FAQ

Do your bulbs contain mercury?

Yes, our compact fluorescent bulbs do. Like all fluorescent bulbs ours contain very small amounts of mercury. Our bulbs are produced according to the European RoHS standards, which strictly limit the amount of hazardous substances.

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No problem. Our system is rejecting the user name you entered because it doesn't recognise it. Success is only two steps away.

  • Retrieve your user name
  • Reset your password

1. To retrieve a user name click on the link and enter your email: www.homewatt.co.uk/Lost-user-name.html, we'll send your user name by email 2. Then enter the user name and token on the reset password page you reached from the email link. You can generate another token if required from here.

How are your bulbs tested?

Each and every bulb is tested before being packed. Each bulb is tested for switching on and off, low and high temperature performance and voltage fluctuation using parameter considerably beyond those found under normal operating conditions.

How do I dispose of lamps responsibly at the end of their life?

Compact fluorescent and LED lamps should be recycled at your nearest recycling centre. Never dispose of compact fluorescent or LED lamps in your household waste.

How long do your bulbs last?

We quote lifetime in hours of use. 1,000 hours is reckoned to be equivalent to 1 year's use and is the normal lifetime for traditional incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are rated at 20,000 - 50,000 hours and our compact fluorescent bulbs at 8,000/10,000 hours. However, these figures are only indicative and are not a guarantee. Historically, the standard measure of bulb life was the time taken for 50% of a statistically significant sample to fail. For example, a rated life of 2,000 hours indicated that 50% of bulbs should be expected to last 2,000 hours or longer.

LED lifespan is more complex. LEDs slowly lose their brightness over time. In general the higher quality (and more expensive) the LED the slower loss of brightness occurs. So for example CREE state that their better quality LEDs might lose about 30% of their brightness in 50,000 hours. These figures are necessarily estimated based upon extended running tests of a few thousand hours. There are 8,760 hours in a non-leap year so testing LEDs to destruction is simply not possible without waiting years for the results.

Low cost LEDs will tend to lose their brighness faster and we usually try to reflect this in the rated hours. The various SMD LED bulbs offer a good compromise between the extended life of the high quality, high power LEDs (ours are usually CREE or Samsung) and the faster burn of the budget low power LED lamps. Some manufacturers seem to run similar LEDs at high levels of brightness by adjusting the forward current through the LEDs, which, if not matched to a suitable heat sink, may adversely affect the life expectancy of the bulb.

Compact fluorescent bulbs work best if they are left on for at least 15 minutes as they take a few minutes to warm up and reach maximum efficiency although this is often not apparent to the user. More frequent switching on and off will shorten the product's life.

How long do your bulbs take to reach full brightness?

Our LED bulbs reach full brightness immediately. Our compact fluorescent energy saving bulbs take longer; this is one area where hard data are of little use as perceived brightness is highly subjective and also dependent upon the environment. What we can say is that our spiral energy efficient bulbs are brighter than the other designs and that most people will perceive higher wattage bulbs as reaching full brightness faster.

For most of our products customers will not notice the warm-up time. The exceptions are the highly compact GU10 compact fluorescent bulbs where a slower warm up is essential to prolong the life of the bulb. Where instant full brightness light is required in a GU10 fitting then we recommend LEDs especially for halls, stairwells and landings.

I Live on the Channel Islands - do I pay VAT?

We do not charge VAT on goods shipped to the Channel Islands. You must select Channel Islands as the country (not UK) when entering your address in order for our system to ignore the VAT. We do still charge VAT on the delivery cost where applicable.

What assumptions are used in your savings calculations?

We calculate two sorts of savings from:

  1. lower electricity consumption 
  2. fewer bulb purchases because of the longer life compared to traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs

We assume that a traditional incandescent or halogen bulb has a useful life of 1000 hours and that this is also the normal annual use. For the purposes of our calculator we assume our compact fluorescent low energy bulbs will last 8000 hours and our GU10 LED bulbs will last only 20000 hours.

Other assumptions are:

  • an electricity cost of 13.72p/kwh (updated Sep 2012 from UK Department of Energy & Climate Change Quarterly Stats)
  • the replacement cost of an incandescent/halogen bulb is one eighth our selling price for the low energy bulb equivalent
  • all our GU10 LED bulbs are replacing 50w halogens

Of course, the savings shown are illustrative and actual savings will depend upon actual operating conditions and may be more or less than those shown. However, we believe the figures shown are reasonable.

What do warm white and daylight white mean?

These terms refer to the colour temperature of the lamps.

Warm white is has less blue light and is a close match to traditional incandescent bulbs.

Daylight white bulbs deliver more of the full spectrum, which means they have more blue light and will also usually appear to be brighter. Many people describe daylight white as being colder, especially in a domestic or relaxing environment such as a café or pub.

Which colour temperature is right for you is a matter of personal preference although we find that most people prefer warm white bulbs in their homes. We offer warm white versions of all our low energy bulbs.

If you are not sure which to choose then we would recommend trying warm white first. You can always return or exchange within seven days.

Daylight white bulbs are ideal for the work-place, other working areas or where a bright light is required. People who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) may also prefer the fuller colour spectrum from daylight white bulbs, but please be aware that our bulbs are not designed for daylight therapy.

If you want to find out more about colour temperature then wikipedia is an excellent place to start. Don't forget to place your order first though!

Finally, at homewatt we use very precise colour temperature codes such as 2700k and 6400k in our product numbers and some product descriptions. We use these purely as shorthand for the rather more loose definitions: warm white and daylight white.

Is it Possible to dim LEDs?

  1. Only LED bulbs that are sold as dimming/dimmable may be dimmed

  2. The dimmer switch should say that it is designed to work with LEDs and is a leading or trailing edge triac dimmer. If you do not use an appropriate dimmer you will risk blowing the bulbs and possibly the switch as well.

  3. LED dimmers differ from conventional dimmer switches and will usually have a minimum load of 10W (measured in Watts or VA), much lower than the 40W or 120W of tradittional dimmers. This means that the combined Watts or load of all the lamps on a single circuit or switch must be at least 10W. For example a circuit with 2 x 6W LEDs will have a load of 12W so should work without any problem.

  4. Flickering of the LEDs usually indicates a problem with the dimmer and will greatly reduce the life expectancy of the bulbs.

What is the VAT charged on low energy and LED light bulbs?

Puzzled by why we have to charge 20% VAT rather than a reduced 5% on our very low energy LED lamps we asked the tax man at HMRC. He replied that energy saving light bulbs are only subject to the reduced rate if they are grant funded AND of a type unsuitable for DIY installation.

What is your replacement policy / guarantee?

We have a minimum 1 year replacement warranty for all products. For the majority of our LEDs the warranty is 2 years or more; exceptions are clearly stated on the Product Details pages. Whether you have to pay to return the bulb to us depends on how long you have had it:

  • if you have a fault after 30 calendar days of order and within the warranty period, depending on bulb type, please return the faulty item to us including a copy of your order/receipt or at the least quoting your name and order number and we will send a replacement free of charge to the same delivery address as on the original order. In this case you have to pay to send the faulty item to us; we pay our postage costs to send the replacement.
  • we pay your return postage for faults reported within 30 calendar days of order. We usually ask you to return the faulty bulb for analysis and return to the factory.

If you have bought and installed the bulbs for someone else then they can benefit from these policies, however they must quote the original order number and we will only ship to the original delivery address.

Some of our LEDs benefit from a longer period of cover - up to 3 years, the replacement procedure is the same.

Notes:

  • we will replace lamps that have failed. We will not replace lamps that have lost brightness except where the cause is component failure
  • the maximum number of faulty bulbs we will replace is the number on the original order
  • our faulty exchange warranty/policy is not designed to offer insurance or mitigation against circumstances beyond our control such as faulty wiring, lightning, power surges, misuse etcetera
  • these policies do not form part of our terms and conditions of sale and may be amended without notice. For example, we have extended the period of cover three times since we started trading and in both cases applied the longer period retrospectively.
  • your statutory rights are not affected

What is your returns policy?

We have a 30 day no quibble return policy. Return any item purchased in the previous 30 calendar days in its original, undamaged packaging and resalable condition and we will refund the cost of the goods and our postage and packing charge. Your only cost is the cost of return postage.

Notes:

  • postage and packing will only be refunded where the entire order is returned
  • returns should reach us within 30 days of the order
  • ownership and risk remains with customers until we receive the goods back at our warehouse. Whilst we find Royal Mail to be very reliable, customers are advised to insure valuable consignments with Special Delivery
  • your statutory rights are not affected

who is behind homewatt?

Homewatt offers an increasingly wide range of LED light bulbsand a shrinking range of low energy compact fluorescent light bulbs. We aim to offer market leading functionality at unbeatable prices. The majority of our products carry our own name and we work alongside our manufacturing partners to ensure innovation in functionality and design.

We are a family business and since we started in 2008 have seen repeat orders grow to about 50% of our sales. A tribute to the perspicacity of our customers and just possibly the quality of our products and service.

homewatt was established by Bridget Clifford and Dominic Hughes after a year researching the domestic "green energy" sector. By taking full control of its supply chain homewatt aims to offer its customers the opportunity to save both energy and money using the highest quality products. Most of homewatt's low energy bulbs pay for themselves within twelve months and all will comfortably recoup their purchase cost over the product lifetime.


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We offer friendly technical advice about the use and suitability of all our products Call us on: 01296 821 150 or Email us.

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