14 things that should be on every product datasheet

1   Image 

This is about aesthetics. A picture will give you a real feel for what the fitting’s really like and – importantly – how nice looking it is.

2   Dimensions

The dimensions of a product are very important for helping to co-ordinate the lighting with other parts of an installation.

3   Cutout 

The ceiling contractor needs to know what size cutout is needed. If this info is on the datasheet, you can just hand it straight to them.

4   Driver requirements

If you want to use a different driver from the one suggested, this will allow you to do a bit of independent contrasting and comparing.

5   Colour options

As part of the design process, it’s useful to know the standard range of colours – black, white, silver… or any custom options.

6   Lumen packages

Once upon a time it would have been 10W, 25W or 35W; now it’s about specifying lumens. For retail, that typically means 1,500lm, 2,000lm or 3,000lm.

7   Order code

If you want to hit the ground running on a project, the order code needs to be clearly presented and easy to understand.

8   Beam angles

Simple, but crucial. Can you get it in narrow, medium and wide beam angles?

9   Chip manufacturer

It’s nice to know the LED chip’s pedigree. If it’s come from Philips or Cree or someone similarly respectable, that’s a big comfort.

10   Colour temperature 

For an office application, you’re probably looking for 4000K. At John Lewis and in retail generally, 3000K is good. In catering they often like something a bit warmer – 2700K, say.

11   Dimming 

Is the product dimmable? Some are, some aren’t. What the datasheet can’t tell you is whether a luminaire will actually work with your driver setup – only testing will confirm that.

12   Data file
This one could be a tick box too. If there’s a BIM Revit file to hand, that will really speed up the design process.

13   Power factor

Wattage is one thing, but watch out for power factor too. This is the key figure for anyone thinking about sustainability and energy efficiency. Anything below 0.95 and you’re probably not looking at something that’s best in class.

14   And finally… a photo of the fitting in a target application

Just because it’s nice to see what the manufacturer was aiming for when they built the product.


Thanks to Barry Ayling of John Lewis for input and inspiration on this article