There are many different types of lighting in use today. From lights we use in our home to lights we see all around us as we walk around a city. Here’s an overview of the many different types, what they do and how they are used.
Luminaires are commonly referred to as lamps (table lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps) or light fixtures. Luminaires are devices that use lamps to direct lighting and can include portable fixtures such as floor and table luminaires. They can also be permanently mounted in ceilings and on walls.
The use of light in buildings, known as architectural lighting, is important for everyday activities. In addition to providing illumination for vision, architectural lighting can invite visitors in, persuade shoppers to buy, relax hotel guests or restaurant patrons, and create nearly any effect or mood.
Daylighting reduces the need for electric lighting by taking advantage of daylight using an ideal placement of windows and skylights and with the use of lighting controls that can monitor available daylight and respond as needed.
Industrial is used in and around factories, power plants, quarries, etc. and is often designed to illuminate large areas with the brightest possible light. LED lighting is often used in this situation.
Commercial is used by businesses such as offices and stores. Commercial lighting can involve architectural, outdoor, security lighting, and more.
Residential lighting affects virtually everyone and is often overlooked when it comes to design. Effective residential lighting will provide sufficient illumination needed to perform household tasks, be comfortable and be controlled easily.
Institutional is used in and around hospitals, schools and public buildings, and is often designed especially for specific tasks and uses. Hospitals, for example, require specialized systems for operating rooms, laboratories, patient rooms and other areas.
Transportation refers to far more than headlamps on a vehicle. This emcompasses lighting through the entire roadway system and vehicle lighting (headlamps, interior lighting, instruments), roadway illumination systems (street lights), and roadway signaling (including options such as traffic signals, lane markers, crosswalk indicators).
Outdoor is a general term that can include residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, transportation, and other uses. Outdoor lighting applications may be designed to illuminate a specific areas such as a football field, or it may be designed to attract customers’ attention such as store signs. Effective outdoor options will do its job without creating lit pollution.