LED Education Guide | Learn About Lighting With Low-voltage Experts!

Lighting Visual Specifications

Color Rendering Index - CRI

Every type of lighting has its place on what’s known as the color rendering index chart. This chart measures a scale from 0 to 100, depending on how accurately it can produce light that matches a naturally referenced light source, such as the sun. 

“color accuracy” or “color saturation” 

In general terms, CRI is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors “realistically” or “naturally” compared to a familiar reference source, either incandescent light or daylight. 

Every type of lighting has its place on what’s known as the color rendering index chart. This chart measures a scale from 0 to 100, depending on how accurately it can produce light that matches a naturally referenced light source, such as the sun. 

“color accuracy” or “color saturation” 

In general terms, CRI is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors “realistically” or “naturally” compared to a familiar reference source, either incandescent light or daylight. 

I'm CRI The Parrot. I always feel so dull without my LED Lights!

CRI-Parrot

Hover over his picture to view him in older lighting solutions that can only reach 65-75 CRI. Our friend represents our LED Lights with vivid 90+ CRI Rating.   You can easily see the difference! 

icon.4000k

Correlated Color Temperature - CCT (Kelvin)

The following interactive guide will assist your understanding of the different moods that lighting temperature creates.  The 5 choices represent the majority of consumer grade CCT choices & the majority of Touch-Plate’s product ranges from 4000k-5000k

*Opposed to popular misconception, this has nothing to do with actual heat!

Kelvin is a measurement used to describe the color temperature of a light source. This is the specification that gives a description of the warmth or coolness of a light source.

When a piece of metal is heated, the color of light it emits will change. This color begins as red in appearance and graduates to orange, yellow, white, and then blue-white to deeper colors of blue. The temperature of this metal is a physical measure in degrees Kelvin (absolute temperature).

While lamps other than incandescent such as LEDs do not exactly mimic the output of this piece of metal, we utilize the correlated color temperature (CCT Charts) to describe the appearance of that light source as it relates to the appearance of the piece of metal.

Warm Indoor/Residential: Natural lighting that promotes relaxation & comfort. Matches traditional lighting, simulates sunrise/sunset yellowish/orange tones.

2700K – Soft Warm

3000K – Natural Warm

White Task Lighting: Accurate work space lighting.  Great for professional spaces or messy areas.

3500K – Natural White 

4000K – Cool White

4500K – Crisp White 

Blue Optical Perfection: Acute, accurate, crisp high-noon daylight lighting.  Excellent where visual accuracy is a must.

5000K – Daylight

5700K – White Daylight

6000k – Ultra Daylight 

If you want to learn more about Correlated Color Temperature or Kelvin.  Please view these resources…

     more Touch-Plate examples

Dimming

Are you wanting to control the brightness of your lights? Dimming comes in a variety of forms that can as simple a one fixture or as complex as a large entertainment center. With digital dimming you can dynamically control you lighting with sliders, knobs, switches, smart phones & even your voice!

Dimming is defined as the ability too smoothly adjust the brightness of a light source from a minimum value through full illumination.

Put simply, a light can be on, off & everything in between. 

Manipulating light this way has been used for centuries to increase ambience and establish environmental mood.

Stage performance, hosting a fancy dinner or a conference room  presentation; these scenarios all greatly benefit from being able to toggle the brightness of the room’s light.

Artificial lighting harsh on our sensitive human condition. Incorrectly installed dimmable lights can cause flicker or strobing. Identified as rapid or sporadic flashing of lights.

You have probably noticed this frightening phenomenon watching an older Fluorescent Tube going bad.

In addition to the annoyance of a flickering light, strobing increases risk of the following conditions: Migraines, Photosensitive Epilepsy, Sensory Overload for Children & Triggers Meltdowns for People Living with Autism.

Analogue Phase Dimming (Mains): controls the lights by altering the supply voltage.

  • Leading-edge Dimming: Dims by a cut-off in the voltage wave on its ascending side, from the start cutting off at the origin.
  • Trailing-edge Dimming: Dims by a cut-off in the voltage wave on its descending side, from the end cutting backwards
  • 1-10V Dimming: Enables analog dimming of the luminous flux from around 1…10% to 100%
  • Touch-Control: A system that enables the simple and economic dimming of luminous flux.

Digital Dimming: transforms the dimming signal into bits, then controls lighting in a digital format.

  • DMX:
  • DALI Regulation (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface): Digital signals are transmitted over a bus or two-wire control wire. These control wires can be negatively and positively polarized, though the majority control gears are designed polarity free to make connection indifferent.

If you have further questions regarding LED Dimming solutions, please contact our staff directly.  Our LED experts are eager to answer your questions!  You may contact our team at sales@touchplateled.com or you can call us during our regular business hours at (260) 426-1565.

Key Things To Consider: If you miss these steps you could end up with, Flickering, Flashing, Choppy Dimming, Ghosting, Dead Travel or Complete Failure

  • Compatibility: Dimming lights has 3 parts, lamp/fixture, dimmer & driver.  Double check labels and manufacture’s instructions to insure your parts work with your intended dimming method and each other. The majority of dimming issues are related to incompatibility.
  • Designed To Dim:  Not all LED Drivers & Lights are designed to dim (does not mean they unable).  To achieve the smooth dimming results you expect, make sure to purchase drivers and lights specifically towards the method you are using.  Focus on quality with LED Drivers; get what you need not the cheapest fit.  Otherwise you may be disappointed with the end result.
  • Electrical Load:  Similar to a lighting fixture; a dimmer can only sustain min/max loads.  Make sure to never overload the wattage on a dimmer (fire hazard). Also with the extremely low wattage of LED’s you dimmer should be able to support 0-1w to effectively achieve minimum dimming.

If you need assistance with installation of your LED Lighting or retrofitting dimming options to your pre-existing lights.  Please contact a licensed electrician to safely install your products without the risk of physical harm to you or your property.

Durability & Quality

icon.IP64

IP Rating (Ingress Protection Rating) IEC 60529

Classifies and rates the degree of protection provided by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures against intrusion, dust, accidental contact, and water.

Simply put… Is it durable?  Specifically defining who effective electrical enclosures are sealed from the outside elements. (Rain, Snow, Dust, Wind)

Here’s How the Label Works

IP (Rating Code) | # (Solids Protection) | # (Liquid Protection) | A-Z or blank (Specialized Protections)

Examples:

IP65 = 100% Dust Tight + Water Jet Protected

IP21 = Safe for fingers + dripping Water.

 

This Rating Chart works linearly.

Example:

IP21 is safe for fingers, however, IP31 is also finger safe in addition to safe for Tools, Large Wires, etc.

 

In summary,  IP Rating is a useful standard to assist product choices to insure you are finding the correct durability for your needs.  This standard is common with many appliances, electronics & consumer goods

First # | Solid particle protection
IP Level Effectiveness Size Description
X X means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criterion.
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50 mm – 2.0 in Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5 mm – 0.49 in Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5 mm – 0.098 in Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 1 mm – 0.039 in Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6 Dust-tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust-tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on airflow.
Second # | Liquid Ingress Protection
IP Level Protected Against Effective Against Details
X X means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to these criteria.
0 None
1 Dripping Water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM. Test duration: 10 minutes. Water equivalent to 1 mm (0.039 in) rainfall per minute.
2 Dripping water when tilted at 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes. Test duration: 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt. (10 minutes total) Water equivalent to 3 mm (0.12 in) rainfall per minute.
3 Spraying Water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield. Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b) is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum. For a spray nozzle: Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes[4] Water volume: 10 liters per minute (0.037 impgal/s) Pressure: 50–150 kPa (7.3–21.8 psi) For an oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes Water volume: 0.07 liters per minute (0.00026 impgal/s) per hole
4 Splashing of Water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with no shield. Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes. b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum. Oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes, or spray nozzle (same as IPX3 spray nozzle with the shield removed)
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm (0.25 in)) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute Pressure: 30 kPa (4.4 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)
6 Powerful Water Jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm (0.49 in)) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes Water volume: 100 liters per minute (0.37 impgal/s) Pressure: 100 kPa (15 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)
7 Water Immersion Up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) depth Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) of submersion). Test duration: 30 minutes. Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1,000 mm (39 in) below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm (5.9 in) below the surface, whichever is deeper.
8 Water Immersion Up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) depth The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion. Test duration: agreement with manufacturer Depth specified by the manufacturer, generally up to 3 meters (9.8 ft)
9 Powerful High-Temperature Water Jets Protected against close-range high pressure, high-temperature spray downs. Smaller specimens rotate slowly on a turntable, from 4 specific angles. Larger specimens are mounted in the intended position when being used, no turntable required, and are tested freehand for at least 3 minutes at a distance of 0.15–0.2 meters (5.9 in–7.9 in). Test duration: Fixture: 30 sec. in each of 4 angles (2 min. total), Freehand: 1 min/m2, 3 min. minimum Water volume: 14–16 liters per minute (0.051–0.059 impgal/s) Pressure: 8–10 MPa (80–100 bar) at distance of 0.10–0.15 meters (3.9 in–5.9 in) Water temperature: 80 °C (176 °F)
Letter Definition
K Maximum Pressure Steaming Water Jet Tested
C Protection against access with a tool
D Wire Protection
f Oil Resistant
H High Voltage Device
M Moving Device During Water Testing
S Device Standing Still During Water Testing
W Extreme Weather Conditions

IK Rating (Impact Protection Rating/Surge Protection)

Classification for degrees of protection against electrical surges. The IK rating scale identifies the ability of an enclosure to resist impact energy levels measured in joules  

Rating Description
X
0