5 Basic Lighting Terms You Need to Know

With lighting technology constantly changing, vocabulary can easily become daunting. We went back to the basics to help sort out some commonly confusing lighting terms so you can feel confident about our lighting specifications.

Juniper Lighting THIN Shared Task Lamp Assemblage John Street Location

1. WATTAGE

Wattage (W) measures the use of power. The lower the wattage, the more efficient it is. For incandescent lamping, a lower wattage usually means a dimmer bulb. But in terms of LED’s, as a result of our growing technology, there is now less of a correlation between wattage and lower lumens. LED’s are now lower in wattage while still producing the same lumen output. A fixture with LED lamping can use as little as 6W, which is up to 7 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

 

2. LUMENS

Lumens (LM) is what measures your fixture’s brightness capacity. We recommend 400-600LM, preferably with dimming capabilities, for direct task lighting. To determine the right lumens for your space, multiply your space square footage by its respective foot-candle. Refer to the chart below.

 

RESIDENTIAL

SPACE

AVG.

ROOM SIZE

RECOMMENDED

FOOT-CANDLES

AVG

TOTAL

LUMENS

Bedroom220 sq ft10-20

2,200LM

Bathroom

135 sq ft70-809,450LM
Kitchen200 sq ft30-40

6,000LM

Dining Room

150 sq ft30-404,500LM
Living Room250 sq ft10-20

2,500LM

Foot-candles for common home spaces

3. CRI

Color-Rendering Index (CRI) is the valuation of a color’s appearance under a light source, as opposed to natural light. We recommend at least 90 CRI for the most accurate color translation. See below to check your fixture’s CRI rating.

 

0-55 CRI

(Poor)

We don’t recommend using lighting with this low of a CRI rating.

60-85 CRI

(Good)

Most LED lighting falls in this range. It’s good, but could be better.

90-100 CRI

(Excellent)

Juniper fixtures have a standard 90 CRI rating, for excellent color accuracy and quality.

CRI Rating

4. COLOR TEMPERATURE

Color Temperature is the color of light your fixture provides. It is measured using Kelvin (K), on a scale of 1,000K (candlelight) to 10,000K (daylight). The lower the color temperature is, the more orange your light emits. The higher the color temperature, the more blue it emits. See the chart below to determine the recommended color temperature for spaces.

 

COLOR TEMPERATURERECOMMENDED SPACES

2,400K-2,800K

(Tungsten Light)

Intimate spaces: bedroom, living room, dining areas, lounges, bar spaces

2,800K-3,200K

(Warm White – Most Common)

Neutral spaces: showrooms, retail stores, workspaces, kitchens, bathrooms, lobbies, entryways
3,200K-4,500K

(Pale Blue Daylight)

Productive spaces: kitchens, offices, coworking spaces, bathrooms, healthcare spaces

Color Temperature Chart

juniper lighting color temperature comparison

5. VOLTAGE

Voltage (V) is what enables your fixture to work. Using too high of a voltage will likely result in destroying your fixture, and too low of a voltage may not supply enough pressure to power it. It is essential that you understand what your light’s voltage is since each location has their designated voltages. We highly suggest using our global voltage map.

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