Traditional & Decorative Lamps & Lanterns
These days lamps and lanterns serve a variety of lighting functions with modern-age lighting principles:
There are many general principles to lighting an area, although to allow for artistic effect, no hard and fast rules can ever be applied. The principles of lighting include: Illumination: The simple ability to see what is in an area. Any lighting design will be ineffective if the audience has to strain to see; unless this is the explicit intent.
Revelation of form: Altering the perception of shapes, particularly three-dimensional objects.
Focus: Directing the audience's attention to an area, and/or distracting them from another. Mood: Setting the tone of a room. Harsh red light has a totally different effect than soft lavender light.
Location and time of day: Establishing or altering position in time and space. Blues can suggest night time while orange and red can suggest a sunrise or sunset.
Selective visibility: Lighting may be used to show only the areas you want the audience to see.
Background light, The background light is used to illuminate the background area of a subject. The background light will also provide separation between the subject and the background. In the standard 4-point lighting setup, the background light is placed last and is usually placed directly behind the subject and pointed at the background.
Downlight, A recessed light or downlight is a ceiling light fixture that is installed into a hollow opening in the ceiling. When installed it appears to have light shining from a hole in the ceiling, concentrating the light in a downward direction. There are two parts to recessed lights, the trim and housing. The trim is the visible portion of the light. It is the insert that you see when you look up and also includes the thin lining around the edge of the light. The housing is the fixture itself that is installed inside the ceiling and contains the light socket. Also known as canister lights.
Sconce, A sconce is a type of light fixture affixed to a wall in such a way that it uses only the wall for support, and the light is usually directed upwards. It does not have a base on the ground. The word applies both to traditional forms of torch lighting, but also to modern gas and electric light sources affixed in the same way.
The simplest technology used is the candle lantern. Candles give only a weak light, and must be protected from wind to prevent from flickering or complete extinguishment. A typical candle lantern is a metal box with glass side panels and opening on the top.
Decorative lanterns exist in a wide range of designs. Some hang from buildings, while others are placed on or just above the ground. Paper lanterns occur in societies around the world. Modern varieties often place an electric light in a decorative glass case. The ancient Chinese sometimes captured fireflies in transparent or semi-transparent containers and used them as (short-term) lanterns.
With all the possibilities and combinations available to us these days, lighting objects and rooms is ever becoming more of an art form with infinate possibilities than ever before.
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