Technical

Led Partners

AKC Lighting has established key working relationships with some of the World’s leading LED Chip manufacturers.

All Projects require consistent white light with excellent long-term performance and colour-stability. Our latest series of high-performance Light Engines use the latest Generation of LED Chips from:

Light Colour & Quality

Colour and quality of light is a key factor for all professional Lighting Designers. The standard colour rendering index (Ra) is the average of the first eight special colour rendering indices (which correspond to non-saturated colours). The general colour rendering index (Ra) scale varies from zero to 100. For project illumination, an Ra of 80 (80 CRI) is considered the minimum acceptable, while for those interiors which rely upon precise colour matching, an Ra of 95+ (95 CRI) may be necessary. By definition, a tungsten bulb (which is a blackbody source) will have an Ra of 100.

AKC Lighting use the new TM-30-15 standard to highlight the importance of colour/quality of light. TM-30-15 is a new method to evaluate colour rendition; it includes several measures and graphics to evaluate the Fidelity (Rf) and Gamut (Rg) of a source when compared to the reference illuminant – a tungsten halogen. Unlike the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) which only considers the average accuracy of limited colour samples, TM-30 widens the comparative colour samples (99 colour samples) and offers a more comprehensive way to evaluate overall rendition.

To simply this terminology refer to the images below that highlight colour-rendering and colour-shift:

SDCM is an acronym which stands for Standard Deviation Colour Matching. SDCM has the same meaning as a MacAdam ellipse. A 1-step MacAdam ellipse defines a zone in the CIE 1931 2 deg (xy) colour space within which the human eye cannot discern colour difference. Most LEDs are binned at the 4-7 step level, in other words you certainly can see colour differences in LEDs that are ostensibly the same colour.

Due to the variable nature of the colour produced by white light LEDs, a convenient metric for expressing the extent of the colour difference within a batch (or bin) of LEDs is the number of SDCM (MacAdam) ellipse-steps in the CIE colour space that the LEDs fall into. If the chromaticity coordinates of a set of LEDs all fall within 1 SDCM (or a 1-step MacAdam ellipse) most people would fail to see any difference in colour. If the colour variation is such that the variation in chromaticity extends to a zone that is twice as big (2 SDCM or a 2-step MacAdam ellipse), it is technically possible to see some colour difference - a 2-step MacAdam ellipse is better than a 3-step and so-on. Colour-shift becomes more apparent to most people at 4SDCM. The vast majority of LED’s found in cheaper GU10/MR16 Light sources are 6 SDCM as standard – which can result in extremely poor quality of light.

Our entry point Light Engine (LE80) uses the Bridgelux V8 Series with 3 SDCM / 80 CRI as standard.

Secondary Optics

Glare and uneven light distribution can provide discomfort for the occupants of the Interior in question. Glary, sharp and piercing light fixtures are common in low-budget projects, where ‘contractor-grade’, cheaper LED light sources are deployed and in numerous cases where contractors have installed a fitting that was not specified/approved by the Projects Lighting Designer.

AKC Lighting has worked closely with Ledlink Optics (Taiwan) to utilise a new range of high-performance, glare-reducing secondary optics (lenses) for our latest Light Engines. With a field / beam angle ratio of 1.8 – the new range of lenses provide superior beam angle accuracy coupled with smooth, even distribution of light and less glare.

The lenses are available in 12 / 24 / 38 and 60° beam angle options.

A range of high-grade Aluminium reflectors with finishing lens options is still available (on request).

Linear LED

Our designers and engineers have worked tirelessly to provide an updated range of Linear LED Strips and Profiles that provide Lighting Designers with a huge number of possible applications - both indirect and direct. We have partnered with Epistar – using their 3528 SMD Chip with 1 SDCM colour stability and also with Hongli (2835 SMD Chip / 2 SDCM) – for projects requiring superior linear lighting that is value-engineered without any compromise in quality. For high-end interiors we supply Linear LED with Lumileds 3014 LED – for unrivalled quality of light with a five-year warranty.

For RGB applications we now supply RGBW with Nichia LED and we also offer the popular CCT-adjustable LED Strip, switchable warm-white to cool-white with DMX control.

Our range of LED profiles and LED Strips can now be fully customised and cut-to-size – providing Lighting Designers with peace-of-mind that the finish in furniture/joinery and other direct applications will be of the highest standard, whilst keeping the contractor happy by way of easy installation and a reduction in both cutting wastage and labour mishaps.

Our Dotless, homogenous Linear LED lighting range (Line of Light) has also been re-designed. Our Joinery / Panel profiles offer surface and recessed mounting options for bookshelves, stairs, retail displays and other applications where the Linear LED is directly visible.

For indirect Linear LED (Cove Lighting, accent lighting applications) we have introduced a updated range of LED Strip that requires no soldering on-site, a constant current LED Strip for lengths up to 30m and a new Cove Profile designed to provide superior light distribution with no gaps in light that also uses a mounting rail – for surface mounting on joinery or inside plaster / gypsum coving.

The Linear LED range has options from IP20 to IP68 – covering the full spectrum of project applications.

FAQ's

How to select an appropriate LED Driver?

The following data is necessary for selecting an LED Driver suitable for AKC LED Engines / MR16

  • Power output (W)
  • Drive Current (mA)
  • Forward Voltage (Vf)
  • Dimming Protocol

Every AKC LED Engine and MR16 datasheet contains the information required to specify the most suitable LED Driver. We recommend one LED driver for one LED Engine – this is the ideal method to ensure your fixture performs at its optimum.

AKC LED Engines and MR16 light sources have been tested with LED Drivers by Tridonic / Philips / AcTec / Osram / HEP / EldoLED / ELT / TCI / / Helvar / Osram and Meanwell, to name a few. Please contact us if further clarification on suitable LED drivers is required.

Why is Forward Voltage data necessary for selecting an LED Driver?

Every AKC LED Engine has a specific Forward Voltage (Vf). The LED Engine requires forward voltage to start and operate smoothly. When the output voltage range of an LED Driver is higher/lower than the forward voltage of the LED Engine then flicker will occur or the LED Engine will not operate.

Which dimming Protocol to choose?

AKC LED Engines and MR16 dimmable lamps offer deep, smooth and flicker-free dimming when partnered with the appropriate LED Driver. Visual comfort, scene-setting and enhanced lighting effects are easily achieved with dimming. The following three types of dimming are the most commonly used.

DALI

DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) is a Digital dimming protocol that allows communication between the DALI LED Driver and the lighting control system. With this ‘bi-directional’ communication it is possible for the system to receive information on faulty lamps (very popular with retail/commercial environments). The DALI protocol provides 256 levels of brightness between off and 100%.

Each DALI device contains non-volatile memory, which contains data such as address, scene levels, fade rates, etc – this allows flexibility to group and program down to an individual fixture. DALI is best-suited for a larger number of light fixtures.

Phase Dimming (Also known as Phase-cut, Leading or Trailing Edge and TRIAC Dimming)

Leading Edge - Forward phase-control dimmers (also known as Leading Edge dimmers) control the amount of voltage available to a light source. The dimmer turns off part of the leading edge of the AC sine wave for a pre-set amount of time, resulting in reduced lamp output (dimming).

Trailing Edge - Reverse phase-control dimmers (also known as Trailing Edge dimmers) control the amount of voltage available to a light source. The dimmer turns off part of the trailing edge of the AC sine wave for a pre-set amount of time, resulting in reduced lamp output (dimming) – best-suited for dimming LED fixtures.

0-10v / 1-10v Analogue Dimming

The first and simplest electronic lighting control signalling system –using a low voltage 0-10V DC signal connected to each LED Driver. At 0 volts the device will dim to 0% which will turn the device off, at 10 volts the device will be operating at 100%.

1-10V is also available. As stated 1-10V indicates this will only dim to 10%. In this system each light or circuit of lights would require an external switch to turn the light completely off.

Analogue dimming is unidirectional – the level of control is much lower than compared to DALI / Digital dimming.

How to correctly wire AKC Lighting Fixtures?

Please refer to the Downloads section of each product and select ‘Wiring Diagram’ for installation and wiring information.

What is SDCM / LED Binning?

SDCM (Standard Deviation Colour Matching) has the same meaning as a ‘MacAdam Ellipse’.

LED Binning is confusing for those not familiar with the production of LED’s. Production of LED’s is not an exact science. When looking at the quality and consistency of white light from LED fixtures it is essential to consider the SDCM number or ‘binning’ of the light source. Typically LED’s can be categorised into seven colour ‘bins’ – number 1 meaning the closest colour-match and number 7 meaning the farthest colour-match to the reference colour in a chromacity diagram (invented by US Physicist David MacAdam in 1940).

The best LED manufacturers offer 2-step and 3-step binning (2SDCM and 3SDCM) as a measure of the quality and consistency of the light source, where the human eye detects no change in the colour of light (no colour-shift / uniform chromacity) – essential in specification-grade LED fixtures.

Low-grade and cheaper LED fixtures are typically 6-step and 7-step, where colour-shift is easily noticeable to the human eye – common in cheaper COB LED Fixtures, GU10 and MR16 Lamps.

What is CRI?

Colour rendering index (CRI) is the quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colours of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source.

The CRI scale is 1-100 with 100 being daylight at noon on a clear day. The lower the number, the harder it becomes to distinguish between colours, particularly navy blue and black. To get the CRI of a light source, it is tested against a coloured swatch and each colour is given an R value. Each colour is given a percentage for each R value and the average is taken to reveal the CRI. The most commonly-stated R value is R9 (Red). AKC LED Engines come in CRI 80 / 90 / 98 options.

AKC Lighting use both CRI and the newly-developed IES TM-30-15 standard, which is a far more accurate measure of colour-rendering, providing the following additional data:

  • Rf, which is a similar metric to the CRI (Ra) standard that measures colour rendering based on comparison to a colour palette of 99 colours (CRI typically uses 9 colour swatches)
  • Rg, which measures the average gamut shift (hue/saturation) of the light source
  • A graphical representation of Rg to visually represent which colours are washed-out or more vivid due to the light source

The CRI data for all AKC LED Engines can be found on the datasheet. The TM-30-15 report is now available in the Download section of each AKC LED Engine.

Where is AKC Lighting manufactured?

AKC Lighting fixtures and Linear LED are made in China.

Can I buy AKC Lighting from a local Lighting Wholesaler/Trader?

We do not hold stock of any fixtures from our range and we do not sell stock to Lighting Suppliers, Wholesalers, Retailers or Online Stores. AKC Lighting is a dedicated project supplier.

AKC Lighting can be purchased for projects via AKC Lighting’s approved Distributors and in very selective cases from AKC Lighting directly.

Do you carry out any testing of AKC Lighting fixtures?

Our factory issue test data using an Everfine GO-2000 and Inventfine GPL-1600 Goniophotometer. We can test to LM-79 standards and have a fully equipped laboratory with dedicated darkrooms.

We also third-party test our LED Engines using LUX-TSI to conduct the testing of every LED Engine. All AKC Lighting fixtures are produced to EN60598 standards and are CE certified.

Our Dubai office is planning an in-house test laboratory for Q1 2018, in order to provide files requested by Lighting Designers with a quick turnaround.

Can you provide lighting calculations?

We can provide Dialux reports for our entire range of fixtures. In addition, .ies / .ldt files can be provided on request.

We provide .ies and .ldt files for all our LED Engines, which can be found in the LED Engines product pages from the Downloads section.

Contact us with your specific request and we will provide the necessary .ies / .ldt file, for the model(s) you request, upon receipt of the Project floorplans and details of the Project’s nominated Consultant (Architect, Lighting Designer, Interior Designer, Engineering Consultant, Electrical/MEP Consultant)

What is your quality like?

Our quality is Grade A and is made for use in some of the finest Projects in the Middle East. We adhere to extremely strict QC procedures, in order to provide our Project clients with quality comparable to some of the World’s best suppliers of Architectural Lighting fixtures.

Die-casting and finishing is done in-house, with very few components outsourced. We also have dedicated powder-coating to ensure each piece is manufactured and signed-off to the highest QC standards.

Samples are provided to Project clients / Consultants on request. We are regularly asked about our quality, as ‘Made in China’ is perceived negatively by some, owing to widely available and much cheaper grade Lighting fixtures in the local market. However, we are very confident in all our products and testament to our confidence can be found in our Project clients repeat orders for current and future projects.

The Consultant has specified European Brands and we need cheaper alternatives – can you provide?

The most common request we receive – the short answer is yes.

We have designed our fixtures to compete head-on with well-known European Brands. We are classified as an ‘Option B’ manufacturer, where the Project budget will not permit the more expensive, specified fixtures to be used but the design and technical performance of the ‘cheaper’ fixtures still needs to match or come close to the specified products.

We have years of experience in this area and we do not actively look to ‘spec-break’, as we are regularly requested by Consultants, Contractors and Project Clients to value-engineer the Lighting requirements of a Project, after the specification from the Lighting Designer has been considered out-of-budget.

In some cases, our products are simply better than our European competitor Brands (both aesthetically and technically) but we would say that, wouldn’t we!

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