BackLED LIGHTING FOR BEGINNERS
03 December 2015
We are constantly on at you to switch to LED lighting, and have only recently been made aware that despite our best efforts, some of you still aren’t certain what our unique selling points are because you haven’t been told what all the technical terminology means.
Since most of our LED lighting has a life span of up 30 000 hours, it’s important that when you buy from us you make sure you get exactly what you want, otherwise you will be waiting a long time before it runs out and you can replace it. So here is a quick translation of some of the LED jargon you might come across on our site:
Lumens are a measurement of how much light a bulb gives out. This is slightly different to lux which measures how much a light’s lumens have spread out over a given surface.
Colour temperature options are available for some of our lights. These determine whether the light is a cool white, a natural white or a warm white. This essentially means how bright a light is, with cool white being the brightest and warm being the darkest. The reason their colour is described as a temperature is that the room has a colder bluish white look with a cool bulb, and a warmer yellowish white look with a warm bulb. The difference between the three colours of bulb is solely down to the brightness of the light emitted and doesn’t have an actual effect on the room’s temperature. These colour temperatures are measured in Kelvin, with an orange coloured light having lower kelvin measurements than white coloured lights, with blue coloured lights having the highest kelvin measurements. If you can’t decide what temperature you want your lighting to be, warm white is best for cosy settings or for people whose eyes hurt in bright lights, and cold white is best for more functional purposes or for people with impaired vision.
CRI stands for colour rendering index, and is the measurement used to determine how much a light will change the appearance of colours it hits. A CRI of 100 means that the colours in a room are completely unchanged by the light source. A high CRI will be of particular importance to anyone displaying art or photographs, but most people will be used to their lights having a CRI of around 70.
Along with lumens, the beam angle of a light also affects its overall lux. Beam angles are the angle at which the light from the bulb is distributed at, so for example a beam angle of 10° would mean a very concentrated spotlight type of lighting that hits a very small surface area, whereas a beam angle of 120° would light a room up quite evenly, although the light would appear less bright than a 10° beam light that gives out the same amount of lumens as the light is less concentrated.
IP Codes are a rating of how safe and robust a product is, which is most important when buying a product for an outdoor or industrial setting. An IP rating of 00 means a product has no protection against solids & dirts, while an IP rating of 68 would mean a product is completely protected against dust and could be submerged in water without breaking (the first digit is how protected a product is from solids entering and exiting it with a maximum of 6, the second digit is how protected a product is against liquids with a maximum of 8).
Wattage is how much power a light uses. This does not necessarily affect the amount of lumens (and so brightness) a light gives out, and so its main use is for showing you how efficient a bulb is. LED lights are very energy efficient regardless of their wattage, but a bulb with a low wattage measurement and high lumen output would be ideal in terms of efficiency as you will be getting the most light out of it for the least amount of energy. Finding out the wattage of a bulb is also important as it is not safe to use a bulb that has a higher wattage than the lamp it’s being used in allows.
Size specifications should have their measurements next to them. The product measurements are usually given in the order length x width x height unless stated otherwise or for an atypically shaped product.
Hopefully this will have cleared up any confusion you might have been having over our lighting, but if not we are more than happy to answer any customer enquiries (no sales necessary) through any of the means of contact listed on our site.