.

Many thanks to all our visitors, customers, and friends for everything this past year, and from all of us at Sparks Electrical Wholesalers Ltd we wish you a

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

During this festive time we will have a special schedule; some of us are off and some will be here in our showroom in Archway ready to take your order. Here’s our,

2014 Christmas and New Year Opening Times at Sparks

Monday, 22 December 2014: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Tuesday, 23 December 2014: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Wednesday, 24 December 2014: 8.00am – 1.00pm
Thursday, 25 December 2014: CLOSED
Friday, 26 December 2014: CLOSED
Saturday, 27 December 2014: CLOSED
Sunday, 28 December 2014: CLOSED
Monday, 29 December 2014: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Tuesday, 30 December 2014: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Wednesday, 31 December 2014: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Thursday, 1 January 2015: CLOSED
Friday, 2 January 2015: OPEN as usual: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday, 3 January 2015: OPEN as usual: 8.30am – 2.00pm

You can always order the electrical items, light fittings, switches and sockets, dimming systems, fire alarms, heating systems, and LED lights that you need via our website www.sparksdirect.co.uk. Remember, you can now browse our website on your Android phone, iPhone, or tablet, and you can order from your smartphone or tablet at your convenience. When ordering online during the festive period please bear in mind the following:

Our last shipping date for 2014 is: Friday, 19 December 2014.
Normal service will resume in the New Year on: Friday, 2 January 2015.

This means that all online orders placed after Friday 19 December 2014 will be shipped starting from the 2nd of January 2015. You can still order online, send us emails, ask questions, and call us, only bear in mind the above terms.

On behalf of all those at Sparks Electrical Wholesalers Ltd, we wish you a happy and peaceful time over the festive period.

Debunking the most Common 6 Myths on Electrical Floor Heating Installation

Debunking the most Common 6 Myths on Electrical Floor Heating InstallationFloor heating has been known and loved by many for a very long time now. Even ancient Romans liked this simple comfort and used circulating warm water under their marble floors in order to have warm floors. Nowadays the electrical floor heating solutions provided by DEVI are not only comfortable but also energy-efficient with a huge focus on environmental friendliness.

However, we often hear a lot of myths about floor heating, and many of them concern installation. Let’s dispel the most common six myths about electrical heating installation.

Myth 1: Electrical floor heating is complicated to install.

Not true. Heating mats are a solution which can easily be mounted whether it is on new or old sub-floors. The installation time will be the same, regardless of the type of flooring under which the system is installed.

Also, the heating cables offered by DEVI are also easy to install especially when the new designed DEVI Turntable is used. Installers proved that using the DEVI Turntable makes the installation of the DEVIflex or DEVIsafe cables much faster and easier.

Myth 2: Floor heating can only be used in bathrooms

Wrong! Electric floor heating can be used in all types of rooms such as bedrooms, kitchens and hallways. Nowadays, thanks to the modern thermostats (such as the DEVIreg Touch), floor heating is often used as a reliable and energy efficient solution of choice for all types of buildings (including the low-energy houses).

You can easily install electrical floor heating in newly built houses as well as existing ones during renovation. The DEVI floor heating is often preferred and installed in residential, apartment blocks, renovated buildings and public buildings.

Myth 3: Electric floor heating can only be installed under terracotta

Wrong again. Floor heating can be installed under lots of different types of flooring. DEVI electrical heating solutions do not take up any space, which gives an opportunity to design a space in each room as you please. You can install the DEVImats under any wooden floors, concrete floors, or even laminate floors.

Myth 4: A fault means that you have to rip up the whole floor

Not quite. The DEVI heating cables have a very long life time; they come with a 20 year warranty. But in case of any misfortune there is no need to rip up the whole floor. The problem can be pinpointed to a few centimeters of accuracy, so that only one or two tiles (for example) has to be removed to make a repair possible.

Nevertheless if this needs to be done, in a case of rare fault, the DEVI warranty of 20 years covers full floor repair.

Myth 5: Using electrical heating is the most environmental unfriendly way of heating

Not true. An electrically heated house with electric floor heating and solar cells fulfills the requirements of the EU Building Performance Directive. The electrical house is cost competitive since it needs no other energy sources apart from electricity and fresh water.

This is why nowadays electric heating is the solution of choice for low-energy houses. Regarding the fact that the EU expects that 65% of electricity production will come from solar cells, wind and nuclear energy in 2020, electrical heating is clearly the preferable choice. Improving the energy performance of buildings is a particularly critical step in reducing the EU’s carbon footprint.

Myth 6: Using electrical heating for outdoor heating is a high cost solution

Not really. For example, the DEVI outdoor heating systems are equipped with energy-efficient and cost reducing, advanced intelligent thermostats that automatically regulate the system based on the actual temperature and humidity conditions. In cold but dry weather, the system remains inactive, saving energy and costs. When the weather is cold and wet, the system is automatically activated, quickly melting snow and preventing the build-up of ice. Nevertheless, you always have the option to manually control the system via the thermostat.

An outdoor heating system from DEVI is quick to install, easy to control and inexpensive to operate. The desired snow and ice prevention effect can be fully achieved by installing cables only in those areas that are most susceptible to major build-ups of snow and ice, for example where buildings meet each other, around exposed downpipes or at points where the most melt water is channeled.

This article was originally posted by DEVI via their website – some over here and others here. You can purchase DEVI underfloor heating from Sparks Electrical Wholesalers either via our showroom in North London or online at the Underfloor Heating systems section.

Lux Live 2014: What we Saw and Loved during our Short Visit to this Lighting Show

One more year, one more LuxLive – this time it was #LuxLive2014 on Twitter – where many lighting exhibitors came to both display and talk about their latest and greatest. You could hear the latest lighting tech from the big brands, listen to up to 50 hours of free talks in their arenas, and see most of the world’s biggest lighting brands. And all of this only in two days.

We made it to the second day toward the end of the show, but we saw quite a few things. The emphasis, you guessed it, is LED: LED “fluorescent” lights, LED wall lights, LED light bulbs (some of which were even offered for free!), LED floor lights, LED outdoor lights, LED flood lights, LED everywhere.

We couldn’t see all that was exhibited, and we couldn’t possibly post about it on the blog, but here’s our top picks of what we saw and loved at this years’ Lux Live.

Lux Live 2014: What we Saw and Loved during our Short Visit to this Lighting Show

BEG Luxomat at Lux Live 2014

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The German brand BEG Luxomat was present with some new stuff besides the well known PIRs: now they have Luxomatic, groupable, energy-efficient lights for wall and ceiling mounting, and they also have some new versions of PIRs that can be individually programmable and resettable via a bluetooth remote control. Great idea, with the mention: please secure the access to the PIRs and occupancy detectors!

Illuma Lighting at Lux Live 2014

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As usual, Illuma was there showcasing their latest LED track spotlights, and their “5-year guarantee” promise was right up on the wall. They came out with some new products, of which we are about to find out more soon.

Danlers at Lux Live 2014

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The great people at Danlers were there, with their PIR occupancy switches for wall or ceiling mounting, and this time they have something new: the ControlZAPP system. It is a new innovative energy saving lighting control with remote control and programming via an Android app. Also, they have their new LED dimming modules which promise to work with most dimmable LED lamps.

Aurora Lighting at Lux Live 2014

Aurora Lighting at Lux Live 2014

We didn’t stay much at their booth, but Aurora Lighting promised to showcase some unparalleled LED technologies with a team of representatives (all dressed in light green T-shirts) to discuss excellence in driverless luminaires. Check out their coverage and photo gallery via their blog.

BELL Lighting at Lux Live 2014

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BELL Lighting had a wide range of LED lamps in all kinds of lamp caps, wattages, lumens, and shapes. Quite interesting to see how many types are out there.

Gap Lighting at Lux Live 2014

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We loved the display Gap Lighting put on, showcasing their LED wall lights for outdoors and LED ceiling lights for indoors, including some of their best LED strip lights and flood lights.

Retrotouch at Lux Live 2014

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A great brand soon to be distributed by us, the people at RetroTouch have a wide range of touch and remote switches and dimmers. Rocker light switches, touch light switches, glass remote switches, dimmer remote switches, etc you name it – great alternative to the existing wiring devices.

CoeLux at Lux Live 2014

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Something that blew us all out of our mind is the CoeLux skylight technology bringing the sunlight to windowless spaces. The pictures above don’t do it justice, so you will have to watch these videos below. How about that! LED technology bringing artificial skylight that you wont believe it is real!


Kosnic at Lux Live 2014

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Some awesome LED downlights, Facet LED downlights, LED panels and twin bar LED panels (replacing the ceiling modular panels), and all kinds of LED PowerSpot GU10, Reon LEDs, and LED lights for home from Kosnic. Great stuff.

Franklite at Lux Live 2014

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Since the buzzword is LED, Franklite also came out with some high quality LED wall lights, LED chandeliers, LED table lamps, and much more. Great fittings from a renown brand of light fixtures.

…and much more. We are pretty sure most of the lighting exhibitors at LuxLive already posted (or will post) on their blog or news section, but this is our take on what we saw and loved the most at Lux Live this year. We hope you enjoyed them!

PS. Last year’s review for Lux Live is here.

The Perfect Green Deal Bathroom Ventilation Fans: the Airflow LOOVENT Eco!

With over 40 years of experience in manufacturing and selling airflow ventilation systems, Airflow has a wide range of bathroom fans and kitchen fans, including the LOOVENT Eco range.

The Perfect Green Deal Bathroom Ventilation Fans: the Airflow LOOVENT Eco!

Continuing its range of LOOVENT fans of “legendary reputation” since 1969 or so, Airflow has transformed this range into a modern 2-speed ECO version for a safer, cheaper to run, low energy, and more modern bathroom ventilation.

With a discreet style in a modular design, extremely easy to install and maintain, the LOOVENT Eco bathroom centrifugal fans are quiet and come with either a timer, a humidity timer, or a motion sensor with timer.

The Airflow 72684305 timer version for example allows you to set the run-on timer between 2 and 24 minutes, and you can select a delay of two minutes after the light is turned on in the bathroom.

This fan can be connected to the light switch, and it comes with a momentary pull-cord switch as a “manual boost” override for you to switch to the second speed (the standard speed is the first one).

The Airflow LOOVENT eco range of fans is great for bathrooms and toilets where the duct runs are long, since the centrifugal impeller is powerful enough to move air over longer distances when met with pressure resistance from ducting.

The Airflow Loovent ECO fans can be installed in Portrait or Landscape in the Bathroom or Toilet

With an ingress protection rating of IPx5, these fans are suitable for use in zone 1 or 2 with a 30mA RCD (as defined in Section 701 BS7161:2008 IEEE Wiring Regulations, 17th Edition). They also comply with the latest Building Regulations, Approved Document F (part L).

The Airflow Loovent ECO fans can be either wall mounted or ceiling mounted, as needed.

This range of bathroom fans successfully replaces the old style (very popular) LOOVENT fans; the spigot position is identical and the back plates are the same size (reworking is thus minimum).

Airflow LOOVENT Eco Bathroom Fans – Features and Benefits

  • Economical to operate: the “low setting” uses only 3.5W to provide continuous ventilation, the “high speed” 12W (for “boosting” the ventilation). Cheaper to run.
  • High extraction rate: 62 m³/hr at low speed, 110 m³/hr boost.
  • Very quiet running: 29 / 47 dB(A) at 3m.
  • Low SPF: only 0.21 / 0.40 w/l/s
  • Compact design: modernised curved edge design.
  • Longer life ball bearing motor.
  • LOOVENT Eco T: complete with timer which can be set to run on 2-45 mins.
  • Internal electrics: now contained inside a separate sealed housing (very safe).
  • Ideal for new builds and refurbishments, with a small footprint and a modern design. Great for bathrooms, toilets, en-suites, utilities room, kitchens, etc.
  • Green Deal: The LOOVENT eco dMEV version will be the perfect solution for the “Green Deal” which is the latest Government innitiative and ideal if you have added aditional insulation to your home. This fan will combat any problems with condensation and mould and remove any odours that may occur.
  • Ducting: 100mm / 4 inch fan.
  • Fan dimensions: 187 mm width, 167 mm height, 138 mm depth.
  • Double insulated: does not require an earth connection.
  • Mounting: can be surface or recessed, portrait or landscape, as needed.
  • Location: it is important to locate this fan in the best location for an optimal performance, ideally at the furthest point away from where the replacement air enters in the bathroom.
  • IP rating: IPx5, suitable for use in the bathroom (zones 1 and 2)
  • Mains voltage: 100 / 240V – 50/60Hz single phase supply.

LOOVENT Eco Fans – a Fan for Every Application!

  • New Build: LOOVENT eco gives the Specifier of ventilation for new dwellings the opportunity to select low energy efficient intermittent extraction in toilets, en-suites, bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens in compliance with the latest Building Regulations. For better sealed houses and those Specifiers implementing a decentralised, whole house ventilation strategy the continuous ventilation dMEV model is the ideal choice.
  • Repair and Refurbishment: From simple DIY to planned upgrade and refurbishment the LOOVENT eco provides proven performance with outstanding reliabilty and functionality. Built on the pedigree of over 2 million Loovents sold since it’s introduction in 1969, the next generation LOOVENT eco even has the same mounting points and offset spigot position of its predecessor making it quick and simple to replace.
  • Social Housing: It is not only low energy, but incorporates quiet operation and good value that concerns Social Housing Specifiers. With the move away from ad-hoc repairs to longer term planned maintenance programme the Asset Manager has his eye on long life components that require minimal ongoing maintenance, LOOVENT eco with ball bearing motor technology provides the assurance of many years of trouble free operation that can be relied upon for inclusion in their MRS planning.

And the good news is that, for a limited period of time, you can purchase the LOOVENT Eco 4 inch 72684305 with timer and the version with humidistat 72684306 at a lower price than usual.

If you’re a LOOVENT fan or you need a high quality centrifugal ventilation fan with low noise operation, energy saving ECO credentials, low cost maintenance, and complying with the Green Deal requirements, you should definitely check these fans out at Sparks!

The Best GU10 LED Lamp on Durability, Performance, and Energy Saving (Video)

The Best Buy GU10 LED Lamp on Durability, Performance, and Energy Saving (Video)In June 2014 Integral LED was awarded by “Which?” with the “Best Buy for GU10 LED bulb” on the categories of durability, performance, and energy saving.

The tests they performed and the results they obtained can be found on their website, but one thing is certain: after a rigorous testing against many of the big name LED manufacturer brands, Which? has awarded the “Best Buy (Spotlights)” in June 2014 to the Integral LED made GU10 PAR16 5.3W 3000K non-dimmable LED lamp.

What we are talking about is a retrofit LED lamp which delivers a warm light and brightness, being the equivalent to a 50W halogen bulb (see the manufacturer announcement on their blog).

Also, this LED lamp features quad high output Everlight LEDs, has an anti-glare refractor, and is finished in aluminium and plastic with a GU10 lamp cap and a thermally efficient body. Great for both commercial use and domestic applications.

This LED light bulb is a perfect replacement for the once-efficient but now energy-wasting and quite inefficient 50W halogen lamps, and this LED lamp can help you reduce your electricity bills by up to 85% instantly.

Think about it: you can save money every month on electricity with a fast pay back of less than a year!

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Technical specifications for this Awarded LED Lamp

  • Wattage: 5.3W (equivalent to 50W halogen lamp)
  • Dimming: non-dimmable LED lamp
  • Type: GU10 PAR16 LED light bulb
  • Light color: warm white 3000K
  • Anti-glare refractor, high quad output Everlight LEDs.
  • Lumens: 350 useful lumens (370lm nominal)
  • Lumens per watt: 69.8lm/W
  • Construction: plastic and aluminium heat-sink
  • Dimensions: 52mm length, 50mm diameter
  • Mains voltage LED lamp, 50Hz
  • IP rating: IP20 rated.
  • Energy rating: A+

More specifications and technical details together with more other pictures and videos for this awarded BEST LED Spotlight in 2014 can be found via our dedicated page for this GU10LS5W LED lamp at SparksDirect.co.uk.