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5 Must-Know Pro Lighting Terms When Executing a Project

1. Beam Spread:

    • a measure of the three-dimensional angle of dispersion, or the cone of light that is emitted from the light source. Expressed as number of degrees, the smaller the number the more narrow the cone.

2. Colour Temperature in Kelvin:

    • an indication of the relative coolness of the light being emitted from the source, typically shown as 2700K . The lower the number the warmer or more yellow the light will be, and the higher numbers the more cool or blue the light will be.

3) Line Voltage vs. Low Voltage:

    • Line voltage refers in Canada to the 120V power that comes out of a normal wall socket, whereas low voltage is 12 or 24V, which is “transformed” down from line voltage through a driver or transformer.

4) Thermal Management:

    • All lights create heat, halogen and incandescent produce enough heat to burn skin on contact.  LEDs produce much less heat, usually no more than 45 degrees celsius, but are much more sensitive to  retained heat and therefore require thermal management to ensure that the heat produced is directed away from the diode and dispersed through fins or heat stacks.

5) Lumens, Foot Candles & Lux

    • All three are measures of light output, the most commonly used are foot candles and lumens. All three are convertible from one measure to another, using any online illumination converter. Building codes will specify certain measurements a ground level in order to ensure safety.


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