Gas lights vs electric lighting

When deciding how to light up your home, there can be a lot to think about.  Working out whether you want to install gas or electric lighting will depend on many factors.  While gas and electric lighting can be very different, they each have their own benefits.

There are some important considerations to take into account when comparing gas lights vs electric lighting. From the colour temperature of the light and the ambience it exudes, to the maintenance and longevity of the fitting, there are numerous options and iterations.

Here we talk through some of the considerations to help you decide what’s best for your next lighting project.

Colour temperature of gas lights vs electric lighting

Colour temperature is the appearance of the light emitted by a light source which is measured in degrees Kelvin (K) on a scale between 1000 to 12,000. The lighting characteristics of gas and electric lighting can be very different when it comes to colour temperature.

The higher the K the whiter the light will be. Choosing the temperature of your lighting is an important aspect to consider as this will influence the atmosphere of the space. If you are looking to create a relaxed atmosphere, a warmer temperature is often best.  However if you’re looking to create an energising effect, a cooler temperature may be more suitable.

When it comes to choosing between gas lights vs electric lighting in relation to colour temperature, if you are looking to create a relaxed, rustic ambience, then the flickering flame of the gas light can be an excellent option and add lots of character. Electric lighting, in contrast, can be more flexible because it allows you to choose the colour temperature you desire.

Residential electric lighting mews

Light output

Another lighting characteristic that differs between gas lights vs electric lighting is the light outputitself. Light output is the luminous flux emitted by a lamp or luminaire which measures how much light you are getting from a bulb. This is measured in lumens and the higher the lumens, the brighter the light. One benefit of installing electric lighting in your space is that you have the flexibility to decide the light output depending on where you are placing your light.  This is different to gas lighting, as the light output for gas lights is usually lower.  Gas lights therefore create a more organic light output, producing a more visually dramatic and warm effect.

Cost of gas lights vs electric lighting

The cost of energy is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment, so knowing the differences in cost between gas and electric lighting may be a deciding factor between installing gas or electric lights. Generally, electricity costs less than gas, especially if the gas lamp uses propane instead of natural gas to operate the light. One of the main advantages of electric lighting is that you can budget more easily.  The cost of gas, in comparison, may vary depending on how much gas is readily available in your area.  If you connect your electric lights to a timer, this can help save money and unnecessary usage during daylight hours.  Gas lanterns can also be operated on an “optoclock” timer which works in the same way, meaning they switch on and off at a certain time each day.

Maintenance of gas lights vs electric lighting

When choosing between gas and electric lighting it is worth considering the maintenance implications of each option. Modern gas lamps are very easy to use. You can even adjust the height of the flame and many are fitted with safety features including an automatic shut-off which is activated when the flame goes out. However, it is advised that gas mantles are to be replaced on  regular maintenance cycle (sometimes yearly or every other year) and for open flame gas lamps the burner tip should be cleaned on a regular cycle too (sometimes as frequently as twice per year).  Maintenance of gas lights is therefore somewhat different to electric lighting. Electric lights will typically work for a long time before they require changing and updating, especially if you install LED light bulbs.  But cleaning maintenance is a consideration, depending on the location of the light.

Gas light maintenance _ William Sugg & Co. Ltd

LUX levels

LUX levels are also another lighting consideration when choosing between gas and electric lighting. LUX levels in lighting are the standard unit for measuring the light level intensity from different lights. The higher the LUX, the brighter the light condition. When considering the type of light you desire in a particular space, you need to decide the LUX level you require and then you can choose the best lighting type to achieve this. Using electric lighting means you are able to choose the LUX level to create the atmosphere you desire. However, it is more difficult to control the LUX level in a gas lamp as even if you increase the amount of gas inputted into the lamp, this may only minimally affect the LUX level.

Residential electric light output

At William Sugg and Co Ltd, we offer a range of both gas and electric lighting to add a touch of history to your space. If you would like to find out more about our heritage lighting range, get in touch with our team of lighting experts to discuss your options.