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Light fixture

A light fixture (US English), light fitting (UK English), or luminaire is an electrical device used to create artificial light by use of an electric lamp. All light fixtures have a fixture body and a light socket to hold the lamp and allow for its replacement. Fixtures may also have a switch to control the light. Fixtures require an electrical connection to a power source; permanent lighting may be directly wired, and moveable lamps have a plug. Light fixtures may also have other features, such as reflectors for directing the light, an aperture (with or without a lens), an outer shell or housing for lamp alignment and protection, and an electrical ballast or power supply. A wide variety of special light fixtures are created for use in the automotive lighting industry, aerospace, marine and medicine.
Portable light fixtures are often called "lamps", as in table lamp or desk lamp. In technical terminology, the lamp is the light source, what is typically called the light bulb.

Fixture types

Light fixtures are classified by how the fixture is installed, the light function or lamp type.

Free-standing or portable

  • Table lamp fixtures, standard lamp fixtures, and office task light luminaries.
  • Balanced-arm lamp is a spot light with an adjustable arm such as anglepoise.
  • Goose neck lamp
  • Night light


  • Recessed light — the protective housing is concealed behind a ceiling or wall, leaving only the fixture itself exposed. The ceiling-mounted version is often called a down light.
  • "Cans" with a variety of lamps — this term is jargon for inexpensive down lighting products that are recessed into the ceiling, or sometimes for up lights placed on the floor. The name comes from the shape of the housing. The term "pot lights" is often used in Canada and parts of the US.
  • Cove light — recessed into the ceiling in a long box against a wall.
  • Torch lamp, torch-bearer, or floor lamp.
  • Troffer — recessed fluorescent light fixtures, usually rectangular in shape to fit into a drop ceiling grid.
  • Solar lamp
  • Street light
  • Yard light

Special-purpose lights

  • Accent light — Any directional light which highlights an object or attracts attention to a particular area
  • Background light — for use in video production
  • Black light
  • Christmas lights-also called fairy lights or twinkle lights and are often used at Christmas and other holidays for decoration.
  • Flood light
  • Safe light (for use in a darkroom)
  • Safety lamp (for use in coal mines)
  • Searchlight (for military and advertising use)
  • Security lighting
  • Step light
  • Strobe light
  • Traffic light
  • Theatrical
  • Stage lighting instrument
  • Intelligent lighting
  • Follow spot
  • Wall washer

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