Terms to Know in LED Lighting

As the LED lighting industry grows more mature, the lighting market is filled with LED lighting solutions. For customers, it is really difficult to figure out which LED lighting solution is most suitable for them in terms of various demands. This article will give you some tips on terminology you need to know. What used to be simple has become a bit complicated. However after learning these few terms, it will become much clearer and you will see the light!

LED T8 Tube

LED: LED’s, or light-emitting diodes, are a solid state technology that have no filament, glass envelope, gas, or mercury. LED’s produce light by the movement of electrons that results from applying an electric voltage difference across a semiconductor material.

o When looking at lighting and watts, you are not looking at how much light a bulb puts out when looking at watts, but how much energy a bulb uses to put out that amount of light.

Lumens– In traditional terms a watt is a measurement of how much electrical power a device consumes.

o a lumen is a measurement of the amount of light that is contained in a certain area
o A much simpler definition of a lumen would be that one lumen is equivalent to the amount of light put out by one birthday candle when you are standing one foot away from it. If a light bulb puts out 100 lumens, imagine standing one foot away from a cake with one hundred birthday candles on it.
o Lumens are more accurate way of measuring the amount of light a particular bulb is putting out, because lumens are a direct measurement of light output
o The true measurement unit of luminous flux (or brightness) is the lumen (lm). Lumen measurements are an acceptable method to compare LED’s to traditional light sources.
o Lumens Per Watt- Similar to Miles/Gallon in a car

Nurse Station
LED Lighting at a Nurses station

Driver– A LED driver is a device that manages power and controls the current flow for an LED lighting product. What makes a driver different from conventional power supplies, is that an LED driver responds to the ever-changing needs of the LED, or circuit of LED’s, by supplying a constant amount of power to the LED, as its electrical properties change with temperature.

Retrofit– A simple definition of a retrofits the renovation of your old lighting fixtures and/or bulbs that improves the lighting output and temperature of light all while emitting less heat and saving energy.

LED canopy parking example
LED lighting in a parking canopy

o Retrofitting traditional lighting fixtures harnesses the key properties that make LED’s unique. LED retrofit lamps are direct replacements for conventional incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps.