The term "luminaire" refers to the entire electric light fitting, including all the components needed to mount, operate and protect the lamp. Although also widely referred to as "lamps", luminaires actually perform a totally different function: they protect the lamp, distribute its light and prevent it causing glare.
Luminaires are differentiated on the basis
- lamp type (for energy-saving, fluorescent, discharge lamps)
- number of lamps (single-lamp, twin-lamp, etc.) field of application (interior luminaires, exterior luminaires)
- location (desk luminaire, bathroom luminaires, etc.)
- degree of protection (luminaires for dry, damp and dusty interiors)
- type of construction (open luminaires, enclosed luminaires, reflector luminaires, specular reflector luminaires, louvered luminaires, diffuser luminaires, floodlights)
- type of mounting (wall, ceiling, pendant or hand luminaires)
- purpose (technical luminaires, domestic luminaires, decorative luminaires or special-effect luminaires)
- lighting task (workplace luminaires, road lighting luminaires).