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Lighting Types


Filament lamps make up most of Britain's domestic lighting. The more basic lightbulbs are known as GLS lamps (general lighting service).



Halogen lamps are a type of filament lamp.

See Halogen Lighting


See CFL Lamps

Linear Fluorescent

(& circline) See Fluorescent Lighting


Mercury discharge lamps produce an ice cold white light, and were widely used as street lighting in the 1980s.

Metal Halide

See Discharge Lighting

Sodium, High Pressure

High pressure sodium lighting is popular as outdoor in towns today. It gives an orange/pink/golden light.

Sodium, Low Pressure

Low pressure sodium lighting is popular as road lighting. It gives a pure yellow monochrome light, and has exceptional energy efficiency.

See Discharge Lighting


See LED Lighting

Light Pipes

Light pipes carry skylight from above the roof down to an interior light, providing lighting for rooms with no windows. They are expensive to fit, but cost nothing to run.

In higher tech systems, usually in large buildings, light pipes are combined with fluorescent lights in the same enclosures. The electric light is used at night, and in the day the power is continually adjusted as needed to give the required light output. This means the electric lighting is off most of the day, but will gradually come on as daylight fades and on dark dull days. In a tower block the resultant power savings can be substantial.

Gas light

Very rarely used for home lighting, but still used & manufactured, gas lights are a good option for emergency lights that are not connected to the mains. Gas lighting has much better long term reliability than battery based electric lighting, low setup cost and minimal maintenance cost.

Link here to the story of the walled up gaslight


The use of candles in a power cut is a known fire risk. A small sconce mounted to a plastered wall almost eliminates the risk.

Candles are the least energy efficient of all common lighting sources.

Solar Mirrors

Outdoor mirrors can be used to reflect skylight and often sunlight into a room to lighten the room and reduce electric lighting use. They also harvest a small amount of heat in winter.

See Solar Mirrors


A heliostat is a reflective dish that moves, directing light to a fixed position. A tracking heliostat can be used to provide sunlight during the day, and either moonlight or streetlight at night.

When used for lighting, the heliostat should be shaped to avoid concentrating light to a point to remove any fire risk. Some difference between horizontal and vertical geometry can give a line instead of a point at the focus. When satellite dishes are reused for this, they can be bent slightly to spread the point of focus.

Heliostats can also be made from flat sheet material fitted with lots of small angled reflectors. See: Solar furnace

More Topics

The lighting category lists the main lighting topics covered on this wiki:

Many more topics are covered within articles with other names, including:

Bad Ideas - Lighting

  • 500w Halogen Lights
  • Bare Fluorescent Lights with random tube
  • Lights high up out of reach over stairs
  • Plaster half-bowl uplighters

Fluorescent Lighting

  • Can I re-use my scanner/monitor CCFL?
  • Plant Lighting

Halogen Lighting

  • Energy Efficiency
  • MCB tripping

Rewiring Tips

  • Uplighters
  • Kitchen worktop lighting
  • Filament Strip Lights
  • Kitchen worktop lighting
  • Stair Lighting
  • Emergency lighting
  • MCB Type
  • Light Switch Controls Plugged in Lamps
  • Cutting costs
  • Futureproof Fitting Choices
  • Bulb Bases, BC ES & Miniatures
  • Bulb selection
  • Relamping Access
  • Outdoor Security Lighting
  • Tree & Shrub Lighting
  • CFLs outdoors
  • Making Outdoor Lighting Look Good
  • Outdooor Light Fitting Corrosion
  • Night Lighting

Lamp Life

  • Facilities lamps
  • The 900,000 hour light bulb
  • Boosting light output
  • Dimming
  • Rough Service Lamps
  • Photographic bulbs


  • Half moon plaster uplighters
  • R80 Spotlight Fittings
  • PAR38 spotlight fittings
  • Trough Fluorescent Lighting
  • Shelf Fluorescent Lighting

There are also many lighting relevant topics in Category:Electrical

See Also

Wiki Contents

Wiki Subject Categories