What Is the Difference Between Lamp and Luminaire?

Lamp and luminaire are common terms when talking about lighting. These terms are often confused and often used interchangeably. What do the names lamp and luminaire mean? Which term is correct to use when referring to a lighting unit?

What Is the Difference Between Lamp and Luminaire?
16.03.2022
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Lamp and luminaire are common terms when talking about lighting. These terms are often confused and often used interchangeably. What do the names lamp and luminaire mean? Which term is correct to use when referring to a lighting unit?

Lamp and luminaire have a similar relationship to the concepts of engine and car. So, one is actually part of the other.

The lamp is the light source used in the luminaire. Although lamps are produced with many different technologies, the use of LED lamps is increasing rapidly today.

Lamp is the name given to devices that are generally replaceable and produce light. Incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, T8 and T5 linear fluorescent tubes, LED bulbs and metal halide bulbs are lamps.

Luminaire, on the other hand, is the name given to the body that has one or more sockets for lamp connection. In addition to the lamp, the luminaire includes all components such as power supply, reflector, lens, diffuser, lampholder and electrical connection equipments.

Devices that contain a light source such as an LED module and do not need a lamp are also called luminaires. LEDs have a long service life, so there is no need for lamp replacement in luminaires equipped with LED light sources.

Although names such as table lamp, floor lamp, ceiling lamp are used frequently, this is not a correct usage. It would be more correct to name it as table luminaire, floor luminaire and ceiling luminaire.

Lighting units that illuminate streets and roads are often called street lamps. It would be more correct to call them as street luminaires.

To summarize; A lamp is a replaceable component that produces light. A lighting fixture is a whole lighting device.

Emre Yılmaz, the founder of Lighting Portal, graduated from Atılım University Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2013, and since then has been involved in the management and product development activities of state-supported projects in the lighting industry. He completed his master's degree at Gazi University Industrial Design Engineering Department and continues his education in the doctorate program of the same department.
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