Lampshades and light fixtures are something that most people have in their homes. Almost every interior space will have some lampshades and light fixtures. But lampshades and light fixtures are two different things that have different uses.
A light fixture is a luminaire; a light fixture is an electrical light source or device containing all the electrical parts and components to illuminate the lamp or lighting and to give us light. A lampshade is used on a light fixture to help to diffuse the light. A lampshade can be part of a decoration of a light fixture and while giving ambiance to an interior space.
Table of Contents
- About Light Fixtures
- About Lampshades
- Frequently Asked Question
- Related Content
A lampshade needs to have a light fixture to illuminate the lampshade; no light can shine through without a light fixture attached to the lampshade. A light fixture is a light source that must have electric parts and components, an on/off switch, electrical wiring, and a light bulb to illuminate the light fixture so that light will shine from it.
Essentially a lamp and light fixture are two different things that work together to give the proper illumination for the light source.
About Light Fixtures
A light fixture, also known as a luminaire, is an electrical device containing the electrical parts and components to illuminate the lamp or lighting. We use light fixtures to help to give us light.
The light fixture is the part of a light source that is either plugged into an electrical outlet or secured with the electrical wiring, also known as a mounted light fixture.
A light fixture will have some kind of switch to control the light. Either it will be attached to the lamp body, such as an on/off switch on a socket or cord; mounted light fixtures have it is illumination controlled by an on/off on a wall light switch.
For a light fixture to work, there must be electricity and a light bulb to illuminate the light. To find out more about different size light bulbs or E-sockets, you can read What is the Standard Light Bulb Base? Different E -Socket Types by clicking here.
Light fixtures can be a portable luminaire which means it has a plug and is plugged into usually a wall socket. Or it can be mounted lighting, which is a light fixture mounted with electrical wiring usually to a wall or ceiling; for mounted light fixtures, the fixture is turned on and off by using a wall switch.
A light fixture will usually have an electrical listing or electrical standard. This standard will differ from country to country. In the United States, the accepted standards are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and ETL (Electrical Testing Lab or Intertek ETL).
Light fixtures that qualify for these standards will have marks or stickers to verify that they reached all the required electrical standards. To understand more of the difference between UL and ETL certifications or marks, you can read ETL Listed The Same As UL Listed? Understanding the Certifications by clicking here.
A lampshade is considered part of a light fixture. This is because no light will shine through a lampshade without the illumination of the light from the light fixture. A lampshade needs to have a light source for light to shine through it.
Almost all around the world, when someone has a light fixture, they will usually use a lampshade with the light fixture.
There are several major reasons why a lampshade is used for a light fixture.
Lampshades Diffuse The Light
One of the major reasons as lampshade is used, the lampshade will help to diffuse the light. This means that a person is not viewing a bright lightbulb with their naked eye, but the lampshade is helping to diffuse how the light will shine.
Some lampshades may block part of the light in that they are made from paper or material that will not allow the light to shine through, so the light will shine through the top or bottom of the shade only. Other lampshades will have the light shine through the entire shade. In some light fixtures, the shades are only for decoration, and you can see the light source, as may be the case in a clear glass shade.
Many lampshades will help to diffuse the light, especially if the light fixture uses a bright bulb.
Many lampshades will have a material in them that will help to diffuse the light evenly. This means that when you look at the shade, you can not see the bulb, but the light is evenly spread throughout the shade.
Other lampshades will purposely not have this material so that the bulb can show through the lampshade.
There really is no right or wrong way for this; some people prefer to see the light bulb show through a lampshade, and others prefer not to see the bulb.
We have found that some European buyers prefer to see the bulb, and American buyers prefer not to see the bulb through the lampshade. This is more of a design aspect than the function of the lampshade.
Lampshades Are Part Of The Decoration
A lampshade is part of the decoration of the light fixture. When designing a light fixture, most designers will place great importance on the lampshade they are using.
A lampshade can be made in various materials from fabric, paper, woven materials, glass, plastic, or metal. There really are no limitations of what materials lampshades can use. We have even made lampshades out of beads and beading, rope, string, or hand-embroidery on the lampshade.
The lampshade can also be printed with decoration on the shade or hand-painted. There is really no limit to designers’ creativity to design a lampshade on the light fixture.
Most lampshades do not just diffuse the light, but lampshades are also a major part of the decoration of a light fixture.
Lamps Sets Ambiance For A Space
Designers use light fixtures as it will help to set the ambiance for an interior space. Lamps are great to help to set the right mood in a room.
Interior designers understand this and know exactly where to place the light fixture and how much light should shine through each light fixture and lampshade.
Specific lighting designers may look at all the lights in an area or space and decide if there is too much light for the ambiance they are trying to set or not enough.
Like so many other things to do with lamps, lighting, and light fixtures, what seems like a simple thing can actually be a lot more complicated than what it first seems. Light fixtures give us light, and lampshades help diffuse the light, but setting the right amount of light for the proper ambiance or mood of the room is not always easy.
If you are looking to import some UL-listed lamps, we would love to talk to you and see how we can help you.
At Mondoro, we create, develop and manufacture home decor and home furnishing products, including UL Listed portable table lamps, floor lamps, and other types of lighting fixtures.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture great home decor and home furniture products -including lamps – don’t hesitate to contact me, Anita. Check out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.
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Frequently Asked Question
What is the main difference between a light fixture and a lampshade?
A light fixture refers to the entire structure containing electrical components that provide illumination, while a lampshade is a covering that helps diffuse and direct the light.
Can a light fixture function without a lampshade?
Yes, a light fixture can still provide light without a lampshade, but the absence of a lampshade may result in direct, unfiltered light.
What is the purpose of a lampshade?
The primary purpose of a lampshade is to diffuse the light emitted by a light fixture, creating a softer, more ambient illumination.
Do all light fixtures require lampshades?
No, not all light fixtures need lampshades. Some fixtures, such as exposed bulb pendants or track lights, are designed to showcase the bulb directly.
Are lampshades purely decorative or do they serve a functional purpose?
Lampshades serve both functional and decorative purposes. While they help diffuse light, they also add style and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the light fixture.
Can lampshades affect the intensity of light?
Yes, lampshades can affect the intensity of light by diffusing it and reducing its brightness. Thicker or darker lampshades may create a softer, more subdued lighting effect.
Are lampshades interchangeable between different light fixtures?
Lampshades can often be interchangeable between light fixtures, as long as the size, shape, and attachment mechanisms match.
How do lampshades attach to light fixtures?
Lampshades typically attach to light fixtures using various methods, such as threaded rings, clips, or spider fitters.
Selling Lamps Online, Understanding Listings and Liability
To sell a lamp to most countries, the lamp must be up to that country’s standard. Many places will not even allow a lamp to be imported if the lamp does not have the right electrical components and standards. Lamps should be UL or ETL listed to be sold in the United States for the US market.
You can learn more by reading Selling Lamps Online, Understanding Listings and Liability by clicking here.
What Is The Difference Between LED, CFL, and Incandescent Light Bulbs?
Incandescent Light Bulb is the light bulb that most of us call a standard lightbulb or the lightbulb Edison invented. CFL is also known as a Compact Fluorescent lightbulb, and as the name implies, a compact bulb fluorescent light bulb. LED is a light bulb that uses light-emitting diodes.
You can discover more by reading What Is The Difference Between LED, CFL, and Incandescent Light Bulbs? by clicking here.
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