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Lacquer
Lacquer is a clear coating that protects metal fixtures from rusting or tarnishing.
Lamp
A modern term for a bulb or other light source.
Lamping
Equipping a fixture with a lamp or changing the bulb.
Lampshade
A diffuser for directing, reducing, or changing the quality of light from a lamp. Most commonly a cylinder or tapered drum made of paper or fabric.
Lancet
A narrow pointed arch.
Lantern
Unlike chandeliers which are most often oriented radially, lanterns are oriented vertically. They are typically designed with metal frames holding glass panels or an infill-panel such as mesh, beaded prisms, or fabric. Lanterns may occasionally have projecting arms.
Lattice
An openwork criss-cross pattern.
Lead Crystal
Not a type of true crystal, lead crystal is a type of good quality glass with a high lead content that imparts high clarity and softness for good cutting and polishing.
Leaded Glass
Small pieces of glass joined at the edges with metal, traditionally with lead although zinc and copper are also common. The term does not refer to the presence of lead in the composition of the glass itself.
Leaf and Dart
A decorative pattern composed of alternating tapered leaves and points.
Lens
A glass or stone, usually alabaster, dish that contains a light source such as bulbs, candles, an oil-burner, etc.
Library Lamp
A library lamp is typically designed with a pair of down-pointing shades extended on horizontal arms from a central stem or body. The shades are traditionally made of green-over-white cased glass. The light is focused on the work or reading surface; the lip of the shade is below eye-level.
Linenfold
Form of carving which imitated vertical folds of drapery. Probably Flemish in origin, it was widely used in the 15th and 16th centuries to decorate furniture and wall paneling.
Loop
A loop is an open fastener allowing connection of a chandelier or pendant to a suspension chain. Commonly in the form of a circular ring, a trefoil, a diamond, or a double “C” scroll. A loop can also be a decorative detail used as a finial.
Louis XIV
A style of architecture, art, and decoration coinciding with the reign of Louis XIV who reigned in France between 1643 and 1715. Influenced by the Baroque style during the earlier years, the style later developed into the Regence style. Baroque was large, masculine, and symmetrical while Regence was characterized by it's use of curves and the introduction of Chinoiserie. Ornamentation was often done with sunbursts, rocks, shells, and flowers.
Louis XV
A style of architecture, art, and decoration coinciding with the reign of Loius XV in France and lasting from approximately 1715 to 1774. Characteristics include asymmetrical curvilinear details, naturalistic renderings of flora and fauna, and deep sculptural relief. Common motifs are shells, acanthus leaves, and undulating lines with S-curves and opposing C-scrolls.
Louis XVI
A style of architecture, art, and decoration coinciding with the reign of Louis XVI in France and lasting from approximately 1774 to 1793. Characteristics include symmetrical straight-lined details and Neoclassical balance. Common motifs aree rectangular lines, Greek and Pompeian architectural ornamentation, and shallow-relief surfaces.
Louvre
A fin or slat that allows a controlled passage of light while often obscuring the actual source point of the light.
Lumen
A measure of the total power of visible light emitting from a light source.
Luminous Efficacy
A measure of how efficiently a light source converts power to visible light as much of the energy is transformed into types of radiation that are not visible, such as heat or infrared.
Lux
A measurement of visible light power in a particular area. For example, a light source emitting 1000 lumens on a ceiling may provide only 100 lux to a tabletop beneath it. See also “Footcandle”.
Lyre-form
A representation of the stringed musical instrument from classical antiquity that is wide at the bottom and with opposing “S” scrolls narrowing to the top.