Lighting 101

The History of Lighting
  • Light bulb invented in 1879
  • Fluorescent bulb in the 1890s, 1900s
  • LED invented in 1962
  • Sunco was conceived in 1995
Wattage Explained
The amount of power a bulb draws to operate, denoted by a number with a "W" after it. For example, a bulb rated at 9W draws 9 watts to operate.
Wattage Equivalent Explained
LED bulbs require less power to operate, however, most consumers are used to equating the amount of light a bulb produces with the amount of power it consumes in Watts. Not only this, but most customers are used to seeing incandescent wattage values. Though these two concepts are not the same, they are related. To make it easier for the customer to make a purchasing decision, we provide the wattage equivalent of whatever kind of bulb that our LED bulb replaces. In our above example, our bulb draws 7W but emits the same amount of light as a 60W incandescent of the same style bulb. You may see this is written in the title as "7W=60W".
Lumens Explained
The amount of brightness the product emits.
Color Rendering Index (CRI) Explained
The quality of light on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the closest to natural sunlight as far as light quality. Sunco products usually run from CRI80 –CRI 95.
Kelvin Explained
Color is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. Typically, commercial and residential lighting application Kelvin temperatures fall somewhere on a scale from 2000K to 6500K.

Sunco colors include:

  • 2000K (Warm Amber Glow) --- Appears: Red
  • 2200K (Amber Glow)  --- Appears: Red
  • 2700K (Soft White) --- Appears: Orange
  • 3000K (Warm White) --- Appears: Yellow
  • 4000K (Cool White) --- Appears: White
  • 5000K (Daylight) --- Appears: Blue
  • 5500K (Daylight Glow) --- Appears: Blue
  • 6000K (Daylight Deluxe) --- Appears Silver
Ingress Protection (IP) Explained

It is a measurement of the protection an item will have against solid objects (dust, sand, dirt, etc.) and liquids.

An IP rating is comprised of 2 numbers, both of which give you information about the protection level. A higher number means greater protection.

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” *Do NOT submerge IP65 LED lights, these are not waterproof.
  • IP67 = Water resistant plus. “Protected against the events of temporary submersion (10 minutes)” *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:

Indoor use

Protected use inside sealed products

Inside sealed signage

When using aluminum extrusions


High IP ratings are appropriate for:

Unsealed outdoor locations

Places that have a lot of debris

Areas with heavy foot traffic

High splash areas

High contact areas (people touching them)

Wet locations

Beam Angles Explained

What beam angle should you choose for your next project? We want to help in your decision-making process for selecting the right beam angle for your project.

First, and most importantly, if you install lights at a certain height, how much light will be on the surface area of your floor?  Follow this equation:

BEAM WIDTH = ANGLE x .018 x DISTANCE

Technically in lighting, the beam angle is considered the points on both sides of the light spread where the intensity drops in half.  Say you have a 40° light bulb. At 20° on either side of that central point, the light intensity is ½ the intensity right under the bulb.  20° + 20° = 40°

After 40°, some light continues even outside of this range.  The light output of a lamp does not stop exactly at both ends.  Some light shines even outside of this range, but beam angle is determined where intensity or brightness of the lamp drop in half from the center point.

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