WHAT IS A WATT?
A watt or the wattage refers to how much power the light consumes, not the brightness.
WHAT IS A LUMEN?
A lumen is the measurement of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. Lumens equal brightness, watts do not.
PRO TIP: Lumens refer to the light emitted from the source, not the distance the light will travel. In regards to recessed lighting, for example, you will need to pair a high lumen output with an appropriate beam angle to push the light down to the area you are trying to light, for example, your counter-top. If the beam angle is too wide, the light will not get pushed down in high enough concentration to adequately light the intended space.
WHAT IS EFFICACY?
Luminous efficacy is the measurement of how well a light produces light, or uses watts to create lumens. The higher the efficacy number to more efficient the light is. Efficacy is lumens divided by watts.
WHAT IS A BEAM ANGLE?
The beam angle is the angle in which light is distributed. A typical recessed light bulb or light source will have a beam angle around 40°, conventional or integrated. The beam angle helps push the lumens (light output)down from the ceiling or light source to the intended surface. If you have a very tall ceiling height you may want to use a light with a narrower beam angle than 40°, but for most applications 40° or so will be adequate.
PRO TIP: Beam angle plays a very large roll in the amount of perceived light on a surface. For example, two recessed lights both have a lumen output of 1000 lumens, one is 40° and one is 120°. Your counter-tops, cabinetry, furniture and flooring will appear much brighter with the 40° beam and will appear much dimmer with the 120° beam. This effect will be even more evident the higher the ceiling. The 120° beam creates this effect because the lumens (light output) are too widely distibuted. The light needs to be distributed in a narrow enough beam to push enough concentration of light down to the intended surface, such as a table, counter-top or floor space.
WHAT IS A REFLECTOR?
A reflector is the decorative inner portion of a recessed light that sits between the light source and the ceiling trim ring. The reflector plays a very important roll in the visual glare on the ceiling. We strongly advise all of our clients to use a reflector that does not visibly reflect the light back, so no white reflectors here. We recommend using a clear specular (chrome) or black specular (shiny black) to reduce as much glare as possible, which is why we have designed our collection of recessed fixtures as such.
WHAT IS CRI?
Colour rendering index is the measurement of an artificial light sources ability to accurately reproduce the colour of objects. Typically LEDs have CRI scores over 80 which is considered acceptable. You can not judge a CRI by simply looking at the colour of the light. CRI does not correct poor colour temperatures, for optimal colour vibrancy read about Colour Temperature.
Life hours is an average rating to give the user an idea of how long the lamp may last. This rating for incandescent bulbs was determined by testing a group of lamps and using the amount of time (hours) where 50% fail. For LED this is tested in a similar way but is defined by the amount of time (hours) until the LEDs lumens have depreciated by 30% the bulbs original output. Life hours is not a guarantee, is it the average lamp life, some may last longer, some may fail earlier, and yes, your LED light can still fail. If it does happen to fail, our products have a warranty so not to worry, we have your back.
You may see this phrase becoming more and more popular with decorative fixture and recessed lights in particular. Integrated LED simply means the light source is usually not changeable like a bulb, it is built into the fixture. This is beneficial as it has allowed the industry to create lights with a significantly smaller footprint while still delivering a high lumen output.
Every fixture will contain a rating of either dry, damp or wet location rated to indicate the appropriate location.
Dry Location Rated: Suitable for a location that is not subject to dampness.
Damp Location Rated: Suitable for an interior or exterior location that is normally or periodically subject to moisture, but no direct contact with water.
Wet Location Rated: Suitable for a location where water can drip or splash onto the fixture and shall be constructed to prevent the accumulation of water on live parts.
Some products may have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating, this rates the degree of protection provided by the enclosure against intrusions.
Typical IP Ratings for Lighting Products:
IP20: Protected against a solid object greater than 12.5mm, such as a finger. Not protected against water.
IP65: Dust tight, protected against jets of water with limited ingress permitted.
IP67: Dust tight, protection against the effects of immersion in water between 15cm – 1m for 30 minutes.
IP68: Dust tight, protection against effects of immersion in water under pressure for long periods.