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Lighting & Design Glossary - L


A clear or colored varnish that dries as solvents evaporate, producing a hard, durable finish. Often confused with shellac, lacquer is actually considered to be more durable.


A material created by joining two or more layers together, usually plastic to plastic or another base material. A common method for creating safety glass, Formica, wood flooring and furniture. See "veneer."


A word that means many things, alas. Lamp can be used in the names of table lights and floor lights ("floor lamps" and "table lamp"). Also used (in the lighting world) as a synonym for "bulb." In Europe, lamp is often used as a general term, much like we use lighting in the United States.


Refers to the type of light used in a fixture, ex. Fluorescent, Incandescent, Halogen, LED or Xenon.

Landscape Lights

Landscape lights include bollard lights, accent, path lights, deck lighting and patio lights. They add depth, dimension and safety to front and back yards and are often used to attract attention to particularly striking outdoor features like fountains, sculptural trees and winding pathways.

Lead Crystal

A type of glass containing a high proportion of lead within crystallized quartz, typically used for decorative items such as bobeches on a chandelier.

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).

Lightscape uses the term "lightscaping" to describe the use of various fixtures to create nuanced layers of light, indoors and out. The most comfortable and functional lightscaping includes a blend of generalized ambient lights, architecture/decor/landscape-enhancing accent lights and focused task lights.

Line Voltage

Voltage supplied directly at point of use, draws power directly from a main/house current; any standard electrical outlets are line-voltage.

Linear Suspension

A cross between a pendant and a chandelier, a suspension that includes multiple lights/shades arranged along a single linear arm. The single arm and lengthy orientation results in such a fixture also being termed an island pendant or island light.


Lightweight fabric made from flax plant fibers. Typically crisp and textured feeling, although it can range from stiff and rough to soft and smooth depending on how it was manufactured.


Basically, anything that one could imagine in a log cabin in the mountains. These are substantial pieces that tend to feature natural materials like leather and wood, and often incorporate forest and/or woodland creature motifs.

Low Efficacy Lighting

In a general sense, lamps/bulbs/light sources that are not energy efficient are considered to be low efficacy. Most incandescent bulbs are low efficacy. State, local or federal building codes usually limit the amount of low efficacy lighting allowed in new buildings and remodels.

Low Voltage

An electrical engineering term that broadly identifies safety considerations of an electricity supply system based on the voltage used. Typically used to describe 12 volt fixtures, for example.


1) The world's best online location for finding the perfect lighting fixture, of course!
2) A measurement of the amount of light that radiates from a light bulb (in all directions). The more lumens, the brighter the bulb. Lumen output is listed on most bulb packages, and nowadays are more accurate than watts in indicating brightness.