All about lighting


See the lighting terms on the right column (or below if viewed on a mobile device)? If by just looking at them scares the living daylight out of you, consider this: less than one percent (<1%) of the population truly understands lighting. It’s not to deter you but to prepare you. If you are an architect, an engineer, a student, or just a plain Jack or Jill who wants to know more, jump over into the 1% side of the spectrum. There’s a lot to learn -even for us! We regularly attend product seminars, presentations, exhibits and conferences about lighting to get us updated. There is always something new to learn. 

Most of the time, by mere reading technical narratives like these will not create that spark needed to keep you going. We are here to help. Please engage us. Ask. Inquire. Seek and you will find.  Fill out this form and ask away.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle

-Fr. James Keller


Simple explanation for each item is given below. One should be able to rock and roll with these but for more detailed and technical explanation, click the item name and the links provided.

Illuminance/Illumination.   The amount of light that falls on a surface or a plane from all directions. Unit of measure is Lux or Foot-Candle. 1foot-candle =10lux (approx). A light meter  or a lux meter is used to measure the amount light.

Luminance.  The human perception of brightness, or how bright we perceive the light that is reflected off of the surface. You see a lit object because it reflects the light that falls on it and that reflection meets your eyes.

Correlated Color Temperature (CCT). Essentially a gauge of how yellowish/reddish or blueish the color of light emitted from a light source appears. White light can be warm (color of a candle light or incandescent bulb), daylight (noontime color of sunlight) or cool (somewhere in between). Measured in Kelvin(K), incandescent is 2700K while daylight is 5000K-6500K. The lower the value, the warmer the light. 

Color Rendering Index (CRI). The ability of a light source to produce the colors of various objects faithfully -red is really red, blue is really blue, green is really green, etc. High noon daylight gives off a perfect CRI of 100.  Click here for the difference between CCT and CRI.

Lumens.  This is a measure of the amount of light or brightness a light source (like a lamp) can give. Higher lumen rating means the brighter the lamp will appear. Lumens diminishes with use. A good quality LED lamp can last up to 50,ooo burning hours. Is this the same as watts? No. Watts is the energy it consumes. When buying LED light, rule of thumb is you should get at least 100 lumens per watt. For example: if you are buying 15w LED, it should have a minimum of 1500 lumens. If you are getting less, check out other stores. Lux, Lumens and Watts -what’s the difference?

LED Light.  A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits light when exposed to electric current.

LED Driver.  This works like a ballast -the power supply of the lamp. Some LED lamps have built-in drivers, some have external drivers.

Diffuser.  A piece of glass lens or acrylic cover that has the purpose of scattering the light from a light source, which results makes lighting more uniform and eliminates glare.

Reflector.  Simply a tool that reflects light. Reflectors come in different types and colors, and the color of the reflective surface may change the light that’s bounced back. Reflectors are usually made of aluminum and are shaped according to the beam angles they are designed for. Click here to see images of reflectors.