Lanternland's Glossary Of Home Lighting Terms

What's A Watt?
Find definitions for common home lighting terms.


Accent Lighting: Adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to draw the eye to houseplants, paintings, sculptures and other prized possessions. It can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall, window treatments or outdoor landscaping.To be effective, accent lighting requires as least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights.

Ambient Lighting: Provides an area with overall illumination. Also known as general lighting, it radiates a comfortable level of brightness without glare and allows you to see and walk about safely. In some spaces such as laundry rooms, the ambient lighting also serves as the primary source of task lighting.It can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, recessed or track lights and with lanterns mounted on the outside of the home. Having a central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.

Bracket: Decorative element used to space a lantern away from the mounting bracket. Usually made of heavier material.

Backplate: Another term for mounting bracket.

Bracket: Decorative element used to space a lantern away from the mounting bracket. Usually made of heavier material.

Cage: Body of Lantern

Candelabra Bulb / Socket: Smaller size screw in type light bulb / socket. Typically found in chandeliers, lanterns and other mounted home lighting. Most Lanternland lanterns use this type of bulb. Note: This info only refers to the metal base of the bulb. The glass portion of the bulb can come in many styles.

Candelabra Base Light Bulb
Candelabra Base Bulb

Canopy: Covers the electrical box and attaches chain to lantern

Compact Fluorescent Bulb (CFL): Compact fluorescent light bulbs, also known as CFL's, are an energy efficient alternatives to conventional incandescent bulbs.

CRI (Color Rendering Index): Measures the accuracy of color from a light bulb on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the number, the better the color rendering.

Damp Location: UL listing for a fixture used in a moist but unexposed area, such as a bathroom or under an eave.

Dark Sky: Refers to the International Dark Sky Association, which campaigns against light pollution. A ?Dark Sky Fixture? emits no light above horizontal. Many areas have local "Dark Sky" regulations.

Electrical Box: Electrical wall and ceiling boxes are used to mount and house connections for a lamp fixture to a wall or ceiling. Electrical boxes can be mounted recessed in a wall or ceiling or surface mounted.

Finial: Decorative element used at the top or bottom of a lantern


Gallery: Decorative banding around the perimeter of a lantern

Kelvin: The color of the light emitted by a bulb. A warm, white LED is typically rated below 3000 Kelvin, while a cooler blue is generally above 3500

Lamp: Another term for light bulb

LED: Light-emitting diode: A semiconductor diode that converts applied voltage to light and is used in lamps and digital displays.

Life Hours: The life hours are the rated average life of a light bulb as determined by engineering testing and probability analysis.

Lumen: A measurement of the amount of light produced by a bulb. A 100-watt incandescent bulb produces about 1750 lumens. A 23 watt compact fluorescent lamp emits about 1,500?1,600 lumes.

Medium Bulb / Socket: Standard size screw in type light bulb / socket. The most commonly used size of bulb and socket. Found in most home lighting such as lamps, ceiling fixtures etc. Note: This info only refers to the metal base of the bulb. The glass portion of the bulb can come in a variety of styles.

Medium Edison Base Light Bulb

Medium (E26) Base Bulb

Mounting Bracket: A decorative plate to cover the electrical box

Roof: Top of the lantern

Scrolls: Decorative ornamental details

Spinnings: Metal that has been turned to form a decorative shape

Task Lighting: Helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, grooming, preparing and cooking food, doing homework, working on hobbies, playing games and balancing your checkbook. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and undercabinet lighting, as well as by portable floor and desk lamps.Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eye strain.

UL Listed: UL is short for Underwriter Laboratories, an organization that tests electrical devices for safety and functionality. The UL makes sure that wire sizes are correct, devices can safely support the amount of current listed, and that they are constructed properly to provide safe function in your home.

Watts: Unit of electrical power. Used here primarily to rate bulbs and sockets. For safety, the wattage of the bulb should not exceed the wattage capacity for the socket.

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