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A collection of useful terms, concepts, and meanings.

Accent Lighting

Lighting that is used to accent or highlight a particular object such as a work of art. To be effective Accent Lighting should be approximately four or five times the level of ambient light in the area. House plants can be accented by aiming an uplight at the wall behind the plant, creating a dramatic silhouette of the plant against the wall. Accent Lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of a decorating scheme, it is used to highlight paintings, houseplants, sculpture, and other prized possessions, or to highlight the texture of a wall, drapery or outdoor landscaping. Accent lighting requires at least three times as much light on the focal point as the General Lighting around it. This usually is provided by track, recessed, or wall-mounted fixtures.

Ambient Lighting

The soft indirect light that fills the volume of a room with illumination. It softens shadows on people’s faces and creates an inviting glow in the room.


The amount of electrical Current through a conductive source.


A unit expressing the rate of flow of electric Current.


American National Standards Institute. The organization that develops voluntary guidelines and produce performance standards for the electrical and other industries.

Average Rated Life

An average rating, in hours, indicating when 50% of a large group of Lamps have failed, when operated at nominal lamp Voltage and Current; manufacturers use 3 hours per start for Fluorescent lamps and 10 hours per start for HID lamps when performing lamp life testing procedures; every lamp type has a unique mortality curve that depicts its Average Rated Life. For Photo-Optic lamps average rated life refers to the operating period after which on statistical average, 50% of the lamps will perform within their specified values.


A device used with an electric-discharge Lamp to obtain the necessary circuit conditions (Voltage, Current and waveform) for starting and operating; all fluorescent and HID light sources require a Ballast for proper operation. Ballasts have two primary functions: 1) start the lamp and 2) control operation of the lamp once it has started. High Frequency Electronic ballasts operate lamps more efficiently (30 – 40% at equivalent light output) and eliminate the hum and visible flicker normally associated with standard magnetic ballasts. Electronic ballasts also typically have better Power quality than magnetic ballasts (higher Power factor and lower THD).

Ballast Efficacy Factor

Relative light output (Ballast Factor) divided by input Power (Watts). Used to measure the level of efficiency of similar ballast models.

Ballast Factor

Relative light output as compared to a reference Ballast (i.e. BF of 0.90 would yield 90% of a Lamp’s rated Lumens. The measured ability of a particular ballast to produce light from the lamp(s) it Powers; Ballast Factor is derived by dividing the lumen output of a particular lamp/ballast combination by the lumen output of the same lamp(s) on a reference ballast.

Ballast losses

Power consumed by a Ballast that dissipates as heat instead of being converted into light. Electronic ballasts operate more efficiently than magnetic or hybrid ballasts. A typical ballast loss for a standard two Lamp magnetic ballast is 20 Watts, which an electronic equivalent would only be 7 watts.

Ballast types

There are three types of lighting Ballasts,1) Magnetic: an inefficient device that uses a core and coil assembly transformer to perform the minimum functions required to start and operate the Lamp; 2) Hybrid or ‘low Frequency electronic’: essentially a magnetic ballast with a few electronic components that switch off Voltage to the lamp coil once the lamp has started. A minimal increase in efficiency is obtained via more expensive magnetic core material and the absence of Power to the lamp coils during operation; 3) High frequency electronic: a ballast that operates lamps at frequencies above 20000 Hz. Maximum efficiency is obtained through the use of electronic circuitry and optimum lamp operating characteristics.


The Lamp Base mechanically holds the lamp in place in the application. The lamp base directly or indirectly (via a cable or lead-in wires) conducts electricity from the circuit to the lamp and can be designed to dissipate heat. Lamp bases should be operated within specified temperature range.

Beam angle

Also called the Beam Spread; the angular dimension of the cone of light from Reflectorized Lamps encompassing the central part of the beam out ot the angle where the intensity is 50 percent of maximum.

Beam Spread

The diameter of the pattern of light produced by a Lamp or lamp and Luminaire together.


Hard, soft or quartz glass enclosure, which can contain a vacuum, elemental inert gas or metal and a means of light generation (Filament or electrodes).

Cable Lighting System

A Low Voltage lighting system where the mechanism holding the Light Fixtures and conducting electricity to those fixtures is a pair of cables.


The unit of measure indicating the luminous intensity (candlepower) of a light source in a specific direction; any given light source will have many different intensities, depending upon the direction considered.

Candle Power

A measure of intensity of light related to Lumens.

Candlepower distribution

A curve that represents the variation in luminous intensity (expressed in Candelas) in a plane through the light center of a Lamp or Luminaire; each lamp or lamp/luminaire combination has a unique set of Candlepower distributions that indicate how light will be spread.


An electrode that emits electrons. A Fluorescent Lamp Cathode emits or discharges electrons to the cathode at the other end of the lamp (light Bulb).

Center Beam Candlepower

The intensity of light produced at the center of a Reflector Lamp, expressed in Candelas.


Compact Fluorescent Lamps employ small diameter tubes that are bent so they begin and end in a ceramic Base. This allows them to be produced in a wide variety of configurations, greatly extending the applications for fluorescent lighting and offering innovative Energy efficient lighting solutions.


Describes the degree of departure from gray of the same Lightness and increasing color (e.g. red, redder, pure red).

Clubs / Events lighting

Events significantly depend on the creative application of light and its interaction with people. Light supports the theme and reason of the event and emphasizes its concept. Varied dynamic lighting effects attract attention, amaze the audience and support the emotional ambiance of the event. Creating a certain ambiance has become more easy and modern: where previously candlelight and dimmed lighting scenarios were used, we find nowadays a multitude of colors, scenarios and effects. Contrary to the simple accentuation of spaces, event-lighting aims at matched color-schemes to create intensive and dramatic effects.

Color Corrected

The addition of phosphors in a Lamp to create better CRI.

Color Definition

The color of uniformly illuminated objects described using three terms

Color gamut

The range of colors within the CIE Chromaticity Diagram included when combining different sources.

Color Rendering Index

Commonly abbreviated ‘CRI’. A scale used to measure how well a Lamp illuminates an object’s color tones as compared with the color of daylight. The higher the CRI (Based upon a 0-100 scale), the more natural the colors appear. Natural outdoor light has a CRI of 100. Common lighting sources have a large range of CRI. For example: Cool White CRI = 62, Pure White CRI = 70, True White CRI = 91

Color rendering index

The Color rendering index (CRI) measures the effect a light source has on the perceived color of objects and surfaces. High CRI lights makes virtually all colors look natural and vibrant. Low CRI causes some colors to appear washed out or even to take on a completely different Hue.

Color spectrum

All Wavelengths perceived by human sight, usually measured in nanometers (nm).

Color Temperature

Refers to the way color groups are perceived – the psychological impact of lighting. Color Temperature is how cool or warm the light source appears. The color temperature of a light source is a numerical measurement of its color appearance. This temperature is Based on the principle that any object will emit light if it is heated to a high enough temperature and that the color of that light will shift in a predictable manner as the temperature is increased. This system is based on the color changes of a black metal as it is heated from a cold black to a white hot state. As the temperature increases, the color would shift gradually from red to orange to yellow to white and finally to a blue white. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Colors and light sources from the red/orange/yellow side of the spectrum are described as warm (Incandescents) and those toward the blue end are referred to as cool (natural daylight). The sun, for example, rises at approximately 1800 Kelvin and changes from red to orange to yellow and to white as it rises to over 5000 Kelvin at high noon. It then goes back down the scale as it sets.

Color Temperature

The description used to describe the effect of heating an object until it glows Incandescently, the emitted radiation, and apparent color, changes proportional to the temperature; easily envisioned when considering hot metal in a forge that glows red, then orange, and then white as the temperature increases. Color Temperature (CT) is measured in Kelvin, and indicates whether a Lamp has a warm, midrange or cool color appearance. ‘Warm’ light sources have a low color temperature (2000-3000K) and feature more light in the red/orange/ yellow range. Light with a higher color temperature (>4000K) features more blue light and is referred to as ‘cool.’

Cool White

A description of light with a correlated Color Temperature between 5000K and 7500K, usually perceived a slightly blue.

Correlated Color Temperature

The phrase use to describe the temperature, at which a Planckian Black Body Radiator and an illumination source’s appear to match, usually specified in Kelvin (K).

Correlated Color Temperature

A specification of the color appearance of a Lamp, relating its color to that of a reference source heated to a particular temperature, measured in degrees Kelvin (K); CCT generally measures the ‘warmth’ of ‘coolness’ of light source appearance.


A measure of the flow of electricity, expressed in Amperes (A).

Decorative Luminaire

Luminaire designed to please the eye and provide focal illumination.


The reduction of the amount of Wattage used to prevent overheating. Related to Ganging of Dimmers.

Design Amperes

The approximate Current which the Lamp will draw at design Volts

Diffusion Filters

Glass lenses used to whiten and soften light output.


A control that regulates light levels.


Lamps that have two Bases opposite one another for series electrical connection, mechanical mounting and heat dissipation. Decorative lighting Decorative lighting usually serves more than one purpose. This table lamp is both decorative and a task light.


The rate at which a Lamp is able to convert Power (Watts) into light (Lumens). A watt of electricity is the amount of power in and a lumen or light is the amount of power out. Represented in lumens per watt and found by dividing the light output in lumens by the electrical power input (to the lamp).

Electronic ballasts

The electric arc in any fluorescent system is generated by a Ballast. The ballast starts the Lamp, then limits its operating Current and provides Power factor correction. Modern Electronic ballasts perform these functions with great efficiency and provide other control functions as well.


Ballasts contain circuits that limit electrical noise conducted onto the Power line or radiated through the air, otherwise referred to as EMI/RFI.

End Foot Candles

A measure of that portion of the total light output of a T-2 Lamp that passes through a 1/4 inch orifice placed at the end of the lamp.


A measure of work done by an electrical system over a given period of time, often expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh).


An independent testing facility, similar to UL


A tungsten wire purposely positioned inside a Lamp Bulb, that when heated electrically generates radiation in the visible, infrared and ULtraviolet ranges. Tungsten material replaced carbon almost universally, as it has great tensile strength, and is very durable. However, the basic reason for its selection as the best Filament material is the fact that it can be burned very near its melting point without evaporating rapidly. Lamp filaments are offered in a variety of designs optimized for specific applications.

Fish Tape

Mechanical device used to pull wires in tight spaces or conduit.


A Reflectorized Lamp whose emitted beam pattern is enlarging. Also a Luminaire consisting of lamp and reflector at fixed distance providing a wide field of illumination.

Fluorescent lamp

High efficiency Lamp that uses an electric discharge through low-pressure mercury vapor to produce ULtra-violet (UV) Energy. The UV excited phosphor materials applied as a thin layer on the inside of a glass tube that makes up the structure of the lamp. The phosphors transform the UV to visible light.

Foot Candle

A measurement of the total light reaching a surface. One Lumen falling on one square foot of surface produces the illumination of one Foot Candle.


A unit of Illuminance equal to 1 Lumen per square foot.


The number of times per second that an alternating Current system reverses from positive to negative and back to positive, expressed in cycles per second or hertz (Hz).


Grouping two or more controls in one enclosure.

General Lighting

General Lighting provides an area with overall illumination. Also known as Ambient Lighting, general lighting radiates a comfortable level of brightness, enabling one to see and walk about safely. It can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, recessed or track lights, and with lanterns outside your home. A basic form of lighting that replaces sunlight, general lighting is fundamental to a lighting plan.


Excessive brightness that may be caused by either direct of indirect viewing of a light source.

Glare/Glare Factor

A source of uncomfortably bright light that becomes the focus of attention rather than what it was meant to illuminate.

Glow to arc transition

In order to achieve full rated Lamp life, a Ballast should start a lamp so that the time from when the lamp begins to glow to the time the lamp arc strikes should be as short as possible.


The Ballast case and fixture must always be grounded. The Grounding helps assure safety, proper Lamp starting, and acceptable EMI/RFI performance.


An Incandescent Lamp containing Halogen gas which recycles the tungsten.

Halogen lamp

High pressure Lamp containing Halogen gases which allow the Filaments to operate at higher temperatures and higher efficacies. Halogen lamps use a filament, but since it is sealed in a pressurized capsule containing halogen gas, the lamp provides brighter, whiter light with better color characteristics, longer service life and improved Energy efficiency.

Hard Wire

Method of Luminaire installation using a Junction Box.


An electrical Frequency that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency; for example, if 60 Hz is the fundamental frequency, then 120 Hz is the second Harmonic and 180 Hz is the third harmonic; some electronic devices, such as Ballasts or Power supplies, can cause harmonic distortion, directly affecting power quality. Such distortion is measured as THD.


High Intensity Discharge. In HID Lamps, an arc passing between two Cathodes in a pressurized tube cause various metallic additives to vaporize and release large amounts of light.

Hot ignition

The restarting of a previously operating Lamp shortly after turn-off. Hot ignition is a high performance feature in many OSRAM discharge lamp types.


Describes the situation when the appearance of different colors is similar (e.g. matching blues and pinks).


Light arriving at a surface, expressed in Lumens per unit area; 1 lumen per square foot equals 1 Foot Candle, while 1 lumen per square meter equals 1 Lux.


A light source that generates light utilizing a think Filament wire (usually tungsten) heated to white heat by an electric Current passing through it. Regular Incandescent Lamps produce light by passing an electric current through a filament in a vacuum or gas-filled Bulb. They provide low initial cost, good color rendition and excellent optical control.


Light can change the appearance of a space or area without physically changing it. Light expands and accentuates rooms, creates links and separates one area from another. The illumination of surfaces such as floors, walls, ceilings or structures directs the view, influences the mood and draws the attention to specific details. However, the perception of the surrounding is decisively influenced by the applied direction of light, the Luminance as well as the light distribution. Light makes surfaces and objects visible and allows them to become the focus of attention. The accentuation of a ceiling, for example, can alter the general perception of an area. While specific structures such as stuccos and frescos can be Spotlighted, the general mood and ambiance of a room can be set by indirect lighting of plane surfaces.

Instant start (IS) vs. Rapid Start (RS)

Instant start (high Voltage is applied across the Lamp with no preheating of the Cathode) is the most Energy efficient starting method for Fluorescent lamp Ballasting. IS ballasts use 1.5 to 2 Watts less per lamp than rapid start ballast (Low Voltage is applied to the cathodes prior to lamp ignition and is maintained throughout operation). Other IS ballast benefits typically include parallel lamp circuitry, longer remote wiring distance, easier installation due to less complicated wiring, and capability to start lamps at 0 degrees (versus 50 degrees F for rapid start).

Junction Box

Enclosure for joining wires behind walls or ceilings.


A measurement that quantifies the effect of non-linear equipment, such as lighting Ballasts, on an electrical system. Lighting systems should be designed so that the transformer rating is sufficient for the ballast used (typically K-factor less than 4)..


Manufactured light source; synonymous with light Bulb; the three broad categories of electric Lamps are Incandescent, fluorescent and high-intensity discharge.

Lamp Current Crest Factor

The ratio of peak Lamp Current to the RMS (average) lamp current. Lamp manufacturers require a LCCF of less than 1.70 in order to achieve full lamp life. Values less than 1.70 do not achieve higher than rated lamp life.

Lamp Disposal

When disposing of spent Lamps, always consult federal, state, local and/or provincial hazardous waste disposal rules and regulations to ensure proper disposal.

Lamp flicker

High Frequency electronic Ballasts provide a minimal level of Lamp flicker. Lamp flicker from magnetic ballasts can cause eye fatigue for some people.

Light Center Length

The distance from a specified reference point on a Lamp Base to its light center, typically expressed in inches.

Light Fixture

A complete lighting unit consisting of a Lamp (light Bulb) or lamps, a housing, and a connection to the source of electrical Power.


Describes a range of grayness between black and white.

Line Voltage

The Voltage present between any two of the conductors in a three-phase system. Usually 120 volts in the USA.

Linear fluorescent lamps

In a Fluorescent Lamp, an electric arc passing between Cathodes in a tube excites mercury vapor and other gases and produces UV radiant Energy. A phosphor coating on the tube then converts this energy to visible light. Fluorescent lamps are very energy efficient and provide a wide range of color responses.


A type of ‘screen’ made of translucent or opaque material and geometrically designed to prevent Lamps from being viewed directly within a given angle. Louvers are intended to minimize direct or indirect Glare

Low Voltage

usually 12 Volts but sometimes 24 volts.

Low voltage luminaire

System that uses less than 50-Volt Current (commonly 12-volt), instead of 110-120-volt, the standard household current. A transformer is used to convert the electrical Power to the appropriate Voltage.


Lumens Per Watt. The number of lumens produced by a lightsource for each watt of electrical Power supplied to the light source. Also see Efficacy.


The international (SI) unit of luminous flux or quantity of light and equals the amount of light that is spread over a square foot of surface by one Candle Power when all parts of the surface are exactly one foot from the light source. For example, a dinner candle provides about 12 Lumens. A 60-Watt Soft White Incandescent Lamp provides 840 lumens.

Lumen depreciation

The decrease in Lumen output of a light source over time; every Lamp type has a unique Lumen depreciation curve (sometimes called a lumen maintenance curve) depicting the pattern of decreasing light output.


A Light Fixture; the complete lighting unit, including Lamp, Reflector, Ballast, socket, wiring, diffuser and housing.


Light reflected in a particular direction; the photometric quantity most closely associated with brightness perception, measured in units of luminous intensity (Candelas) per unit area (square feet or square meters).

Luminous Efficacy

The light output of a light source divided by the total electrical Power input to that source, expressed in Lumens per Watt (lm/W).


A unit of Luminance equal to 1 Lumen per square meter.

Maximum Overall Length

The total length of a Lamp, from top of Bulb to bottom of Base, typically expressed in inches.

Mean Spherical Candela

The average value of the luminous intensity of a light source in all directions.

Medium pin

Referring to the Lamp Base pin diameters. Often referencing Fluorescent lamps (T-8F and T-12F).

MR11 Lamp

A Halogen metalized Reflector Lamp (light Bulb) that measures 11/8 inches in diameter and which directs a sharp, well- defined beam of light.

MR16 Lamp

A Halogen mirrored Reflector Lamp that measures 16/8 inches in diameter and which directs a sharp, well-defined beam of light.


The average value of the luminous intensity of a light source in all directions.


Mean Time Between Failures. A calculation of Ballast life Based on thermal conditions, component values, and circuit characteristics used to develop relative predictions of ballast life.


Light is an insubstantial medium but it has an enormous influence on both perception of spaces and artwork and creates emotional response in the observer. The principle requirement for museum lighting is to create optimal conditions for viewing objects. It is also important to pay also attention to the general conditions of the area like visual comfort, suitable light for orientation and movement as well as ease of visual adaption to differing light levels required. Adapted to the characteristic of the art exhibited, light schemes vary. Especially clear white tones are suitable for guarding original colors. A tuning of Color Temperature can define the place as bright and puristic (cold temperatures) or warm and inviting (warmer temperatures).

Nominal watts

Represents the rated Wattage consumption period. Represents the Energy used to produce light. Watts = Volts x Amps.


Organic light-emitting diode Combined spectral curves for blue, yellow-green, and high brightness red solid-state semiconductor LEDs. FWHM spectral bandwidth is approximately 24-27 nanometres for all three colors. If the emitting layer material of the LED is an organic compound, it is known as an Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED). To function as a semiconductor, the organic emitting material must have conjugated pi bonds. The emitting material can be a small organic molecule in a crystalline phase, or a polymer. Polymer materials can be flexible; such LEDs are known as PLEDs or FLEDs. Compared with regular LEDs, OLEDs are lighter, and polymer LEDs can have the added benefit of being flexible. Some possible future applications of OLEDs could be: 1. Inexpensive, flexible displays 2. Light sources 3. Wall decorations 4. Luminous cloth OLEDs have been used to produce visual displays for portable electronic devices such as cellphones, digital cameras, and MP3 players. Larger displays have been demonstrated, but their life expectancy is still far too short (less than 1,000 hours) to be practical.

Operating Position

All LED Lamps must be operated within the specified Operating Positions. Outdoor After a long period of simple functional lighting of outdoor areas, the illumination of buildings, facades and objects experience a growing attention. Light directly influences our visual environment, not only by creating eye-catching architectural and entertaining environments but also by defining desired mood and atmosphere of an area. Among others, outdoor lighting refers to the illumination of architecture, including academic/institutional, corporate, hospitality, monumental structures, residential, Retail/entertainment and site/facade lighting projects. Illuminance, direction of light and light distribution takes a decisive influence on how architecture is perceived. The scope of design possibilities ranges from subtle illuminations of laminar surfaces over detailed accentuated structure to elaborate lighting design concepts (e.g. usage of whole facades for display function). The lighting concept varies from color, brightness and direction of the light and has to be adapted to each type of surface, condition and intent of illumination. Especially for outdoor installation, high-Power LEDs are recommended for usage, as their bright light output creates rich wallwashing effects. Media facades become increasingly popular. Especially in big cities, large-scale display screens are firm landmarks of the skyline. However, lighting applications become more and more creative, replacing conventional LED screens with elaborate installation concepts. Nowadays not only walls and ceiling, but whole buildings are used for display, becoming gigantic screens for communication purposes.

PAR lamps

Usually Halogen Lamps, means parabolic Reflector lamps. A lamp fixed within a parabolic reflector, a lamp system that can use Incandescent, halogen and HMI lamp types. Numeric portion of PAR description indicates actual parabolic reflector diameter size in 1/8th inch units Example: PAR 64 is a lamp whose diameter is 64/8th inch or 8 inches). Example: PAR 36, 38, 46, 56 and 64 types.

Parallel vs. series

Ballasts with parallel Lamp circuitry have the benefit of companion lamps remaining lit, even if one of the lamps operated by the ballast should fail. Systems with series lamp wiring (magnetic ballasts and many competitors’ electronic types) result in all lamps operated on the ballast going out if one should fail.

Photo-Optic lamps

Photo-Optic Lamps employ a variety of technologies to meet the very precise levels of performance required by the entertainment industry, science, medicine and other high-tech fields.


The rate at which Energy is taken from an electrical system or dissipated by a load, expressed in Watts; Power that is generated by a utility is typically expressed in Volt-Amperes.

Power factor

A measure of the effectiveness with which an electrical device converts Volt-Amperes to Watts; devices with Power factors (0.90) are ‘high Power factor’ devices.


The percentage of light reflected back from a surface, the difference having been absorbed or transmitted by the surface. See Reflection.


If a light ray strikes a mirror- life surface, it is reflected. The angle of incidence equals the angle of Reflection; this is called specular reflection. When a ray strikes a mat surface, light is reflected uniformly in all directions. This is called diffuse reflection. With the Reflectors the rays of light are pencilled in the proper direction. See Reflectance.


An optical device to reflect light. PHOTO-OPTIC Reflector Lamps utilize ellipsoidal (converging light rays) or parabolic (collimating light rays) reflectors. Dichroic coated reflectors are designed to reflect visible light and pass through unwanted infrared Wavelengths.


Abbreviated ‘R’. A measure of Resistance to flow of Current, expressed in ohms.


Lighting is an important element in restaurant design since it not only characterizes the space and defines the ambiance, but also effects the customer’s mood. Lighting can make a room feel more intimate or expansive, friendly or hostile, calm or exciting. However, the intensity of lighting is not the only important role. Applied light sources, the quality of the lighting, and the contrast of light levels in different areas contribute to restaurant lighting design. For instance, a bustling cafeteria needs a bright ambient light for an easy guidance through the room; an elegant restaurant, on the other hand, should use more subdued illumination schemes to encourage a comfortable dining. In Restaurants, direct lighting should be avoided in the dining area, as it is a distraction; indirect lighting creates not only interesting effects but a comfortable atmosphere.


As used here, Retail refers to an establishment that sells goods direct to the customer. Nowadays, the design of retail spaces aims at creating a unique experience for the customer. While interior design and arrangement of the retail space are fundamental, lighting plays an essential role and covers varied functions: LED displays and General Lighting scenarios attract attention, divide the room into different functional areas and support an optimal presentation of the goods according to the shop concept. The created ambiance influences the mood and well-being of customers and has a direct effect on their behavior.

Single pin

Single pins have a mini can or D.C. bay Base whereas bi-pin Lamps have a bi-pin base.


Lamps having a single lamp Base or point of electrical connection.

Solid-state lighting

A description of the devices that do not contain moving parts or parts that can break, rupture, shatter, leak or contaminate the environment.

Spectral Power Distribution

A curve illustrating the distribution of Power produced by the Lamp, at each Wavelength across the spectrum.


A Luminaire using Halogen/Incandescent or a high intensity discharge (HID) Lamp that produces a narrow Beam angle designed to illuminate a specifically defined area.

Task lighting

Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks such as reading, sewing, cooking, homework, hobbies, games, or balancing your checkbook. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting, and portable Lamps. Task lighting should be free of distracting Glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eyestrain.


Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure. Federal EPA regulations (RCRA of 1990) have defined a TCLP test to determine whether wastes are to be treated as hazardous or non-hazardous.


Total Harmonic Distortion. Excessive THD (defined by ANSI as greater than 32%) may cause adverse effects to the electrical system. THD levels below 20% provide optimal system compatibility, but levels below 10% may not add any practical benefit. 10% THD types may also introduce excessive in-rush Current unless circuitry is added that limits in-rush levels.

Tungsten Halogen Cycle

Halogen light sources utilizing the halogen regenerative cycle to prevent blackening of the Lamp envelope during life.


An independent testing company. Underwriters Laboratories.


The term used to describe the electrical potential difference between oppositely charged conductors, for example there is a 1.5V potential between the top and bottom of a battery.


A measure of electrical potential, expressed in Volts (V).

Voltage Drop

The decrease of light output in fixtures further from the transformer in Low Voltage lighting systems.

Warm White

A description of light with a correlated Color Temperature between 3000K and 3500K, usually perceived a slightly yellow. Watt – The unit of electrical Power as used by an electrical device during its operation. Many Lamps come with rating in watts to indicate their power consumption. A light source with a higher Lumen per watt value is more efficient.


The unit of electrical Power as used by an electrical device during its operation. Many Lamps come with rating in Watts to indicate their power consumption. A light source with a higher Lumen per watt value is more efficient.


Distance between two successive points of a periodic wave; the Wavelengths of light are typically expressed in nanometers (nm), or billionths of a meter.

Working Distance

As a function of an elliptical Reflector, light is collected and converged into a specific area a certain distance in front of the Lamp. Lamp alignment can be provided for specific illumination and color qualities at the designated areas.

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