• Electrical India
  • Jun 5, 2017

Task-Oriented Luminaires

Task oriented lighting systems are used when some task requires substantially more light than others do. A Higher level of task illumination may be provided by asymmetrical luminaire layouts that concentrate luminaires at the task. Special purpose Luminaires are used for task-oriented illumination. They are also used to provide a higher level of luminance for difficult visual tasks...

- Rajesh Chourishi

 The luminaire is an electrical device used to create decorative light by use of an electric lamp. The term luminaire is recommended by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for technical use. In the US it is known as light fixture while in the UK it is known as a light fitting.

  15th century onwards, Decorative Chandeliers as luminaires became popular in palaces, temples, mosque, cathedral, and Senate. Its enormous cost made the chandelier a symbol of luxury and status. Therefore, it became popular in homes of nobility, clergy, and merchants also.

  However, currently, decorative luminaires are being used in houses, auditorium, hotels, shopping malls, showrooms and corporate offices to improve the decor. Similarly, to make the city beautiful, decorative luminaires are being used in streetlights. Various energy saving controls are utilized to make luminaires energy efficient.

Chart 1

Type of luminaires

  Luminaires are categorized according to their installation, function and illumination or type of source used with them.

  A common classification based is highlighted in chart 1.

Mobile Luminaires

  This category further can be classified as indoor & outdoor types. Under this category, different type of spotlight can be considered like table lamp luminaires, standard lamp luminaires, office task light luminaires, floor light luminaires Balanced-Arm lamp can be considered.

  Some of the popular spotlight luminaires are shown below.

Balanced-arm lamp

  It is outdoor type luminaires; it is a spotlight with a self-adjustable arm at an angle. It is used as mobile Streetlight.

Gooseneck lamp

  A gooseneck lamp is a portable lighting luminaire in which a lamp is attached to a flexible, adjustable shaft. Gooseneck lamps are often used to provide spot illumination.


  A nightlight is a tiny luminaire, placed in the dark area for the convenience during nights or during an emergency.

Torchiere Floor Lamps

  This luminaire with an upward facing shade provides general lighting to the rest of the room.

Immobile Luminaires

  Under this category different immobile or fixed type or non-movable, indoor type, ceiling mounted luminaires are classified. As per design and mounting, Luminaires can be further categorized as Chandeliers, Pendants, Flush-mounted, Island, Track, Ceiling fan, and Recessed type.

Some of the popular ceilings mounted indoor Luminaires are highlighted below:


  A Chandelier is the most popular as it is a distinct kind of pendant light having infinite varieties. Chandeliers are often decorative and normally use incandescent light bulbs. However, in latest design fluorescent lamps or even LEDs are being used.

  It is further categorized as candle type, Crystal type, and Drum type Chandeliers.

Candle-style Chandelier

  The candle-style chandelier is the most traditional form. It reflects the original construction of light sources, framed around real lit candles. The bulbs stand on cylinders gives the original look of lit candles. In modern design, lit candles have been replaced by LEDs.

Crystal Chandeliers

  Crystal chandeliers are available in a huge range of sizes and complexities. It has more or less complex arrays of crystal prisms to illuminate a room with refracted light. Twinkling, eye-catching light dances through the crystal. Crystal Chandeliers are set in hallways, living rooms, and dining rooms. Recently these are getting popularity in bedrooms and bathrooms also.

Drum Chandeliers

  Drum chandeliers have a cylindrical shade wrapping around the light source, giving them the “Drum” look. It is used in bedrooms and dining rooms.


Figure 1: Light pole with hydraulic cylinder arm Figure 2: Gooseneck Table Lamp


Figure 3: Nightlight                                             Figure4: Torchiere


Figure 5: Candle Style Chandelier                      Figure 6: Crystal chandeliers

Figure 7: Drum Chandeliers

Pendants Luminaires

  Pendant lighting involves a lone light luminaires hung from the ceiling. It is designed for a broad range of variety. Some specific styles are highlighted below:

Bowl Pendants

  Bowl pendants are the suspended light source wrapped in a unique bowl-shaped shade.

Drum Pendants

  It is like a suspended cylindrical shade around the light source, applicable for the bedroom, dining room, study room and kitchen.

Globe Pendant

  It comprises a spherical housing for the light source. It is popular in dining room and restaurants

Mini Pendants

  It is smaller a model that is used in groups and arranged in an array.


Figure 8: Bowl Pendants                                    Figure 9: Drum Pendants


Figure 10: Globe Pendants                                  Figure 11: Mini Pendant                             

Ceiling Dome Luminaires

  In this type of lighting luminaires, frame and glass are affixed directly to the roof. It can be categorized as full flush mounted or Enclosed Ceiling Dome, and Semi-flush mounted or Open Ceiling Dome luminaires. In full flush style luminaires, frame and glass dome fitted directly in the ceiling while in semi flush style it slightly hung below the base.

Track Lighting

  It allows for an embedded frame in the ceiling, from which any number of Drum, Bowl, or Mini type luminaires can be installed or suspended via cables below the metallic track structure, at varying heights.

Ceiling Fans

  In this category of luminaires, decorative luminaires are suspended below the ceiling fans.

Recessed Lighting

  It is the delicate solutions for every home. It is the light sources hide within the ceiling structure, making for a fully clean shadow in any room. In its design, a single bulb fits within each circular or rectangular frame. In its latest model, it mounts the light source itself on a Gimbal.


Fig 12:Semi flush/ Open Ceiling
Dome mounted luminaires                                     Fig 13: Full Flush/ Enclosed                                                                                          Ceiling Dome mounted luminaires 


Figure 14: Track Luminaires                                  Figure 15: Ceiling fan Luminaires

Some of the popular outdoor types, Luminaires are highlighted below:

  Immobile outdoor type light fixtures are further categorized in outdoor landscape lighting or ground light and pole light.

Outdoor landscape lighting Luminaires

  These are used to illuminate walkways, parking lots, roadways, building exteriors and architectural details, gardens, and parks.

Pole Lighting Luminaires

  Some of the important pole lighting Luminaires are illustrated below.


  It is usually pole or stanchion mounted. Normally used for landscape, roadways, and parking lots.

Bollard luminaires

  It is an architectural type outdoor lighting luminaires. Typically used to provide cutoff type illumination for egress lighting. It is a short, upright ground-mounted unit in light steps and pathways or walkways.

Street light luminaires

  These luminaires are accommodated HPMV, Metal halide or LED lamps used for street light. Latest generation luminaires are accompanied either by solar panel or with a wind turbine.

Yard light luminaires

  It is a freestanding exterior lighting luminaire accompanied with gardens light. Typically used for an outdoor path or driveway to provide visibility in dark areas.


Figure 16: Recessed Gimbal Luminaires

Figure 17: Outdoor Landscape Lighting Luminaires


Figure 18: High Mast Luminaires                     Figure 19: Yard Light Luminaires


Figure 20: Street Light Luminaires                       Figure 21: Bollard Light

Figure 22: Solar Light Luminaires    

Special Purpose Lights and Luminaires

  Luminaires used for general lighting system provides reasonable uniform illumination. Special purpose Luminaires are used for task-oriented illumination. They are also used to provide a higher luminance for the more difficult visual task.

  Task oriented lighting systems are used when task locations are widely spread within the building when some task requires substantially more light than others do. A higher level of task illumination may be provided by asymmetrical luminaires layouts, which concentrate luminaires at the task. For special application, like inspection lighting requires grazing light or reflected glare to enhance the inspection process. Therefore, specialized luminaires have to be placed at a specific location.

Special purpose luminaires are available over a wide range. Some of the important types of luminaires used for the special purpose are highlighted below.

Accent Light Luminaires

  Accent light luminaires are used to focus the light on an object or to attract attention to a particular area.

Flood Light Luminaires

  Floodlights are broad-beamed, high-intensity artificial lights. Produced by LED or metal halide or HPMV lamp accommodated in luminaires. They are often used to illuminate outdoor playing fields.

Safe light

  A safelight usually consists of an ordinary light bulb housed in luminaires having colored filter.


  It is an apparatus having an extremely luminous source with a parabolic mirror act as a reflector to project a powerful beam of parallel rays of light in a particular direction. It is used in the military as well as in advertisements.

Strobe light

  It is a device used to produce regular flashes of light, commonly called a strobe.

Traffic light

  It is signaling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings, and other locations to control flows of traffic.

Christmas lights

  It does not have any specific luminaires. However, Fairy lights or twinkle lights, incandescent or led mini lights, net lights, icicle lights, and Strings, Christmas tree and Outdoor Christmas Lights are often used at Christmas for decoration.

Sconce Light

  Normally used in hallways as overhead lighting to illuminate artwork and architectural details.

Under-cabinet light

  Customarily mounted below kitchen wall cabinets to illuminate kitchen platform uniformly.

Showcase light

  Customarily installed in the showcase to display merchandise, jewelry, grocery stores, and other items.

Emergency lighting or Exit sign

  It is connected to a battery backup or to an electric circuit that has emergency power, in case the main power source fails.

Background light

  Normally it is used during shooting of Film, Video, TV serial or play in auditorium. Selection of theme for background light depends on subject matter as decided by the filmmakers.

Safety lamp

  It is a lamp housed in flameproof luminaires that can be used for illumination in an area having potential of explosion.

Security lighting

  Usually, it is provided to increase the feeling of safety to take safety measures before starting the typical task.

Industrial Lighting Luminaires

  Industrial lighting luminaires are classified as the indoor type and outdoor type luminaires. Both type luminaires are further classified as flameproof (FLP) luminaires and Non- flameproof (NFLP) luminaires.

Some popular industrial luminaires are shown below

  Formally, all luminaires were used with an incandescent lamp, HPMV lamp, metal halide lamp or CF lamp but now LEDs lights are replacing all types of sources.


Figure 23: Accent Light Luminaires                      Figure 24: Flood Light Luminaires


Figure 25: Safelight luminaires                             Figure 27: Strobe light


Figure 26: Search light apparatus                       Figure 28: Traffic Light


Figure 29: FLP Flood Light                                        Figure 30: FLP Well glass light


Figure 31: FLP Tubular Light Luminaires              Figure 32: FLP Bulk Head Lighting

Energy Efficient Use of Luminaires

  The primary use of luminaire is to improve decoration of the place and nearby area, where it is installed. Since these are very costly as compared to their operating power consumption, therefore mostly their power consumption is ignored. However, now for the beautification of houses, offices, shops, malls, showrooms, cities, roads and public places, use of luminaires have been increased. Therefore, their power consumption is now also considerable. Although luminaire does not consume power, it can be used efficiently.

  To save energy, various energy saving measures are designed and applied. These energy saving measures make the luminaires energy efficient and more popular.


Figure 33: NFLP Tubular Light Luminaires              Figure 34: NFLP Well Glass light


Figure 35: NFLP Hand Lamp light                           Figure 36: NFLP Bulk Head Light


Some of the applied measures are given below.

• All first generation incandescent lamps are replaced by latest generation LED lamps.
• To improve sensitivity and energy efficiency, photo-sensors are connected in control circuits.
• Use of LED with a frequency converter reduces power consumption. Frequency converter makes it more attractive for auto-generation of different colors in the same LED.
• LED reduces luminaire weight and makes its transportation easy. In addition, its color scheme can be changed with the help of frequency converter.
• Use of LED and sound sensors in control circuits, Luminaires can sense the sound also. Therefore, they are more popular for indoor and outdoor “Sound and Light” programs. They can also be controlled by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
• Electronic dimmers are applied to control illumination
A digital control system controls smart professional dimmers. It uses negligible power as compared to the controlled load.

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