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Lighting Lingo: Basic Lighting Terminologies You Need to Know


Lumens, light bulb wattage, colour temperature – these are terms you’ll likely come across when shopping for light fixtures for your home or office.

Shopping for lights and understanding the lingo

It can easily get confusing, especially if you don’t have the slightest knowledge about lighting. You need not be lost amidst the flurry of terms and lingo, though. To help you stay informed and make a wise purchase, here are some basic lighting terminologies you need to be familiar with:

Lumens and Light Bulb Wattage

Lumens and watts are often used interchangeably. These lighting terminologies, however, aren’t the same. Watts indicate the amount of energy or power needed to produce light; whereas, lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by the lamp or light source. This means that when shopping for fixtures, it would be a good idea to refer to the bulb’s lumen rating if you want full illumination for your space.

Lumens Per Watt

Lumens per watt measures a lamp’s efficiency. This is calculated by dividing the bulb’s lumen rating by its total power input or wattage. A higher lumens per watt means more light is produced for less power. With LED technology, it’s now possible to have fixtures with high lumen ratings and lower light bulb wattage.

Colour Rendering Index (CRI)

This measures the bulb’s capacity to realistically show the colours of the objects it illuminates. CRI is rated on a scale of 1-100. Products with low CRI will not have the ability to accurately reproduce colours; while those with high CRI will be better in making colours more visible. Some areas which require products with high CRI are photography and cinematography.

Colour Temperature

This describes the colour appearance of a light source, and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Lower colour temperatures indicate a warm light (yellow/gold tint); while higher colour temperatures correlate with a cool light (bluish white tint). When creating an ambience for a particular space, looking at the lamp’s colour temperature helps. For example, products with lower colour temperatures would do well in dining or living rooms; while those with higher temperatures will be more suitable in the kitchen or laundry.

As the market gets swamped with so many lighting solutions, including those which don’t always satisfy the highest safety standards, it can get confusing for consumers to get the right products. Having a basic understanding on some of the most important lighting terminologies, however, will help you in purchasing the right fixtures for your space.

EP Lighting brings a high quality range of LED bulbs in Australia. Whether for your home or office, our products are designed and tested to provide the illumination you need. Explore our 3 LED ranges today: the Plug and Play, Bulb, and the Luminaire Series.

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