Glossary of Terms...What does it all mean?
As you explore and learn about the world of LED lighting you quickly find many new terms are used in describing an LED and the certification required for sale. We though it would be helpful to list the most common and provide a brief description of each.
Watt: The unit of measure for the electricity consumed by a light fixture. Often abbreviated as "W".
Lumen: The unit of measure for the brightness of light. This represents the amount of light emitted. Often abbreviated as "lm"
Kelvin: The unit of measure of where the hue of light falls on the colour spectrum. The higher the number the cooler the light, the lower the number the warmer the light.
RGB: "Red, Green, Blue" Full colour LEDs use combinations of these 3 primary colours to produce up to a million different colours.
Colour Temperature: This term described where the hue of the light falls on the colour spectrum. If a light is on the yellow end it will be referred to as "warm white". If the light falls on the high-end it will be referred to as "cool white". Keep in mind that the beginning of the blue spectrum is at 6000K which is why some will see a slight blue in the higher kelvin LEDs.
IP Rating: IP is the abbreviation for "ingress protection". IP ratings consist of 2 numbers. The first stands for the protection against solid objects and is rated from 1 to 6. The second number is for protection against liquid and is rated from 0 to 9.
SMD: "Surface Mounted Device" This is the type of LED chip used in most high power LED products.
CRI: "Colour Rendering Index" A numerical measure of a light sources ability to reproduce the colours of objects in comparison to a natural light source.
RoHS: "Restriction of Hazardous Materials" This certification ensures that no toxic materials were used in the manufacturing of the certified product.
cETL: "Edison Testing Laboratory" In Canada the "c" is added to this certification mark. The ETL mark shows that a product meets the minimum requirements of Canadian accepted product safety standards. These standards are measured through independent testing of a National Recognized Testing Laboratory.
cUL: "Underwriters Laboratory" In Canada the "c" is added to the certification mark to indicate the product has been submitted for additional testing to meet Canadian standards. The phrase cUL Listed" donates that a manufacturer has produced a product that complies with cUL requirements. The UL certification in Canada without the addition of the "c" is not acceptable for use in Canada.
RU: Signifies that a product features a "cUL" Recognized Component"
CE: "European Community" This indicates that a product has met European Union consumer safety, health, or environmental requirements.
CSA: CSA is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, a crown corporation which promotes efficient and effective standardization in Canada as a standards development organization and as a certification body. The CSA registered mark shows that a product has been independently tested and certified to meet recognized standards for safety or performance.