Shining a Light on Jargon

Shining a Light on Jargon

Similar to many technologies – lighting seems all too willing to confuse its users with jargon. Specifications on LED packaging can be baffling, so in my constant quest to demystify the world of lighting for designers and specifiers – I have started on a journey to convert technical terms to plain English. Here are some of the most common.

Candelas. The measurement of illuminous intensity – how much light is making it to a given direction, the intensity of the source measured at 1 square metre which is 1m away from the source.

Compact fluorescent lamps. Fluoro lamps that are shaped to minimise their size i.e. twisted or turned tubes.

Colour TemperatureColour temperature describes the warmth of a light source. It’s CCT – correlating colour temperature – will be higher the colder the light and lower the warmer the light. e.g., 2700K = extra warm and 4000K is cool.

Constant current driver
Constant current drivers are power supplies required for some LED luminaires. They maintain a constant current to the LED, whereas a transformer with low voltage lighting maintains a constant voltage. Drivers can be integral within a fixture or remote.

You’ll increasingly find this term creeping onto LED packaging – a rating between 1 and 100 (RA) with the highest closest to true colour as seen by the sun.

Digital Addressable Lighting Interface – a protocol for lighting controls and dimming agreed by a group of major manufacturers.

The unit of luminous flux or how much light is delivered from a light source.

Lumens per circuit watt
Luminous efficiency has the measurement of Lumens c/w. How much power is required to deliver the given amount of light from a luminaire. This is an important figure to be aware of when dealing with building regs.

The measurement of illuminance – or how many lumens are falling onto a unit area. In other words how much light is arriving at a defined distance from the source.

Wiring in Parallel
Where each fixture on the circuit has it’s own direct path back to the positive and negative sides of the circuit.

Wiring in Series
Where an LED fixture receives current from the power supply and daisy chains to each fitting that is sharing the power and then loops back the negative to the driver. Important to remember when installing LED fixtures with remote drivers as the return cable must be accommodated.

If you need help on any aspect of lighting for a project – call the Orange Lighting team and will be happy to offer advice in plain English…

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