If a mechanic told you he needed to “gap your plugs” would you know what he was talking about? If you didn’t what measuring stick would you use to determine A) if the work was done and B) if it was having the intended effect? So it is with lighting retrofits in Ontario. If you don’t understand the terminology the lighting retrofit company is using how can you separate the frauds from the real deals or contribute anything useful to the retrofit process? The short answer to both of those questions is; “You can’t”. In this post we’re going to review the words most commonly used relative to an LED retrofit.
Knowledge is Power When it Comes to a Lighting Retrofit
Here are 6 of the most common lighting retrofit vocabulary words and terms you need to know.
An LED bulb can produce far more light than an incandescent of the same wattage. Because of this wattage becomes an irrelevant measure of the light emanating from a given fixture and a more accurate one is needed for comparison’s sake. That measure is “luminous efficacy” or “lumens”, which is the amount of light actually generated. One of the goals of your lighting retrofit will be to maximize lumens while minimizing wattage.
A foot candle is the measure of a light’s intensity as measured 1 foot from the source. The retrofit technician uses a light meter to determine in foot candles the amount of light that’s being brought to bear on a particular area. This information is then used to determine what the appropriate level ought to be and how many lumens will be needed to achieve it.
Many managers are confused when they hear the acronym “SSL” being used in reference to LED lights. That’s because they’re used to hearing the term from their web team. But the SSL used to refer to LED lights is different than website-related SSLs. With websites, SSL refers to “Secure Socket Layers” which are used to encrypt data. With LED lights, SSL stands for “Solid State Lighting”, and means any light that uses diodes to generate illumination
ARL stands for “Average Rated Life”. This is a measure of how long the average bulb will last. This average lifespan is determined by powering up a set number of bulbs and then seeing how long it takes for half of them to fail. This then is the ARL. So if you hear the retrofit tech say “This bulb has an ARL of 20,000 hours” that means that on average this type of bulb fails after 20,000 hours of use.
CCT or “Correlated Colour Temperature” is the way by which a light’s colour is expressed as measured in Kelvins or “K”. Light emitted from a light bulb tends to be either yellow or blue and confined to a range typically between 2,000K and 6,000K. In general the lower the “K” the yellower the light and the higher the K the bluer the light. So if the lighting tech says a particular light is 2,800K you know it emits yellowish light.
An LED luminaire is essentially one complete LED lighting unit. That would be the LED light emitting components, the driver (that component which regulates the flow of electricity to the light), the platform on which the light emitting components are mounted and the parts used to connect the unit to the branch circuit.
Before you undertake a lighting retrofit in your Ontario business spend some time familiarizing yourself with the applicable terminology. It will allow the whole process to open up to you and also allow you to weed out frauds acting as retrofit experts.
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