Buying lights in Kuching: Where, what and how much

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The house has already reached the point where I need to consider lighting, so here’s a post about choosing house lighting, and about buying lights in Kuching.

I thought this post, or rather guide, would be beneficial for those who are seeking lighting and perhaps are interested to buy the lights for their house like myself.

I won’t be too technical here, but I’ll just share what I’ve learned through some research online and what I was told.

Types of lights

According to innermost.net, here’s three main types of lighting, or rather uses of light, namely Ambient Lighting, Task Lighting and Accent Lighting.

Ambient Lighting is the primary source of lighting for a room, Task Lighting is to provide extra lights for certain task like reading, and Accent Lighting is for decorative purposes.

If you are building a house like me, or if you already have a house, but need it to be lighted, then the lighting you’d be using are mostly Ambient Lighting.

Currently, the trend is to use fixed down lights as Ambient Lighting, and so there is a need to choose which is best for your home.

There’s also different types of lighting colour temperature to choose from, but generally there’s cool daylight, cool white and warm white.

Each type of lighting colour temperature is a matter of choice, as it affects how furniture and room would be presented.  However, if your are like me, I like things bright, so daylight was my choice although it doesn’t make the furniture ‘sparkle’.

Down Lights: Canned vs can-less

There’s two popular types of down lights in Kuching, namely the canned trim down lights and the can-less trim downlights.

Canned trim downlights look like the one you see below.  They sink inside the ceiling and have a huge ‘can’ or cone shaped enclosure which is used to store a light bulb.

The can-less trim down lights are getting more popular in Kuching these days due to the lower cost of LED lighting.

These lights, as seen below, are slimmer and do not have a light bulb enclosure.

Both are recessed down lights which means they disappear into the ceiling.

Canned lights are easy to maintain as you only need to screw and unscrew the bulb to get it replaced.  However, the belief is that the bulbs don’t last as long as the can-less lights, and these type of lights don’t completely seal the ceiling as there is a small gap between where the bulb is screwed to the housing or can. This can be used by insects to ‘penetrate’ the house.

Can-less lights are harder to maintain as they do involve basic wiring when you need to replace them. You need to take out the whole unit to replace the lights shall it burn out.

However, they do cover the whole hole which is made in the ceiling making it almost impossible for insects or foreign objects to go through.

I opted for can-less trim lights because I can do basic wiring, and I like the idea of having complete enclosure.

Also, when it comes to lighting, I figure trend is also important as it replacement parts will be available easier.

What makes lights bright

Another thing people tend to mistake when buying lights is to judge the light by it’s wattage, or Watt.

This is not accurate as Watt only refers to the power used by a light whereas to know how bright a light can be, one should look at the lumens the light produces.

Lumens measure how much light you are getting from a bulb. More lumens means it’s a brighter light; fewer lumens means it’s a dimmer light.

Comparison between brands

When buying bulbs or lights, always go for established one because they would serve you longer. At least this is what my experience tells me.

The brand below are the ones I prefer.

Below are the comparisons between the major brands I know, and how much the cost. Note that the prices are based on online prices and are the cheapest I could find based on the brand.

  • Philips: 6″, 17W, 1280 lumens @ RM24.90
  • Panasonic: 6″, 15W, 1275 lumens @RM18.90
  • Osram: 6″, 18W, 1620 lumens @RM24.00
  • Simon: 6″, 17W, 1200 lumens @RM18.00
  • Megaman: 6″, 15W, 1080 lumens @RM15.90

Here you can see that the most value for money brand is Panasonic, as it offers 1,275 lumens while using 15W of power (Less power, more light). It was my top choice for a light, but unfortunately, stock was limited and if I included delivery, the price went up to about RM21/light.

Megaman came with free delivery and is cheaper, but it is also not as bright as any of the brands I listed above, while Osram, despite its high lumens, is also more expensive and power hungry.

For your information, I opted for the same size lights because it would be easier to replace shall one particular brand become out of stock.

Buying lights in Kuching: Where?

After considering all knowledge I know, Panasonic was my preferred choice.

However, since price does play a role in my purchase, I decided to go for Simon instead as it was slightly cheaper and was almost equally bright, albeit using higher power.

Both Philips, Osram and Megaman was not considered as the former was too expensive, while the later only had 1080 lumens.

While buying lights in Kuching meant I could hold and test the lights, they were more expensive by at least 10 – 30%.  That said, I bought the lights online using the link below.

So there you have it, my brief sharing about selecting lightings for my house.

It may not be 100% accurate, but I do hope it helps.

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