A light fixture (US English), light fitting (UK English), or luminaire is an electrical device used to create artificial light by use of an electric lamp. All light fixtures have a fixture body and a light socket to hold the lamp and allow for its replacement. Fixtures may also have a switch to control the light. Fixtures require an electrical connection to a power source; permanent lighting may be directly wired, and moveable lamps have a plug. Light fixtures may also have other features, such as reflectors for directing the light, an aperture (with or without a lens), an outer shell or housing for lamp alignment and protection, and an electrical ballast or power supply. A wide variety of special light fixtures are created for use in the automotive lighting industry, aerospace, marine and medicine.
Portable light fixtures are often called "lamps", as in table lamp or desk lamp. In technical terminology, the lamp is the light source, what is typically called the light bulb.
Fixture manufacturing began soon after production of the incandescent light bulb. When practical uses of fluorescent lighting were realized after 1924, the three leading companies to produce various fixtures were Lightolier, Artcraft Fluorescent Lighting Corporation, and Globe Lighting in the United States.
Ceiling Dome — Also called 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 which are mounted right up against the ceiling, or semi-flush fixtures which are 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 — 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.
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.