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Music to our ears: an overview of the SensioSound Bluetooth Speaker & Light

Music to our ears: an overview of the SensioSound Bluetooth Speaker & Light

In this month's HPP Blog, Tina Crossley introduces us to music and light, in one compact unit...

If you're looking to create an ambience in your next kitchen project and create a clutter-free environment for your customers, the SensioSound Bluetooth Audio Speaker & Light might just be what you're looking for.

With a 334 lumen LED light and 85dB speaker integrated into one stylish unit, this practical device turns the kitchen into the perfect place to cook or entertain without the need for endless wires, docking stations and separate lighting solutions, as it all ties perfectly into one.

Key Features

Playing your favourite tunes through the speakers is quick and easy. Simply pair the device with a smartphone via Bluetooth and the wireless connection works its magic, allowing your customers to listen to their music and have a clear kitchen counter at the same time.

With an operational range of up to 10m and the ability to pair any smartphone up to two SensioSound speakers means that even if you have the largest of kitchens, these discreet and handy devices are suitable and easy to install.

The frosted lens gives the speaker a diffused light output to add an ambient atmosphere to any kitchen. There is a choice between either cool or warm white LED, and at 12V, it works at a low voltage too, keeping energy consumption at an all-time low.

Installation and maintenance

Installation is a total doddle, simply comprising three screws beneath the outer steel casing, which makes it compatible with any kitchen décor or layout. The unit is mains powered, which means you'll need a 240V supply, but if existing lighting is already in place, these drivers easily connect to a 5A circuit.

At a competitive offer price of just £35.50, a 13-year lamp life and 35,000-hour playback time, the SensioSound is built to last and will make your customers love their kitchens even more!

For full details on the SensioSound Bluetooth Audio Speaker & Light click here.

Cluster Lighting for Kitchens

Cluster Ceiling Lights and Stone Grey Aspects Doors

Cluster lighting is fast becoming a staple of modern kitchen design, no matter which style the consumer chooses, be that traditional or contemporary, cluster lighting is certainly a popular option, and one that looks set to stay within the industry for the foreseeable future.

Part of the appeal with cluster lighting is that it adds another dimension to the overall kitchen design, which helps not only to add a feeling of quality and thoughtfulness in design, but also helps to better define the zones whilst providing the added benefit of making them more practical too.

Cluster lighting is quite often used over centre islands, dining areas and reading areas to give good quality task lighting, as well as mood lighting too.

The key to achieving success is to position the lights intelligently, making sure they are positioned carefully to avoid accidents from low hanging lights, are suitably away from wet zones, and that the style of the light fittings being put in place are in keeping, and complementary to the rest of the kitchen design.

There's a plethora of styles available at the moment too, meaning consumers are really spoilt for choice. Blown glass, dimly lit light fittings lend themselves to both the more traditional and industrial looks, whereas metal shades or sleek smooth coloured class shades lend themselves nicely to apartment style kitchens and contemporary homes.

There is such a wide variety of cluster style lighting available to consumers at present that finding the right light for the job shouldn't be too hard, as there really is something for everyone; and better still, most of these lights are energy efficient too, using either LED technology or low voltage halogen bulbs.

The use of cluster lighting can really add an additional element to any kitchen design and helps to better define the zones, so it's an aspect that's certainly worth considering for any future kitchen project that lends itself to this type of design concept.

Home office in the bedroom - making it work well!

Mirror Gloss Slate Grey with Pencil Line Light

Creating a home office within a bedroom space takes quite a lot of planning and consideration to get things absolutely right.

The first thing to consider is that the customer who's asking to have their home office situated within their bedroom space needs the room to act in a number of ways, not only as a functional home office, but most importantly, as a relaxing bedroom space to unwind and chill out in without the thought of work, bills or general office related stress.

For this reason, it's important to try to make a bedroom home office as hidden as possible, allowing your customer to hide away work and enjoy the space as a home environment too.

This often entails hiding the office environment behind a set of wardrobe doors, whether that's through sliding, glass, wooden or acrylic wardrobe doors, you get the idea; it's best to tuck them away, giving your customers the separation they need from work and home.

The other thing to consider is that whilst the office is tucked away in a relatively small and somewhat cramped space, it still needs to work really well as a home office. This is where the selection of certain products, their placement and installation is key.

The first place to start is organisation. Without the proper shelving, desk area, keyboard and mouse platform, drawer, wirework and general storage for your computer tower, laptop and even printer, the home office won't work well.

Once the above storage issues are addressed, it's then a good idea to consider lighting as one of the next key issues to be tackled, as these types of home office often have areas where shadows are cast or dark spots unavoidable (or so people think!).

By fitting some bright and energy efficient LED self adhesive strip lights within the space, it will make the environment comfortable and also safe for continued use by your customer, without running costs going through the ceiling.

This LED lighting can provide task lighting within the main desk area of the space whilst also creating pleasant backlighting that helps to mimic the effect of having a window without any obstructions right in front of you.

Once all the above is addressed and completed, it's paramount to make sure you're using the right doors and door components.

Hinges that provide maximum accessibility are absolutely key, so it's a great idea to spec the best hinges for the job right at the beginning, and consider adding a few extra hinge holes to your door spec to ensure it's robust and capable of taking a lot of use on a daily basis.

By following the main steps above, you can be fairly confident your next bedroom home office customer will be more than satisfied with the outcome of the project. To find out more about suitable HPP products for this type of project, please check out our doors, wirework, lighting and accessories sections of our website.

Driving energy efficiency in future kitchen design

Energy Efficiency Ratings

We all see in the daily press about modern society needing to be more environmentally friendly through better energy efficiency measures, but many in the industry feel that UK consumers are lagging behind our European counterparts in making the necessary changes to reduce our carbon footprint and the overall effect we're having on the environment.

The question is however, if consumers aren't doing enough to make the change, do distributors, retailers, designers and installers need to be doing more to push the new and more cost effective technologies their way?

In short, the answer is probably yes, but how to do this effectively can often be one of the main challenges.

Whilst the UK Government are putting measures in place to help consumers with schemes such as the Green Deal, free cavity wall insulation and loft insulation, much more work still needs to be done by all re-sellers of products such as lighting, technology and appliances.

So how do we convince the consumer that going 'energy efficient' is the right choice for them?

Well, the figures don't lie...

Over 95% of consumers stated that the cost of energy bills was incredibly important to them and often a cause for concern in a survey conducted by the National House Building Confederation, but how do we translate that concern into actual product buy-in.

It's simple. Show the consumer what they can save in an easy to understand manner. We've put together an example below showing a typical kitchen installation, which currently uses 10 x 50W GU10 light bulbs. The figures speak for themselves.

A typical household using 10 x 50W halogen light bulbs in their kitchen could easily swap these out for an LED alternative.

Whilst the cost of purchase is much higher for LED bulbs, they have a much longer life expectancy of around 18 years, so over that time could save the consumer thousands of pounds. Here's a quick calculation:

10 x 50W bulbs, used for approximately 180 hours per month (6 hours a day) at a cost of 13.5p per KWh = £145.80 per year

In comparison, an LED alternative would cost:

10 x 5W LED bulbs used for approximately 180 hours per month (6 hours a day) at a cost of 13.5p per KWh = £14.64 per year

We can see that over the year, the saving is considerable - a difference of £131.16 per year!

Transfer this figure over the 18-year life span, and consumers could save themselves a hefty £2,360.88, a great contribution to a new kitchen or bedroom further down the line!

The same kind of calculations could as easily be attributed to appliances and other items used around the kitchen and bedroom, and with hard facts and figures such as these, consumers are more likely to move to energy efficiency measures with much less resistance.

What’s your perfect mood?

What’s your perfect mood?

Whatever the mood of your kitchen, it’s important to make sure your lighting is planned well in advance of any work, and that it sets the right atmosphere for you or your customer.

When discussing lighting, we often talk about three distinct areas; these are task lighting, ambient lighting and mood lighting.

Task lighting should be addressed as a first port of call, and includes lights that are bright and don’t cast shadows when being used to prepare food. For this reason, it’s critical to ensure you’ve got well-planned ceiling and under-cabinet lighting that provides an abundance of light to work surfaces, hobs and sinks.

Some of our most popular products are our white LED recessed spotlights for ceilings, coupled with some sleek, ultra slim fluorescent tubes for under cabinets. If you’d rather not have a pelmet on your cabinets, there’s always the option to go surface mounted with your lighting instead. These are available in a number of shapes and sizes, and offer stylish and sleek designs that complement any kitchen design and layout.

For those wanting to create an additional wow factor with their kitchen design, we have a range of lighting that helps to create the perfect ambient or mood lighting for a wide range of requirements.

LED strip lights and recessed plinth lights provide subtle back-lighting to areas such as plinths, cabinet tops and centre islands, which look great when being used as a standalone, and also when being used in conjunction with primary task lighting and mood lighting.

If you’re wanting to set more of a mood in a kitchen, we also supply colour changing LED lights that can be mounted almost anywhere. Colours can be changed remotely to help create the perfect atmosphere. Colour changing LED lights are available in a number of different sizes, and can fill the smallest and largest areas of a kitchen effortlessly.

Our entire lighting range is on display in our newly refurbished trade counter, and is also available to view online at www.hpponline.co.uk and in our latest product brochure.

We’ve helped hundreds of customers with their lighting designs over the years, and are always on hand to provide you with tips and advice, as well as keeping you up to date on all of our latest products and innovations. If you need advice on your lighting requirements, call into our trade counter or call us on 0161 628 6100

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