Glossary

AC Power - An electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals.

Ambient Lighting - Ambient lighting is a general illumination that comes from all directions in a room that has no visible source.

Amps (Ampere) - Unit that measures rate of flow of charged particles, equal to one coulomb of charge per second. A typical household circuit carries 15 to 50 amps.

ANSI Code - 3-letter code assigned by the American National Standards Institute that provides a system of assuring mechanical and electrical interchangeability among similarly coded lamps from various manufacturers.

AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) - A circuit breaker designed to prevent fires by detecting a non-working (i.e., non-intended/non-useful) electrical arc and disconnecting the power before the arc starts a fire.

ASHRAE - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) writes standards for the purpose of establishing consensus for: 1) methods of test for use in commerce and 2) performance criteria for use as facilitators with which to guide the industry.

Broadcast Thermostat - A device that incorporates advanced features facilitating whole-house Economy Mode operation where the HVAC is set back in conjunction with lighting, fan and receptacle loads.

CFL - A CFL is a type of fluorescent lamp designed to replace standard incandescent lamps. It can fit into most existing light fixtures formerly used for incandescents.

Circuit - Compared to general service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use less power and have a longer rated life. In the United States, a CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over US$40 in electricity costs.

Controller - A device that monitors and affects the operational conditions of a given system.

Current - The rate of flow of electric charge, in the direction that a positive moving charge would take and having magnitude equal to the quantity of charge per unit time: measured in amperes.

Dataloggers - Electronic devices that record data over time or in relation to location either with a built-in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors.

Dimmer - An electronic device used to vary the intensity of light output from a lamp source.

DC Power - Electric current in which electrons flow in one direction only. Opposite of alternating current.

Dim/Dimming/Dimmable - The ability to raise or lower the light output of a conventional translucent or compact fluorescent bulb.

DIP Switch - One of a set of small on-off switches mounted in computer hardware; used in place of jumpers to configure the machine for a user.

Eco Mode - A control function designed to extend lamp life and reduce energy consumption by reducing brightness or completely turning lights off and setting back thermostat control.

Electrodynamic - Related to or employing the effects of changing electric and magnetic fields, along with the forces and motions those fields induce on objects with electric charge.

Electronic Switch - Electronic switches stop or start current flow into the load, and also include a mechanical disconnect or air-gap (FASS) switch to disconnect power for safety when replacing lamps.

Energy - Any source of usable power such as fossil fuel, electricity, or solar radiation.

Energy Harvesting - The process of collecting and storing energy.

EnOcean - A Siemens Corporation spin-off; the company discovered the Technology that is at the heart of Verve™ Living Systems.

EnOcean Alliance - An alliance of more than 50 companies around the world that have come together "to further develop and promote self-harvesting energy."

ETL Certification - Certification that states the product has been tested in accordance with the relevant product safety standards and that factories agree to regular inspections to ensure consistency of product quality for items sold in the market between the United States and Canada.

F Fault - A type of error message that will display next to a channel that is not working. The numeral displayed is an indication of the root of the issue.

FCC Certification - Is an equipment authorization issued by the Federal Communications Commission, based on representations and test data submitted by the applicant. Certification attaches to the units subsequently marketed by the grantee that are identical to the sample tested an FCC ID number to show compliance.

Fixture - Common term for a luminaire.

Fluorescent Lamp - A lighting unit that emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is converted to visible light by the fluorescent coating on the inside of the tube.

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) - A GFCI outlet is an electrical outlet that is designed to protect people from deadly electric shock. In addition to preventing electrocution, GFCI outlets can also reduce the risk of house fires caused by electrical problems, and reduce damage to appliances caused by faulty electrical circuits. These outlets use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI or GFI) technology; it is also possible to install a GFCI at the breaker box, or to use a portable GFCI device.

Ground Fault - A ground fault is a short circuit that occurs when a live electrical wire touches a ground wire or metal outlet box.

IECC - International Energy Conservation Code. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is a building code created by the International Code Council in 2006. It is a model code adopted by many state and municipal governments in the United States for the establishment of minimum design and construction requirements for energy efficiency.

IESNA Code - Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Founded in 1906, IESNA is the recognized technical authority on illumination.

Incandescent - Incandescent lighting is the oldest and one of the most well-known forms of electric illumination. The name is derived from the method used by incandescent lamps to generate light. Incandescent lighting is seen from thermal radiation from the heating of an object, whether it is the sun, a light bulb filament, or a candle wick.

Lamp - An artificial source of visible illumination. Another term for a light bulb.

LED - LED stands for light-emitting diode, a semiconductor device that converts electricity to light by using the movement of electrons.

Lighting scenes - Lighting usage that enables homeowners to create, adjust and change the lighting environments throughout their homes.

Link - A connection or the state of being connected.

Living systems - Home control solutions that adapt easily to homeowners’ changing preferences.

Miscellaneous Electric Loads (MELS) - Electric loads resulting from electronic devices not responsible for space heating, cooling, water heating, or lighting.

Mode - A particular functioning condition or arrangement.

Motion detector - A device that contains a physical mechanism or electronic sensor that quantifies motion that can be either integrated with or connected to other devices to alert the user of the presence of a moving object within the field of view.

Movable switching - Switches that can be picked up and moved, depending on homeowners’ preferences and needs at any given time.

Occupancy Sensor - A sensor is capable of identifying when a particular space within a building is occupied, and adjusts the lighting, heating and cooling, and other appliances accordingly.

PIR (passive infrared) - A sensor that detects changes in radiating infrared light.

Photovoltaic - Capable of producing a voltage, usually through photoemission, when exposed to radiant energy, especially light.

Protocol - A set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between devices.

Radio Frequency - The frequency of the transmitting waves of a given device.

Receptacle - A contact device installed at an outlet for the connection of a portable lamp, appliance, or other electric device by means of a plug and flexible cord.

Repeater - A device capable of receiving one-way or two-way communications signals and delivering corresponding signals that are either amplified, reshaped, or both.

Solar cell - A photovoltaic cell that produces electricity from the sun's rays.

Standby Power - Refers to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode.

Task Lighting - Task lighting is lighting which is focused on a specific area to make the completion of visual tasks easier.

Toggle Switch - The toggle switch is a type of electrical switch that is characterized by the presence of some type of handle or lever that makes it possible to control the flow of electrical power from a power supply to a device of some type.

UL Listed - A product adhering to the standards of Underwriters Laboratories, a company nationally recognized for product safety testing (the product is not “approved” nor tested for performance).

Underwriter Laboratories - UL is a global independent safety science company offering expertise across five key strategic businesses: Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, University and Verification Services.  Underwriters Laboratories was initially created by insurance companies to reduce fire risks.

UL Certification - Indicates that a product has been submitted by manufacturers for certification and tested and evaluated. If UL decides the product fulfills all applicable requirements it authorizes the manufacturer to apply a certification mark to production of the samples submitted, or issues a certificate or notification that the product is now certified by UL.

Vacancy Sensor - A device that detects the absence of people in a space and provides automatic switching or dimming of lighting.  A vacancy sensor relies on a person operating a manual switch to turn lighting on.

Vampire Power - Refers to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode.

Verve - Great vitality, enthusiasm, and liveliness; sparkle.

Volts - A unit of electromotive force. The electrical potential needed to produce one ampere of current with a resistance of one ohm.

Watts - The unit of power consumed by any electrical device or lamp (bulb).

Whole-house lighting control - Lighting control systems that allow homeowners to adjust and modify the lighting in every room in their home.

Wireless - Having no wires.

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