Classifications of luminaires

There is a distinction between:

  • Luminaires for signalling purposes. They are intended for immediate impact on the human eye as signals. This includes escape sign luminaires which signal the escape route, but do not illuminate it.

  • Luminaires for lighting purposes. They are intended to illuminate and design an environment. Their purpose is to distribute the luminous flux of the light sources within them in a way that ideally fulfils the lighting task they are intended for.

Luminaires for lighting purposes are classified according to various criteria, namely according to their type of use, as either

  • purpose-designed luminaires for lighting work rooms and common rooms;

  • luminaires for living quarters used to light private rooms;

  • representative lights designed in an artistic fashion solely for lighting representative rooms;

or according to type and location of installation as

  • stationary luminaires which are permanently installed at their place of installation, either as recessed luminaires, surface-mounted luminaires or suspended luminaires;

  • portable luminaires which can be moved during operation. This includes free-standing luminaires or luminaires for tracks;

  • adjustable luminaires which are permanently installed at their place of installation but feature a photometric portion which can be rotated or moved e.g. using joints, pulling devices, scissor arms etc.;

or according to cover type as

  • open-distribution luminaires;

  • reflector luminaires;

  • louvre luminaires;

  • diffuser luminaires;

  • luminaires with flat covers;

or according to distribution characteristics as

  • narrow-distribution;

  • wide-distribution;

  • uniform-distribution;

  • upward-distribution (indirect distribution);

  • downward-upward-distribution (direct-indirect-distribution), and

  • diagonal-distribution (asymmetric-distribution) luminaires.