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Glossary of Terms


AC – Acronym for Alternating Current, which is an electric current that periodically reverses direction.


Aluminium – A silvery-white metal.


Anodised Aluminium – Aluminium that has been through an anodizing process to increase the thickness of the metal.




Bayonet Cap – A type of lamp base that requires a ‘push and twist’ action to secure into the lampholder. Also known as BC and B22.


Beam Angle – The angle, in degree, in which light is distributed from a light source. The wider the beam angle, the more light is spread out. The narrower the beam, the more intense the light is.


Bollard – A type of vertical post light that sits above ground. It can be used to light pathways or create architectural perimeter.


Brass – A bright, gold-like metal.


Bulkhead – A lower portion of the ceiling generally constructed to conceal utility services.




Ceiling Canopy – A decorative plate that attaches to the ceiling to cover the cables of a pendant. Also known as cup.


Ceiling Height – The most important factor in lighting. It is the distance between the flat surface of the floor to the flat surface of the ceiling.


Coastal Rating – An indicator of how well a light fitting can withstand coastal weather conditions.


Colour Temperature – The colour of light measured in kelvin. Common terms included ‘warm white’ and ‘cool white’.


Cool White – A high colour temperature where the colour of light is bluish white. Also known as daylight.


Copper – A metal with a reddish-orange colour. Also known as rose gold.


CRI – Acronym for Colour Rendering Index. A measure of how well light perceives colours as seen in daylight.


CTC – Acronym for Close To Ceiling.


Cut-out – The minimum hole size that needs to be cut into a surface to recess a light.




DC – Acronym for Direct Current, which is an electric current that flows in one direction.


Diameter – The measurement from one edge of a circle to the opposite edge, that passes through the centre point.


Dimmable – Ability to have the level of light decrease in brightness.


Dedicated– A fitting where the light source, generally an LED chip, is an integral part of the fitting.


Diffuser – Any material that diffuses and softens light.


DIY – Acronym for Do It Yourself. In relation to lighting it means a fitting doesn’t require an electrician to install.


Downlight (Recessed) – A type of light recessed into the ceiling that directs light downwards.


Downlight (Surface Mount) – A type of light, often cylindrical in shape, mounted to the ceiling surface that directs light downwards. The perfect solution for lower ceiling heights.


Driver – A small device that controls the voltage and current supplied to a lamp. A driver can be built-in to a light fitting or remote (separate) to a fitting. It can control an individual light or multiple lights.




Edison Screw – A type of lamp base that you twist around and screw into a lamp holder. Also known as ES and E27.


Extension – A term of measurement indicating the distance outwards. Also known as depth or projection.


Extension Rod – An extra length of suspension to increase the drop on a pendant.




Festoon Lighting – Also known as party lights, which are multiple light bulbs hanging on a garland.


Flood Light – A high intensity light used to illuminate large areas.


Floor Lamp – A large lamp designed to stand on the floor.


Fluorescent Lamp – A type of lamp where a phosphor coating inside a glass tube creates a glow when exposed to UV radiation. Cheaper to run than halogen lamps or incandescent lamps.




G9 Bulb – A small light bulb with two connector pins that resemble the shape of a 9.


Garden Spike – A type of outdoor light with a spike on the bottom that can stick into soft surfaces such as dirt or grass.


GLS Bulb – Acronym for General Lighting Service, which is the most common type of light bulb, resembling a pear-like shape.


GU10 Bulb – A mains voltage reflector light bulb that concentrates the beam of light downward. Generally with 2 short, square-like pin connectors that require a ‘push and twist’ action to install. Similar to MR16 bulb.




Halogen Lamp – A type of incandescent lamp with the addition of a small amount of halogen gas in order to reduce heat and increase lamp life.




Incandescent Lamp – A type of lamp where light is created by passing an electric current through a filament (or metal wire) to heat it up, which then becomes visible light. Also known as carbon filament.


Inground Light – A light fitting recessed into the ground.


IP Rating – Acronym for Ingress Protection Rating which identifies the level at which a light fitting is protected against both dust and moisture.




Kelvin – A scale used to measure colour temperature.




LED – Acronym for Light Emitting Diodes, which emit light.


Light Bulb – A source of light encased in glass. Bulb bases include edison screw, bayonet cap, small edison screw and small bayonet cap.


Low Voltage – A lower, safer voltage supply usually in 12v or 24v.


Lumens (lms)– The measure of how bright a light source is.


Luminous Flux – Also known as lux, is the measure of how bright a light source is perceived.




MR16 Bulb –A low voltage light bulb with a ‘multifaceted reflector’ to concentrate the beam of light downward. Generally with a 2 straight needle-like pin connector. Similar to a GU10 bulb.




Non-dimmable – The brightness of light is unable to be decreased.




Path Light – A type of light fitting that illuminates a pathway. Can be recessed into the path and shine light upward, or sit on the surface and shine light downward onto the path. See also Bollard.


Pendant - A light suspended from the ceiling. It may be suspended by a chain, cord or rod.




Raked Ceiling – A ceiling on an incline.


Retrofit – A light fitting where the bulb can be replaced and/or upgraded.




Sensor – A device attached to a light fitting used to detect changes in the environment and trigger the light.


Shade (Light Shade) – A fixture that covers the light bulb on a lamp or pendant to diffuse the light it emits. Generally in a cylindrical or conical shape.


Small Bayonet Cap – Same as Bayonet Cap but base size is smaller in diameter. Also known as SBC and B15.


Small Edison Screw – Same as Edison Screw but base size is smaller in diameter. Also known as SES and E14.


Spotlight – A type of light producing a narrow, intense beam of light.


SS304 – The most common form of stainless steel that can withstand corrosion from most oxidizing acids, but not from coastal environments.


SS316 – Marine Grade Stainless Steel that is able to resist the corrosive effects of salt in seawater.


Stainless Steel – A metal similar to Aluminium but with increased corrosion resistance.


Step Light – A recessed or surface mounted wall light that directs light downward onto a step.


Suspension – A piece of chain, cord or rod that supports the shade and lamp holder of a pendant.




Table Lamp – A small lamp designed to sit on a table.


Transformer – A small device that changes the voltage and current supplied to a lamp. It generally lowers the voltage to increase safety.




UV – Acronym for Ultra Violet, which is a form of radiation with wavelengths shorter than visible light.




Voltage - A measurement of the pressure of electricity going through a wire.




Wall Light – A light fitting amount to the wall, with the potential to offer direct and indirect light.


Warm White – A low colour temperature where the colour of light is yellowish or red.


Wattage – The electrical power of a lamp, expressed in watts.