A light fixture is an electrical device used to create artificial light or illumination. A luminaire is a lighting fixture complete with the light source or lamp, the reflector for directing the light, an aperture (with or without a lens), the outer shell or housing for lamp alignment and protection, an electrical ballast, if required, and connection to a power source. A wide variety of special light fixtures are created for use in the automotive industry, aerospace, marine and medicine.
Light fixtures are classified by how the fixture is installed, the light function or lamp type.
- Free-standing or portable — table lamps, standard lamps and office task lights. Note: The use of "lamp" to describe light fixtures is different from its use to describe electrical components - see Lamp (electrical component).
- 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. The name comes from the shape of the housing. The term "pot lights" is often used in Canada and parts of the US.
- Troffer light — recessed fluorescent lights (the word comes from the combination of trough & coffer)
- Surface-mounted light — the finished housing is exposed; not "flush" with surface
- Pendant light — suspended from the ceiling with a chain or pipe
- Sconce — provide up or down lights; can be used to illuminate artwork, architectural details; commonly used in hallways and/or as an alternative to overhead lighting.
- Indirect lighting — light reflects off the ceiling for general illumination
- Cove light — recessed into the ceiling in a long box against a wall
- Track lighting fixture — individual fixtures (track "heads") can be positioned anywhere along the track, which provides electric power.
- Under-cabinet light — mounted below kitchen wall cabinets
- Outdoor lighting — used to illuminate walkways, parking lots, roadways, building exteriors, landscape and architectural details.
- Pole or stanchion mounted — for landscape, roadways, and parking lots
- Pathway lighting — typically mounted in the ground at low levels for illuminating walkways
- Bollards — 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
- High bay/Low bay lighting — typically used for general lighting for industrial buildings
- Strip lights or industrial lights — often long lines of fluorescent lamps used in a warehouse or factory
- Emergency lighting or Exit light — connected to a battery or to an electric circuit that has backup power if the main power fails
- Balanced arm lamp is a spot light with an adjustable arm like anglepoise and Luxo L1.
- Betty lamp, butter lamp, carbide lamp, gas lighting, kerosene lamp, oil lamp, rush light, torch, candle
- Safety lamps: Davy lamp & Geordie lamp, Xenon arc lamp, Yablochkov candle
- A-lamp, PAR Parabolic reflector lamp (PAR), Reflector lamp (R), Bulged reflector lamp (BR) (Refer to lamp bases)
- *Obsolete types: Limelight, Carbon button lamp, Mazda (light bulb), Nernst glower
- *Novelty: Blacklight, Lava lamp
- *Special purpose: Heat lamp, Nernst lamp, HQI
- Mercury-vapor lamp, Ceramic discharge metal halide lamp, Metal-halide, Sodium vapor or "high pressure sodium", HMI
- *Neon sign, Plasma lamp
- Linear fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)
Light fixture controls