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Lighting Buying Guide

Choosing new lighting for your home can be both an enjoyable yet daunting task, our guide will take you through the different types of lights and lightbulbs available at BHS while providing advice on installation as well as tips and trends from the lighting buyers, so you can select and install your new lights with complete confidence. Click the tabs above for more information.
 Lighting Buying Guide

The lightbulb industry has changed greatly over the last few years as a result of EU Legislation designed to bring down energy use and lengthen the lifetime of the bulbs put on the market. There is also a change in the way bulbs are marked and sold, from the traditional measure of Watts (how much energy they use) to a measure of Lumens (how bright is the bulb). 

As a result, the traditional tungsten incandescent bulb found in most homes is being gradually phased out and replaced by newer more eco-friendly, energy-efficient alternatives.

To help you with these changes, we offer all three main alternatives and our bulbs are clearly marked with both the old and new measurements alongside other useful information such as the energy rating and expected lifetime to help you choose the right bulb first time.

choosing bulb

Understanding the Technology

Halogen/Eco Halogen
There are two main halogen types available: the Eco Halogen which is similar in appearance and use to incandescent bulbs, and the Halogen Capsule which is much smaller and needs to be handled with a cloth to ensure maximum life.
Both types give a bright, crisp light and use lower energy typically lasting about two years on average use. Generally these can be dimmed, except if the bulb is used in a Low Voltage fitting, for example a G4 capsule, when this is not recommended unless using specialist dimmers. Halogen bulbs can be  used all around the home and have a typical Energy Rating from B to D, they can get extremely hot during use and need to be handled with care

Shop Halogen Bulbs >

 Halogen Light Bulb

Compact Fluorescent Lamp - CFL
Compact Flourescent Lamps are low energy bulbs that offer a longer life alternative to halogen.  As the bulbs have a larger base, they may not fit all light fittings if space is tight.
CFL bulbs give a warm, diffused light that typically lasts up to twelve years on average use.  These bulbs are not dimmable and are not recommended for touch lamps (choose an eco halogen alternative instead).  There will be a warm up time before the bulb achieves full brightness, so choose the location carefully, but they may be used in most locations around the home and have a typical Energy Rating of A.

Shop Compact Fluorescent Lamp Bulbs >

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Light Emitting Diode - LED
The simple LED from your TV has moved on immensely in recent years and is now commonplace in many lighting applications including cars and computers.  This technology is now in the early stages of development for use in domestic lighting but does offer fantastic energy saving capabilities.
They give a warm light and last the longest of any bulb on the market, typically up to twenty five years. Our bulbs are not dimmable so are not recommended for touch lamps, but offer instant light and can be used all around the home. LED bulbs have a typical Energy Rating of A to A+ and above.

Coming soon

LED Bulb

We recommend that all light fittings are installed by a qualified electrician inline with all current UK Regulations. Here are some important things to remember before installation:

• Always isolate the lighting circuit at the fuse box before installing a mains powered fitting, and take note of all of the cable connections before removing the old unit as there may be a ring circuit that runs to multiple switches.
• All ceiling lights must be attached securely so that the fixings support the weight of the fitting. So if you have a plasterboard ceiling then this must be screwed securely into a ceiling joist. If you have a concrete ceiling then use the solid wall fixings provided.
• If you have wall dimmer switches installed, these may need to be replaced if you are installing a Low Voltage ceiling fitting with a transformer that uses G4 halogen capsules. Standard dimmers can cause issues with the transformer such as hum.

These products will need to be connected using a spur to your internal lighting circuit or a spur to a ring main via a fused connection unit. We recommend the use of a qualified electrician to install these lights for you if you are not familiar with the requirements.

Easyfit is a light fitting that gives the appearance of a normal electrical pendant but without having to do any wiring. 

Easyfit lighting

1. Remove the screw cap from your ceiling pendant
2. Position your new BHS Easyfit light fixture around the pendant
3. Replace the screw cap to your pendant, securing your Easyfit fixture in place
4. Insert the required bulb

Bathroom Lighting
Lighting in the bathroom needs careful safety consideration due to the potentially dangerous mix of electricity, water and steam. All light fittings are given an IP or 'Ingress Protection' rating that tells you how susceptible the fittings are to dust, particles or moisture getting into them (or ingressing). Further to this, the bathroom is split into three Zones that determine the type of electrical fitting that can be installed and a minimum IP rating.

Ingress Protection - the first digit relates to the ingress of particles and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust tight).  The second digit refers to the ingress of moisture and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 8 (protection from complete submersion under pressure).  The minimum IP rating for bathroom use is IP44. 

• Zone 0 - the interior of the bath or shower tray. Any fitting used in this zone must be low voltage, (max 12v) and be rated at least IP67 which is total immersion proof.
• Zone 1 - above the bath or shower tray to a height of 2.25m. In this zone a minimum rating of IP44 is required. If the fitting is 240v a 30ma residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone.
• Zone 2 - covers an distance of 60cm outside Zone 1, and a radius of 60cm above the sink basin from the water source. In this zone IP rating of at least IP44 is required.
Note: Even outside of Zone 2 we would still recommend an IP44 rated product for the bathroom due to the high incidence of condensation and moisture from steam which can affect lower rated items.  

We offer a range of IP44 rated items specifically for bathroom use ranging from wall lights to downlights and ceiling fittings.

See all bathroom lighting >

bathroom zones

When lighting your home it's important to consider your personal style and what is already in your room as well as the latest lighting trends. To help, we've asked our lighting buyer to give us her top tips and explain the inspiration behind this season's collections.

*Images above are a representation of the BHS offering, the availabilty of items shown is subject to change.

Trends and Collections



Our bestselling Iluminate collection continues to thrive, using a mix of materials including wood, glass, ceramic and concrete to create unique and exciting ceiling, floor and table lights for the modern home. 

Discover Illuminate >> 


Illuminate Atelier 

The all new Illuminate Atelier collection is full of statement pieces for the contemporary home. Characterised by geometric shapes and high shine finishes, the collection includes cool cube structures, delicate tinted glass and angular folded metal, all in a simple colour patette of black, gold and copper. 

See the Illuminate Atelier range >> 


Vintage Maison 

Inspired by flea market finds and Victorian styling Vintage Maison mixed pretty florals with industrial shapes. The collection includes quirky wine glass clusters, rustic steel finishes and pretty butterfly motifs throughout. 

Shop Vintage Maison >> 


Ceiling Lights
As the main light in your room it is important to choose a ceiling light that suits your needs, budget and style. Ceiling lights provide 'ambient' light, meaning they should take the place of daylight and illuminate your entire room.

 ceiling lights

Shop Ceiling Lights>

Table Lamps
Perfect for side tables in the living room or next to the bed in the bedroom, you could select a traditional lamp composed of a base and shade, or a more contemporary shaped table lamp.

Table Lamps

Shop Table Lamps >

Floor Lights 
Use a floor lamp to create a focus for your room or to highlight a particular feature. Some of our floor lamps are designed to have an uplighter and a reading light for maximum versatility.

Floor Lamps

Shop Floor Lights >

Wall Lights
Compliment your main ceiling light with a set of ambient wall lights. With a wide range on offer to match many of our ceiling lights, you'll never be stuck for choice.

Wall Lights

Shop Wall Lights >

Shades and Bases 
A speedy way to update your room without the expense of new light fittings, create your own style with our range of bases and shades.

Bases & Shades

Shop Shades and Bases >

Easyfit Lights
Our Easyfit designs range from up lighters and solitary pendants to ornate chandelier-style, cut-glass designs. They give the appearance of a standard ceiling light fitting but do not need wiring in − perfect if you are not confident with DIY or don't want to pay an electrician. 

easyfit lighting

Shop Easyfit Lights >


Branded Lights
We offer a wide range of branded lights too, with floor and desk lamps from the likes of Anglepoise and energy-saving lightbulbs from Plumen.

desk lamps