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Lighting & Design Glossary

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Tempered

A heat treatment used to strengthen glass, metals (usually steel) and alloys (aluminum) by balancing the materials' inner particles. Such a process improves impact resistance and reduces cracking/breaking. With tempered glass, any breakage typically results in small chucks as opposed to sharp shards.

Theme

The specific design style of a light fixture based on established aesthetic characteristics and design inspiration. For example: Art Deco, Cottage, Mid-Century/Retro, Old World Elegance, etc.

Thread Count

This refers to the number of threads woven together in a square inch. This number is strictly regulated by federal standards as to how they are counted. Muslin has a thread count of 150 while good quality sheets hit at around 180 and 200 is considered to be better quality. Many factors contribute to the softness of a sheet, however, and should be taken into account (like the quality of the thread) when looking for great-feeling sheets.

Varied types of stained glass originally developed and produced by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his design team from 1878-1933, including specialty opalescent, Favrile (iridescent), streamer, fracture, ripple, ring mottle and drapery glass. Often used for intricate decorative motifs for windows, signs and lampshades.

Toe Kick Lighting

Not surprisingly, toe kick lighting is lighting that is placed at toe level -- about a foot above the ground--on stairs, kitchen islands and more. Also referred to as Cove Lighting.

Torchiere

A specific type of floor lamp which is especially good at offering diffuse but strong light throughout a room. George Kovacs was the first to bring the torchiere lamp style to the U.S. (from Europe).

Toroidal Transformer

A magnetic transformer that is toroidal shaped--that is, shaped like a doughnut. The toroidal transformer is known for its long life and quiet operation.

Track Lighting

Often, track lighting is used as a catch-all phrase for any type of electrified track or rail system that is mounted to a ceiling, allowing several adjustable lights (or trackheads) to be mounted to it. These lights usually can be repositioned.

Lighting and furnishings based on the styles and popular design elements of the past. This is a broad and somewhat subjective term--at Lumens, Traditional usually refers to design elements from the early 1900s or before.

Traffic Meter Level

Also may be called a "Carpet Performance Rating." A rating from 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest) that represents a rug or carpet's ability to withstand extended wear. A rating of 4.0 or more is considered outstanding, and an indication that a rug will be able with handle high levels of traffic.

Transformer

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.

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.

Translucent

Allows light to pass through, but slightly obscured.

Transparent

Allows light to pass through, allows things to be easily seen through it.

Trim

1) A decorative molding, usually around an opening (especially recessed lighting).
2) Ornamentation applied to fabrics.
3) To cut off small pieces of something.

A style that draws its look and feel from the tropical islands. Often includes palm motifs, the color white and dark stained woods.

Tufted

In regards to upholstery, the act of drawing together two sides of a cushion with a thread (singly or at regular intervals). The ends on one or both exposed sides are usually ornamented with a tuft or button.

A design style native to the Tuscany region of Italy. Rustic and aged-looking with an overall sun-baked, earthy look. Design elements often include terra cotta, wrought iron, textured walls and painted murals. Somewhat interchangeable with the Old World design style.