Basic Lighting Industry Terminology

Confused with lighting jargon and all other terms  that seem to mean the same thing? Here’s a short explanation that  will  lighten-up your understanding.

Average Rated Lamp Life

Manufacturer's estimate of the length of time 50 percent of any large number of lamps can be expected to last.

An electronic component of every fluorescent fixture. It is used to boost the electric current to start the bulb and to regulate the flow of current to the bulb. An electronic ballast ensures quiet, rapid flicker-free startup and operation. A magnetic ballast, may blink on startup, flicker slightly and/or hum during operation.

Colour  Rendering Index (CRI), Accurate Colour Replication
A measure of how accurately an artificial light source displays colours. CRI is determined by comparing the appearance of a coloured object under an artificial light source to its appearance under incandescent light. The higher the CRI, the better the artificial light source is at rendering colours accurately. A high CRI (above 80) is preferred in the home.

Colour Temperature

Light bulbs emit varying colours of light. Lighting colour ranges from cool to warm tones, and is known as colour temperature. The colour temperature of a light source indicates the colour of the light emitted measured in degrees Kelvin. Colour temperature is not an indicator of lamp heat.


Wattage Chart
Having both an electrical and magnetic character or properties.                   

Relying on the movement of electrons in circuits containing semiconductors, resistors or capacitors.

Initial Performance Values
The photometric and electrical characteristics at the end of the 100-hour aging period.

Lamp Colour
The colour characteristics of a lamp as defined by the colour appearance and the colour rendition.

Light Output  Watt Measure
One of the most important considerations in selecting a light source is how much light it will generate. The unit of measure used for determining light output is the lumen. Light output is measured in lumens at the light source. One lumen equals the amount of light generated by a single standard candle.

Light Quality
Having good light quality means using the most efficient light source in a luminaire that integrates with the architectural design.