LED Lights Common Terms Explained
CRI (Color Rendering Index):
This is a measurement that tells you the capability a light hasto reveal the true colors of various objects in comparison with an optimal or natural light source. Luminaires with a high CRI (90 or above) are desirable in color-critical applications such as lighting Art.
This is used when describing the level of warmth or coolness of a light source. This is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K). Lower temperatures are warmer and grow cooler (or whiter) as the temperature rises. Imagine hot metal in a forge that first glows red, then orange, and then white as the temperature increases. Warm White temperatures typically range between 2400K-3000K while Cool White temperatures range between 4000K-6000K.
Simply put, DMX is a system that controls lighting and dimmers. In earlier years this was mainly used for entertainment lighting, but in recent years has become a significant part of Architectural lighting as more and more LED lighting is being manufactured with DMX signals. A DMX controller would be required for any application that is using color changing LED’s.
The amount of light from a light source divided by the total electrical power input to that source, this is expressed in lumens per watt (lm/W).
In LED’s this is the part of the thermal system that conducts or convects heat away from sensitive components to keep them from overheating.
The amount of protection an LED has from its environment is defined by its IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating. An IP rating is made up of two numbers, the first identifies the LED’s degree of protection against solid objects and the second identifies the LEDs degree of protection against liquid.
This is an electronic circuit that converts input power into a current source which remains constant despite fluctuations in voltage. An LED driver protects LEDs from normal voltage fluctuations. Some LED products require electronic drivers to operate.
The voltage supplied by a power line: 120 volts of alternating current.
The voltage after a transformer is added to a circuit: 12 volts of direct current.
A lumen (lm) is a measurement of the total amount of visible light emitted by a light source
A complete electric lighting fixture; bulbs and sockets included
RGB Color Model:
A common color model in which the three colors who's initials form the name (red, green, and blue) ate mixed together if various proportions to produce a large range of colors, even white.
White light produced by combining red, green, and blue light
A term used to refer to lighting that emits solid-state electroluminescence, such as LEDs, instead of thermal radiation or fluorescence. In addition to having superior energy efficiency, solid state lights do not contain moving parts or parts that can break, rupture, shatter, leak or contaminate the environment.
Tunable White Light:
A LED white-light fixture with variable color temperature. By controlling and combining multiple color channels the fixture can deliver a beam of light ranging from 2700k to 6000k.
The device that “transforms” line voltage (120 volts) to low voltage (12 volts) using a 10:1 ratio of turns of the electrical wire wrapped around two opposing sides of an iron-containing structure called the core.
The SI unit for voltage, or electrical potential energy. A volt is defined as the difference of potential that would drive one ampere of current against one ohm resistance. Using the analogy of water flowing through a pipe, voltage is the water pressure.