Whether you are an electrician or lighting specialist or not, it always pay to know as much as you can about certain technical terms related to lighting that can help you make the right choices when it comes to the ideal lighting for your needs.
LED lighting, for one, has its own set of special terms that may confuse those who are not â€˜in-the-know'. This is especially true if you are planning to replace your old, traditional lighting system with more advanced and efficient LED lighting.
A list of some technical terms related to LED lighting:
Everyone has heard of LED, but not everyone is aware of what LED stands for. Simply put, LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. A LED light is composed of electrical components that are referred to as LEDs. These LEDs have the unique characteristic of being able to fit in various patterns which are set within the light frame. A LED is made up of a semi-conductor which is also luminescent, so when an electric current goes through this particular material, it can produce a glow without the use of too much energy. Some of the biggest and most popular manufacturers of LED lighting today include Osram, Samsung, and Phillips.
The Lumens refers to the brightness of a light. When you are choosing LED lights, you have to find out the Watts-per-Lumen of the fixture. In this regard, you have to consider how much energy the fixture uses to create the same brightness level as a traditional bulb or fixture, therefore the term â€˜Watts-per-Lumen'.
LED driver or PSU
Every LED light has a driver, or Power Supply Unit (PSU). This makes sure that the LED chips inside benefit from a strong and steady electrical flow from the main source of power. Another purpose of the driver or PSU is to make sure that the LED product is not damaged by a large electric current and does not burn out too rapidly. Most LED lighting fixtures today have built-in drivers or PSUs, but some LED lights have the drivers or PSUs installed separately.
Another term you may come across when choosing LED lighting is IP-rating. The IP-rating ranges from 00 to 68, and gives you an estimate of the exposure level of the internal electrical components of an LED light to direct contact from humans. The importance of the IP-rating is determined also by how much it can repel water. If a product has a low IP-rating, for example, this would not necessarily mean that it is of low quality or that you should not purchase it - this just means that the fixture is better used indoors rather than outdoors. A low IP-rating also means that the fixture is better installed with less risk of human contact. On the other hand, a product with a high IP-rating means that it works well outdoors and may even be placed underwater.
Kelvin or Light Temperature
The Kelvin or Light Temperature is an indication of how cold or warm the light emissions from an LED light is, ranging from zero to ten thousand. For a domestic or residential area, the typical Kelvin temperature can be 3,000, which is on the warm side. For commercial or industrial use, however, the lighting may need to be cooler or â€˜whiter', somewhere between 4,500 to 6,000. It is also worth noting that a cooler or colder light can be more cost-efficient than a warm light.
When looking for the best LED lighting and if you are in doubt, you can always consult a suitably qualified electrician who can point you to the right electrical wholesalers. They can then provide you with everything you need under one roof - from LED lights to light fittings, sockets and switches, controllers, timers, and more.