Light Basics

What is light wattage?

Light wattage refers to the amount of electrical power consumed by a light source, typically measured in watts (W). In lighting terminologies, it indicates the energy consumption of a light bulb or fixture. The wattage of a light source is an important factor to consider as it influences various aspects of lighting, including brightness, energy efficiency, and cost of operation.

What are lumens?

Lumens are a unit of measurement used to quantify the brightness or luminous flux produced by a light source. In simple terms, lumens indicate the amount of visible light emitted by a light source, regardless of the direction in which the light is emitted. It is an important metric when choosing light bulbs or fixtures as it helps determine how bright a light source will be.

What is Coloring Rendering Index?

The term "CRI" stands for Color Rendering Index. It is a quantitative measure of a light source's ability to accurately reveal the colors of objects compared to a natural light source (such as sunlight) or a reference light source (like incandescent or daylight). CRI is particularly relevant in contexts where color accuracy is critical, such as in photography, cinematography, retail lighting, and interior design.

What are Beam Angles?

Light beam angles refer to the spread or distribution of light emitted by a light source, such as a bulb or fixture. It is an important aspect to consider in lighting design as it determines how the light will be dispersed and the coverage area it will illuminate. Understanding light beam angles helps in choosing the right lighting products for specific applications and achieving desired lighting effects.

What are Kelvin & Color Temperature?

Kelvin (K) and color temperature are terms used to describe the color appearance of light emitted by a light source. Color temperature is a characteristic of light that influences how "warm" or "cool" the light appears to the human eye. Understanding Kelvin and color temperature is important in lighting design and choosing appropriate lighting solutions for different environments and applications.

Definition of Kelvin (K): Kelvin is a unit of measurement used to quantify temperature. In the context of lighting, Kelvin is used to describe the color temperature of light sources. It is often abbreviated as "K" and represents the temperature at which an ideal black-body radiator emits light of a particular color.

Color Temperature: Color temperature refers to the perceived color of light emitted by a light source, expressed in Kelvin (K). It is not a physical temperature but rather a characteristic of the light's color appearance. The color temperature scale ranges from warm (lower Kelvin values) to cool (higher Kelvin values) light.

Warm vs. Cool Light:

Warm Light: Light sources with lower color temperatures (usually below 3000K) are considered warm. They emit a yellowish or reddish hue similar to the warm glow of candlelight or incandescent bulbs. Warm light creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it suitable for residential spaces, restaurants, and areas where a relaxed ambiance is desired.

Cool Light: Light sources with higher color temperatures (typically above 4000K) are considered cool. They emit a bluish-white or daylight-like color. Cool light is often associated with increased alertness and productivity, making it suitable for offices, retail environments, outdoor spaces, and areas where task-oriented or vibrant lighting is needed.

Common Color Temperature Ranges:

Warm White: 2700K to 3000K - Provides a soft and warm light similar to traditional incandescent bulbs.

Neutral White: Around 3500K to 4000K - Offers a balance between warm and cool tones, suitable for various applications.

Cool White/Daylight: 5000K to 6500K - Produces a crisp and cool light resembling natural daylight, ideal for task lighting and workspaces.

What is Ingress Protection (IP) Rating?

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating, also known as the International Protection rating or sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Code, is a standard classification system used to indicate the level of protection provided by an electrical enclosure or device against intrusion from solid objects, dust, and water. The IP rating is particularly important in various industries, including electronics, lighting, outdoor equipment, and industrial applications, where environmental factors can impact the performance and safety of devices.

The IP rating is typically represented by the letters "IP" followed by two digits. Each digit in the IP rating has a specific meaning:

  1. First Digit (Protection against solid objects and dust):

    • 0: No protection against contact and ingress of solid objects.
    • 1: Protection against solid objects larger than 50mm in diameter (e.g., hands or large tools).
    • 2: Protection against solid objects larger than 12.5mm in diameter (e.g., fingers).
    • 3: Protection against solid objects larger than 2.5mm in diameter (e.g., small tools, wires).
    • 4: Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm in diameter (e.g., small wires, insects).
    • 5: Dust protection; limited ingress of dust is permitted but does not interfere with the operation of the equipment.
    • 6: Dust-tight protection; complete protection against dust ingress.
  2. Second Digit (Protection against water and moisture):

    • 0: No protection against water.
    • 1: Protection against vertically falling drops of water (condensation).
    • 2: Protection against water droplets at an angle of up to 15 degrees from vertical.
    • 3: Protection against water spray at angles up to 60 degrees from vertical.
    • 4: Protection against water splashes from any direction.
    • 5: Protection against low-pressure water jets or projected water from a nozzle.
    • 6: Protection against powerful water jets or heavy seas.
    • 7: Protection against temporary immersion in water (up to 1 meter depth for a limited time).
    • 8: Protection against continuous immersion in water under specified conditions (depth and duration specified by the manufacturer).

For example, an IP65-rated device would have a strong protection against dust (first digit 6) and is protected against water jets (second digit 5), making it suitable for outdoor use where it may encounter dust and water splashes.

It's important to note that the IP rating does not cover protection against other elements like corrosion, mechanical impact, or extreme temperatures. For comprehensive protection, manufacturers may provide additional ratings or certifications relevant to specific environmental conditions or hazards.

When selecting equipment or devices, understanding the IP rating helps ensure that they are suitable for the intended environment and provide the necessary level of protection against dust, water, and other external factors.