Jargon Buster

Get to know the lingo!

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

A

Directional lighting is being used to draw attention to certain areas or products, often used in retail, museums, galleries or hospitality venues

Ambient Temperature is the temperature of the air around the light fitting. This is important when using LED lighting as if the ambient temperature is too hot, they will fail early.

Ambient Lighting refers to the general lighting that an area has. Ambient Lighting can include daylight or ceiling lights but it does not include task lighting or accent lighting.

Amps are the amount of electric current flowing through the circuit, this is used in conjunction with the voltage to calculate the wattage. Amps can also be used to identify the correct driver for LED products.

B

Small Bayonet Cap is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

Ballast is used within a light fitting to control and regulate the power. Fluorescent fittings require ballasts. There are many different types of ballasts available – including dimming, high frequency and emergency.

Black Light Blue, also know as ultra violet/UV, emits ultra violet rays. It is often used in bowling alleys or for effect lighting.

Traditional shaped lamps have a reference that denotes the position the lamps should be installed in and are as follows;

base upwards = h

base downwards = s

horizontal = p

Bayonet Cap is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

Beam Angle is the spread of light provided by a light source and is measured in degrees to its widest point. For more information please visit our Beam Angle Guide.

Bollard is a vertical post light, used for outdoor lighting.

C

Candela is the standard measure of brightness or luminous intensity in a given direction. That measurement allows a comparison of the brightness of different lamps.

 

Alternatively known as base, this is the electrical connection between the lamp and the fitting. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

CRI is the scale on which the light source can replicate the colour of the environment and is measured on a scale of 0-100. As part of the EU regulations, lamps should detail the CRI rating on the box and should be greater than 85. For more information please visit our Colour Rendering Guide.

CRI is the scale on which the light source can replicate the colour of the environment and is measured on a scale of 0-100. As part of the EU regulations, lamps shoul

The colour temperature of the lamp measures the warmth of the white light or the coolness of the light that is produced. For more information please visit our Colour Temperature Guide.

d detail the CRI rating on the box and should be greater than 85. For more information please visit our Colour Rendering Guide.

Candle is a common lamp used mainly in decorative fittings and is shaped like a candle flame. There are many different types and cap options available. 

 

CFLs are also known as “low energy” lamps. The CFLs are using the fluorescent technology to provide similar light output to a traditional bulb but with a lower energy consumption or wattage. CFLs, like fluorescents, require control gear to enable them to work. There are two types of compact fluorescent;

  • Integrated – The lamp includes the necessary control gear internally for it to work. These lamps are usually used as a direct replacement for the decorative lamps with a standard lamp base.
  • Non-Integrated – The control gear for this lamp is contained within the fitting and they have a pin base option.

Crown Silver lamps are topped with a silver reflective coating, which helps to reflect the light out of the side of the lamp. That is ideal for fittings that might have glare issues.

Newer fittings do not require a starter but they need a high frequency ballast which starts the light bulb and then regulates the power to the fitting.

Certain types of electronic control gear also allow fluorescent light bulbs to be dimmable or to be used as emergency fittings.

Fluorescent lamps require additional parts in the circuit in order to be able to start the lamp. When power is applied they require a starter and then to limit the electrical current they require a ballast. The starter and the ballast are known as control gear. 

Newer fittings do not require a starter but they need a high frequency ballast which starts the light bulb and then regulates the power to the fitting.

Certain types of electronic control gear also allow fluorescent light bulbs to be dimmable or to be used as emergency fittings.

D

Delivered Light is the amount of light delivered by the fitting or luminaire on a surface and they are measured in lux, which is used as a measure of intensity of light. Lighting designs, measure the delivered light at desk height or floor level.  

Diffuser is a cover, case or lens of a fitting used to soften the light it emits.

Dichroic is a type of halogen lamp that has a special coating on the reflector of the lamp. The coating reflects the light forwards and the heat backwards, which reduces the heat directed towards the front of the lamp.

This is the ability to reduce the amount of light produced by the lamp or fitting. For more information please visit our Dimming Guide.

E

Edison Screw is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

Giant Edison Screw is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

ECA legislation was introduced in 2001 to encourage the use of energy-saving technology within businesses. This government scheme allows a claim back on products that meet the criteria set out by the government and it can be claimed under the tax scheme.

Small Edison Screw is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

Emergency Lighting is a legal requirement used to ensure the means of escape can be easily identified and safely used by all occupants during a fire evacuation or a power cut. Emergency Lighting is usually powered by a battery back up which is either in the fitting or in a central unit housed in the building.

The Emergency lighting standard is BS5266-1.

As the lighting industry has moved towards low energy lighting, the term Equivalent Wattage was used to compare traditional lights and new low energy lights since the wattage used to indicate brightness. As part of the EU directive governing energy-saving lighting is now measured in Lumens 

F

Festoon Lighting is commonly used in outdoor lighting or hospitality venues. Festoon Lights are a cable to which light bulbs are fixed at regular intervals, those suitable for outdoor lighting must have the relevant IP rating. For more information please visit our IP Guide.

Fluorescent Lighting depends on a chemical reaction inside of a glass tube to create light. This chemical reaction involves gases and mercury vapour interacting, which produces an invisible UV light. That invisible UV light illuminates the phosphor powder coating the inside of the glass tube, emitting white “fluorescent” light. The phosphor coating enables different colour temperatures to be produced.

Fluorescent lamps are commonly known as tubes. However, the compact fluorescents (CFL) use the same technology.

LED lamps are manufactured to look like they have a decorative Filament look. The Filament used to be a part of a traditional lamp which was heating up and therefore was producing heat. 

G

Giant Edison Screw is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

GLS or otherwise known as traditional lamp, general lighting service, A-shape and A60 lamp.

Ghosting is the faint glow that the light source may have after it has been turned off. Ghosting is caused due to power that remains in the circuit. Ghosting is visible only for a short time and it disappears after a short delay.

H

Halogen is a type of lamp that has a small quantity of halogen added to the inert gas inside the capsule. That allows a brighter light output to be produced for low wattage. Halogens are smaller in size compared to the traditional lamps and they have an extended lamp life. Since the LED technology was invented, the consumption of halogen lamps has been reduced as they are considered inefficient.

HIDs are used to light large spaces and are often used in commercial, industrial spaces or car parks. HIDs usually have a high wattage.

Heat Sink is a component that is integrated into the LED lamps. The Heat Sink absorbs the energy generated by an LED and then dissipates the thermal energy into the surrounding ambient air. The Heat Sink is a very important LED component as it preserves the LED’s life span and light output. LED lamps used to be larger than the traditional lamps because the heat sink was larger but as technology evolved the heat sink has been reduced in size and so does the LEDs. 

I

IEC is the world’s leading organisation that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. 

Incandescent light bulbs consist of an air-tight glass enclosure, the bulb, with a filament of tungsten wire inside the bulb, through which an electric current is passed. The filament is prevented from burning by either creating a vacuum inside the light bulb or filling it with inert gas. Incandescent bulbs are considered as an inefficient light source since most of the radiation is in the infrared spectrum. Incandescent light bulbs waste electricity by producing heat and also they emit substantial amounts of carbon dioxide which makes them harmful to the environment. 

Please visit our IP Guide.

K

IEC is the world’s leading organisation that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. 

L

Please visit our Dimming Guide.

LED is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current is passed through it. Light is produced when the particles that carry the current, known as electrons and holes, combine together within the semiconductor material.

Luminous efficacy is a measure of how well a light source produces visible light. It is the ratio of luminous flux to power. The Luminus Efficacy is measured in lumens per watt rating (lm/w). LED lights have a very high lm/w rating.

An LED’s driver main purpose is to rectify higher voltage or current fluctuations. LEDs are rated to operate within a certain current range so too much or too little current can make the light output to degrade faster due to higher temperatures within the LED.

Lumens are a measure of the amount of light that is visible to the human eye from a lamp or light source. The higher the lumen rating, the brighter the lamp will appear. 

M

Metal Halide lamps produce light by an electric arc through a gaseous mixture of vaporized mercury and metal halides which are compounds of metals with bromine or iodine. Metal Halide lamps can create very crisp white light colour temperatures of 3,000⁰K to 10,000⁰K. 

Multifaceted Reflector is a small reflector that is used to more efficiently control the distribution of the light. Halogen lamps usually use multifaceted reflectors.

P

Phosphor Conversion is a process used to generate white LED light. Most LEDs are created from blue or ultraviolet chips coated with a yellow phosphor which causes a reaction that produces white light. That method is one of the most efficient methods for producing white LED light.

Please visit our Dimming Guide.

Photocells are sensors that detect the light levels around the lamp. Photocells are also adjusting the light output of a particular source.

R

Rated Life is a measurement that indicates how long a light bulb or fitting will last before it no longer operates. 

Retrofit is a term used to describe new equipment that has been designed to be compatible with existing components. For example, LED light bulbs are retrofitted to be compatible with existing light fittings.

Reflector Lamp is an incandescent lamp in which part of the bulb’s surface has a reflective coating. A Reflector is used to more efficiently control the distribution of the light.

RGB stands for red, blue and green and is used to describe coloured or colour-changing lighting. RGB products combine these three colours to produce over 16 million hues of light. 

S

Small Edison Screw is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

LEDs are type of SSL lighting. SSL lights do not have any moving parts or parts that can break. 

Small Bayonet Cap is a type of a lamp’s cap or base. For more information please visit our Caps and Bases Guide.

Fluorescent lamps need a starter switch to produce light and control their power.

T

All mains powered LED light bulbs require a transformer. Depending on the lamp type, the transformer may be built into the lamp or may be located externally. The purpose of the transformer is to reduce mains voltage, which is 240V, to 12V or 24V that the lamp is being powered.

Tungsten is a type of lamp that has a small quantity of halogen added to the inert gas inside the capsule. That allows a brighter light output to be produced for low wattage. Tungstens are smaller in size compared to the traditional lamps and they have an extended lamp life. Since the LED technology was invented, the consumption of tungsten lamps has been reduced as they are considered inefficient.

W

Named after James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, the Watt is a standard international unit of measurement for power. For example, when you turn on a lamp with a 100W light bulb in it, it is drawing 100W of electricity for every second it is lit. However, it is important to note that when buying lamps, wattage does not measure brightness, Lumens do.

Still not sure on some of the lingo?

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