Glossary of Terms

Looking to learn more about the vocab you see across the Lighting Connection website? We’ve got your back. Navigate below through our Glossary of Lighting Terms to make your shopping experience a breeze!



Accent Lighting
This type of lighting is used to highlight a specific area or object. If you’re looking to set the mood rather than provide sufficient lighting for day-to-day use, accent lighting is the way to go. Wall sconces are ideal for this.

ADA Compliant
Signifies a light fixture meets all requirements outlined by the American with Disabilities Act.

A term used to describe semi-opaque glass that diffuses the light source without altering its color. The glass gets its name because of its resemblance to natural alabaster.

Ambient Light
Think of this as your “bare minimum” lighting. It provides enough overall illumination (or general lighting) to feel comfortable and see to move around safely, but not enough visibility to do tasks such as cook, clean, get ready, or work.

At Lighting Connection, this refers to a technique applied to a finish that creates the illusion of a distressed/worn surface to make the fixture look aged.

Antique Reproduction
A design reminiscent of one from a past historical period.

Limbs that extend out from the core of the light fixture.

A Type Bulb
The classic light bulb style that has been used since the early 20th century that features a pear-like shape and Edison base.

Average Life (of a light bulb)
Referred to as the Average Rated Life (ARL) or half-life. This term describes the length of time it takes for half the light bulbs in a test batch to fail.



The part of a wall fixture that mounts to the wall.

In the lighting industry, a baffle is a device used to lessen the harshness of the light source. Baffle trims are often used on recessed lighting so that the space is gently lit and the inhabitants of the space aren’t bothered by the glare of the light.

Refers to an electrical component in a fluorescent light tube that monitors the amount of current that flows through it. Without a ballast, a fluorescent bulb would draw too much current until it blew itself out.

The surface of the light fixture that attaches to the wall or ceiling.

Beveled Glass
Glass with edges that are cut to a precise angle to create a framed look.

Blade Pitch
This describes the angle of the blades in relation to the base of the fan. A higher blade pitch gives you more air circulation but also more resistance.

Blade Span
Also referred to as the blade diameter or blade sweet. This described the distance from the tip of one blade to the other tip of the blade opposite, including the central fan housing.

Bowl (Light Fixture)
A light fixture comprised of a large, single bowl shade. It is typically suspended from a canopy by 3 or 4 chains or rods.

Bulb (Light Fixture)
A glass vessel that produces light when an electric current passes through it.

Bulb Base (Light Fixture)
This is the part of the lightbulb that connects to the power supply and fixture of your light.



A branched candleholder for numerous candles or lamps.

Candelabra Bulb
This bulb is also referred to as a candle or torpedo bulb because of its shape.

The ornamental plate that attaches to the ceiling to cover the hole and junction box.

Ceiling Medallion
A sculptural ornament on a ceiling that surrounds the canopy of a light fixture. These are typically relatively large and circular and located in the center of a room. Ceiling Mount Refers to lights that attach to the ceiling and are close to the ceiling (don’t hang far from the ceiling). These are ideal for bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways with low ceilings.

Compact Fluorescent/CFL
This type of bulb typically has a medium base and is compatible with most fixtures that require incandescent bulbs.

Stands for cubic feet per minute. It is the measurement of airflow when the fan is on its highest speed.

Referring to the strand of metal that connects the ceiling to the lighting fixture.

A decorative hanging light typically large in size with branches for several light bulbs or candles. These are ideal for dining rooms, living rooms, foyers and some bedrooms with higher ceilings. Children’s Refers to any lighting that is ideal for kids’ rooms including pendant lights, vanity lights, wall sconces, chandeliers, or ceiling mounts.

Coach Light
A wall mounted exterior light.

Refers to the artistry and quality of design observed in something made by hand.

Also referred to a mounting bracket. Typically a straight metal bar with a series of holes used to mount a fixture to the wall or ceiling. It is secured first to a junction box, and then a light fixture to it.

At Lighting Connection, crystal refers to transparent glass of fine quality used to embellish chandeliers, wall sconces, pendants, and ceiling mounts. Its visual clarity and extraordinary degree of brilliance completely transforms a light from normal to exquisite.



Damp Location/Damp Rated
An indoor location such as a bathroom or covered outdoor location that at times has moisture accumulation. Dry rated fixtures cannot be used in these locations, only damp rated or wet rated.

Dark Sky Compliant
Signifies a light fixture is compliant with the International Dark Sky Association’s (IDA) regulations for reducing ambient light pollution. The light source must be completely shielded, within maximum wattage constraints, etc. The advantages of reducing light pollution include an increased amount of stars visible at night, reducing the negative effects on the environment form electric lighting, maximizing safety and decreasing energy usage.

A diffuser is any device that disperses light in some manner that filters the glare from the light source to create a soft glow.

A room in which meals are eaten. It’s typically more formal than a breakfast nook. Beautiful chandeliers are ideal for this space; however larger pendants in multiples may also be used as an alternative.

A light source that is capable of having its illumination decreased in brightness, usually including high, low, and off.

Dimmer Switch
A rotating or sliding control located on the on-off switch that makes the light source brighter or dimmer.

A light designed to direct the illumination downward.

Downrods (Stems)
Also sometimes referred to as stems. These are used to suspend the pendant lighting or chandelier further from the ceiling to hang at the desired height. They are installed between the canopy of the fixture and the fixture itself. Typically, various lengths of downrod are included with a light fixture for a customizable height.

Driver (LED)
A component that protects LEDs by stabilizing the quantity of incoming electrical voltage and current to make sure they don’t surpass the maximum voltage rating.

Drum Shade
Refers to a cylinder-shaped shade resembling a drum where the diameter of the shade is the same at the top and bottom. The shades are typically made of fabric, but they can also be made of other materials such as wood or metal.

Dry Locations
Indoor locations such as kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms that don’t experience moisture accumulation.



Edison Base/Bulb
Also called an Antique Bulb and/or Vintage Bulb. This type of bulb is a replica of the popular coiled filament bulbs made by Edison Electric Light Company at the turn of the 20th century. It’s great for adding period-inspired charm to your space.

This is how energy efficient a light source is, how much light is produced in lumens and how much power needs to be produced in watts.

The ratio of the valuable work performed by an object or process to the overall energy exhausted or heat accumulated.

Refers to systems that are operated by, charged with, or produce electricity.

Energy Efficient
A light source that uses less energy and saves on energy costs, which is typically related to the bulb. LED and Fluorescent lights are typically the most energy efficient bulbs for your lighting fixtures.

Energy Star®
A global standard originated in the United States for consumer products displaying superior energy efficiency.

Etched Glass
A technique in which acidic, caustic, or abrasive substances are applied to the surface of the glass to create frosted glass. It can also be used to create opaque patterns on clear glass.

How far the wall sconce extends out from the wall. This can also be referred to as depth.



An apparatus with rotating blades that creates a current of air for cooling or ventilation. Sometimes these can be an eye-sore, but the options you’ll find at Lighting Connection are very sleek and modern so they sort of ‘disappear’ into the ceiling.

A French word that means “false”. Used to describe artificial objects or materials manufactured to resemble the imitated item as closely as possible.

When a light is glowing, the source of that light will be the filament in the center of the bulb.

At Lighting Connection this refers to a unique ornament at the top or end of a light fixture.

This is used to describe the color of a particular lighting fixture.

Flood Light
A fixture typically used in exterior and landscaping applications that provides a wide, evenly distributed cast of light.

These ceiling lights that have either a very small gap or no gap between the light fixture and the ceiling. These are ideal for rooms and hallways with very low ceilings.

Also referred to as an entryway, this is an open area one first walks into when entering a home through the front door.

Frosted Glass/Shade
Refers to once translucent glass made opaque by means of sandblasting or etching. Often the texture of the glass is matte, however that’s not always the case.



An airy fluid substance that expands without restrictions to fill any space available, regardless of its quantity.

If you see a galvanized product or finish on a Lighting Connection product that indicates that there’s a thin layer of metal coated over an underlying ferrous metal that prevents it from rusting. You’ll see a lot of nautical lighting, farmhouse lighting and industrial lighting featuring this finish.

At Lighting Connection this refers to a spherical or round object typically made of glass that houses a light bulb.

Gold that has been hammered into an extremely thin, foil-like sheets for gilding purposes.

An overstated arch seen on some vanity lighting and wall sconces that is reminiscent of a goose’s neck.



A petite incandescent bulb in which halogen is used to stabilize the tungsten on the filament and prolong the bulb's life.

An uneven, textured metal finish that resembles how metal would look if it was beaten with a hammer.

Hardwired Lighting
This type of light fixture is permanently attached to an electrical source. If a light fixture gets power via a cord and plug then it is not hardwired.

Egyptian god of light depicted as a human form with a head of a flacon. Lighting Connection logo inspiration.

Hybrid LED
A distinct lighting system that uses both a LED light source and a non-LED light source.



Also referred to as a traditional light bulb. It used electricity to produce light causing the filament to glow.

For some of our more “industrial” fixtures, this means that it takes its design influence from items that would be in more industrial settings such as factories or warehouses.

Integrated LED
Term for when the LED is a built-in, non-replaceable, permanent part of the light fixture.

IP Rating
Standing for “Ingress Protection,” this rating on a product will indicate how much protection it will have against a solid object and water.

Island Light
A linear chandelier or pendant installed over a kitchen island in lieu of multiple pendants.



The Standard International unit of measurement of thermodynamic temperature. This is used in lighting to measure the Color Temperature of a light source or light bulb.



Refers to the type of light a fixture requires (ex: Fluorescent, Incandescent, Halogen, LED or Xenon).

Light Emitting Diode. A semi-conductor light source that illuminates via electroluminescence (in which electrons recombine with holes in the bulb, producing light-emitting photons).

In lighting, this refers to a light fixture that is elongated to stretch out over a kitchen island or rectangular dining table.

Linear Suspension
This type of lighting is also called an island light or island pendant. It’s a cross between a pendant and a chandelier that consists of numerous lights/shades extending from a single linear arm.

Made of flax plant fibers, this lightweight material usually has a crisp and textured feel to it. It varies in roughness and softness depending on the manufacturing method. Low Voltage A comprehensive term used in electrical engineering that identifies safety considerations of an electrical system based on the voltage used. Low voltage commonly describes fixtures with 12 volts or less.

This is the measurement of how much light radiates from a light bulb.



If you see a “matte” finish on a product, it indicates that it won’t have a shine to it, and the surface will appear duller.

Mid-Century Modern
If a product’s design structure is referred to as mid-century modern, it is taking its design cues from styles and architecture from the 1930s to 1960’s, with simple and natural shapes.

Milk Glass
Opaque or translucent glass whitened or colored by the addition of a number of ingredients.

Mission (Style)
A term used to describe designs reminiscent of the styles seen in Spanish missions located throughout the Southwestern United States and Mexico.

Similar to Mid-Century Modern design, the Modern designed pieces can often refer to multiple time periods from which they will take their inspiration. Commonly, “Modern,” will refer to clean lines, and a brightness to the look.

Monorail Lighting
This is a versatile type of ceiling light fixture in which numerous multi-directional lights attach to a metal bar. The shape of the rail can be straight, round or curved and is ideal for curved hallways, vaulted ceilings, and highlighting artwork.

Mounting Bracket
In Lighting, this refers to a right-angled support attached to a wall on which to mount a wall sconce.

Murano Glass
A broad term for any kind of artisan glass fashioned by glassmakers on the Italian island of Murano.



This is a design style inspired by the ocean. These fixtures imitate traditional lanterns and other items typically found on ships and lighthouses such as galvanized metal and rope.



The opposite of transparent; not see-through.

Refers to wall lanterns that illuminate the outside of your home and are approved for outdoor use. These exterior wall sconces are often installed on either side of the front door, flanking the garage, and on the back patio. Exterior lighting is sometimes used indoors for a unique look.

Open Box
Refers to our ongoing sale that includes discontinued items or items that have been returned and are still in new condition. The only thing that causes them to be sold at a discounted price is that the box has been opened. All sales are final.

Overall Height (OAH)
This describes the height of the fixture from where it attaches to the ceiling (canopy) to the bottom-most surface of the fixture.



Refers to a design that was actually created during the past historical period.

A light fixture that is suspended from the ceiling with a single shade.

Picture Light
A directional wall light that highlights a piece of artwork on the wall. A swing arm sconce is often used for this.

Short for photoelectric cells. A device that produces an electric current or voltage reliant on on the degree of the brightness of the surrounding environment. They are commonly used in “dusk-to-dawn lights” that turn on when the environment is dark and turn off when it’s bright.

A movement away from modernism, postmodern design became largely popular in the 1970s and 80s. It is a rejection of the functional, minimal use of materials and lack of embellishment adopted by modernist designers. Post-modernists typically place form over function. It features clean lines, simple shapes, and the blending and contrast of design elements.

A wet rated lighting fixture made specifically for the outdoors where light is required at eye-level or higher but a wall mount isn’t an option. It’s commonly a lantern-type structure mounted on top of a tall metal post. It’s typically used to brighten driveways and pathways.

Prismatic Glass
Glass with one smooth side and the other side fashioned into sharp-edged ridges so that the light is reflected as it passes through it.

Puck Light
Similar in shape to a hockey puck, this type of lighting is typically used under countertops to provide task lighting for kitchen countertops or to illuminate the inside of cabinets. Most puck lights can either be surface or recess mounted into a location.

Pull Chain
A chain typically with a handle on the end that when pulled operates an electrical mechanism.



Recessed Lighting
Refers to fixtures commonly called can because of their shape that are set into ceilings or walls. This type of lightings in comprised of the housing (the portion in the ceiling that you don't see) and the trim (which can be seen).

Resin is a hard organic substance extracted from trees (particularly fir and pine). In its original state it is similar to sap and often mistaken for it. When hardened, its strong composition makes it a great material for making lighting fixtures because of its durability.

To make a copy of something. At Lighting Connection this refers to producing a replica of an original lighting design.

The practice of returning something dilapidated to its former condition; the act of making something old look new again.

Literally, of the past. Can refer to any design scheme with elements inherent to a previous time period, i.e. a 1950s diner kitchen, a 1960s "Mad Men" - inspired living room, etc.

Rural and rough, this design theme is what one might typically find in cabins, lodges and ranches. The look is heavy and bold with a neutral color palette.

A length of strong cord made by twisting together strands of natural fibers such as hemp or artificial fibers such as polypropylene. Lighting with this material is typically nautical or rustic in style.

Rope Lighting
Rope Lighting features small light bulbs linked together and encased in a flexible PVC tube to create a string of lights. Can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Rotary Switch
This type of switch moves in a circular pattern and can stop in numerous positions and used to control many different circuits with only one switch.



Scavo Glass
Glass in which a finishing technique is applied to make the surface look timeworn, as if it were weathered or submerged for a long time period. Lighting fixtures with this type of glass creates organic, soft illumination.

Schoolhouse (Style)
This lighting style is inspired by the types of past light fixtures that were commonly seen in public buildings such as schoolhouses. White glass fixtures were idyllic for large, common rooms, such as classrooms that needed ambient light evenly dispersed over a large amount of space.

A wall light fixture installed on and supported solely by a wall.

Seeded/Seedy Glass
Glass featuring tiny air bubbles.

These lights are close to the ceiling but there is a small gap between the light fixture and the ceiling (typically two to four inches) resulting in a visible decorative canopy. These are ideal for rooms and hallways with very low ceilings.

This refers to any part of the light fixture that houses or covers a light bulb.

Silver Leaf
Silver that has been beaten into an extremely thin, foil-like sheets for ornamentation purposes.

The part of a fixture that houses and provides power contact for a bulb. The type of socket used establishes the bulb base type required.

Slope Adapter
This device is installed on ceilings to allow ceiling fans to hang properly from sloped ceilings.

Stainless Steel
A steel alloy containing 10.5-11% chromium, which makes it resistant to staining, rust or corrosion. Different surface finishes and grades exist depending on the application. In certain instances, may be called corrosion-resistant steel (CRES). Stems (Downrods) Also sometimes referred to as downrods. These are used to suspend the pendant lighting or chandelier further from the ceiling to hang at the desired height. They are installed between the canopy of the fixture and the fixture itself. Typically, various lengths of stems are included with a light fixture for a customizable height. Suspension Lighting Pendant lights that hang from two or more canopies.

Suspension Lighting
Pendant lights that hang from two or more canopies.

Swag Kit
Rather than being directly wired through a ceiling outlet box, this device permits ceiling lights or ceiling fans to be plugged into an electrical outlet. It’s basically a long extension cord twisted around a length of chain from which the fixture hangs that has been draped and hooked on the ceiling and then drops down along the wall to the outlet.



Lighting and furnishings based on the styles and popular design elements of the past. Traditional usually refers to design elements from the early 1900s or before.

A device that transforms electric energy from one circuit to other circuit(s). This usually involves reducing (or stepping down) the voltage. In home lighting, transformers usually reduce voltage from 120 volts to 12 or 24 volts. There are both electronic and magnetic transformers.

Track Lighting
A broad term given to a type of track or rail system mounted to the ceiling with numerous multi-directional lights attached to it.

A decor style that is a combination of elements of both traditional and contemporary designs. Transitional styling combines classic warmth and elegance with modern simplicity and neutral hues. Also referred to as soft contemporary.

Trade Discount
At Lighting Connection this is a 15% markdown on the retail price of light fixtures for builders and/or designers that open a trade account.

T-Type Bulb
Acronym for Tubular Fluorescent. Refers to fluorescent lights featuring a tubular shape.

A decorative edging typically found around an opening (particularly recessed lighting). This can also refer to an embellishment applied to the edges of fabrics.



UL Listed
Indicates that a lighting fixture has been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product safety certification company. "UL Listed" usually means that the light fixture has been approved for dry locations.

UL Listed Damp
Indicates that a lighting fixture has been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product safety certification company that a light fixture is approved for damp locations such as bathrooms or covered outdoor locations that at times have moisture accumulation.

UL Listed Wet
Indicates that a lighting fixture has been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product safety certification company that a light fixture is approved for wet locations (outdoors).

Under Cabinet Light
Strictly functional lighting with a slender and typically lengthy design installed underneath upper cabinets in order to illuminate the countertop beneath.

Universal Mounting Bracket
A circular plate used to install hanging lights or wall sconces that provides more versatility and support to a junction box than a crossbar mounting bracket.



Vanity Light
A vanity light is a multi-light wall fixture that is used in bathrooms and powder rooms. Vanity Lights are typically installed horizontally above a mirror, but there there are also some styles of vanity lights that can be mounted vertically on either side of the mirror.

Vaulted Ceiling
A ceiling with a notable slant/slope. A vaulted ceiling can have unequal sloping sides, a single sloping side, or a curved/arched slope. Often confused with cathedral ceilings, which must have equal sloping sides that follow the exact pitch of a roof.

The unit that measures electromotive force (voltage) that drives electrons through an electric circuit.




A unit of power equal to one joule per second. One watt is the amount of power delivered to a component of an electric circuit, allowing a one-ampere current to flow through the component under the pressure of 1 volt. Named after Scottish engineer James Watt.

The measure of electrical power expressed in watts.

Wet Rated
Lighting approved for outdoor locations directly exposed to rain.

Wet Location
Outdoor locations directly exposed to rain such a home exteriors and uncovered patios.



A High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulb petite in size that releases radiant, white light. Ionized xenon gas housed inside a glass or quartz tube is power-driven by a stabilized arc of electricity across two tungsten conductors.