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Lighting Fixtures

Common types of light sources in churches

  • PAR Parabolic reflector lamp (PAR)
  • Halogen - special class of incandescent lamps
  • Gas discharge lamp and High-Intensity Discharge lamp (HID)
  • Mercury-vapor lamp, Ceramic discharge metal halide lamp, Metal-halide, Sodium vapor or "high pressure sodium", HMI
  • Fluorescent
  • Linear fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)
  • Light-Emitting Diode (LED) (Solid state lighting)

Incandescent Lamp fixtures

The most common fixtures found in churches are PAR recessed lights. There are two types of light bulbs for recessed lighting: directional and diffuse. Directional lamps (R, BR, PAR, MR) contain reflectors that direct and control the light. Diffuse lamps (A, S, PS, G) control light distribution through their omni-directional light.

A recessed light or down-light is a light fixture that is installed into a hollow opening in a ceiling. When installed it appears to have light shining from a hole in the ceiling. The light is shaped by concentrating the light in a downward direction as a broad floodlight or narrow spotlight.

There are two parts to recessed lights: the trim and housing. The trim is the visible portion of the light fixture. It is the insert that is seen when looking up into the fixture, and includes the thin lining around the edge of the light. The housing is the fixture itself installed inside the ceiling and contains the light socket.

LED lamps offer low power usage

Solid-state lighting (SSL) refers to a type of lighting that utilizes light-emitting diodes (LEDs rather than electrical filaments, plasma (used in fuorescent lamps), or gas discharge HID lighting.

The term "solid state" refers to the fact that light in an LED is emitted from a solid object—a block of semiconductor—rather than from a vacuum or gas tube, as found in traditional incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent lamps. Compared to incandescent lighting, the LED creates visible light with reduced heat generation, similar to that of fluorescent lighting. Its solid-state nature provides for greater resistance to shock, and wear, thereby increasing its lifespan significantly.