What are the different parts of a lamp?

Hanging lamp against wall

It’s easy to look at a lamp and just see the finished product, but do you know all the lighting parts that combine to make it? Often serving stylish and functional purposes, a lot goes into creating the perfect lighting fixture. Let’s break it down from top to bottom.

CANOPY- Whether the lamp is affixed to the ceiling or wall, it all starts with the canopy. This is where your light will attach to its power source. Canopies extend from the ceiling or wall and conceal and protect the wiring that run power to the light. The canopy is also where the chain attaches if it’s a hanging lamp or chandelier.

TOP & BOTTOM CUPS- This brings us to the piece of the puzzle: cups. Cups add a decorative element to your lamp that give the lamp body a finished, clean look. They come in all shapes and sizes and the top cup extends from the fixture loop where the chain attaches if it were a hanging lamp. Meanwhile the bottom cup is underneath the column or body and is finished with a finial. The cups and finial are vital pieces when it comes to maintaining a cohesive and artistic look for the lamp.

COLUMN/BODY- Next is the column of the lamp. This is going to make up the main body of it. A lot of the wiring is housed in and runs through the column. As the wires run through the body they pass through the hickey. To make this possible, the hickey has holes that allow you to feed the wire in from the body and out to the arm.

ARM- From the body, the arm extends out to the bulb housing. Arms can be a basic metal hook shape or something more decorative and intricate. The arm in the figure above contains a scroll that give its an elegant look that makes it more visually appealing and unique.

SOCKET CUP/GLASS HOLDER- As we get closer to the light itself we arrive at the socket cups. Serving a similar purpose to the top and bottom cups, the socket cups cover the base of light bulbs and conceal unsightly sockets. Socket cups come in a variety of shapes and sizes to match the style of basic lamps all the way to your most intricate ones.

GLASS/DIFFUSER- Now it’s time for the most recognizable component of a lamp. Without it your lamp would just be a bare light bulb out in the open. What are we referring to? The glass or diffuser of course! This piece typically arcs over the bulb and is held in place by the thumb screw to add yet another attractive element to the lamp and diffuse the light from the bulb.

So now you know just a little bit about all the parts that go into the construction of a lamp. At Charles Richter, we offer many of these components in different shapes and styles that can also be customized to fit your precise lighting needs. Contact us for help with your next project!