Lighting is essential to a productive and safe environment, whether it be for employees, customers or personal use. As the lighting industry changes so too
Lamps: A lamp is
Fixtures: A light fixture or light fitting is a device that contains an electric lamp that provides illumination.
Ballast: A ballast is a device used for limiting the current in a lamp. A ballast aids in the initial voltage build-up for starting a fluorescent lamp and will quickly reduce the voltage and regulate the current to produce a steady light output.
Ignitors: An ignitor is used for high-intensity discharge lamps which require a higher voltage to start. The ignitor is used to build high voltage pulses to switch on the lamp, once the lamp is turned on the ignitor will stop giving pulses.
Color rendering index (CRI): A method for describing the effect of a light source on the color appearance of objects being illuminated, with a CRI of 100 representing the reference condition (and the maximum CRI possible). In general, a lower CRI indicates that some colors may appear unnatural when illuminated by a lamp.
Color temperature: A description of the color appearance of a light source in terms of warmth or coolness, as measured on the Kelvin scale (K). As the temperature rises, the color appearance shifts from yellow to blue. Thus, lamps with a low CCT (3000K or less) have a yellow-white color appearance and are described as “warm”; lamps with a high CCT (4000K and higher) have a blue-white color appearance and are described as “cool.”
Efficacy: The ratio of light output (lumens) to input power (watts), expressed in lumens per watt (LPW).
Illuminance: The amount of light that reaches a surface. Illuminance is measured in footcandles (lumens/square foot) or lux (lumens/square meter). One footcandle equals 10.76 lux, although for convenience the IESNA uses 10 lux as the equivalent.
Lamp life: The median lifespan of a very large number of lamps. Half of the lamps in a sample are likely to fail before the rated lamp life, and half are likely to survive beyond the rated lamp life.
Lamp lumen depreciation (LLD): The reduction in lamp light output that progressively occurs during lamp life.
Luminance: The photometric quantity most closely associated with the perception of brightness, measured in units of luminous intensity (candelas) per unit area (feet squared or meters squared).
Lumen: The measurement of the total light output of a light source.
Watt: The measurement of the total power output of a light source.
Watts are the measurement of power consumed by the lamp, while lumens are the measurement of the visible light output of the lamp. It is a common misconception that a higher watt lamp equals a higher light output, but don’t get confused. When calculating the brightness of a light, you need to identify the lumen output, not the wattage.
Foot-Candles: The amount of visible light falling on an object.
Foot-candles measure the amount of visible light that falls on a surface or object. A single foot candle is equivalent to the amount of light falling on a surface or object one foot away from the lamp.
Edison’s incandescent lamp or light bulb gave off a slightly yellowish glow measuring in at 2700K (Degrees Kelvin) but with the advancements in CFLs and LED lamps we have moved farther away from the first lamps which produced a soft white color temperature. With these new technologies, we have a vast range of color temperatures providing a large variety of lighting options.
There are three primary types of color temperature for lamps:
Soft White (2700K –3000K)
Bright White/Cool White (3500K –4100K)
Daylight (5000K –6500K)
The higher the degrees Kelvin, the whiter the color temperature. While whiter lights may appear brighter than lower kelvin readings, the amount of Lumens does not change, and the true brightness is unaffected.
Depending upon your lamp’s location and the desired effect, CRI or Color Rendering Index should be taken into consideration. The CRI measures the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of an object compared to an ideal light source, i.e., incandescent or natural light. The CRI scale runs from0-100, with lights closer to a 100 CRI showing truer colors across the spectrum. While this is not going to be a primary consideration for a warehouse, retail stores should pay close attention to their lamps CRI.
Want a closer look at CRI and Color Temperatures? Check out our blog, Understanding CRI, CCT, and Foot Candles in High Quality LED Lighting
There are four basic types of lamps used on the market today. Your lamp selection should take into consideration your lighting performance needs, maintenance concerns and energy costs.
Incandescent lamps remain the most common light bulb in use today. They range from 40-110 watts, usually with a warm, yellow-white light. The incandescent lamp provides a warm, inviting quality with an excellent color rendition that compliments most skin tones and is psychologically appealing. Even with the shifting trend towards LED, incandescent lamps remain the most common, mainly due to the price of the lamp. While the lamp may be inexpensive, they are not the most energy efficient nor do they last the longest. The average incandescent bulb lasts between 700 –1,000 hours. This may seem like a long time, but with some lamps, depending upon location, needing to stay lite for 20 –24 hours a day, other options provide a much longer lifespan.
How does the Incandescent Lamp Work?
The incandescent lamp is an electrical lighting source produced by incandescence or the emission of light caused by the heating of a filament. Typically, the incandescent lamp consists of a tungsten filament contained in a glass enclosure with a stem or glass mount attached to an airtight base, with small embedded wires which support the filament or lead wires. An electrical current is then passed through the filament which heats it to a temperature that produces light.
The halogen gives off a white light, that is the closest to natural daylight. While the halogen is more efficient than an incandescent, extra care must also be taken when changing out these lamps. The halogen lamp warms quickly and can cause burns to an unsuspected person or create a fire hazard in specific locations. Oil residue from the human hand can also rub off on the lamp, potentially causing the lamp to warm to quickly which could cause the lamp to explode. Gloves should be worn when changing out halogen lamps.
How does the Halogen Lamp Work?
The halogen lamp is the most similar to the incandescent due to both using a filament that heats to the point of glowing. The incandescent lamp evaporates the tungsten from the filament, causing blackening of the lamp, while the halogen eliminates the tungsten evaporation by reacting to the halogen gas and returning some of the tungsten to the filament extending the life of the lamp.
The fluorescent lamp comes in two varieties, the compact fluorescent and the linear fluorescent both of which function identically. The fluorescent is a gas-discharge lamp that comes in a wide range of sizes, wattages, and colors, with a long life, low cost, and high energy efficiency.
The compact fluorescent comes in a screw-in or a plug-in. The screw-in can generally be used in an existing screw socket without additional equipment while the plug-in requires a ballast and socket specific for its base configuration.
The linear or tube fluorescent is still the most widely used in commercial settings due to its long life, and it remains one of the least expensive options on the market. The fluorescent tube also comes in a wide variety of applications based on lamp type.
How does the Fluorescent Lamp Work?
The fluorescent lamp is a gas-discharge lamp. Using a process known as inelastic scattering, electricity emitted from cathodes excite mercury vapor contained within the glass. Also included within the glass are phosphors and a noble gas, which glow when the mercury atoms produce ultraviolet light, thus creating a visible light source.
The LED lamp stands for light emitting diodes and is the most energy-efficient lighting option on the market today. The LED is a solid-state technology meaning the materials used to generate light are enclosed within a solid material. The heat produced by the lamp is absorbed into a heat sink, which keeps the lamp cool to the touch and saves considerable energy. Due to the solid-state of the LED, they are much less susceptible to failure caused by shock or vibrations. Another significant difference between LED and other lamps is the fact that LEDs don’t burn out. They experience lumen deprivation causing their light output to decrease. If considering a lighting upgrade for your facility, a Turn-Key LED Retrofit is the most energy-efficient lighting upgrade you can perform.
How does the LED Lamp Work?
The LED or light-emitting diode is a two-lead semiconductor that emits light when activated. The electrons recombine with electron holes once a suitable voltage is applied to the leads, releasing energy in the form of photons, causing an effect called electroluminescence, creating a visible light source.
Check out our blog on Understanding Luminous Efficiency.
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As business owners and facility managers, it is one of our jobs to make sure our customers and staff are safe while shopping, eating, or visiting our establishments, but an often-overlooked area can bring significant liability to our organizations. Assault, robbery, rape, and even murder are a few of the rampant occurrences plaguing parking lots across the U.S. They have low lighting, shadowy expanses, and distractions, that make for a tempting invitation for criminals.
Narrowing down the best solution for your organization can be a challenging endeavor. You might make a decision based on maintenance but then realize that energy efficiency outweighs the maintenance factor. If moving to a commercial lighting service provider, consider partnering with a service management provider that can supply a national lighting and electrical maintenance program. Review these items when vetting a national lighting, sign and electrical service provider.
The first step in any lighting project should be to contact a lighting solutions provider or lighting company that is
A lighting solutions provider should ask you about your project.
At Action Services Group, our business model is designed to offer you the maximum ROI while taking your lighting performance, maintenance cost, and energy efficiency into consideration. No solution or product is ever a one size fits all, and we understand the need to customize solutions to meet the organization.
What is a Parking Lot and Area Lighting Application? Parking Lot Lighting is a term that describes the outdoor lighting that is commonly mounted on poles and located in parking lots, pathways and driveways. This type of lighting is generally used to provide illumination to areas for vehicle or pedestrian use.
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