Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between Lux and Lumens?

The light levels that we experience in various environments is measured in Lux. If you stand a meter away from a candle, you will be experiencing 1 lux of light. Sunlight can be up to 100,000 lux. We would expect a normal office environment to be 300-500 lux. A street lamp on a side road will give 1-15 lux. Lumens relate to the actual output of the source of light. So a 150W Sirius Hi-Bay which operates at 150 Lumens per Watt (lm/W) will be generating 22,500 lumens.
Of course, there is a relationship between lumen output and lux levels – the more lumens you generate, the more light will be thrown out onto the working plane BUT as always it is never quite as simple as that. The diffusion of light, the beam angles, environmental factors and the colour temperature can all have an impact on the lux levels.
There are guidelines on working lux levels for different environments – what would be too bright in a warehouse will be too dark in a school - and Novah can help you to ensure that you are providing the right lux levels for your working environment.

Microwave or PIR sensor? How do I know which to use?

Microwave and PIR sensors are a great way to reduce energy consumption by ensuring that areas are lit only when they are being used. Rather than relying on people to remember to switch off the lights, the sensors can be set to go off or dim down when an area is unoccupied. The sensor replaces the switch.
So how do you know whether you need a microwave or a PIR sensor? Some background first:
A microwave sensor detects MOVEMENT – usually between 4m and 12m. The microwaves can travel through walls and floors so don’t require a direct line of sight to be triggered. It is also temperature-blind so it can work in environments with very hot or very cold ambient temperatures and doesn’t require human movement to be triggered.
A PIR sensor is based on HEAT and SIGHT. It will work if there is a direct line of sight to it and will require a human (or animal) to trigger it. With this in mind there are benefits and drawbacks of each solution and getting the right outcome requires bearing some factors in mind…
Is this a busy office environment with lots of movement over several rooms - perhaps over several floors? If so, a microwave would be triggered all the time all over the building and a PIR would be the right solution.
Is this a large warehouse where there is no direct line of sight to the sensor, which might be over 10m from the working plane? If so, a microwave sensor would be the right solution.
In general, we would recommend microwave sensors for cold environments and large industrial environments. PIRs would be more suited for floods, offices, racking, schools and hospitals or any mechanical environment where there is non-human movement (such as large machinery).
Novah have a range of intelligent solutions compatible with microwave and PIR sensors and we generally estimate that by installing these solutions you can further reduce your energy consumption by up to 40%. Do talk to us about how we can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

What is emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting is intended to allow people to exit from buildings even if there is no mains power. It works by having a battery providing power to a lamp or luminaire which can create light to at least 1 lux at ground level for at least 3 hours. When the mains power is cut off, the battery will kick in.

Do I need emergency lighting in my project?

‍Emergency lighting includes escape route/ exit lighting, standby lighting, escape route lighting, open area lighting, fire zone lighting and high-risk area lighting, such as where the level of fire protection is minimal or where there is a risk of explosion.
In order to know whether you need emergency lighting and what your exact requirements are, we strongly recommend that you read the legislation or seek advice from a safety officer. As a general rule of thumb, if you are working on a multiple occupancy building, an office or commercial building, a factory or retail space or a building used by the general public, you will need some emergency lighting. Novah can plan emergency lighting into your lighting designs however, you will need to be sure of the emergency procedures and escape routes for us to do the work effectively and according to legislation.
In the UK, there are 3 pieces of relevant legislation:
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/contents/madeBuilding
Regulations 2006 (Approved Document B):
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-approved-document-b
Construction Products Regulation (305/2011/EU):
https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/construction/product-regulation_en

What is an integrated emergency product?

Some LED lighting has the emergency function built in to the design of the product. Other products will have an external emergency pack. At the point of installation, there are pros and cons to both integrated and non-integrated emergency functions but essentially, once installed, they should do the same job. The Novah range has both integrated and non-integrated emergency products and we are on hand to explain to you the features and benefits of either system.

If a product doesn’t have emergency functionality, how can I make sure that the area is safe in emergencies?

There are many ways to provide emergency lighting in a compliant manner. One way is to use standard lighting with emergency function. But another is to have standard non-emergency lighting and add dedicated emergency fittings which tend to be small extra fittings which are generally low cost and easy to install.

What is the difference between maintained and non-maintained emergency lighting?

A non-maintained emergency light is only used in emergencies. Unless there is a mains power cut, the emergency lighting luminaire will not come on. It is not used as part of the day-to-day lighting requirements. A maintained emergency light is designed to be used as part of the general lighting scheme but when there is an emergency all of it or part of it will remain on for at least 3 hours - powered by the battery. Currently, the Novah range of emergency lighting is all maintained.

What is self-testing emergency lighting?

The batteries in an emergency light need to be checked regularly. This is because the standard life of a battery is not as long as the rest of the LED fitting and can fluctuate considerably depending on its environment. In particular, many batteries are affected by cold temperatures. Each building should have an emergency testing regime for all of its emergency procedures, including lighting. There are many ways to do this manually – with a special key operated wall plate switch or even unit by unit. These tests can’t usually be done whilst people are using the space. There are increasingly more sophisticated ways to run the emergency testing which are less invasive. Self-testing means that the luminaire will communicate automatically that the battery is not effective, usually with a small green or red light – so testing the emergency lighting becomes a very simple exercise that doesn’t require any down time. Now, with DALI operated systems, with the right drivers, the luminaires can communicate to software when the emergency battery needs replacing. Novah offers a range of emergency solutions, both standard and self-testing and as technology develops, we predict that more and more products will become self-testing – both increasing safety procedures and reducing maintenance and downtime.

What is CRI?

CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index and is a way of measuring how accurately a given light source is actually showing what you see. You may have bought a piece of clothing that looked one shade in the store and a completely different shade when you took it home. That is because the CRI will be different between the 2 locations. In some environments – such as manufacturing or commercial, the accuracy of the colour rendition is critical and as such, we use a scale of 0-100 to measure how accurate the light rendition is. The industry expectation of LED lighting is that is should be over 80 on the CRI for indoor lighting, which means that it is giving a very accurate colour rendition, and over 70 for outdoor lighting. If the CRI is under 70, you are not getting an accurate idea of what you are looking at.

Is CRI the same as colour temperature?

No. Colour temperature is measure in Kelvins (K) and is a totally different measure of light to the CRI. They are often confused but in actual fact, they do not directly influence each other. The CRI affects the colour of the object that we are looking at. The colour temperature (K) is related to the colour of the light itself. A good quality CRI rating can relate to a product with any colour temperature from very warm to daylight or cool white.

Why does CRI matter?

If the human perception of the light is that it is not accurately rendering colours, it doesn’t matter how bright the lighting is, people won’t like working or living in that environment. An easy way to save money with LED lighting is to use chips with low value CRI – it doesn’t impact the colour temperature, the efficiency or the longevity and it is much cheaper to make chips with CRI under 70. But people will notice and they will definitely complain when they can’t do design work or quality testing or anything involving any colour-matching or creative arts under the new lighting scheme. This is definitely not an area to cut corners.

If your query isn't answered in our FAQs,
you can send it to us by completing this form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

About LED lighting

What is the difference between Lux and Lumens?

The light levels that we experience in various environments is measured in Lux. If you stand a meter away from a candle, you will be experiencing 1 lux of light. Sunlight can be up to 100,000 lux. We would expect a normal office environment to be 300-500 lux. A street lamp on a side road will give 1-15 lux. Lumens relate to the actual output of the source of light. So a 150W Sirius Hi-Bay which operates at 150 Lumens per Watt (lm/W) will be generating 22,500 lumens.
Of course, there is a relationship between lumen output and lux levels – the more lumens you generate, the more light will be thrown out onto the working plane BUT as always it is never quite as simple as that. The diffusion of light, the beam angles, environmental factors and the colour temperature can all have an impact on the lux levels.
There are guidelines on working lux levels for different environments – what would be too bright in a warehouse will be too dark in a school - and Novah can help you to ensure that you are providing the right lux levels for your working environment.

About LED lighting

Microwave or PIR sensor? How do I know which to use?

Microwave and PIR sensors are a great way to reduce energy consumption by ensuring that areas are lit only when they are being used. Rather than relying on people to remember to switch off the lights, the sensors can be set to go off or dim down when an area is unoccupied. The sensor replaces the switch.
So how do you know whether you need a microwave or a PIR sensor? Some background first:
A microwave sensor detects MOVEMENT – usually between 4m and 12m. The microwaves can travel through walls and floors so don’t require a direct line of sight to be triggered. It is also temperature-blind so it can work in environments with very hot or very cold ambient temperatures and doesn’t require human movement to be triggered.
A PIR sensor is based on HEAT and SIGHT. It will work if there is a direct line of sight to it and will require a human (or animal) to trigger it. With this in mind there are benefits and drawbacks of each solution and getting the right outcome requires bearing some factors in mind…
Is this a busy office environment with lots of movement over several rooms - perhaps over several floors? If so, a microwave would be triggered all the time all over the building and a PIR would be the right solution.
Is this a large warehouse where there is no direct line of sight to the sensor, which might be over 10m from the working plane? If so, a microwave sensor would be the right solution.
In general, we would recommend microwave sensors for cold environments and large industrial environments. PIRs would be more suited for floods, offices, racking, schools and hospitals or any mechanical environment where there is non-human movement (such as large machinery).
Novah have a range of intelligent solutions compatible with microwave and PIR sensors and we generally estimate that by installing these solutions you can further reduce your energy consumption by up to 40%. Do talk to us about how we can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

CRI

What is CRI?

CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index and is a way of measuring how accurately a given light source is actually showing what you see. You may have bought a piece of clothing that looked one shade in the store and a completely different shade when you took it home. That is because the CRI will be different between the 2 locations. In some environments – such as manufacturing or commercial, the accuracy of the colour rendition is critical and as such, we use a scale of 0-100 to measure how accurate the light rendition is. The industry expectation of LED lighting is that is should be over 80 on the CRI for indoor lighting, which means that it is giving a very accurate colour rendition, and over 70 for outdoor lighting. If the CRI is under 70, you are not getting an accurate idea of what you are looking at.

CRI

Is CRI the same as colour temperature?

No. Colour temperature is measure in Kelvins (K) and is a totally different measure of light to the CRI. They are often confused but in actual fact, they do not directly influence each other. The CRI affects the colour of the object that we are looking at. The colour temperature (K) is related to the colour of the light itself. A good quality CRI rating can relate to a product with any colour temperature from very warm to daylight or cool white.

CRI

Why does CRI matter?

If the human perception of the light is that it is not accurately rendering colours, it doesn’t matter how bright the lighting is, people won’t like working or living in that environment. An easy way to save money with LED lighting is to use chips with low value CRI – it doesn’t impact the colour temperature, the efficiency or the longevity and it is much cheaper to make chips with CRI under 70. But people will notice and they will definitely complain when they can’t do design work or quality testing or anything involving any colour-matching or creative arts under the new lighting scheme. This is definitely not an area to cut corners.

Emergency

What is emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting is intended to allow people to exit from buildings even if there is no mains power. It works by having a battery providing power to a lamp or luminaire which can create light to at least 1 lux at ground level for at least 3 hours. When the mains power is cut off, the battery will kick in.

Emergency

Do I need emergency lighting in my project?

‍Emergency lighting includes escape route/ exit lighting, standby lighting, escape route lighting, open area lighting, fire zone lighting and high-risk area lighting, such as where the level of fire protection is minimal or where there is a risk of explosion.
In order to know whether you need emergency lighting and what your exact requirements are, we strongly recommend that you read the legislation or seek advice from a safety officer. As a general rule of thumb, if you are working on a multiple occupancy building, an office or commercial building, a factory or retail space or a building used by the general public, you will need some emergency lighting. Novah can plan emergency lighting into your lighting designs however, you will need to be sure of the emergency procedures and escape routes for us to do the work effectively and according to legislation.
In the UK, there are 3 pieces of relevant legislation:
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/contents/madeBuilding
Regulations 2006 (Approved Document B):
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-approved-document-b
Construction Products Regulation (305/2011/EU):
https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/construction/product-regulation_en

Emergency

What is an integrated emergency product?

Some LED lighting has the emergency function built in to the design of the product. Other products will have an external emergency pack. At the point of installation, there are pros and cons to both integrated and non-integrated emergency functions but essentially, once installed, they should do the same job. The Novah range has both integrated and non-integrated emergency products and we are on hand to explain to you the features and benefits of either system.

Emergency

If a product doesn’t have emergency functionality, how can I make sure that the area is safe in emergencies?

There are many ways to provide emergency lighting in a compliant manner. One way is to use standard lighting with emergency function. But another is to have standard non-emergency lighting and add dedicated emergency fittings which tend to be small extra fittings which are generally low cost and easy to install.

Emergency

What is the difference between maintained and non-maintained emergency lighting?

A non-maintained emergency light is only used in emergencies. Unless there is a mains power cut, the emergency lighting luminaire will not come on. It is not used as part of the day-to-day lighting requirements. A maintained emergency light is designed to be used as part of the general lighting scheme but when there is an emergency all of it or part of it will remain on for at least 3 hours - powered by the battery. Currently, the Novah range of emergency lighting is all maintained.

Emergency

What is self-testing emergency lighting?

The batteries in an emergency light need to be checked regularly. This is because the standard life of a battery is not as long as the rest of the LED fitting and can fluctuate considerably depending on its environment. In particular, many batteries are affected by cold temperatures. Each building should have an emergency testing regime for all of its emergency procedures, including lighting. There are many ways to do this manually – with a special key operated wall plate switch or even unit by unit. These tests can’t usually be done whilst people are using the space. There are increasingly more sophisticated ways to run the emergency testing which are less invasive. Self-testing means that the luminaire will communicate automatically that the battery is not effective, usually with a small green or red light – so testing the emergency lighting becomes a very simple exercise that doesn’t require any down time. Now, with DALI operated systems, with the right drivers, the luminaires can communicate to software when the emergency battery needs replacing. Novah offers a range of emergency solutions, both standard and self-testing and as technology develops, we predict that more and more products will become self-testing – both increasing safety procedures and reducing maintenance and downtime.

If your query isn't answered in our FAQs,
you can send it to us by completing this form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

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