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LIGHTING GLOSSARY

LIGHTING GLOSSARY

lighting terms used in architecture and interior design

A

Absorption

Process in which electromagnetic waves, such as a beam of light, are absorbed by the illuminated material, converting into heat and weakening.

Accent Lamp

Luminaire designed to highlight or emphasize a specific object, area, or feature in a space. It is used to add drama, visual interest, and focus to particular elements within a room or environment.

Adaptation

Process by which the eye adjusts to the predominant light intensity in the field of vision.

Additive Color Mixing

Optical model for color mixing behavior of light based on the theory of three colors (red/green/blue). It is used in color synthesis with LEDs, where the sum of all colors produces white and the absence of light produces black.

Anodizing

Electrochemical process by which a protective oxide layer is applied to the surface of a metal, usually aluminum, to improve its corrosion resistance and provide aesthetic properties.

Architectural Lighting

Design and application of lighting systems with the aim of enhancing the architecture of a building or space. Architectural lighting is used to highlight structural features, accentuate details, and create environments that complement architectural design.

b

Beam Angle

The degree of amplitude from which light emanates from a lighting source.

Bulb

Another term for a lamp.

c

Cable Grommet

Device designed to pass electrical cables through a wall, ceiling, or other surface, preventing the cable from running due to the weight of the luminaire. In lighting, cable grommets are important for installing luminaires safely and aesthetically.

Candela

Unit of luminous intensity, representing the light emitted by an electric light source in a specific solid angle.

Canopy

Structure containing one or several luminaires on the ceiling and concealing the electrical installation. They can be circular or rectangular in shape.

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a measure of the ability of a light source to accurately reproduce the colors of various objects compared to a natural light source. The CRI simply rates color rendering on a scale of 100, the higher the index, the better the color rendering.

Color Rendering Performance

Precision with which a light source represents colors compared to natural light.

Color Temperature

Color temperature is a measure of how warm or cool the light emitted by a lamp appears. It is usually determined in Kelvin (K). Warm temperature (2200 K to 3000 K) is used for workspaces or spaces that need to be illuminated for specific activities.

Measure of the color and quality of light from an electric light source, expressed in Kelvin. Color temperatures are roughly subdivided into artificial light and natural light.

Control Devices

 Used in lighting technology for more precise control, such as dimmers or intelligent lighting systems.

d

Diffuser

A piece of translucent material surrounding the light source. The light transmitted through the diffuser is dispersed through this material, making it softer and more uniform.

Dimmable

A dimmable luminaire is one that can adjust the intensity of the emitted light. This is typically achieved by using a dimmer or intensity controller that allows increasing or decreasing the brightness of the lights as needed to create different atmospheres or meet various lighting needs.

Dimmer

A device in an electrical circuit used to vary the light intensity of a lamp in a lighting installation.

Direct Glare

Caused by light that reaches the eye directly from a light source. It can cause visual discomfort, irritation, or loss of visual performance.

E

Electric Ballast

A device used to supply sufficient voltage to ignite and operate fluorescent lamps.

Electric Light Sources

They emit artificial visible light, composed of the light source (bulb) and the combined luminaire.

Electroluminescence

Emission of visible light by certain substances, such as semiconductors, when stimulated by an electric current.

Energy Efficiency

Efficiency rating of bulbs ranging from A to E, where A is the highest level of efficiency. Within level A, we can find LED bulbs.

Energy Saving Bulbs

Folded fluorescent lamps with a ballast at the base, which produce light through gas discharge.residential spaces and to create cozier atmospheres. Neutral temperature is used for workspaces or spaces that need to be illuminated for specific activities.

Eye Sensitivity

Function of human eye sensitivity, ranging from 380 nm to 780 nm, with maximum sensitivity at 555 nm.

F

Filament Lamps

Thermal radiators that produce light by heating a tungsten wire.

Fluorescent Lamps

Gas discharge lamps where UV radiation is converted into visible light by a fluorescent coating.

Frosted Lamp

Chemically or mechanically etched onto a material to diffuse the emitted light.

G

Gas Discharge Lamps

Light sources based on the creation of plasma through a discharge process in ionized gases.

I

Indirect Glare

Light reflected from a surface towards the eye. It can cause visual discomfort, irritation, or loss of visual performance.

K

Kelvin Temperature Scale

The way we measure the temperature of light is through the Kelvin temperature scale. This standardized color scale is created by heating a theoretical black body, starting at 0 Kelvin (absolute zero) as the body heats up, it glows, just like any other object would. As the heat increases, the color changes, first appearing dark red, then yellow, passing through the visible colors of the spectrum until it reaches blue and violet.

L

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

A small electronic device that lights up when electricity passes through it. LEDs have a long lifespan and can come in different light temperatures and colors. Additionally, they are an efficient source of energy.

Lumen

Unit of luminous flux. The lumen rating of a lamp is a measure of the total light output, or brightness, of the lamp.

P

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights can provide both task lighting and general lighting, equipped with shades or globes to prevent glare. They are placed on the ceiling or ceiling of spaces usually with a canopy that hides the electrical installation.

R

Reflection

Bouncing of electromagnetic waves when they impact on a material.

Reflection Grade

Percentage of light reflected from a surface, important for indoor lighting calculations.

Refraction

Change in the direction of electromagnetic waves as they pass through different media.

Refractors

Devices in light sources that can reflect electromagnetic waves.

S

Semiconductors

Electrical components with variable conductivity depending on temperature, used in LEDs.

Spectrum

Distribution of wavelengths of light emitted by a light source.

Subtractive Color Mixing

Mixing of color pigments, where colors become visible through illumination.

T

Thermal Radiators

Electric light sources that emit a significant portion of radiation as heat.

Transformer (Driver)

An electrical device that transforms the direct line voltage of an installation to the voltage required by a lighting system.

Translucent

Property of a material that allows light to pass through but diffuses or softens the image seen through it. Translucent materials can be used as screens, diffusers, and luminaire covers to create soft and uniform lighting.

Transmission

Passage of electromagnetic waves through a material.

V

Voltage

It is the standard metric unit of measurement for electrical potential. It defines the strength or pressure of electricity. Measured in Volts.

V

Wall Bracket

Type of luminaire mounted on the wall. Commonly used in architectural lighting to highlight the texture and details of a wall.

Watt

The watt is the unit that defines the rate of energy consumption.

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