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11 LED-Related Acronyms You Really Need To Know

Acronyms

Jargon can be annoying, especially if you’re not in-the-know, so here are 11 of ‘em to keep you in the loop when you’re shopping for LED Light-related products.

  • LED stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’ and it refers to a type of electronic light source that uses a semiconductor. LED lights are unique in that they require 90% less power than similarly luminescent incandescent and fluorescent lights, and last a lot longer, with an average life-expectancy that’s in the region of 50,000 hours or 17 years in real terms.
  • SSL is ‘Solid-State Lighting’ which is a broad term used to describe any type of lighting that employs semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs), rather than wasteful, heat-emitting electrical filaments like traditional incandescent bulbs, or the toxic Mercury vapour that halogen lights require. This state-of-the-art technology is rapidly gaining popularity, especially in light of the forthcoming phasing-out of wasteful halogen and incandescent bulbs.
  • SMDs are ‘Surface-Mounted Diodes’ (sometimes known as ‘Surface Mounted Devices’). They’re a particular type of LED that can be placed directly onto the surface of a circuit board. When an electrical current is passed through them, SMDs emit light with a very wide beam angle, making them preferable to traditional light sources for all kinds of general purpose lighting. An example of this technique in action can be seen in the 150 watt LED Floodlight which employs 3 x SMDs to produce an enormous 15,000 lumens of brightness.
  • RGB are ‘Red, Green and Blue’ and they’re the three colours used by LED strip lights. These special LED lights work by blending varying amounts of red, green and blue to achieve a massive range of stunning colour combinations. An extremely wide variety of LED strip lights are available, with RGB, RGBW and RGB LED Pixel Tape that will enable you to create an entire spectrum of incredible colours.
  • IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’ and it’s a rating system that’s used to illustrate the level of protection offered by electronic enclosures. The rating consists of the letters ‘IP’ and two numbers. The first refers to the protection against incursion by foreign bodies, while the second denotes how water-resistant the enclosure is. Always refer to the IP rating when installing light fittings such as shower lights in your bathroom, or any form of outdoor LED lighting.
  • CCT is ‘Correlated Colour Temperature’ and refers to the perceived ‘warmth’ or ‘coolness’ of a white light source. LED lights are available in three colour temperatures, so for environments such as living areas and bedrooms, you might choose the warm white (3000K) for its mellow, relaxing light. Cool white (6000K) is most often used in bathrooms and kitchens, as it’s bright and penetrative. The daylight white (4000K) is the most naturalistic of the three temperatures, and is becoming more popular all the time for every room, not just in offices as it once was.
  • CRI refers to the ‘Colour Rendering Index’ that illustrates how closely a light source resembles natural daylight. It’s measured on a scale from 1 to 100, the higher the rating, the more naturalistic the light source. Typically, LEDs like the 18 watt Square Surface Mounted LED Panel Light have a CRI of around 80, thus providing a quality of light that’s ideal in environments where it’s important to show colours realistically, such as kitchens and even operating theatres.
  • IR stands for ‘Infra-Red’, a type of signal used by certain RGB controllers. Infra-Red is a particular wave length of light that can be used to control devices such as the GU10 RGB LED 3W Light Bulb This type of remote requires a direct line of sight, meaning that you’ll have to be in the same room for it to operate. Whilst still the most widely-used, this form of remote control is rapidly being replaced in the market by...
  • RF which stands for ‘Radio Frequency’. This is the type of signal used by certain types of remote controller. Unlike an infra-red controller, RF remotes don't require a direct line of site, so they’re eminently more versatile and flexible for the user.
  • DMX is ‘Digital Multiplex’, a type of control signal traditionally used for stage and event lighting.
  • MR stands for ‘Multi-faceted Reflector’. This just refers to the size diameter of a spotlight. For instance, an MR16 LED Bulb has a diameter of 16 eighths of an inch across the front face, an MR11, 11 eighths of an inch, and so on.

Hopefully, these explanations will enable you to blend right in when an LED Lighting-related conversation starts up, and they’ll allow you to purchase LED products with complete confidence.

But if you have any questions at all about anything to do with LED lighting, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0116 321 4120 or send an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk.

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