Lighting Terminology for Dummies
May 13 2019
Accent Lighting: Focusing light on a particular space or object. Intended to create visual interest in an area or object.
Alternating Current (AC): Electric Current in which the flow of electric charge reverses direction at regular intervals.
Amps (A): Standard Unit of Measurement of electric current.
Ballast: device used to adjust the current and voltage to start and operate a light bulb. Ballasts are used with HID and fluorescent light sources.
Ballast factor: represents the percentage of rated light output and power that the bulb can achieve.
Candela (CD) : measures the luminous intensity of a light source in a given direction.
Central beam candle power (CBCP) : the intensity of light emitted by the center of the light source
Color rendering index (CRI) : measures the ability of a light source to display color accurately. The sun is thought to be 100.
Color temperature: related color temperature (CCT). Measure the hue of the light produced by the light source.
Diffuser: a device used to change light by scattering it so that it produces a softer light with minimal glare
Dimmer: device used to control the output of light source.
Direct current: current that flows only in one direction and does not circulate. Direct current is most commonly used in batteries and photovoltaic cells.
Direct substitution: it's as simple as a plug-in -Play! Replacing LED lights directly from OEO into your existing lamps without reconnecting or upgrading helps you save up to 84% on energy costs.
Driver: electrical or electronic circuit that controls other components. In an LED lighting system, the driver adjusts the LED power supply.
Efficacy: light source of lumen per watt
Electromagnetic interference (emi) : damage to an electronic device by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction of an external power supply.
Electronic ballast: the ballast consists of an electronic component replacing the core and a coil transformer. Electronic ballasts do not experience as much power loss as magnetic ballasts.
Fluorescent lamp: low pressure mercury-vapor-gas discharge lamp, using fluorescence to produce visible light. Fluorescent lamps require ballasts for current and voltage regulation.
Glare: visual sensation caused by excessive brightness. It can be uncomfortable or disabled.
Halogen lamp: a halogen lamp is a halogen containing incandescent lamp designed to increase the average life of the light source and the light output.
Radiator: device in an LED lighting system used to dissipate heat from an LED diode.
Hertz (Hz) : standard unit of measurement of frequency. One Hz is equal to one cycle per second.
Gaowan: luminaire types are typically used for commercial and industrial applications with high ceilings (> 20 ft).
High intensity discharge lamp: HID lamp. A series of electric discharge lamps that produce light by arcing.
High pressure sodium lamp (HPS) : type of high intensity discharge lamp. Often used in street and outdoor lighting applications.
Illumination: measured with Lux or foot3). Illumination refers to the total luminous flux on the surface.
Initial lumen: the total luminous flux of a light source at the beginning of its life.
Kelvin temperature: a measure of the relative color temperature of a light source.
Lamp socket: part of a lamp that connects a lamp socket to a power supply.
Light-emitting diode (LED) : semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current passes through it. Leds are more efficient and last longer than other light sources
Lumen: standard measure of luminous flux. Used to measure the amount of visible light emitted by the light source.
Luminaire: luminaire. A complete unit including lights, ballasts, reflectors, lenses and other components.
Magnetic ballasts: usually referred to as "core-coil" ballasts. The inductive ballast contains a magnetic core with a copper winding. Electronic ballasts usually have greater power losses than electronic ballasts.
Average lumen: the average luminous flux of a light source over its rated life.
Metal halide lamp: high intensity discharge lamp that generates light through an arc through a mixture of mercury and metal halide gases.
Photocell: Light Control can turn Light source on/off according to sunlight
Power factor: the ratio of the actual power supplied to the circuit to the apparent power. The power factor ranges from 0 to 1.
Reflection: light reflects back from the center.
Refraction: bending of light as it passes through a medium. Light bending is the result of a change in velocity as it passes from one medium to the next.
Restart time: the time it takes for the bulb to reach full brightness after it is turned off and turned back on.
Retrofit: the use of new equipment to upgrade old, inefficient technologies to improve the efficiency of lighting systems
Voltage: charge difference between two points in an electric field. Measured in volts.
Voltage drop: voltage loss due to resistance. Voltage drops may be generated for too long or over thinking of the wire.
Wall wrapping: the most widely used commercial outdoor lighting installation today. The wall pack is a powerful light fixture installed in the outdoor location of the commercial building.
Watt: standard unit of power measurement. One watt is equal to one volt.
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