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LED Lighting Dictionary

  • Here you will find some information or definitions of the LED lighting lingo. 

We will continue adding words and terms as we progressively enhance our website.

Please feel free to contact us if you happen to encounter any discrepancies or anomalies.

We hope this helps you better-understand LED lighting. 



What is CCT or what does CCT stand for?  CCT in the lighting industry is the abbreviation for corelated color temperature. It defines the color presence of the light that is emitted by a diode (or led chip). It is measured in degrees Kelvin otherwise know as "K"(i.e. 2700K=warm white or 5000K = cool white). 



What are LED Daytime Running Lights or what is DRLDaytime running lights do not only play the role of lighting, but also to warn pedestrians and vehicles that a moving vehicle is approaching and in working condition. The aim of daytime running lights are to provide safety and you are welcome to use new products under daytime running light series. 


What is an E26 Base on a light bulb? It is the most common base on a light bulb. Mostly used at home. It is also known as "standard" or "medium base". The 26 represents the diameter of the base which is 26 millimeters. Many types of bulb shapes are also retrofitted to this type of base depending on what your needs are. Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for something specific but do not see it on our site. We will try our best to help you find it.  









What is a G9 light bulbA G9 LED light bulb is usually a very small bulb that looks like a pellet and contains looped prongs as conductors (Please see image below). The "G" stands for glass because they were originally made of glass (see image comparison below). The 9 indicates the distance between the prongs which on a GO is 9 millimeters. They are mainly used in small appliances and desk lamps. You may also find them being used in accent or under cabinet lighting. You will also find larger sizes available for industrial or commercial use. 



What is Gu24 base or socket?  GU24 socket or base is a bi pin socket fitting for compact fluorescent light bulbs or lamps otherwise know as "CFL" or LED Bulbs that use a base mount similar to a bayonet bulb where you twist and lock. They have now been retrofitted make almost any type of bulb compatible with a GU24 socket. A GU24 socket complies with a ruling by the California Energy Commission under Title 24, which is a California Building Standards Code, to require high-efficiency lighting on all residential remodels and new construction. The purpose of the pins and the twist-and-lock mechanism is to prevent an electrical shock since the contacts in the socket are not exposed as they are in other sockets like a medium base (E26) which is a standard household screw on socket.   






What is Kelvin count in lighting? Kelvin is a temperature scale. Color temperature of a light source is measured by Kelvin units. 


(Approximate kelvin ratings)

-Warm White = 2200K-3200K

-Moonlight White = 4000K-4500K

-Cool White (Bright White) = 5000K-6000K

-Daylight White = 7000K



What is an L.E.D? LED stands for light-emitting-diode. Invented by Mr. Oleg Losev, it is a semiconductor that gives off light when charged with an electric current. LEDs require low power to function therefore are the most energy efficient form of lighting. An LED can last for decades if it is installed properly. An LED is usually small and it used to only be installed in small electrical components like remote controls or indicator lamps for small electronic devices. Now LEDs are swiftly taking over the lighting industry and replacing incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs and lamps as they are far more energy efficient and do not pose as big a threat as old light bulbs when it comes to their disposal. LED light bulbs and lamps are now made in a variety of specifications depending on the need of your lighting project or application. 


What is luminous efficacy? determines how good visible light is produced. It is the ration of luminous flux to energy, measured in lumens per watt according to the International System of Units (SI). 




What is a Multifaceted in 1971, The multifaceted reflectors were first used in slide projectors. The MR stands for "Multifaceted Reflector". The numbers 8, 11 and 16 represent the amount of eights-of-an-inch in the diameter of the reflector cup. So the MR16 is 16/8" in diameter, the MR11 is 11/8" and so on and so forth. The purpose of the multi facet reflector cup that covers the actual bulb about 3/4 of the way up and completely open on the top is to collect the light given off by the quartz halogen filament bulb and control the reflection to shine in one direction hence creating a "spot"-light. You will run into two different types of reflectors, one is the commonly used aluminum reflector which is faceted. The other is a textured acrylic coating that allows infrared radiation to go through it disallowing it all to be reflected towards the illuminated object therefore keeping the bulb and the object cooler.  MR Bulbs were only able to be installed in fixtures that can dissipate heat but since the new energy-saving LED technology requires less energy to operate, the bulbs do not heat up as much as their prior generation bulbs, The Halogens. This reflector is also built with different calibers designed to only emit a certain amount of light in a specific beam spread. It is stationary but the design will also control the beam angle. This is where the different beam angles come into play (Narrow Spot, Spot, Wide Spot, Narrow Flood, Flood and so on and so forth depending on how many different beam spreads the manufacturer would like to produce and/or offer. Older MR bulbs (i.e. Halogen) are made of quartz which can stand the high temperatures from the electric current subsequently generating a brighter light. The halogen gas combines with the vapor from the quartz glass. Once combined and at the correct temperature the tungsten filament will heat up so much as to generate light by exposing the electric current to halogen gas and the tungsten vapors. The quartz "glass" is also used to keep the oxygen away from the filament as it will also cause it to burn out. Another factor that will burn out your bulb is the oils from your skin. They cause damage to the quartz glass by trapping the outward moving heat from the bulb. It will continue to trap the heat causing the bulb to overheat and burn out.  That is why one should not touch the glass of a light bulb with your bare hands. If you happen to do so, simply grab a clean cloth, paper towel or rag and wipe any oils off. 


MR Bulbs were commonly constructed to operate with only 12V due to the heating up of the luminaire. This requires the use of a transformer to minimize the line voltage from the standard 120V to 12 or or 24 volts.


You will also find 120V versions but only on the MR16 for now. The MR8 and MR11 bulbs are too small to take the amount of heat of a 120V current. It will burn out quickly. You may start seeing 120V MR 8s and MR11s soon as the Lighting technology is advancing at an extremely fast pace.  


MR16 Bulbs also come with different style bases that go into the socket of a lamp. The standard base for MR16s is a bi pin base. They also come with a medium base socket to fit in your ordinary bulb socket, Candelabra base is also used for MR bulbs. Let's not forget the GU10 which is a 120V bulb. and last but not least a bayonet base (like the type that's on a car light (Looks like an upside down frankenstein's head with the two studs sticking out on the sides. Also, if you don't find the bulb, we can get you an adapter for it. 



What is PWM? PWM stands for "pulse-width modulation" which is a method of dimming LEDs. It is a modulation method used to encode the amplitude of signal into a pulse-width or duration of another signal. With LEDs, It is used on mostly on signs and/or advertisements. It is when the LED's turn on and off so fast that, visually, they appear as a steady dim light.





What is an LED Rectifier? A rectifier will convert your AC input power into a DC output and at the same make sure that the polarity of the output remains consistent no matter what the input is. 

What is RGB LED? RGB stands for red, green and blue and when these colored lights are combined they can make millions of different hues of light. The most common RGB controllers are able to emit 16 different colors. You also have 44 button controllers as well as the touch-slide controllers which allow you to create many more fun colors with your RGB LED strip. 

What is LED Rope light? This pretty much self explanatory. LED rope light is a clear round pvc tube containing a string of lights within its length. It is mainly used for decorative purposes and can be used as indoor or outdoor lighting. There are 1/2" and 3/8" round rope lights, flat rope lights, 2-wire, 3-wire, 4 wire and even 5 wire rope lights depending on what your applications' needs are. Feel free to contact us at 213LED if you happen not to see the rope light which you are looking for on our site.  



What is SMD LED? SMD is the abbreviation of Surface Mounted Device. SMD LED = Surface Mounted Device Light Emitting Diode.   

What is an LED Strip light? This is pretty much self explanatory. It is simply a strip with lights on it (In our case, LED lights. Now on a more specific or technical term: An LED strip light is a bendable strip with circuits and LED chips on it. It is also called "tape light" due to the adhesive tape on the back of the strip which makes the installation of this product a very easy one. They are commonly used for back-lighting, accent lighting (bars homes and display cases) as well as task lighting (kitchen undercabinets or work stations). They can also be used as a decoration during the holidays or on display cases.  Lately (from 2015 to present), here in Los Angeles, they have been trending on small commercial establishment signs.