Lighting & Design Glossary
A cloth that is manufactured by matting and pressing wool fibers (instead of being woven).
Material consisting of numerous very-fine fibers of glass.
The part of an incandescent light bulb that actually glows -- when it is heated up to a high enough temperature.
A metal-working technique that involves twisting thin threads of metal to create an intricate, often scroll-like design. Can be seen in the detailing of some classic-styled lighting, wall plates and ceiling canopies.
In lighting, a finial can have a few meanings. A table lamp or floor lamp finial sets on top of the lamp's harp (the metal surrounding the bulb), and its purpose is decorative. Chandeliers can also have finials, and they are decorative, usually glass finials are at the bottom of the chandelier stem.
1) Used to describe the protective coating or decorative color on furniture or other fixtures. Finishes come in all types, ranging from a typical polyurethane varnish (which adds great protection against damage) to a wax (which only provides short term shine and minimal protection against damage). On lighting fixtures, finishes react with metal to produce a desired effect, such as giving a sconce a rusted appearance, or adding a patina
2) Lumens.com uses the term "finish" to refer to a fixture's metal hue and often correlates to the type of metal itself. For example, a fixture's finish might be Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Nickel or Gold, and could be made from the same material. Searching by Finish helps narrow results to coordinate with an existing look (ex. Chrome-finished fixtures match with Chrome-finished bathroom hardware).
A fixture that provides a wide, even wash of light; especially useful in exterior and landscape lighting applications.
Long-living light source that uses electricity to excite mercury vapor, which produces ultraviolet rays that causes a phosphor to fluoresce and create visible light. Commonly available in industrial tubes or twisted Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).
A close-to-ceiling light fixture mounted flush to a ceiling; useful in low-ceilinged areas.
A non-SI (International System of Units) unit of illumination used to measure the amount and intensity of light occurring evenly in one foot around a source. One footcandle is equal to one lumen per square foot. SI-derived equivalents are lux (when referring to illuminance) or candela (light intensity).
When a metalsmith hammers a piece of hot metal into a certain shape, the result is a hand-forged item. There are other, less manual methods of forging that involve pressing, rolling or dropping (into a die). Those result in forged items.
Freeform is the term used for an irregular flowing shape, typically used in industrial or fabric design. At Lumens.com, we use this term to define lampshades or fixtures that cannot be otherwise categorized into traditional shapes.
Originally developed in the early 19th century for use in lighthouses. Typically thinner, and wider than other lenses, a Fresnel lens is essentially an array of prisms: deeply ridged and set into separate concentric sections. The result is improved refractivity and dispersal of light.
Crushed glass melted into other glass to create dappled patterns.
A dimensional term used for sconces. Indicates how much a wall sconce's height and/or width extends from the necessary wall opening that is, theoretically, at the center of the fixture.
Glass that is made translucent or opaque through sandblasting or etching; often results in matte surface texture.
The process of firing glass within a range of high temperatures to affect depth, shape and texture.