Lighting Glossary: Terms to aid your search for the perfect light
Shortly after venturing into the world of lighting, you'll probably realize that it's a bit more complex than you might have thought. Incandescent, fluorescent, downrods, baffle - it's easy to get lost out there. Our glossary of lighting-related terms will aid your search for the perfect light. If you can't find the answer here, call us with any questions you may have, (800) 457-2109. We have a trained staff of lighting experts who can help you.
Ambient: Ambient light, also known as "general light", is an overall level of lighting in your room. Ambient light should provide a comfortable amount of light to suit how the room is used.
Base: The decorative body of the lamp, a base can be constructed from an array of materials: metal, brass, porcelain, crystal, hydrocal, or wood to name a few. Bases should be solidly constructed to resist tipping during normal use.
Color Rendering Index: Light bulbs offer a varying range of attributes that can produce different light outputs and qualities. The color rendering index (CRI) provides a base of mesaurability to render color accurately and consistently.
Color Temperature: Color characteristics of light (temperatures) measure the appearance of the light from warm (yellows/red) to cool (white). Color temperature is rated in degrees of Kelvin and do not reflect the physical temperature (or heat) of a lamp. Light sources such as incandescent bulbs (2700 degrees Kelvin) and halogen lamps (3000 degrees Kelvin)are at each end of the color spectrum.
Dimmer Switch: Gradually increases/decreases light intensity. Most torchieres are equipped with dimmers or high/low switches.
Downlight: A light fixture that concentrates light in a downward direction. Most often this refers to recessed lighting, though many ceiling fixtures now have more concentrated beams of light.
Non-unifrom Downlighting: Non-uniform downlighting uses less light sources and delivers a more "individualized" beam spread of light. This lighting technique creates a more interesting visual effect in a space as the beams do not overlap as in general uniform downlighting.
Unifrom Downlighting: Unifrom illumination bathes horizontal surfaces in light. Typically a general lighting technique, uniform illumination adds little dramatic impact to a space.
Downrods: An accessory for pendants and chandeliers to add length
General Lighting: General Lighting provides an area with overall illumination. General lighting is basically the lighting that replaces sunlight and is fundamental to a lighting plan.
Lumens: The amount of light a bulb produces.
Swag: Decorative motif, image of a garland of fruit and flowers or of a length of cloth, tied with ribbons and attached to a background. If tied at both ends and suspended from them in a loop, a swag is generally called a festoon.
Task Lighting: Task lighting is for those areas where tasks or activities such as reading, paying bills, etc. take place. Task lighting should work with a room's general lighting and enhances the use of a room. Task lighting can be provided by adding portable lamps, undercabinet lighting as well as the addition of recessed lights at specific areas.
UL and CUL: Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., like Electrical Testing Laboratory (ETL), is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization.
Uplighting: Uplighting visually expands a room by providing ambient light. Use them as a complement to recessed down lighting, and place them where they appear aesthetically balanced in the room.
Wattage: The amount of electricity consumed by a bulb.
Wall Lighting: The illumination of vertical surfaces can impact that perception of a space more than any other type of lighting. Light reflecting off walls creates a bright, spacious feel and adds visual interest. Dramatic effects can be achieved with light to illuminate vertical surfaces and highlight objects. Through proper lighting selection and placement a room can appear more spacious and interesting.
- Grazing: For dramatic effect on textured surfaces such as stucco, stone or brick, place fixtures 6-12 inches away from the wall. Grazing is not recommended on smooth surfaces as surface imperfections will be exaggerated.
- Light Scallops:Light scallop is an effect created when the fixture is placed closer to the wall resulting in a more concentrated and tighter scallop. Scallop light effects are often a part of the lighting plan for added drama, however they can be inadvertently created is fixture placement is not properly calculated.
- Wall Washing: For a gentle and even illumination of a vertical space, place fixtures the same distance apart as they are from the wall. Wall washing is best suited for smooth surfaces.
Address Light: This light fixture is usually composed of a backlight that illuminates street numbers. Affixed to the front of a house, or at the end of the driveway, and Address Light lets visitors find a house even in the dark.
Bathroom Ceiling Fan: Bathroom ceiling fans are used to clear out the hot and humid air that occurs when the shower is running.
Bathroom Vanity Light: Bath or vanity lighting refers to fixtures used to light the mirror in a bathroom. A bath strip is a long fixture that mounts along the top or sides of the mirror.
Ceiling Cloud: Ceiling clouds are indiscrete overhead lights that blend into their surroundings. They get their name from their white color and conventionally curved shape.
Chandelier: A branched, decorative lighting fixture that holds a number of bulbs or candles and is suspended from a ceiling. These fixtures come in a variety of finishes and are most often traditional or contemporary styles. This fixture if often used to elevate the decor of a room. Some manufacturers are no carrying select styles of outdoor chandeliers to illuminate your covered patio or gazebo. Additionally, many manufacturers have now begun to carry mini-chandeliers. Mini-chandeliers are best for hallways and smaller rooms.
Convertible Pendant: A convertible pendant is a dual function light fixture. It can be used as a hanging pendant with a chain or rod, and can also be mounted as a semi flush mount to the ceiling surface.
Deck Light: These light fixtures are mounted on deck surfaces and are used to illuminate hand rails, steps, as well as to create an overall ambience in your exterior living space.
Desk Lamp: This fixture is used on desks for work or study. These can be very utilitarian styles or a more decorative style such as a banker or pharmacy lamp. The light source should be sit about 15" above work area.
Directional Light: A fixture commonly used for mood lighting. They can provide a decorative accent that draws attention to a particular area. Directional lights are also known as exhibit, display or spot lights.
Display Light: Display lights have a focused direction that is used to highlight or accent a specific element of the room. A wall mounted display light, for example, might be positioned over a painting to emphasize its impact in the d
As the sport of kayaking grows and more people take up the sport, the question arises:what type of kayak should I buy? Learn here!
The sport of kayaking is rapidly becoming one of the most popular sports in America. With the advent of ESPN and the extreme sport films more and more people are deciding to take up kayaking. However, many people are at a loss when trying to decide what type of kayak is right for them. In this article, we shall look at the different major types and what they for. You, the paddler, must examine what you are interested in and what level of excitement you are seeking.
The first place to go to decide on a kayak is your local sporting goods store. Even Sam?s Club offers a recreation type of kayak, albeit, a low end type. It works fine,
if you are just beginning to paddle. Quite a few canoe and kayak shops offer what are called "Demo Days," where you can actually try out several different types of kayaks on the water to get a feel before you buy. Sometimes, they also carry used kayaks which can be a real bargain for the beginning kayaker. You can also use the liveries, in streams, that rent kayaks for trips. Usually, they will carry several different brands of kayaks, mostly beginner types, that you can try on local streams. It is usually good to try before you buy. This way you have some idea of the comfort, agility, stability and tracking of the kayak.
The second thing to consider is what type of paddling do you expect to do? Are you interested in learning about whitewater kayaking? Do you expect to mostly paddle flatwater streams, with perhaps a little Class 1+ to 2 type water? Are you going to paddle lakes and bays of the ocean, which are primarily wide open spaces of water? Are you interested in paddling in the ocean, either island to island or playing in the surf? Do you want to play in rapids under waterfalls? There are many types of paddling experiences and boats to go with each. Many times, you start out with one type of kayak and venture on to another for a different type of paddling. You may predominantly paddle flat water, but occasionally take a trip on slightly faster water. You may enjoy it, as your adrenaline starts pumping, and decide to take up whitewater.
In deciding to learn whitewater kayaking, it is generally a good idea to start at a kayak shop that specializes in teaching whitewater kayaking. They can provide you with an idea of what type of eqipement you will need. Many YMCA?s also offer classes as do many of the kayaking clubs that are found all over the country. Whitewater kayaking is exciting, but also can be dangerous, so the expense of lessons is well spent. A good teacher will put you in the type of kayak you need and show you what to look for when you buy your own. Whitewater kayaks are extremely agile but also very tippy. They are made to provide quick turns and maneuverability because the type of water they will be used in is rough and fast moving. They are also quite tight around the body and are supposed to be that way so that the paddler becomes "one with the boat" and can move easier in the water, as in doing Eskimo rolls and escape maneuvers. They is also a sub-class of whitewater kayaks called play boats which are used by "rodeo" kayakers and for trick paddling.
The next type of kayak is the recreation boat. This is usually a very stabile, easily paddled boat that seats either one or two people and is usually where most people start out. They are used for flatwater and small lakes, and can be made out of a variety of materials: plastic, wood, fiberglass and kevlar. Kevlar is the lightest material, but also the most expensive. It is usually not used in the general recreation kayak. Kevlar and fiberglass are usually used more in the high end recreation or touring kayaks. These kayaks are the most pleasant for quiet waters in streams and marshes. They provide a stable platform for relaxing and enjoying the outside. They usually provide some space for day tripping equipement like lunch and cameras. Again, there is a variety of sizes and fits and you need to try sitting in one before you buy. Another good way to try out boats is by joining a club that has trips to different streams. These are usually rated by ability level and is a good place to learn about any information regarding kayaking.
One step up is the touring kayak. These can also vary in size, shape and cost. They are generally longer and sleeker. This contributes to a better tracking ability that helps during a long paddle. They usually have spaces in the hull for camping equipement and other odds and ends for a trip. The lightest ones are also made of kevlar. The ocean going kayaks are considered touring kayaks and sometimes will have a rudder attachment for controlling direction in the seas. They are usually moderately stable and again will be for either one or two paddlers. They are not quite so good for small streams because of their length, but a good paddler can usually navigate one of them through a moderately small stream.
Sit on top kayaks are another class which has become more popular over the past few years. These are exactly what they are called. You sit on top. They can be a fun boat for surfing and paddling, since some people prefer not to be enclosed in a kayak out of fear of being caught in the boat. However, you are exposed to the water and will more than likely have to invest in a wet suit to keep warm when the weather and water run to the chilly side. They also tend to be a little more unstable as the center of balance is higher. This is balanced by the ease of getting back on, since you don?t have to contend with climbing into and over the side of the passenger compartment.
As you can see, the variety of boats is high. The best way is to try, try, try the boats out, until you find one that you find most comfortable for you and your needs. There is no point to having a whitewater kayak if all you do is paddle around a lake. Use the right kayak for the type of paddling you do, and you will enjoy kayaking for many years to come. Of course, you may end up with a garage full of different kayaks, but that?s a subject for another time!
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