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LIGHTING TERMINOLOGY

Accent Lighting - Directional lighting to emphasize a particular object or draw attention to an item.

Adaptation - The process by which the retina of the eye becomes accustomed to more or less light than it was exposed to during an immediately preceding period. It results in a change in the sensitivity of the eye to light.

Ambient Lighting - The general lighting present in an area --excluding task lighting and accent lighting but including general lighting and daylight streaming in.

Amperes (Amps) - A measure of electrical current. In incandescent lamps, the current is related to voltage and power as follows: Watts (power) = Volts x Amps (current).

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) - A consensus-based organization which coordinates voluntary standards for the physical, electrical and performance characteristics of lamps, ballasts, luminaries and other lighting and electrical equipment.

ANSI Ballast Type - Ballast type used to operate lamp in accordance with ASNI standard.

ANSI Codes - These are 3-letter codes assigned by the American National Standards Institute. They provide a system of assuring mechanical and electrical interchangeability among similarly coded lamps from various manufacturers.

Arc - A general term for a high intensity electrical discharge occurring between two electrodes in a gaseous medium, usually accompanied by the generation of heat and the emission of light.

Arc Lamp - A light source containing an arc (see above). Also called a discharge lamp, or an arc discharge lamp.

Arc Length - In High Intensity Discharge lamps this is the distance between the electrode tips, which represents the physical length of the electrical discharge.

Atmosphere - This field designates the type of gas or vacuum filling a volume or chamber of the lamp. This chamber might contain a filament or it might refer to the bulb which contains the arc tube.

Ballast - A device used with an electric-discharge lamp to obtain the necessary circuit conditions for starting and operating such lamps as fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID).

Ballast Factor - This is the percentage of a lamp's rated lumen output that can be expected when operated on a specific, commercially available ballast.

Base - The part of a light bulb that fits into the socket. Base type diagram.

Base Temperature - The maximum operating temperature permitted for the base in Celsius. Fixture manufacturers need to ensure that these conditions are satisfied in their fixture.

Bayonet - A style of bulb base which uses keyways instead of threads to connect the bulb to the fixture base. The bulb is locked in place by pushing it down and turning it clockwise. Beam Angle

Beam Spread - The total angle of the directed beam to where the intensity of the beam falls to 50% or 10% of the maximum candlepower value as indicated.

Bi-Pin - Any base with two metal pins for electrical contact. This is the typical base for a fluorescent tube of 1 to 4 feet in length. It consists of 2 prong contacts which connect into the fixture. Medium bi-pins are used with type T-8 and T-12 tubular fluorescent lamps, and miniature bi-pins are used for tubular T-5 fluorescent lamps.

Blackbody - A hot body with an incandescent black surface at a certain temperature used as a standard for comparison. Note that a black surface is the best radiator possible. A tungsten filament will emit slightly less radiation than a blackbody at the same temperature.

Blacklight - A popular term referring to a light source emitting mostly near UV (320 to 400 nm) and very little visible light.

Blacktop - Whether or not the top of the miniature lamp has a blacktop coating. The coating is used to control unwanted brightness or glare.

Bollard - A short, thick post with a light at its top, used for grounds and outdoor walkway lighting.

Bulb - A loose way of referring to a lamp. "Bulb" refers to the outer glass bulb containing the light source.

Bulb Coating/Material - The type of glass (or quartz) used in the glass envelope surrounding the light source. The material can also have coatings applied to achieve particular performances.

Brightness - Brightness can refer to any of several technical terms used in lighting and is, therefore, ambiguous (Canadian Standards Association)

Candela (CD) - The measure of luminous intensity of a source in a given direction. The term has been retained from the early days of lighting when a standard candle of a fixed size and composition was defined as producing one candela in every direction. A plot of intensity versus direction is called a candela distribution curve and is often provided for reflectorized lamps and for luminaries with a lamp operating in them.

Candlepower - An obsolete term for luminous intensity; current practice is to refer to this simply as candelas. Candlepower (Mean spherical)

Candlepower Distribution Curve - A graphical presentation of the distribution of light intensity of a light source, usually a reflector lamp or luminaire.

Cathode - Negative Electrode

Cathode Resistance - Resistance of the cathode in a Fluorescent lamp. It is measured "cold" before the lamp is turned on (Rc) or "hot" after the lamp is turned on (Rh). The ratio of the hot resistance to the cold resistance is also measured (Rh/Rc).

Center Beam Candlepower (CBCP) - Refers to the luminous intensity at the center of the beam of a blown or pressed reflector lamp (such as a PAR lamp). Measured in candelas.

Chromaticity - Measure to identify the color of a light source, typically expressed as (x,y) coordinates on a chromaticity chart.

Chromaticity Coordinates - A system for measuring the color of the light emitted from a light source--either a primary source like a lamp or a secondary source like an illuminated object. Usually two numbers, x and y coordinates ranging from 0 to 1 specify the chromaticity.

Coefficient of Utilization (CU) - In general lighting calculations, the fraction of initial lamp lumens that reach the work plane. CU is a function of luminaire efficiency, room surface reflectance's and room shape.

Color Rendering Index (CRI))- An international system used to rate a lamp's ability to render object colors. The higher the CRI (based upon a 0-100 scale) the richer colors generally appear. CRI ratings of various lamps may be compared, but a numerical comparison is only valid if the lamps are close in color temperature. CRI differences among lamps are not usually significant (visible to the eye) unless the difference is more than 3-5 points.

Color Temperature (Kelvin) - A number indicating the degree of "yellowness" or "blueness" of a white light source. Measured in Kelvin’s, CCT represents the temperature an incandescent object (like a filament) must reach to mimic the color of the lamp. Yellowish-white ("warm") sources, like incandescent lamps, have lower color temperatures in the 2700K-3000K range; white and bluish-white ("cool") sources, such as cool white (4100K) and natural daylight (6000K), have higher color temperatures. The higher the color temperature the whiter, or bluer, the light will be.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp - The general term applied to fluorescent lamps that are single-ended and that have smaller diameter tubes that are bent to form a compact shape.

Cool White - A term loosely used to denote a color temperature of around 4100 K. The Cool White (CW) designation is used specifically for T12 and other fluorescent lamps using halophosphors and having a CRI of 62.Cosine-corrected

Crest Factor (Max Current) - The ratio of the peak lamp current to average lamp operating current (RMS). The lower the current crest factor is, the gentler the ballast is on the lamp.

Current Type - Whether the operational voltage is based on Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC).

Daylight Harvesting - Lighting design for building interiors that makes of daylight as a way of reducing energy consumption. Daylight Lamp.

Dimmable - Whether or not the lamp lumens can be varied while maintaining reliability.

Dimmer, Dimming Control - A device used to lower the light output of a source, usually by reducing the wattage it is being operated at. Dimming controls are increasing in popularity as energy conserving devices.

Disposal - When Disposing of spent Lamps, always consult Federal, State, and local and/or provincial hazardous waste disposal rules and regulations to ensure proper disposal.

Distance Between Legs - For U-shaped Fluorescent lamps, this measurement is the average distance between the inner walls of the legs.

Distance between Leg Centers - For U-shaped Fluorescent lamps, this measurement is the average distance between the centers of each leg. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Double Ended - Lamps that have two bases opposite one another for series electrical connections, mechanical mounting and heat dissipation.

Eccentricity - In High Intensity Discharge lamps the Bulb to Arc Angle is the angle off of center between electrodes and bulb. The Bulb to Base Angle is the angle off of center that the bulb is from the base.

Efficacy - A measurement of how effective the light source is in converting electrical energy to lumens of visible light. Expressed in lumens per watt (LPW) this measure gives more weight to the yellow region of the spectrum and less weight to the blue and red region where the eye is not as sensitive.

Efficiency - The efficiency of a light source is simply the fraction of electrical energy converted to light, i.e. watts of visible light produced for each watt of electrical power with no concern about the wavelength where the energy is being radiated. For example, a 100 watt incandescent lamp converts 7% of the electrical energy into light; discharge lamps convert 25% to 40% into light. The efficiency of a luminaire or fixture is the percentage of the lamp lumens that actually comes out of the fixture.

Electrical Discharge - A condition under which a gas becomes electrically conducting and becomes capable of transmitting current, usually accompanied by the emission of visible and other radiation. An electric spark in air is an example of an electrical discharge, as is a welder's arc and a lightning bolt.

Electrodeless Lamps - Light sources where the discharge occurs in a chamber with no electrodes (no metal.) The energy for the discharge is supplied by radio frequency excitation, e.g. microwaves.

Electromagnetic Ballast - A ballast used with discharge lamps that consists primarily of transformer-like copper windings on a steel or iron core.

Electromagnetic Inference (EMI) - High frequency electronic ballasts and other electronic devices can produce a small amount of radio waves which can interfere with radio and TV. Federal mandated requirements must be met for EMI levels before an electronic device is considered FCC compliant.

Electromagnetic Spectrum - A continuum of electric and magnetic radiation that can be characterized by wavelength or frequency. Visible light encompasses a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum in the region from about 380 nanometers (violet) to 770 nanometers (red) by wavelength.

Electronic Ballast - A short name for a fluorescent high frequency electronic ballast. Electronic ballasts use solid state electronic components and typically operate fluorescent lamps at frequencies in the range of 25-35 kHz. The benefits are: increased lamp efficacy, reduced ballast losses and lighter, smaller ballasts compared to electromagnetic ballasts. Electronic ballasts may also be used with high intensity discharge (HID) lamps.

Elliptical Reflector Lamp (ER) - An incandescent lamp with a built-in elliptically-shaped reflecting surface. This shape produces a focal point directly in front of the lamp which reduces the light absorption in some types of luminaires. It is particularly effective at increasing the efficacy of baffled downlights.

Energy Policy Act (EPACT) - Comprehensive energy legislation passed by the U. S. Congress in 1992. The lighting portion includes lamp labeling and minimum energy efficacy (lumens/watt) requirements for many commonly used incandescent and fluorescent lamp types. Federal Canadian legislation sets similar minimum energy efficacy requirements for incandescent reflector lamps and common linear fluorescent lamps.

Eye Sensitivity - A curve depicting the sensitivity of the human eye as a function of wavelength (or color). The peak of human eye sensitivity is in the yellow-green region of the spectrum. The normal curve refers to photoptic vision or the response of the cones.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The U. S. Federal agency that regulates emissions in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Part 18 of the FCC rules specifies electromagnetic interference (EMI) from lighting devices operating at frequencies greater than 9 kilohertz (kHz). Typical electronically-ballasted compact fluorescent lamps operate in the 24 - 100 kHz frequency range.

Field Angle - The angular dimension of the cone of light from reflectorized lamps (such as R and PAR types) encompassing the central part of the beam out to the angle where the intensity is 10% of maximum.

Filament Design - Filaments are designated by a letter combination in which C is a coiled wire filament, CC is a coiled wire that is itself wound into a larger coil, and SR is a straight ribbon filament. Numbers represent the type of filament-support arrangement.

Flicker - The periodic variation in light level caused by AC operation that can lead to strobe effects.

Flood - Used to refer to the beam pattern of a reflector lamp, which disperses the light over a wide beam angle, typically 20 degrees or more. ("Flood" as opposed to "spot")

Floodlight - A luminaire used to light a scene or object to a level much brighter than its surroundings. Usually floodlights can be aimed at the object or area of interest.

Fluorescent Lamp - A high efficiency lamp utilizing an electric discharge through low pressure mercury vapor to produce ultraviolet (UV) energy. The UV excites phosphor materials applied as a thin layer on the inside of a glass tube which makes up the structure of the lamp. The phosphors transform the UV to visible light.

Fluorescence - A physical phenomenon whereby an atom of a material absorbs a photon of light an immediately emits a photon of longer wavelength. If there is a significant delay the phenomenon is called phosphorescence rather than fluorescence. It is interesting that "phosphors" used in lamps exhibit "fluorescence," not "phosphorescence”.

Footcandle (fc)- A unit of illuminance or light falling onto a surface. It stands for the light level on a surface one foot from a standard candle. One footcandle is equal to one lumen per square foot.

Footlambert - An obsolete term referring to a luminance of 1/? candelas per square foot.

Frequency (Nominal Operations) - The stated operating frequency in Hz of a discharge lamp.

Fovea, Foveal Vision - A small region of the retina corresponding to what an observer is looking straight at. This region is populated almost entirely with cones, while the peripheral region has increasing numbers of rods. Cones have a sensitivity peaking in the yellow and corresponding to the eye response curve.

Full Spectrum Lighting - A marketing term, typically associated with light sources that are similar to some forms of natural daylight (5000K and above, 90+ CRI), but sometimes more broadly used for lamps that have a smooth and continuous color spectrum.

Glare - Visual discomfort caused by excessive brightness is called discomfort glare. If task performance is affected it is called disability glare. Glare can be direct glare or indirect (reflected) glare.

Halogen Lamp - A halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp with a filament that is surrounded by halogen gases, such as iodine or bromine. Halogen gases allow the filaments to be operated at higher temperatures and higher efficacies. The halogen participates in a tungsten transport cycle, returning tungsten to the filament and prolonging lamp life.

High-Bay Lighting - Lighting designed for (typically) industrial locations with a ceiling height of 25 feet and above.

High Intensity Discharge Lamp (HID) - A general term for mercury, metal halide and high-pressure sodium lamps. HID lamps contain compact arc tubes which enclose various gases and metal salts operating at relatively high pressures and temperatures.

High-Pressure Sodium Lamp (HPS) - HPS lamps are high intensity discharge light sources that product light by an electrical discharge though sodium vapor operating at relatively high pressures and temperatures.

Hot Restart Time - Time it takes for a High Intensity Discharge lamp to reach 90% of light output after going from on to off to on.

Igniter - An electronic device providing a high voltage pulse to initiate an electrical discharge. Typically, the igniter is paired with or is a part of the ballast.

Illuminance - The "density" of light (lumens/area) incident on a surface; i.e. the light level on a surface. Illuminance is measured in footcandles or lux.

Illuminance Meter - A device that measures the illuminance at a location calibrated either in footcandles or in lux. Also know as a light meter.

Incandescent Lamp - A light source that generates light utilizing a thin filament wire (usually of tungsten) heated to white heat by an electric current passing through it.

Indirect Lighting - The method of lighting a space by directing the light from luminaires upwards towards the ceiling. The light scattered off the ceiling produces a soft, diffuse illumination for the entire area.

Induction Lighting - Gases can be excited directly by radio-frequency or microwaves from a coil that creates induced electromagnetic fields. This is called induction lighting and it differs from a conventional discharge, which uses electrodes to carry current into the arc. Induction lamps have no electrodes inside the chamber and generally, therefore, have longer life than standard lamps.

Infrared Radiation - Electromagnetic energy radiated in the wavelength range of about 770 to 1,000,000 nanometers. Energy in this range cannot be seen by the human eye, but can be sensed as heat by the skin.

Instant Start - A type of ballast designed to start fluorescent lamps as soon as the power is applied. Most T8 fluorescent lamps are being operated on electronic instant-start ballast. Slimline fluorescent lamps operate only on instant start circuits.

Integral - A popular term for a compact fluorescent lamp which includes a built-in ballast.

Inverse Square Law - Formula stating that if you double the distance from the light source, the light level goes down by a factor of 4, if you triple the distance, it goes down by a factor of 9, and so on.

Isocandela Plot - A plot with lines connecting points of equal luminous intensity around a source.

Isolux Plot - A line plotted to show points of equal illuminance (lux or footcandles) on a surface illuminated by a source or sources.

Kelvin - A unit of temperature starting from absolute zero, parallel to the Celsius (or Centigrade) scale. 0C is 273K.

Kilowatt (kW)- The measure of electrical power equal to 1000 watts.

Kilowatt Hour (kWh) - The standard measure of electrical energy and the typical billing unit used by electrical utilities for electricity use. A 100-watt lamp operated for 10 hours consumes 1000 watt-hours (100 x 10) or one kilowatt-hour. If the utility charges $.10/kWh, then the electricity cost for the 10 hours of operation would be 10 cents (1 x $.10)

Lamp - The term used to refer to the complete light source package, including the inner parts as well a the outer bulb or tube. "Lamp", of course, is also commonly used to refer to a type of small light fixture such as a table lamp.

Lamp Height - Referenced by IEC as Dimension C. Also referred to as "Base Face to Top of Lamp".

Lamp Types - Filament lamps: Incandescent and Halogen.
Discharge Lamps: Fluorescent, HID (High Intensity Discharge).
HID Lamps: Mercury, HPS (High Pressure Sodium), and MH (Metal Halide).

Lens - A transparent or semi-transparent element which controls the distribution of light by redirecting individual rays. Luminaires often have lenses in addition to reflectors.

Light - Radiant energy that can be sensed or seen by the human eye. Visible light is measured in lumens.

Light Center Length (L.C.L) - The distance between the center of the filament, or arc tube, and a reference plane - usually the bottom of the lamp base. Refer to the following chart for reference plane locations.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) - A solid that directly converts electrical impulses into light. Some LED's today incorporate fluorescent materials to change the color characteristics of the emitted light.

Lighting Industry Federation Code (LIF) - For Stage & Studio lamps, these are assigned by the Lighting Federation of London U.K. They ensure electrical and mechanical interchangeability of similarly coded lamps. LIF codes are divided into groups according to the primary application of the lamps.

Light Loss Factor - The product of all factors that contribute to lowering the illumination level including reflector degradation, dirt, lamp depreciation over time, voltage fluctuations, etc.

Light Pollution - Light that is directed to areas where it is not needed, and thereby interferes with some visual act. Light pollution directed or reflected into the sky creates a "dome" of wasted light and makes it difficult to see stars above cities.

Light Trespass (Spill light) - Light that is not aimed properly or shielded effectively can spill out at into areas that don't want it: it can be directed towards drivers, pedestrians or neighbors. It is distracting and annoying and can sometimes be disabling.

Lumens - A measure of the luminous flux or quantity of light emitted by a source. For example, a dinner candle provides about 12 lumens. A 60-watt Soft White incandescent lamp provides about 840 lumens.

Lumen Maintenance - A measure of how well a lamp maintains its light output over time. It may be expressed numerically or as a graph of light output vs. time.

Luminaire Efficiency - The ratio of total lumens emitted by a luminaire to those emitted by the lamp or lamps used in that luminaire.

Luminaire - A complete lighting unit consisting of a lamp (or lamps), ballast (or ballasts) as required together with the parts designed to distribute the light, position and protect the lamps and connect them to the power supply. A luminaire is often referred to as a fixture.

Luminance - A measure of "surface brightness" when an observer is looking in the direction of the surface. It is measured in candelas per square meter (or per square foot) and was formerly referred to as "photometric brightness."

LUX (lx) - A unit of illuminance or light falling onto a surface. One lux is equal to one lumen per square meter. Ten lux approximately equals one footcandle.

Maximum Overall Length (M.O.L) - The end-to-end measurement of a lamp, expressed in inches or millimeters.

Mean Lumens - The average light output of a lamp over its rated life. Based on the shape of the lumen depreciation curve, for fluorescent and metal halide lamps, mean lumens are measured at 40% of rated lamp life. For mercury, high-pressure sodium and incandescent lamps, mean lumen ratings refer to lumens at 50% of rated lamp life.

Medium Base - Usually refers to the screw base typically used in household incandescent lamps. There is also the medium bipin base commonly used in T12 and T8 fluorescent lamps.

Mercury Lamp - A high-intensity discharge light source operating at a relatively high pressure (about 1 atmosphere) and temperature in which most of the light is produced by radiation from excited mercury vapor. Phosphor coatings on some lamp types add additional light and improve color rendering.

Metal Halide Lamp - A high intensity discharge light source in which the light is produced by the radiation from mercury, plus halides of metals such as sodium, scandium, indium and dysprosium. Some lamp types may also utilize phosphor coatings.

Mesopic - Typically referring to nighttime outdoor lighting conditions, the region between photoptic and scotopic vision.

Mogul Base - A screw base used on larger lamps that is bigger than a standard medium base.

Monochromatic Light - Light with only one wavelength (i.e. color) present.

Mounting Height - Distance from the bottom of the fixture to either the floor or work plane, depending on usage.

MR-16 and MR-11 - A line of low voltage compact reflector lamps used for accent and spot lighting. The 16 and 11 refer to 16 eighths of an inch diameter and 11 eighths.

National Stock Number - The standardized part number used by the US Government for procurement.

Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) - Open Circuit Voltage measured across the socket the lamp screws into, with the ballast powered on. It is dangerous to stick a voltmeter into such a socket without precise knowledge of the ballast because exceedingly high voltages could be present.

Open Fixture Rated - Lamps that are approved for burning in open fixtures (as opposed to enclosed fixtures which have an acrylic lens or plate glass enclosure).

Operating Position/Burn Position - Mercury and High Pressure Sodium lamps may be operated in any burn position and will still maintain their rated performance specifications. Metal Halide and Low Pressure Sodium lamps, however, are optimized for performance in specific burn positions, or may be restricted to certain burn positions for safety reasons.

Operating Voltage - For electrical discharge lamps, this is the voltage measured across the discharge when the lamp is operating. It is governed by the contents of the chamber and is somewhat independent of the ballast and other external factors.

Par Lamps - PAR is an acronym for parabolic aluminized reflector. A PAR lamp, which may utilize either an incandescent filament, a halogen filament tube or a HID arc tube, is a precision pressed-glass reflector lamp. PAR lamps rely on both the internal reflector and prisms in the lens for control of the light beam.

Phosphor - An inorganic chemical compound processed into a powder and deposited on the inner glass surface of fluorescent tubes and some mercury and metal-halide lamp bulbs. Phosphors are designed to absorb short wavelength ultraviolet radiation and to transform and emit it as visible light.

Photometry - The measurement of light and related quantities.

Photo Optic - Vision for which the cones in the eye are responsible; typically at high brightness and in the foveal or central region.

Power Factor - A measure of the phase difference between voltage and current drawn by an electrical device, such as a ballast or motor. Power factors can range from 0 to 1.0, with 1.0 being ideal. Power factor is sometimes expressed as a percent. Incandescent lamps have power factors close to 1.0 because they are simple "resistive" loads. The power factor of a fluorescent and HID lamp system is determined by the ballast used. "High" power factor usually means a rating of 0.9 or greater. Power companies may penalize users for using low power factor devices.

Preheat Circuit - A type of fluorescent lamp-ballast circuit used with the first commercial fluorescent lamp products. A push button or automatic switch is used to preheat the lamp cathodes to a glow state. Starting the lamp can then be accomplished using simple "choke" or reactor ballasts.

Pulse Start - A HID ballast with a high voltage igniter to start the lamp.

Quartz - A name for fused silica or melted sand from which many high-temperature containers are fashioned in the lighting industry. Quartz looks like glass but can withstand the high temperatures needed to contain high intensity arc discharges.

Radiation - A general term for the release of energy in a "wave" or "ray" form. All light is radiant energy or radiation, as is heat, UV, microwaves, radio waves, etc.

Raid Start Circuit - A fluorescent lamp-ballast circuit that utilizes continuous cathode heating, while the system is energized, to start and maintain lamp light output at efficient levels. Rapid start ballasts may be either electromagnetic, electronic or of hybrid designs. Full-range fluorescent lamp dimming is only possible with rapid start systems.

Rated Lamp Life - For most lamp types, rated lamp life is the length of time of a statistically large sample between first use and the point when 50% of the lamps have died. It is possible to define "useful life" of a lamp based on practical considerations involving lumen depreciation and color shift.

Reflectance - The ratio of light reflected from a surface to that incident upon it.

Room Cavity Ratio - A shape factor (for a room, etc.) used in lighting calculations.
RCR = 5H (L+W) / L x W, or, alternately,
RCR = (2.5) Total Wall Area / Floor Area.
Where H = height, L = length and W = width of the room.
A cubical room will have an RCR of 10; the flatter the room the lower the RCR.

Scotopic - Vision where the rods of the retina are exclusively responsible for seeing, typically like the light levels in the countryside on a moonless, starlit night.

Scotopic/Photopic Ratio (S/P) Ratio - This measurement accounts for the fact that of the two light sensors in the retina, rods are more sensitive to blue light (scotopic vision) and cones to yellow light (photopic vision). The scotopic/photopic (S/P) ratio is an attempt to capture the relative strengths of these two responses. S/P is calculated as the ration of scotopic lumens to photopic lumens for the light source on an ANSI reference ballast. Cooler sources (higher color temperatures lamps) tend to have higher values of the S/P ratio compared to warm sources.

Seal Temperature - The maximum operating temperature of the seal of the lamp in Celsius.

Self-Ballasted Lamps - A discharge lamp with an integral ballasting device allowing the lamp to be directly connected to a socket providing line voltage.

Source Size - For Projection lamps, this is defined as the dimensions of the rectangular area, centered on the lamp axis, within which all luminous parts of the filament lie, when viewed perpendicular to the axis of the filament coil or to the plane of C-13 and C-13D filaments.

Spacing to Mounting Height Ratio - Ratio of fixture spacing (distance apart) to mounting height above the work plane; sometimes called spacing criterion. It is OK to have fixture spaced closer than the spacing criterion suggested by the manufacturer but not farther, or you will get dark spots in-between fixtures.

Specification Series Colors - Energy-efficient, all-purpose, tri-phosphor fluorescent lamp colors that provide good color rendering. The CRI for SP colors is 70 or above and varies by specific lamp type.

Specification Series Deluxe Colors - Energy-efficient, all-purpose, tri-phosphor fluorescent lamp colors that provide better color rendering than Specification Series (SP) colors. The CRI for SPX colors is 80 or above and varies by specific lamp type. All GE CFL products use SPX phosphors.

Specular Reflection - Reflection from a smooth, shiny surface, as opposed to diffuse reflection.

Spot -A colloquial term referring to a reflector lamp with a tight beam of light, typically around 10 degrees or less. It comes from the fact that such a lamp produces a narrow spot of light as opposed to a wide flood of light.

Starter -An electronic module or device used to assist in starting a discharge lamp, typically by providing a high-voltage surge.

Starting Temperature - The minimum ambient temperature at which the lamp will start reliably.

System -A term referring to the lamp and ballast combination, and sometimes to the entire lighting delivery system including the fixture, the optics, the particular layout and the lighting controls.

Task Lighting - Supplemental lighting provided to assist in performing a localized task, e.g. a table lamp for reading or an inspection lamp for fabric inspection.

TLCP Test - The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) test, specified in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1990, is used to characterize fluorescent lamp waste as hazardous or non hazardous waste. The TCLP test measures the ability of the mercury and/or lead in a lamp to leach from a landfill into groundwater.

Terminal to Terminal Starting Lamp Voltage -The minimum or maximum allowed voltage allowed into lamp from ballast under varying conditions as specified.

Total Harmonic Distortion - A measure of the distortion caused by ballasts and other inductive loads of the input currenton alternating current (AC) power systems caused by higher order harmonics of the fundamental frequency (60Hz in North America). THD is expressed in percent and may refer to individual electrical loads (such as ballast) or a total electrical circuit or system in a building. ANSI C82.77 recommends THD not exceed 32% for individual commercial electronic ballasts, although some electrical utilities may require lower THDs on some systems. Excessive THDs on electrical systems can cause efficiency losses as well as overheating and deterioration of system components.

Troffer - A long, recessed lighting unit, usually installed in an opening in the ceiling.

Underwriters Laboratories - A private organization which tests and lists electrical (and other) equipment for electrical and fire safety according to recognized UL and other standards. A UL listing is not an indication of overall performance. Lamps are not UL listed except for compact fluorescent lamp assemblies - those with screw bases and built-in ballasts.

Uniform Product Code (UPC)- The 12 digit code on the saleable unit that is used for scanning at the register.

Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) - Radiant energy in the range of about 100-380 nanometers (nm). For practical applications, the UV band is broken down further as follows:
Ozone-producing - 180-220 nm
Bactericidal (germicidal) - 220-300
Erythemal (skin reddening) - 280-320
"Black" light - 320-400
The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) defines the UV band as UV-A (315-400 nm); UV-B (280-315 nm) and UV-C (100-280 mm)

Valance Lighting - Lighting from light sources on a wall typically above eye level, shielded by horizontal panels. The light may be upward or downward directed.

Veiling Reflection - Effective reduction in contrast between task and its background caused by the reflection of light rays; sometimes called "reflected glare." You might have dealt with veiling reflections when you have to tilt a shiny magazine to avoid glare so as to read it, or struggled with reading a computer monitor because of the reflection of a window or a light fixture.

Visual Comfort Probability (VCP) - For a given lighting scheme, VCP is a ratio expressed as a percent of people who, when viewing from a specific location and in a specified direction, find the system acceptable in terms of glare.

Visual Task - The task associated with seeing; objects and details that must be seen to perform an activity.

Volt - A measure of "electrical pressure" between two points. The higher the voltage, the more current will be pushed through a resistor connected across the points. The volt specification of an incandescent lamp is the electrical "pressure" required to drive it at its designed point. The "voltage" of a ballast (e.g. 277 V) refers to the line voltage it must be connected to.

Voltage - A measurement of the electromotive force in an electrical circuit or device expressed in volts. Voltage can be thought of as being analogous to the pressure in a waterline.

Wall Temperature - The maximum operating bulb wall temperature in Celsius.

Warm Up Time to 90% - The time it takes for a High Intensity Discharge lamp to reach 90% of light output after being turned on.

Warm White - Refers to a color temperature around 3000K, providing a yellowish-white light.

Watt - A unit of electrical power. Lamps are rated in watts to indicate the rate at which they consume energy.

Wattage Indicator Reduced - Indicates that this is a reduced wattage option for lamps normally used in this application. Be sure to check wattage, lumens and life to determine which lamp is best suited to your needs.

Wavelength - The distance between two neighboring crests of a traveling wave. The wavelength of light is between 400 and 700 nanometers.

Work Plane - Plane at which work is done and at which illumination is specified and measured; unless otherwise indicated, it is assumed to be a horizontal plane 30 inches above the floor (table-top height) having the same area as the floor.

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Call (800) 743-0005 or email mail@interlight.biz.
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