call us   (888) 423-3191
Get Our Newsletter
(email address)
LED Education
General Led Info
* The True Cost of LED Lighting
* Save money on your utility bill
* The Death of the Light Bulb
* Why is my electricity bill so high?
* Busting Electricity Myths
* Color Rendering Index (CRI)
* Tackling Light Pollution with Outdoor Lights
* Pupil Lumens and their impact on the choice of lighting
* Understanding Color Temperature
* LED versus Traditional Lamps: A fight between unequals
* What is an LED?
* The 2007 USA Energy Bill
* What is the different between ETL and UL Listing?
* US Made Commercial LED lights
* What influences the lifespan of an LED Light?
* What is the IP rating system?
* Lighting Language - Basics
* Lighting Maintenance Factor
* (LED) Technical Terms
* The High Cost of Doing Nothing - Why Wouldn't you Convert to LED?
* The Truth About LED Lumens
Going Green
* Reduce your energy bill using Energy Saving Lights
* How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint
* What you need to know about Alternative Energy Sources
* Save Money with Energy Efficient Lighting
* Why should schools be interested in reducing their energy consumption?
* LED's Role In Slashing Your Electricity Bill
* Light Management Systems - Upgrading the efficiency of Lighting Systems
Induction Lights
* What is induction lighting?
LED Street Lights
* What you need to consider with Street Lights
* The Cost of Street Lights
* Part I - The Complete Guide to LED Street Lights
* Part II - The Complete Guide to LED Street Lights
LED Tube Lights
* The Complete Guide to LED Tube Lights
* LED Tube Lights I - Why LED tubes are a good replacement for fluorescents
* LED Tube Lights II – Mercury from Recycled Fluorescent Tubes
Grow Lights
* Facts about Grow Lights
* Why we need to consider indoor gardening
LED Par Lights
* Understanding PAR Lights
LED Sport Lights
* High Quality LED High Mast Lights And Sport Lights
LED Lights for Business
* Lighting for your Farm and Ranch
* Lighting Strategies for Retail Stores
* Lighting for Commercial Companies Sound Financial Sense and CSR
* The best lighting choice for hospitals
* Energy Efficient lights for Warehouse Applications
* How to Reduce Office Energy Costs
CFL's and Flourescent Lights
* LED vs CFL: An Exhaustive Comparison
* Settling the Mercury Emission Debate

Lighting Language - Basics


Light is visible radiation between 380nm and 780nm. Beyond this range the radiation is not visible for the human eye. It is radiation in infrared, ultraviolet or radio frequency. The visible light range is called spectrum. The spectrum of a light source contains blue, green, yellow, red and all the colors in between. The more colors represented in the spectrum, the more colors are visible under the light source. The less colors in the spectrum, the poorer the light source’s color reproduction (see also color rendering index CRI and spectrum).
Luminous flux is measuring the light power emitted by a light source. Luminous flux is describing the total visible light power that is radiated into all directions. It is appreciated by ? and measured in lumen (lm). The instrument for measuring luminous flux is an Ulbricht sphere.
Light intensity is measuring the luminous flux of the light source that is emitted into a certain angle or direction. It is appreciated by I and measured in candela (cd). It is describing the light intensity distribution curve of a luminaire or light bulb (see Light Intensity Distribution Curve LDC). The instrument for measuring light intensity is a Goniometer.
The Light Intensity Distribution Curve is describing the spatial radiation of a light source or luminaire. It is mostly illustrated as graphic, showing the curves of the light intensity. The instrument for measuring light intensity distribution curve is a Goniometer.
Illuminance is measuring the luminous flux of a light source that is reaching a certain surface. It is measured in lm per m² called lux (lx) and appreciated by E. 1lx is measured if 1lm is illuminating equally an area of 1m². The instrument for measuring the illuminance on a surface is a Luxmeter. Illuminance is not an indicator for brightness! A dark and bright colored room may have the same illuminance level on the floor but the dark one will always appear darker.
Horizontal Illuminance is describing the illuminance level on horizontal and nearly horizontal spaces like office desks or keyboards.
Vertical Illuminance is describing the illuminance level on vertical and nearly vertical areas like signboards or advertisement boards.
Zylindrical Illuminance is measuring vertical illuminance levels of figures, objects and human faces. Several measurements points are considered. Objects and especially faces are important to illuminate equally without hard shadows.
Luminance is used for describing brightness. It is measuring the luminous flux from an illuminated or self-lighting surface at the observer’s eye. Luminance L is measured in candela per square meter cd/m². The instrument for measuring luminance is a luminance camera.
Light Efficiency is describing the effectiveness of a light source regarding the electrical energy that is converted into visible light. How much electrical power (W) has been converted into luminous flux (lm).
Some examples:
Incandescent lamps (home application): 12 lm/W
Halogen lamp: 20 lm/W
CFL: 60 lm/W
Fluorescent lamp: 90 lm/W
LED: 120 lm/W
Glare is tiring the eye and makes it hard to see clearly in certain spaces. Glare is reducing the visual performance and visual comfort of the eye. There are differences in direct and indirect glare.
Direct glare is caused by luminaires or surfaces with too high luminances. If the light sources have no housing for example or if luminaires are mounted wrongly, direct glare can be the result. Indirect glare is caused by specular reflection at mirrors or highly shiny surfaces like monitors, high gloss paper or by wet streets. It is highly important to avoid any type of glare as the visibility is dramatically reduced and the possibility for accidents is exalted.
Glare can be measured by UGR system for indoor applications or as TI rates for outdoor use.
Each light source is radiating light in a certain light color. The light color is defined by the spectrum of the light source and in comparison to an ideal black body radiator. The black body radiator is emitting visible light when heated up. The more heated up, the cooler the color temperature. The lower the temperature, the warmer the light color of the radiator. The temperature range of a black body radiator is called black body line. Due to production processes and material, the color temperature of a light source does not lie on the black body curve. The light color is then defined as correlated color temperature and is an approximation of the color temperature that is not located at the black body curve but corresponds to lines crossing the black body curve indicated as CCT and measured in Kelvin K as well.
Instrument for measuring the color temperature is a luminance camera. The software is recording the spectrum and calculating the color temperature from that information.
A typical range of color temperatures for products of
2700K – 3200K          WW     Warm White
4000K – 4500K          NW      Natural White
5000K – 5500K          DW      Day White
6500K – 7500K          CW      Cool White
The CRI is describing the color rendering index of a light source. The better the light source represents colors, the better the index. Sunlight and incandescent bulbs offer a CRI 100 (best rate). They have a wide spectrum and represent all colors. The CRI of a LED varies between 70 up to 95, the one of a fluorescent tube lies between 60 and 98. It is important to watch the CRI when choosing light sources for a project. Faces should be illuminated with a high CRI because the skin color should look healthy. Restaurant owners want their dishes to look delicious and all colors of the food should be represented. Warehouses store goods only and machines or people run through the aisles and check IR code for packing and sending them further. These areas don’t need a good color rendering index as the task is just to choose objects that are not differentiated by their color, a CRI of 70 would be enough. Instrument for measuring the color rendering index is a luminance camera. The software is recording the spectrum and calculating the color rendering index from that information.
Light is the visible range from 380nm till 780nm, called spectrum. The more colors are represented in the spectrum, the better the CRI of a light source. Each light source has a different spectral distribution of radiation. Temperature emitters like incandescent lamps have a continuous spectrum. High as well as low intensity discharge lamps represent a spectrum according to their filling gas and tube cover slush.
Instrument for measuring the spectrum is a luminance camera. The software is recording the different wavelengths and illustrates the spectrum from that information.
The radiation angle is the angle of a luminaire in which it is emitting the light from the light source. It depends on the construction and optical design of the luminaire. The smaller the radiation angle, the smaller the illuminated surface but the more focused the light on the object. Spots are typical luminaires with small radiation angles to highlight surfaces and objects. Small radiation angles are used for accent lighting. The bigger the radiation angle, the wider the illuminated surface and the more equally illuminated. Highbay luminaires as well as office luminaires have the goal to illuminate a wide area equally with a low number of luminaires. Big radiation angles are used for general lighting purposes.
Instrument for measuring the radiation angle is a Goniometer.
Flicker is disturbing and can lead to physiological effects like headache. Stroboscopic Effects can result in dangerous situations when changing the visual impression of the movement of rotating machine parts. Lighting systems should be planned to avoid these effects.
Find it Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Terms Of Use
About Us
Customer Service
Resources Energy Savings Calculator
Educational Articles
Installation Photos
Press Releases
Federal Set Aside Purchases
LED White Papers

Social Media Facebook Twitter PInterest Our Blog Tumblr
Energy Partners Efficiency Maine  Energy Optimization Michigan
Kentucky Power
1 Chestnut Street, Suite 4M
Nashua, NH 03060
(888) 423-3191
LED Retrofit Kits For Metal Halide Fixtures
LED High Bay Retrofit Bulbs
LED High Bay Lights - Warehouse LED Lighting Fixtures
LED High Mast - LED Stadium Lights
LED Explosion Proof
USA Flag Any product listed on this site with the American Flag is a USA assembled product that may contain some non-USA made components.
FooterLeft FooterRight
Copyright © 2008-2017 owned by DRK Enterprises LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Plagiarism Warning