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Lighting 101

Watts measure energy usage or how much energy is consumed. The standard in previous years was to shop for lights using their wattage. Example: a 60W bulb consumes 60 watts of energy.

Remember that watts do not reflect the brightness of a light. If you want to measure the brightness of a specific bulb, look at the Lumen output. LEDs provide more light (lumens) while using less energy (watts).

How well a bulb converts watts (energy) into lumens (light brightness) is called luminous efficacy, which is sometimes just referred to as efficacy.

In general, an LED produces 60 lumens (lm) per watt. Check out the technical specs on individual products on this site for precise measurements of each Sunco LED bulb.

Lumens refers the amount of brightness a bulb emits or its output; lumens is a measurement of the quantity of visible light emitted from a single bulb. Lumens are a way we can express how lights of equal power, but different wavelengths, are not as bright.

You will see lumens in technical specs with the letters “lm” after a series of numbers. Fewer lumens means a dimmer light is emitted. The higher the number, the brighter the bulb.

Canadian used to buy their light bulbs based upon the amount of wattage1. If you focus on the lumens instead, you can purchase lights that produce the amount of light you need for specific uses. The more lumens, the brighter the light produced.

1 Watts measure energy usage, rather than brightness.

Color Rendering Index (CRI) is shown on a scale of 0-100. CRI indicates the faithful reproduction of an object’s color when under that light source versus when viewed under a natural light source. In this measurement, 100 is shown as the closest to natural or sunlight quality.

LED light bulbs in the CRI 80 – CRI 89 range produce an accurate color rendering and are considered good. LED lights in the CRI 90+ range are considered to have an excellent color rendering ability. In contrast, fluorescent bulbs produce an unnatural light quality and range in low numbers on the CRI scale.

Iluminpro products usually run from CRI 80 – CRI 95.

In addition to accurate color, high CRI also makes the textures of an item stand out. This means LEDs are the ideal answer for indoor light that needs to represent both accurate color and clear definition.

Want to improve customer satisfaction with your products? Light them in the high CRI range to ensure accurate representation of the product’s color and texture.

Think about what your clothes look like in a retail dressing room or a retail display area versus wearing those same clothes outside in sunlight. Also, consider how food can appear in your kitchen prep area or a dining room or on a candlelit table, versus serving that same plate in outside natural daylight. What you are seeing is the representation of CRI and color temperature (on the Kelvin scale) in your everyday life.

Absolute color temperature is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. This measurement allows you to describe the quality of a light. Typically, in commercial and residential lighting applications, Kelvin temperatures fall somewhere on a scale from 2000K to 6500K. When you want a specific look and feel in a room, choose the color temperature that best suits your project’s needs. The lower the temperature, the warmer the look; the higher the temperature, the cooler the look.

You may see the term Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) used when discussing light or while referencing technical specs. This is a way to measure a light’s appearance in the warmth or coolness of the light emitted.

It helps to understand the concept of CCT when you consider what happens when a blacksmith heats a piece of metal or when metal is melted for industrial purposes. Of course, LEDs do not heat in this manner, but let’s examine this for reference purposes to see how heating can change the color and appearance of an object.

When metal is first heated – still at a relatively low temperature – the metal turns an amber/red hue.Heated metal that is ready to be shaped or worked by a blacksmith is a warm white with a slight tinge of yellow (such as our 3000K color temperature).Liquid metals are a bright white or silver (which relates to the Daylight quality of 5000K-6500K+). Though the metal itself is piping hot, the color of the metal is cooler in tone and quality.

Ingress Protection (IP) is a measurement of the protection or shield an item will have against both solid objects and liquids. Because of this combination, an IP rating includes two numbers, both of which provide information about the protection level. A higher number means greater defense.

The first number (0-6) refers to the level of protection against solid objects and moving parts, such as dust, debris, or other solid matter.

The second number (0-8) references the level of liquid and moisture protection.

Here are a few examples:IP65= Water resistant

“Protected against water jets from any angle”

NOTE: Do NOT submerge IP65 LED lights, these are not waterproof.

IP67= Water resistant plus

“Protected against the events of temporary submersion (10 minutes)”

NOTE: Do NOT submerge IP67 LED lights for extended periods, these are not waterproof.

IP68= Waterproof“Protected against the events of permanent submersion up to 3 meters”Low IP ratings are appropriate for:Protected use inside sealed productsInside sealed signageWhen using aluminum extrusions

High IP ratings are appropriate for:Unsealed outdoor locationsPlaces with a lot of debrisAreas with heavy foot trafficHigh splash zonesHigh contact areas (people touching the item)Wet locationsNot every product will show an IP rating. Sometimes the terms wet rated or damp rated are used. IP ratings were developed overseas.

When you turn on a light, the beam angle is the angle at which that light is emitted or distributed.

Let’s look at that concept in a different way. This is an image of four lights in a darkened room with four different beam angle sizes.

The smallest light beam spread (30-degrees) is on the left and the widest light beam spread (120-degrees) is on the right. The narrow light beam might be referred to as a spot light, while the wider one could be referred to as a flood light. There are nuances to this, as shown in our leading graphic.

A common misconception is that a wide flood light is a brighter light than a spot. Analyzing the brightness of a light is separate from the measurement of a light beam. Brightness is measured in Lumens.

Let’s examine a single light in a darkened room, like the one shown below:

If you look at only half of the light beam, you can see that the light creates a sort of triangle shape from the light source (at top) directly down from the center point, then spread out to one side where the pool of light lands on the ground.

In the world of lighting, the beam angle is measured at the points on both sides of the light spread, where the intensity drops in half from the center point (remember our triangle). Say you have a 40° light spread. At 20° on either side of that central point, the light intensity is half the intensity of what appears directly beneath the bulb.

After 40°, some light continues even outside of this range.

Where that 40° light beam lands on the floor is the beam radius (sometimes discussed as light spread). The larger the beam radius or beam width, the less spot-like and more flood-like the light becomes.

We want to help in your decision-making process for selecting the right beam angle for your project. If you install lights at a certain height, how much light will appear on the surface area of your floor?

Here is a sample chart showing Beam Angles (shown in degrees) and Light Spread (feet) for five different ceiling heights.

Want to do this yourself for your unique space? Simply follow this equation:



ENERGY STAR is a United States government backed system for energy efficiency to provide simple and unbiased, credible information that businesses and customers can rely on to help make informed decisions.

You will see the ENERGY STAR logo mark on select Iluminpro products. It features a blue logo with a white star. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures that each product to earn that logo was independently certified to deliver the quality, performance, and savings that consumers have come to expect.

Iluminpro includes the ENERGY STAR mark on product packaging and you can see it in both the technical specifications on our website and in the downloadable Tech Spec PDFs for our products.

In addition to certifications for our products, we also provide technical specifications for each product. One of those is the lifetime hours of our LED bulbs.

ENERGY STAR allows LED device manufacturers to perform our own LM-80 testing data.

Using the ENERGY STAR recommended method for testing the lifetime of a lightbulb, we employ LM-80-08 (a.k.a. LM-80), a test method authored by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). This “Approved Method: Measuring Lumen Maintenance of LED Light Sources” estimates the lifetime hours of qualified SSL Luminaires. It shows the relative light output, over time at various set conditions. In other words, how quickly the light output of a component level LED will depreciate.

This test does not extrapolate the lab measured LED lifetime testing data to determine future lifetime prediction. It only presents the resulting test data in the form of a data table and chart. Predicting lifetime hours is where TM-21-11 steps in.

TM-21-11 is referred to as “Projecting Long Term Lumen Maintenance of LED Light Sources” and is a standard calculation to extrapolate test data in order to predict future performance. Just like any lightbulb, LEDs will gradually depreciate over time. Since LEDs provide you with a significantly longer lifetime and do not physically degrade in ways that traditional lightbulbs do (such as darkened glass bulbs or broken, coiled filament wires), this standard helps ensure that you see consistent reporting from LED manufacturers.

UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit. They are an independent global, safety science company that tests and approves products for consumer safety and standards. They have been in existence for more than a century and do not have a financial interest in the products they evaluate. That is quite a pedigree.

When something is labeled as UL Listed that means the tested product met pertinent requirements under the Underwriters Laboratories’ Standards of Safety.

Underwriters Laboratories provides various marks (like the logo shown here) that manufacturers like Iluminpro can use to indicate a product is UL Listed.

Electrical Testing Laboratories or ETL was begun by Thomas Edison under the title Lamp Testing Bureau in 1896 to test the safety of light bulbs. ETL now tests against Standards of Safety by using published standards from companies like UL, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Intertek ETL provides a certification mark to indicate proof of product compliance in the U.S., Canada, and in other parts of the world.

DesignLight Consortium is a non-profit with a mission to define quality, facilitate thought leadership, and to deliver both tools and resources to the lighting market through open dialogue and collaboration. In addition, utilities nationwide participate in rebate programs regarding DLC standards for select products.

Accredited laboratories perform the testing, according to DLC LED lighting requirements to comply with performance standards in:


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates and enforces products that can emit radio frequency energy or other electromagnetic interference that might cause harm to the public or broadcast in radio frequency range, plus other telecommunications requirements. The FCC enforces this per Title 47 of CFR Section 2.907. Certification for RF devices is the most stringent offered by the FCC due to the potential interference with radio services. Test data provided to the FCC is sourced from testing performed by an FCC recognized and accredited testing laboratory.

Iluminpro LED bulbs and devices with remote, Bluetooth, or WiFi functionality include FCC certification, since they are Radio Frequency (RF) devices and fall under FCC rules.

CE Marking indicates that the product may be legally placed on the EFTA & European Union (EU) market. This attests that a particular product contains the essential requirements and/or performance levels, and Harmonized Standards to which products must conform. Harmonized Standards are the technical specifications established by several European standards agencies (CEN, CENELEC, etc.).

The letters “CE” stand for the French phrase “Conformité Européene,” which is translated as European Conformity.

Most Iluminpro products are RoHS compliant. RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC. It originated in the European Union and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials within electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.

The restricted materials banned under RoHS include materials that were commonly found in traditional light bulbs:

Lead (Pb)Mercury (Hg)Cadmium (Cd)Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI)Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB), Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)4 types of Phthalates: DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP

These restricted materials are hazardous to the environment, they pollute landfills, and are dangerous in terms of occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling.

Like the other certifications, RoHS compliant details can be found in our Technical Specifications for each product.

Each of the product certifications above certify a wide variety of the products Sunco manufacturers and distributes to you. For your convenience, you can explore the products associated with each certification from this page. We also provide a technical specification on each product page or you can review specs for each product family through the Manuals and Downloads page.

Both our product pages and tech specs include all the applicable certifications you will want to examine in order to make informed decisions about purchasing our products.