Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Gemma Lighting!

Merry Christmas from all the team at Gemma Lighting Limited!

Gemma Lighting UK LED lighting manufacturer Christmas logo

Wishing all our customers, colleagues and of course Blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We'll see you in 2013!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Mark Chivers joins the team at Gemma Lighting Limited

UK LED Lighting manufacturers Gemma Lighting Limited have recently appointed Mark Chivers as their new Sales Office Manager.

LED Lighting specialist Gemma Lighting
Mark Chivers (left) has joined Sales Director Mark Major (right) and the rest of the Gemma Lighting team
Mark joins the Portsmouth-based LED lighting specialists having had eight years experience in the lighting industry at Anglepoise Limited, where he ran the sales office and supervised sales for both the UK and US markets.

Joining the company at a busy time, Mark will oversee the day-to-day operation of the sales office and will report to Sales Director Mark Major and Managing Director Craig Manuel.

Gemma Lighting have gone from strength to strength in recent years, having recorded over a million pounds worth of sales last year and having surpassed that figure already in the first five months of this trading year.

With recent exports to Dubai and the Falkland Islands adding to the list of locations where Gemma Lighting LED products can be found, Gemma’s range of LED Street, Flood and High/Low bay lighting are all proving a popular choice for a varying range of customers, from universities to police stations, hotels to hospitals.

Gemma Lighting Limited was established to create an innovative concept for environmentally friendly lighting requirements. Drawing on vast experience of LED Technology since 2003, the team at Gemma Lighting have been designing, developing and manufacturing a new generation of LED lighting solutions for numerous applications, both indoors and out.

For more on the company visit the website at www.gemmalighting.com.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Why more and more restaurants are eating up LED lighting

Of all the regular clients using LED lighting solutions, restaurant and cafe owners are probably not top of any prolificacy lists.

They do, however, have extensive overhead costs to consider like everyone else when balancing the books of their business, and their energy bills are primary among those concerns.

Busy restaurant
Restaurant owners have enough to deal with
without thinking about  rising energy costs
As well as powering kitchen equipment such as cookers and storage facilities, lighting and computing requirements make restaurants one of the biggest user groups of electricity across the world. In the United States for example the annual energy bill for the commercial food service sector is estimated at $10bn, according to environmental protection agency Energy Star.

To drive down their running costs, and also reduce their carbon impact on the environment, several chains and sites are making the change to LED lighting – but are they doing it the right way?

The transfer to more energy efficient LEDs is an easy decision to make. With better power to output ratios, LEDs are far more energy efficient solutions in comparison with fluorescent or sodium light fittings that are more commonly found in restaurants. As well as reducing energy costs, the longevity and durability of LEDs also means a cut in the cost of repairing and replacing lighting, and installations of LED lighting, both interior and exterior, have seen many reduce their carbon emissions year upon year.

So what can go wrong? Well LEDs are becoming increasingly adaptable, their ability to replace traditional lighting setups means they can be found in more and more locations in and around homes and businesses today. Their use has stretched to LED lamps also, which boast all the benefits of regular LED lighting fittings with the convenience of coming in a small package. However these come at a significantly higher cost than market alternatives, and do not have the lifespan of their larger cousins.

High quality LED lighting specialists manufacture their own LED product ranges in order to maximise the benefits that LED lighting can bring to the user, installing and testing their products in optimum conditions for maximum capacity.

Lighting is a key consideration for
restaurants looking to create the right mood
LED ceiling tiles, street lights and bollard lights are all available as complete packages, and installation of these fittings can mean bigger savings over longer periods for users. Take an average restaurant with car parking for example; the owners could replace the lamps in their street lights, interior lights in the dining area, and lights in the kitchen and offices with LEDs. But to maximise their savings, they could replace all of these with brand new, vandalism and weather-proof, environmentally friendly LED light installations.

It isn’t just about cost reduction with LEDs either. Every successful restaurant has a theme and a mood it creates for its customers, who will return time and again to experience that unique feel. Several factors go into making this possible, and lighting can underpin all of these attributes. An elaborate design layout with bespoke colour schemes can be rendered useless if adequate lighting fails to sufficiently bring out the tones of those colours. The colour rendering of LED lighting is excellent, and the strength of its bright white light is more aesthetically pleasing than the pale yellow hue that can be emitted by older lighting systems, particularly as their lifespan diminishes.

This technical superiority also stretches to external uses, as LED lighting improves the picture clarity on CCTV pictures, meaning that your restaurant is more secure and ensuring that should anyone cause your business any damage you won’t face the frustration of seeing them walk away from punishment due to insufficient proof – a common problem for CCTV systems let down by sub-standard lighting (see our previous blog here for more on this).

Just as important as protecting your business itself can be protecting the name and brand of your restaurant. A flickering lamp over the bar area or seating in a dark corner of the room lessens the appeal to diners, and reflects badly on the professionalism of your establishment. Reliable and low maintenance LED lighting do not suffer from these problems, and with increasing developments in control technologies and dimmer switches, the levels of customisation available for LED lighting are becoming increasingly more effective.

Some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry have switched to LED in recent times, the likes of McDonalds, Nandos and Cafe Nero to name but a few. When LED lighting becomes the norm for all restaurants, do you want your restaurant to be the one left behind, and more importantly – can you afford it to be?

Leave us your comments in the box below.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Challenges and issues discussed at NPL's LED Street Lighting Conference

Gemma Lighting were delighted to attend the Best Practice in LED Street Lighting Conference at the National Physical Laboratory earlier this week, engaging in seminars and discussions on one of Gemma’s key product areas.

LED Street Lighting is quickly becoming the best option for many businesses and authorities across the country, and on this day of debates including participation from contractors, designers and manufacturers subjects such as measurement, application and financing were raised between the members present.

National Physical Laboratory logo The NPL hosted the event at its base in Teddington, Middlesex and being home to the Centre for Carbon Measurement the world-leading centre of excellence in developing testing systems was the ideal location to host the day’s proceedings.

Gemma were one of the many LED specialists in attendance with Mike Elwell discussing the challenges of implementing solid-state lighting (SSL) in the first session of the day.

Mr Elwell spoke of the influence of industry bodies such as the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP), which was formed in 1924 and now has more than 1900 members.

As with many considerations regarding local authorities in the current climate, the issue of reducing number of consultants in local councils in order to reduce consultancy fees was highlighted as an issue with regards to implementing new SSL, and Mr Elwell highlighted some common reasons given for not switching to improved lighting solutions such as LED.

These were discussed throughout the day but what all delegates were in agreement of was that these common issues were misunderstood – the cost of installing LED light fittings for example was considered too expensive even though prices are lower than when the technology first became available and funding schemes are there to aid local authorities in reducing costs and cutting carbon emissions via projects such as LED lighting.

Of course being at the NPL there was a heavy focus on testing and measurement also, and Mr Elwell highlighted the need for more stringent testing that would become standard across the industry – something Gemma and the other manufacturers present certainly welcomed, as this means higher quality products manufactured in the UK, such as those made at Gemma’s base in Portsmouth, will stand out from cheaper foreign imports.

We then heard about the relationship between the NPL and their Dutch counterparts VSL who have worked together on metrology and environmental factors affecting SSL performance, and from Huw Convery on a street lighting project in Salford before a LUX-TSI presentation on measurement and data confirmation.

After lunch Teresa Goodman from the NPL looked at the relevance of mesopic photometry in LED street lighting, and went over the means in which it can be calculated, followed by a presentation by Steve Fotios of Sheffield University on his MERLIN project, which stands for mesopically enhanced road lighting: improving night-vision.

A panel discussion with the various speakers from the day saw questions raised about LED performance, warranties and power supply options that saw engaged input from many of the gathered delegates.

Andrew Dennington was next to speak on free-form optics and the design and validation process behind their performance, and Graham Scragg took the final session of the day by presenting street lighting projects in Birmingham and Sheffield.

LED Flood Lighting Spitfire 96
One theme that clearly emerged from the day was the need for LED lighting specification standards to be mandatory in some form – providing customers with the peace of mind that the technology they are purchasing does what it claims to do in the factsheets. There are current guidelines such as the ‘Guide to specification of LED lighting products 2012’ from the Lighting Industry Liaison Group (LILG) but nothing currently in UK law specifically regarding the design of LEDs.

Gemma Lighting tries to reassure its customers in other ways such as the three year warranty that comes as standard with all LED lighting, and the benefit of having the whole operation here in the UK, from the sales team to the factory floor, so customer communications to be handled easily and efficiently.

The high quality standards of Gemma’s products is one of the key benefits for users, as the longevity and reliability can lead to a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours and massively reduce maintenance costs, and with high IP protection rated fittings Gemma’s LED lighting range is durable against adverse weather conditions and vandalism.

Were you at the Best Practice Conference? Why not give us your thoughts on some of the issues using the comments box below.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Energy Bill: How to offset the rising cost of renewable energy with LED lighting

As the fallout from chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement begins today, many in the energy and lighting community are still discussing the details of the Energy Bill announced late last month.

The UK government announced the details of the long-awaited bill aiming to set down the plans and schemes that will help Britain be more reliant on renewable energy sources in the future.

Wind turbine renewable energy
he Bill was met with a mixed response from 
political and environmental commentators alike
Met with a mixed response from political and environmental commentators alike; although the bills motives have been widely applauded, many have cited the lack of a target for a reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 as a large downfall.

And the news that energy companies will be able to charge over £7.5bn extra to household bills by 2020 has not gone down well with many homeowners either.

Plenty has been made already of the profits being recorded by energy suppliers when the average cost of vital services such as electric and gas are on the rise, and the news that suppliers will charge between £75 and £110 extra every year to go towards renewable energy will not sit right with struggling households.

But the need for the UK to become less reliant on fossil fuels and foreign imports of fuel has been widely documented, and the necessity to put plans into motion for the development of technologies such as solar, wind and nuclear energy are vital.

Under the Climate Change Act, signed in 2008, the UK is legally-bound to reduce its carbon emissions by certain amounts at landmark dates. The key point of the 2008 act is that by 2050, Britain’s carbon emissions should be 80% less than they were in 1990, and 34% of this reduction must be achieved by 2020.

LED lighting reduces carbon emissions
The bill does leave room in 2016 for the Committee on Climate
Change to make a recommendation on a decarbonisation target
Many were expecting a similar target to be set for 2030 in last week’s Bill announcement, but none was forthcoming. The bill does leave room in 2016 for the Committee on Climate Change, an independent government advisory body, to make a recommendation on a decarbonisation target - but clearly this is a few steps short of the giant leap many hoped this bill would become in shifting towards greener energy in the UK.

Perhaps reflected by the coverage of the bill and the number of parties who came out in the press to criticise the lack of a decarbonisation target - a vote on the Guardian website initially showed 58% of people would be willing to contribute more towards greener energy the day after the bill was announced - by the time the Guardian had closed the pole, that figure had dropped to just 31%.

Although the goal may be for 30% of electricity by 2020 to be supplied via renewable energy sources, such as solar energy and wind farms, the downside of many greener technologies is the high capital cost, but more and more schemes and funding resources are becoming available for those wishing to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Organisations such as Salix offer the public sector the opportunity to invest in carbon reducing technologies by partly funding the capital expenditure through an interest free loan. Many manufacturers of these same technologies also offer their own financing options, such as Green Lease for LED lighting.

LED Flood Light Spitfire 72
LEDs are becoming more and more prolific with businesses and authorities wishing to reduce costs and lower carbon emissions, and with the payback time of many lighting solutions numbering just a few years, organisations are realising that regardless of what the future holds for renewable energy, savings can be made with LED lighting right here and now in the present.

Replacing traditional light fittings with LED lighting has seen a range of businesses around the world make those savings, and the reduction in carbon emissions can be emphatic. In the case of security and CCTV systems provider Evolution Security for example, switching to LED lighting saw them save 100 tonnes of carbon every year.

Along with the other advantages of LED lighting, such as the savings in maintenance costs, better energy efficiency and lifespan of up to 100,000 hours, LEDs are one of the many green technologies that can see users hit their own targets in carbon reduction in years to come.

Consumer groups such as Which? have voiced concerns about an increase in household bills, with the current average at £1,249 a year according to the government, but what about the cost for businesses who have longer hours of operation?

LED provides these companies with the ideal chance to avoid serious hikes in their energy costs whilst cutting back on the amount of carbon waste they emit, giving them peace of mind in knowing whatever the next step for environmental government policy is, they will be doing all they can to make the world a greener place.

What did you make of the Energy Bill details? Let us know through the comments box below.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Win a Christmas hamper courtesy of Gemma Lighting's LED game!

With the sun beginning to set on the last day of November and Christmas right around the corner how would you like to win a luxurious hamper to enjoy on the big day?!

Gemma Lighting LED Street Lighting game

Head on over to the Gemma Lighting website now and play the LED Street Lighting game, which has been given a festive new look, and top the leaderboard to win this fantastic prize.

In the LED Street Lighting game you must guide the Gemma Lighting engineer from street light to street light, converting them to LED and making the huge energy cost savings that LED street lighting brings.

To top the leaderboard you must achieve the highest savings within the time limit, but watch out for the robins and turkeys who are after your health.

The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 18th December, so click the link and get playing for your chance to win!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Keep up-to-date with Gemma Lighting and learn more about LEDs through Social Media!

LED is no longer the strange new technology it once was - its cost-cutting, environmentally friendly benefits are now well-known to many business users and home owners around the world.

UK LED Lighting manufacturer

But with LED products so widely available now it can be hard to know where to turn in today's market. The key points you should look out for include reliability, longevity and quality service - all factors provided by Gemma Lighting Limited.

Designing and manufacturing from their UK base in Portsmouth, Gemma are LED lighting specialists who are growing their business year on year. Their all-inclusive service means all your LED needs can be served in one stop, with a dedicated team that can explore the best options possible for users looking to switch to LED lighting, the products from Gemma's wide range that would suit the customer's needs best, and ensuring the right payment options are available too.

To find out more about Gemma Lighting visit the website at www.gemmalighting.com, where you will learn about what Gemma stands for, and why LED lighting is the way forward for the future of the lighting industry. You can also browse the Gemma range of LED Lighting products, and learn more about LED leasing options. If you remain unconvinced, have a look at the case studies section to hear from other happy customers and keep up-to-date with the company goings-on with the news section.

You can even test your skill and nerve in the LED lighting game - fit as many LED street lights as you can within the time limit, and watch out for the seagulls who are after your health!

Get involved even further by joining Gemma Lighting on social media networks. The LinkedIn page is constantly updated with industry news, products and company news and you can also interact with Gemma and recommend LED products if you are one of the many clients who have been delighted with the results of installing Gemma's LED lighting.

Like our Facebook page and engage on a whole new level, sharing and commenting on stories and updates from Gemma. Post your photos of LED lighting and join the discussions with other users.

Follow the Twitter account of Gemma Lighting and join the debate. Keep posted on exciting new opportunities and industry news, as well as engaging with other customers and hearing about their experiences with LED lighting.

And of course don't forget to keep checking back to the Blog for news from around the world and the lighting industry as a whole, and learn how LED lighting can solve many of the biggest issues being faced in the current economic climate.

Are you one of Gemma Lighting's new fans, followers or readers?! Leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments box below.

Monday, 19 November 2012

How LEDs can make blackouts a thing of the past

Hurricane Sandy recently plunged New York, one of the biggest cities in the world, into total darkness as power outings hit the Big Apple in one of the biggest storms to hit the east coast in years.

Hurricane Sandy New York City blackout
New York residents make their
way through the blackout
The super storm flooded tunnels, streets and subway lines, cutting the power supply in the city and its surrounding areas as President Obama declared a state of emergency in New York as even now it continues to recover.

In the UK meanwhile, safe from the effects of such tropical weather patterns, local authorities up and down the country are facing a nightmare of a very different nature – the choice between making vital cost-cutting measures and ensuring the safety of local residents.

That’s how many see the decision to switch off thousands of street lights in order to save money on energy bills.

Many local residents have experienced a blackout usually in the early hours of the morning, as the cost of keeping the street lighting network running all night is proving too much for local councils already under pressure to trim costs due to diminished government funding.

A Daily Telegraph investigation that took place on the day the clocks went back an hour found more than 3,000 miles of motorways and trunk roads were completely unlit, and a further 47 miles of motorway have their lights switched off between midnight and 5am.

Earlier this year Nottinghamshire County Council announced it would turn off 90,000 street lights in order to save an estimated £1.25m, following Derbyshire County Council’s similar decision to save more than £400,000 a year by switching off street lights in rural areas between midnight and 5.30am. An investigation by the Daily Mail in fact found out that 21 out of 27 county councils in England were turning street lights off at certain times, or in some cases entirely, back in February.

LED Street Lighting Jupiter 72(2)
Jupiter LED Street Light www.gemmalighting.com
More than the convenience of having light through to the early hours, there is an argument that local road users will not feel safe when councils plunge them into darkness in order to save money.

Pedestrians are at particular risk - according to governmental crime statistics the number of personal robberies occurring in England and Wales has fallen progressively in the last four years but in 2009/10, the most recent year available, there were still nearly 80,000 cases recorded by the Police. The same can be said of sexual offences, with over 50,000 incidents reported to Police between July 2011 and June 2012. With pedestrians highly likely to be targets for both these crimes, effective and reliant street lighting is clearly vital to ensure their safety.

But how can councils balance the need for this safety with their tighter budgetary requirements and rising energy prices? By changing the type of lighting these authorities use, their street lighting could in fact remain on throughout the night whilst seeing their energy bills reduced thanks to more efficient LED street lighting.

LEDs convert more power to light, as opposed to traditional lighting sources that lose power through excess heat, and with no filament to burn out they are more reliable and can save users money on maintenance bills.
With a life span of up to 100,000 hours LED street lights offer long-term solutions for financially conscious councils. Schemes, such as the Green Lease for LED lighting, are even available whereby purchasers can offset the capital expenditure of LED replacement lights by making repayments through the savings they make in energy costs.

As part of the Telegraph investigation the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: "The presence of lighting not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents but also their severity. Surveys have shown that the public are in favour of street lighting as a way of improving road safety and that, if anything, it needs to be improved in some areas. There are economic and environmental reasons why some organisations may wish to reduce the amount of lighting. However there are safety reasons why lighting needs to be available."

With new LED technology, road safety and cost-efficiency need no longer be separate considerations for hundreds of authorities up and down the country, and the blackouts that are concerning so many, can be a thing of the past.

Have the street lights in your area been switched off? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

LuxLive 2012: Mark's diary

It’s a busy time here at Gemma Lighting as the days grow darker and November, known as the ‘buying month’ in the lighting industry, hits us like a brisk winter chill.

LED lighting exhibition LuxLive logo
As if that weren’t enough, November is also when we see LuxLive hit our calendars, the biggest exhibition event in the lighting industry.

Not wanting to miss out on the debates and latest industry news, Gemma Lighting were represented at Earls Court by our marketing administrator Mark Allaway, who shares his thoughts with us in this special LuxLive blog:

“Being a newcomer into the LED lighting industry isn’t easy.

For the past few weeks I’ve been learning my lumens from my CRIs, my LEDs from my metal halides and my high bays from my low bays.

Travelling up to Earls Court London for the biggest exhibition in the lighting industry, LuxLive, last week, I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to get a more in-depth understanding of what the issues in the industry really were.

Earls Court exhibition centre London
London's Earls Court hosted the event
I had already discussed with my colleagues at Gemma Lighting some of the issues – the issue of low quality products infiltrating the market at low prices and giving LEDs a bad name. The issue of ‘hero numbers’, where sales personnel talk up what their products can do whilst ignoring and concealing their obvious downsides. And the issue of stoicism in the way some industries think about their lighting setup, being confused by new LED technology and not wanting to change from their fluorescent or sodium-set ways.

Thoughts in my head during the train ride to London surrounded what other lighting manufacturers were doing to combat these problems, were these issues steadily being resolved, and what did the future hold for LED lighting?

The last question was answered to some degree upon my entrance to Brompton Hall, where I saw the number of stands, exhibitors and visitors at LuxLive 2012. I was thoroughly impressed with the hustle and bustle of the venue considering it had only been open a matter of minutes when I arrived. Some had already begun their caffeine intake for the day.

LED lighting exhibition LuxLive Formula One car
The Caterham F1 car at LuxLive 2012
After a quick look at the winners of the Lux Awards from day one, I made my first lap of the circuit, taking in the different shapes, sizes and colours of the exhibiting stands on display, passing (as you do) a Dalek and a formula one car on the way - LED lighting car.

Then I hastily made my way to the Design Clinic Live, where Lux Review publisher Gordon Routledge was speaking on how LEDs are reshaping the lighting business. Gordon spoke of how LEDs are progressing into areas where they have not traditionally been considered as relevant options – the ability of some LED products to take on the dreaded T5 ceiling light in offices being cited as one example.

Gordon also talked about how customers that are engaging with the lighting industry now are very different customers than before. Previously you may have spoken to the CEO or MD or perhaps the branch manager when discussing new lighting solutions, but now you may be speaking to the facilities manager or the environmental officer, meaning the benefits of switching to carbon-reducing energy efficient LED lighting is already known to the customer, and therefore reducing the barrier that educating the customer on how the technology works used to prove.

LED lighting toilet seat
LEDs are being used for all sorts...
With the average age of lighting in the UK reported to be 18 years, Gordon said, more efficient lighting technologies are opening up more possible uses for lighting itself. The examples that followed included the wonderful to the wacky – from a clever use of lighting on handrails in a pedestrian subway to a toilet with a bowl that was backlit with bright white LED light.

Wishing to remove that image from my mind, and having a little time before the next session scheduled in my plan for the day, I decided to tour the stands a little more, seeing what some of the biggest organisations around had in the pipeline. I noted that even though LuxLive was a demonstration of what the whole lighting industry could do, LEDs were so dominant, both in the number of products on display and the number of times they appeared in the debates and seminars. LED Street Lighting was on show on many stands, with chips, drivers and bulbs all being showcased as well.

It was with some intrigue that I attended the next session in the Design Clinic Live, titled ‘LEDs: What they don’t tell you in the spec sheets’. Rather than highlighting the downfalls of LEDs as the title suggested, this session was actually about how consumers can better understand what spec sheets are telling them, and how to understand the figures. The Ska rating system from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) was highlighted as a way of comparing LED lighting, as well as the criteria found on the Energy Technology List (ETL). Fittings that comply with the latter may be entitled to tax refunds, further advancing the appeal of LED to customers.

LED Car Park Lighting Jupiter Marriott Hotel
Gemma Lighting has worked with several
Marriott hotels on  LED Car Park Lighting
Hotels and their use of LEDs was next under the spotlight, and I was interested in the considerations that hotels go through when choosing their lighting setups. It may not be rocket science but subtle changes in the way lights are installed, angled and coloured can have a major aesthetic impact on a hotel environment, and all three factors can really affect the mood of the room, a key consideration in areas such as bars, rooms and restaurants for example. Examples were shown whereby poor lighting products or lack of maintenance had led to instances where the brand of the hotel itself was at risk of being damaged. The aforementioned issue regarding industries that were reluctant to make the change to LEDs rang true here also – but it would appear this is changing.

After a break for lunch I made a particular note to grab a seat early for a session in the Tech Theatre, for a talk entitled ‘LEDs: Under the bonnet’. As a newcomer this, I had hoped, would prove to be a good test to what I had learned so far and may provide some extra technical nuggets of knowledge for me. I was not disappointed. I learnt about the dangers of ‘colour shift’ in poor quality products, regulatory tests such as LM-80 and TM-21 and more about the key components of LEDs.

LED lighting exhibition LuxLive
Mark brought this back from his busy day!
My final talk of the day was again in the Tech Theatre, with a discussion on light colour and quality of LEDs. There was more talk of lab tests and the lumens-per-watt figures that are being achieved behind closed doors, the different mixes that can create bright white LED light aside from the traditional mix of naturally blue LEDs and yellow phosphor, and an important point on colour rendering index, and how having a top score of Ra100 may not mean that a particular LED light is the best choice for a certain project.

Before the day was out I met with several of the lighting publications who were also in attendance and was able to speak with some lighting enthusiasts who had come all the way from Germany to be at LuxLive on the tube journey back to Waterloo.

All in all my busy day at LuxLive was a great eye-opener and great timing for this LED rookie to gain an insight into the industry.

The scale of LuxLive and wealth of knowledge and debate on show this year makes me certain that LuxLive 2013 will be an event to remember for LED Lighting Manufacturers and users alike.”

- Mark A.

What do you make of Mark's account of the day? Were you at LuxLive too? Leave us your comments below.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Gemma Lighting MD’s trip to Dragons’ Lair deemed a success

Amazing cup cakes, mobile phone covers, and clothing ranges can only mean thing... Craig Manuel, MD of Gemma Lighting Limited, is back at Chichester College meeting the latest Young Entrepreneurs at the Peter Jones Academy.

Gemma Lighting LED Lighting specialists MD Craig Manuel
Craig Manuel, MD of LED lighting manufacturer
Gemma Lighting, with some of the students

Our MD Craig was invited back for a second year to give a 90-minute masterclass on what makes a good business idea and how to start up a successful business.

Entrepreneur and star of popular BBC show Dragons’ Den Peter Jones set up the academy to boost the chances of young people starting their own businesses. Chichester College is now one of over 30 sites the Academy now runs.

Craig used all of his knowledge as head of thriving LED lighting manufacturers Gemma Lighting Limited which has gone on to become a multi-million pound business.

Craig is hoping that his experience can be passed on to the next generation of successful young entrepreneurs for the second consecutive year. 18-year-old Rob Nunn from Chichester College was one of the students present for Craig’s visit last year and went on to be awarded ‘National Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Peter Jones himself back in July (Pictured below).

Craig said of this year’s visit: “It was a pleasure to be invited back to Chichester College again and meet the Peter Jones students - some first rate ideas from this year’s students, which could potentially turn into profitable businesses.

Peter Jones of Dragons' Den presents award
Peter Jones presents Rob Nunn with his award
“What’s more, this year’s group contains a number of students with great personalities and business acumen, which will hopefully help them succeed in gaining finance from private investors.

“I wish all the students the best of luck and look forward to hearing their final pitches next year,” Craig said.

The Academy, formerly known as the National Enterprise Academy, was delighted to welcome Craig back for a second year, and business enterprise manager at the academy Tara Lovejoy said Craig’s masterclass had gone down well with the students.

Tara commented: “The group really enjoyed Craig’s presentation. Craig was very inspiring, especially as he has achieved so much with Gemma Lighting LTD.

“Craig provided the students with a really useful insight into company formation and how to overcome some of the obstacles they likely to face.”

Leave your messages to Craig in the comments box below.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

LuxLive, biggest lighting exhibition in the UK, starts today!

Visitors to Earls Court will be treated to a two-day extravaganza starting from today as the UK’s biggest lighting exhibition, LuxLive, comes to London.

LED lighting exhibition LuxLive logo
LuxLive will be at Earls Court on November 6-7
On November 6th and 7th thousands of exhibitors from all across the lighting industry will pack Brompton Hall for the event organised by the Lighting Industry Federation and LUX magazine.

Gemma Lighting Limited will be attending the many seminars and debates on display to ensure our LED products are right up to date with the latest technological developments in the industry.

Designers, manufacturers, consulting engineers, contractors and distributors will all be in attendance with seminars, debates, product demos and master classes spread across the two days.

Last year almost 4,000 people visited LuxLive and with free registration even more are expected this time round.

With so many industry names in attendance it is an apt time to discuss some of the key issues within the industry, and the programme for both days certainly provides the arena.

Today topics such as The Green Deal, lighting within the healthcare industry, and the use of LEDs in emergency lighting are up for debate, with LEDs again in the spotlight tomorrow - with clinics on how the lighting industry has been changed by LED technology, how hotels use LED lighting, and a debate on the use of LEDs in the office.

Case studies will also look at how impressive lighting projects over this past year have been carried out, such as the Olympic Park, the Shard and the London Underground.

And with regulatory updates, finance news and the industry’s biggest publications on site visitors and exhibitors alike are sure to have a busy 48 hours.

LED Street Lighting Jupiter 72
LED Street Lighting Jupiter 72
It’s a busy time for the UK lighting industry, with November known to some as ‘the buying month’, and the LUX awards also taking place on Tuesday.

Titles such as ‘Manufacturer of the Year’, ‘Award for Urban Lighting’ and ‘Young Lighter of the Year Award’ will be handed out at the ceremony taking place at the Natural History Museum.

Furthermore, with the clocks recently returning to Greenwich Mean Time the days are growing shorter and light is fading faster, another reason this time of year is so important for those in the lighting industry.

High streets need street lights to keep shoppers safe in the busy shopping period running up to Christmas, and businesses need better flood light coverage to provide workers with visibility later on in the day – all the while these lights need to be reliable and energy efficient in these tough economic times.

With LED featured in a large part of the LuxLive schedule on both days, the benefits of using technology such as LED Street Lighting and LED Flood Lights are sure to be a talking point that will resonate with those at the exhibition and beyond.

For more details on the event visit www.luxlive.co.uk.

Will you be going to LuxLive? Comment below and let us know.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Gemma Lighting MD invited to give lecture in Dragons’ Lair

Craig Manuel, managing director at Gemma Lighting Limited, has been invited for the second year running to give a lecture to students at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Chichester College this Wednesday.

Peter Jones, entrepreneur and star of popular BBC show Dragons’ Den, set up the academy in 2009 to boost the chances of young people starting their own businesses, and Chichester is just one of over 30 sites the Academy now runs.

Craig will be giving a lecture on how to set up a successful company, using all his experience as head of successful LED lighting specialists Gemma Lighting Limited, based in Portsmouth.

Gemma Lighting, founded in 2009, has gone on to become a multi-million pound business, and Craig is hoping that his experience can be passed on to the next generation of successful entrepreneurs for the second consecutive year.

Peter Jones of Dragons' Den presents car to Chichester College student
Peter Jones presents Rob with the keys to his new Alfa Romeo
One such youngster is 18-year-old Rob Nunn from Chichester College, who was one of the students present for Craig’s visit last year and went on to be awarded a top honour by the Dragon himself back in July.

Craig said: “It was a pleasure to offer advice to Rob Nunn and the 2012 students at Chichester College and I was delighted when I heard that Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE had presented Rob Nunn with the highest accolade ‘National Entrepreneur of the Year’.

“I am really looking forward to meeting the candidates for 2013 this week and hope the group contains another winner!”

The Academy, formerly known as the National Enterprise Academy, was delighted to welcome Craig back for a second year, and business enterprise manager at the academy Tara Lovejoy said: “The students last year really enjoyed Craig Manuel’s session and found it really useful.”

Gemma Lighting provides LED solutions for car parks, roads, warehouses, cold stores and more, reducing carbon emissions and saving money on energy and maintenance costs.

For more information visit www.gemmalighting.com.

Leave your messages to Craig in the comments box below.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Why LED lighting is key to effective CCTV systems

On November 15th local communities in the UK will have a chance to change the way their area is policed with the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Highlighted by a proactive television campaign, the vote will see 41 new positions created whereby new ‘PCCs’ will oversee police budgets, prioritise crime prevention and have the power to hire and fire chief constables.
LED lighting benefits CCTV systems
‘Jephson Gardens CCTV’
by lydia_shiningbrightly
Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence 2.0 at:

Before elections begin next month, voters are being asked which crimes they want to see cracked down on most, choosing between the likes of violent crime, anti-social behaviour and hate crimes.

In a current poll taking place on the Channel 4 website, the biggest change most voters want to see is an improved presence and increased visibility of ‘policing on the beat’. But with a burglary estimated to occur every 40 seconds in the UK, more than half of them occurring at night, further solutions are required to keep homes and businesses safe from thieves.

Ever since the first installation at a London train station in 1961, Closed Circuit Television, or CCTV as it is better known, has become a mainstay of crime prevention through the country. By 1996 all but one of England’s major cities had CCTV systems installed in their city centres, and more than three quarters of the Government’s total crime prevention budget was spent on CCTV.

But despite being a routine piece of security equipment today, the quality and ability of CCTV systems to prevent crime and bring criminals to justice varies. One factor that can work against CCTV cameras is poor visibility, even though some high-end systems may have infa-red or night vision capabilities, the image of a suspect that is produced can fail to stand up to scrutiny in a court of law and lead to vandals and thieves escaping punishment.

One such incident occurred in Newhaven, Sussex whereby three vandals that had caused over £1,000 worth of damage to a party store had been caught on CCTV, but the glare from nearby fluorescent street lights meant Sussex Police were unable to identify the trio.

CCTV manager at the force, Chief Inspector Roger Fox, told The Argus: “CCTV in Sussex is an effective tool for tackling crime and anti social behaviour. There are many factors that can impact on the effectiveness of CCTV, and the proximity of street lighting can be both a positive and negative feature.”

Many modern day CCTV system providers are realising these downfalls, and more emphasis has been placed in recent years on better lighting coverage to supplement the cameras, with many security firms turning to LED lighting for the solution.

LED Flood Lighting - Spitfire 24s
Spitfire 24 LED Flood Lights
LEDs provide bright white light comparable to day light, therefore providing the ideal visual perception and picture balance to achieve clear images. The ability to customise the angle of the LEDs within the light also mean they can be ideally manufactured to suit specific areas in need of security - so warehouses, car parks and interiors can all be suitably covered.

Evolution Security, who have been working with Portsmouth-based LED lighting manufacturer Gemma Lighting LTD, believe LED lighting to be the ideal partner to CCTV systems, and have utilised the new technology for the past three years.

A spokesman from Evolution Security said: “Gemma Lighting’s high quality products provide the perfect lighting for our CCTV systems and we recommend their LED flood lights for areas under surveillance.”

As well as higher quality images provided by the improved lighting, the security firm also benefited from lower maintenance costs, saved money on energy bills and reduced carbon emissions by installing LED lighting.

With more and more CCTV firms turning to LED flood lights as their lighting solution, and with PCC elections just around the corner, there’s no time like the present for businesses to secure their premises - with the possibility that burglary may not necessarily be the highest priority under the area’s new Commissioner.

What do you make of the PCC elections? Give us your thoughts by commenting below.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Gemma Lighting is now on Twitter

LED lighting manufacturer Gemma Lighting logo

You can now join Gemma Lighting LTD on Twitter. Follow us now using the Twitter handle @GemmaLighting.

And don't forget we are also on Facebook, 'like' our page here.

Keep checking the blog for more posts soon.

Want us to follow you on Twitter? Let us know your handle by commenting below.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why LED Lights Could Bring Back The ‘On-All-Night’ Mentality For Car Park Owners

Ever since the introduction of the mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme in 2010, over five thousand companies throughout the UK have had to seriously consider their approach towards energy consumption. The scheme’s aim is to lower C02 emissions by a whopping 80% by the year 2050 and its terms call upon so-called ‘high energy-intensive’ companies to manage their energy usage more responsibly.

LED Car Park Lighting, Car Park LED, Gemma Lighting UK
LED Car Park Lighting - www.gemmalighting.com
It’s clearly a great initiative that’s transformed the carbon footprint of many businesses up and down the country, but how has its policies affected the habits of those who admitted to a safe yet costly ‘on-all-night’ approach to car park lighting?

For many years, businesses actively encouraged their staff to leave their car park lights on overnight, certain that doing so would deter criminals from entering the site out of hours and provide their customers with a heightened sense of security. As a result, car park owners are now renowned as some of the biggest offenders when it comes to ‘wasting’ energy, with many preferring to stick to their old ways regardless of their new legal obligations simply because it ‘makes sense’.

Despite the prevalence of this out-dated mentality, the more environmentally responsible car park owners currently operating in the UK have had to explore other ways of safeguarding their property in order to avoid substantial fines. From installing night-vision CCTV cameras to employing dedicated security staff during the early hours of the morning, companies have tried everything in their power to set the minds of their customers at ease and have been living under the assumption that leaving lights on after dark is simply too expensive and risky as they continue to operate under the watchful eye of the CRC programme.

LED Car Park Lighting - Gemma Lighting: 0844 8565 201
"Reduce energy consumption by upto 90%
However, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. Using LED lighting allows businesses to lower their emissions in line with CRC requirements, yet leave their commercial car park lights on well into the evening.

LED Car park lighting can reduce energy consumption by upto 90% and in addition to their eco-friendliness, a well manufactured LED fixture can last up to ten times longer than traditional fixtures.

The LED lighting industry is continuing to launch new innovations that can transform highly populated commercial areas, such as car parks, into safe havens for staff and customers alike, and best of all, these new products are becoming more affordable year on year as manufacturers benefit from economies of scale.  

In light of all this information there’s simply no reason why car park operators shouldn’t consider investing in LED car park lighting. Who knows, perhaps city streets and car park lots will again be illuminated 24/7 thanks to the vast improvements being made to this technology. Mark our words - LED car park lighting will be considered the ‘norm’ in no time at all and will pave the way for a more lucrative business model for car park operators that’s not set back by the rising costs of energy.