Various examples of light fixtures throughout history
A light fixture (US English), light fitting (UK English), or luminaire is an electrical device containing an electric lamp that provides illumination. All light fixtures have a fixture body and one or more lamps. The lamps may be in sockets for easy replacement—or, in the case of some LED fixtures, hard-wired in place.
Fixtures may also have a switch to control the light, either attached to the lamp body or attached to the power cable. Permanent light fixtures, such as dining room chandeliers, may have no switch on the fixture itself, but rely on a wall switch.
Fixtures require an electrical connection to a power source, typically AC mains power, but some run on battery power for camping or emergency lights. Permanent lighting fixtures are directly wired. Movable lamps have a plug and cord that plugs into a wall socket.
Ceiling Dome – the light source(s) are hidden behind a translucent dome typically made of glass, with some combination of frosting and surface texturing to diffuse the light. These can be flush-mount fixtures mounted into the ceiling, or semi-flush fixtures separated by a small distance (usually about 3–12").
Open ceiling dome – the translucent dome is suspended a short distance below the ceiling by a mechanism that is hidden with the exception of a screw-knob or other device appearing on the outer dome face, and pulling this knob releases the dome.
Enclosed ceiling dome – the translucent dome mates with a ring that is mounted flush with the ceiling.
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 downlight.
"Cans" with a variety of lamps – this term is jargon for inexpensive downlighting products that are recessed into the ceiling, or sometimes for uplights 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 – indirect lighting recessed into the ceiling in a long box against a wall.
Troffer – recessed fluorescent light fixtures, usually rectangular in shape to fit into a drop ceiling grid.
Surface-mounted light – the finished housing is exposed, not flush with the surface.
Display Case or Showcase light – shows merchandise on display within an enclosed case such as jewelry, grocery stores, and chain stores.
Ceiling fan – may sometimes have a light, often referred to as a light kit mounted to it. These light kits may be used to replace any ceiling-mounted light fixtures that were displaced by the installation of the ceiling fan.
High- and low-bay lighting – typically used for general lighting for industrial buildings and often big-box stores.
Strip lights or Industrial lighting – often long lines of fluorescent lamps used in a warehouse or factory.
Outdoor lighting and landscape lighting – used to illuminate walkways, parking lots, roadways, building exteriors and architectural details, gardens, and parks. Outdoor light fixtures can also include forms similar to indoor lighting, such as pendants, flush or close-to-ceiling light fixtures, wall-mounted lanterns and dome lights.
Bollard – a type of architectural outdoor lighting that is a short, upright ground-mounted unit typically used to provide cutoff type illumination for egress lighting, to light walkways, steps, or other pathways.