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Lighting & Controls Definitions

Lighting and Controls can seem like a foreign language! Below are some common acronyms and definitions to help you become more fluent.

AHJs: Authorities Having Jurisdiction

AOLP: Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals

B117 Testing: ASTM’s B117 salt fog or salt spray test is a very popular corrosion test designed to provide corrosion resistance information on metals and coated metals.  The ASTM B117 test standard has also been approved for use by Department of Defense agencies.  (Cascade TEK is ISO/IEC: 17025 Accredited by A2LA to perform ASTM B117 testing.)

Best Practices for Roadway Lighting: RP-8 (2005); AASHTO GL-6 (2005)

BOM: Bill of Material

“BUG” Ratings: Backlight Uplight Glare Ratings. This is a luminaire classification system used vs. the old cutoff system of rating. Is tested according to test method IESNA TM-15-07.

CLVLT: Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician

COLD: Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer

Correlated Color Temperature: The color of the light produced by a light source (degrees Kelvin).

CRI: Color Rendering Index (What light does to the surface it lands on. Determines how true the colors we see are.)

CSS: Cul-de-sac Side Shield

CT: Current Transformer

DOE: U.S. Department of Energy

DOL: U.S. Department of Labor

DLC: Design Light Consortium

Efficacy: The ratio of power emitted as light to the total input of power (lm/Watt).

ETL Listed Mark: The ETL Listed Mark is proof that your product has been independently tested and meets the applicable published safety standard.

Footcandle (fc): Lumens per square foot (lm/ft(2)).

Full Cutoff: A luminaire light distribution with zero candela (intensity) at an angle of 90 degrees or above, and 10% or less at 80 degree, and 0% uplight.

Glare: Glare is excessive differences in luminance. Matters a great deal during night time outdoor lighting conditions. Glare can impair the ability of a person to perform visual tasks. There is no specific number for glare. It is perception.

Haitz Law: Haitz Law is an observation/prediction about the steady improvement over the years of LEDs. It states that every decade, the cost per lumen (unit of useful light emitted) falls by a factor of 10 and the amount of light generated per LED package increased by a factor of 20. (Haitz’s Law is named after Dr. Ronald Haitz, a now-retired scientist at Agilent Technologies.)

HID: High Intensity Discharge (referring to the source of light).

House Shield/Plate: A slotted, mounted cover that provided sharp light cutoff ½ mounting height behind the luminaire. Also HSS – House Side Shield.

HPS: High Pressure Sodium (a type of HID)

HSS: House Side Shield

IDA: International Dark-Sky Association

IDA Approved: International Dark-Sky Association Approved

IES: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America

Illuminance: Lumens of light arriving at a unit of road surface (in footcandles or lux).

IP: Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings developed to describe levels of protection in lighting. Developed by the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization (CENELEC). IP rating usually has two (or three) numbers: 1. Protection from solid objects or materials, 2. Protection from liquids. 3. Protection against mechanical impacts.

Kelvin Temperature: Color of light. (Will see color shift in the lower ranges of 3,000K to 1,000K.)

kWh: Kilowatt-hour(s)

L-70: Death of an LED (70% of initial lumen. LEDs do not burn out, they just produce progressively less light.)

Lamp Types: Low Pressure Sodium, High Pressure Sodium, Light Emitting Diode, Light Emitting Plasma Metal Halide, Fluorescent, Induction, Tungsten Haologen, and Incandescent.

LED: Light Emitting Diode

LEP: Light Emitting Plasma

LCC: Life-Cycle Cost

LDD: Luminaire Dirt Depreciation

Light Trespass: Light that leaves the area for which the lighting system was designed and “trespasses” onto the adjacent property.

LLF: Light Loss Factor

lm/W: Lumen(s) per Watt

LPS: Low Pressure Sodium

Lumen: Light. Total amount of visible light emitted by a source (lm).

Luminance: The amount of light reflecting from the surface and reaching the eye of the observer; The brightness of a light source in a particular direction, or as reflected from a road surface and seen by an observer (candela/m(2)).

Lux: A European standard. (footcandles x 10 = lux)

Mescopic Conditions: The low light levels for which we provide streetlighting.

Nadir: The area directly below the luminaire.

NEEA: Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance –

Non Cutoff: A luminaire light distribution where there is no candela restriction at any angle. There is no restriction on uplight.

PEC: Photo Electric Cell – A small cell that controls the lighting. One cell may control several lights, or there may be one per light depending on things like terrain.

Photometry: Pattern of light.

PNNL: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (of the US Dept of Energy)

RP-8: Recommends lighting (in footcandles or lux) based on roadway type, pedestrian interaction, and pavement classification.

Sky Glow: The brightening of the night sky that results from the reflection of radiation (visible and non-visible), scattered from the constituents of the atmosphere (gas molecules, aerosols and particulate matter) in the direction of observation.

Natural sky glow: That part of the sky glow that is attributable to radiation from celestial sources and luminescent processes in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Man-made sky glow: That part of the sky glow which is attributable to man-made sources of radiation (ie. artificial outdoor lighting), including radiation that is emitted directly upwards and radiation that is reflected from the surfaces of the Earth.

Spectral Effects: The effects of different colored light sources on people’s ability to see.

SSL: Solid-State Lighting

Structural Base: A base (decorative) that is structurally strong enough to support everything attached to it (mast arms, luminaires) vs. a Standard pole with a base cover (decorative), where the pole attaches directly to the base and the cover provides the architectural decoration.

TSAP: Transportation Safety Action Plan

UL Listed: Means product is electrically safe.

Uniformity: Even light