Understanding LED Lighting


Home Exterior Lighting

The Basics

First, let’s start with LED’s acronym – LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode.

The diode or, “yellow button” on the panel is controlled by a driver.

Drivers change AC, or alternating current, to DC, or direct current. The diode is either on or off.


Variations and Meanings Of LED options:

When selecting a LED lamp, you should consider the following to find what would be best for you and your purposes:



Watt or Wattage: “can be used to quantify the rate of energy transfer.”

A power value given to the lamp, wattage, defines how much electricity a lamp uses when on.

The wattage size can vary and with ever-changing technology, no set conversion for LED exists. However, here is an example: 7 watts = 50 watts incandescent.



Kelvin – “The kelvin is often used in the measure of the color temperature of light sources.”

The color the diode light emits = Kelvin, and it ranges from 2,200 Kelvin up to 7,000 Kelvin.

Higher Kelvin numbers typically mean a “bluer” light.

“Candlelight” would be 2,200 Kelvin, and 2,700 Kelvin would be the equivalent to a halogen. White or tungsten is 3,000 Kelvin and 5,700 Kelvin is daylight or that of a metal halide.

However, keep in mind, Kelvin rating changes the lumen output.



CRI: Color Rendering Index; a comparison of a light’s ability to reproduce the Sun.

This is given as a numerical value of 0-100, 100 being sunlight at noon. The Kelvin temperature will affect the CRI.

Lumen – Lumen is how bright the diode is. The higher a lumen number the brighter the light.



The driver, which turns the diode on, is the engine.

Because the diode is on or off, it is important for the driver to supply the proper voltage (12-24 volts DC) to the diode.

A LED lamp with a constant driver will regulate the voltage and supply the diode with the proper voltage.

Some LED lamps will only operate at 12 volts.

LED lamps with a constant driver will have a voltage range (for example: 8-15 volts), which allows the LED to operate efficiently even during fluctuating voltage.



Congratulations! You’re now an expert on LED’s and the technical definitions of LED related values.


If you still have questions, we have a plethora of information we’d love to share with you, but really we only want to help you understand what you need to know in order to make an educated decision on which lighting system is best for you.


Feel free to reach out to us, and one of our staff will be happy to help you:

Phone: 210-860-7288

Or, stop by our San Antonio office:

20403 Encino Ledge #591263
San Antonio, TX, 78259