Oh so that’s what it means. . .

Talking to a friend of mine this evening who is not in the lighting industry, I realised that even though I was trying to write in plain English that I still slipped in terms that weren’t in every ones normal vocabulary. So here are a few terms which you ought to know and I will explain what the mean in greater detail in future blogs;

Lamp = Bulb (is like a taboo word for those in the know in the UK, ‘Bulbs are planted in the ground one stalwart is commonly heard to utter)

LED = Light Emitting Diode, a silicon component

Lamp base = the type which dictates what lamp holder it will fit into (i.e. GU10, GU5.3, GX53, E27, B22 etc)

Incandescent or Filament lamp = ‘Old style’ lamps which have a tungsten filament which a current is passed through. It ‘glows’ and emits light but also heat

Fluorescent = An energy efficient alternative to Incandescent, most commonly it a ‘tube’ format, you see these in workshops and Grandad’s garage.

Halogen = A filament lamp which burns in an inert gas and some iodine or bromine.

Wattage = The power used by a product, power is roughly equal to Voltage x Amperes

CRI = Colour Rendering Index (Will cover later) also expressed as Ra – figure should be above 80

Lamp Life = This is the ‘Average’ lamp life, set 20 lamps running when the 10th fails that is the average, as measured by the industry governing bodies. This is NOT how long each lamp will last. Usually only for Filament. Halogen

L70 = The accepted lifespan of an LED product (Lamp or fitting), the number of hours the product will take for luminous decay to reach 70% of initial output.

Luminous Decay = If you pump electricity through anything for long enough it degrades, this is LED slow demise over time

CCT = Colour Correlated Temperature, measured in Kelvin, it shows how warm or cool the light is. Tungsten filament lamps are acknowledged as 2700K

Lumen = A unit of luminous flux, light output over a given area

Equivalence or Equiv. Watts = LEDs use much less energy, this is the equivalent from a Filament lamp

Lm/W = The amount of lumens out for the energy put in

Load = Amount of power (Watts)

Beam Angle = Angle of light output, some lamps disguise their poor performance by using a small beam angle, the accepted normal is 36-40 degrees, high beam angles would be called a ‘flood’ light

Driver = A step down transformer with a bridge rectifier built in. Lower the voltage from the mains and converts it to DC.

Constant Voltage = Most drivers will deliver a constant voltage to the lamp, if this is so the the current will vary depending on load

Constant current = The other main style of driver, delivering a constant current (Measured in mA), if this is so the voltage will vary depending on load

Dimmable = The product is able to have its output varied

Lens = the optic directly in front of the light source, plays a major part in how the light looks

reflector = helps to ‘push’ more of the light out of the fitting/lamp

Power Factor = The ratio of power in converted to power out. The closer to 1 the better, usually better than 0.8

Cooling system = LEDs don’t emit heat but they do generate it and is often removed by a ‘Heatsink’

ta = Ambient temperature that the product is happy to work in under ‘normal’ conditions, higher temperature may give a shorter lifespan

Payback period = the time taken for the product to save the money it cost to buy it, the shorter the better

Am sure I missed a few so look out for part II. . .


~ by futurelamps on November 27, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: