A plug-in wall sconce with globe shade by Color Cord featuring parts of a light fixture like an exposed bulb, cord stay, and cloth covered wire.

Color Cord's Guide to Parts of a Light Fixture

Beau Wynja

Hanging Light Fixture Parts

The various parts of a light fixture are essential to ensuring a durable, beautiful accessory that brings your lighting to its full potential. When you know all about the different parts that make up the fixture, you have everything you need to swap out parts as they break down or update aesthetic pieces to upgrade the look and feel of the fixture. 

If you’re ready to learn more about hanging light fixture parts, let the team at Color Cord Company guide you today.

1. Wiring

Electrical wiring provides the power to your light fixture by connecting it to the electrical current in your house. This is the most important part of a light fixture, as it won’t function without power! At Color Cord Company, we offer both plug-in wall sconces and hanging light fixtures, as well as hard-wired light fixtures – all allowing you more flexibility to customize your space.

Some of our fixtures come with a plug on the end so you simply plug your fixture into the nearest outlet. Other fixtures are designed to be hardwired, making them a perfect flush-mount fixture on your ceiling or wall. If you are not comfortable or familiar with hardwiring light fixtures, we always recommend hiring a local electrician who can help you upgrade your lighting with less stress and more safety.

Every one of our light fixtures comes with a customizable cloth-covered cord. The colorful fabric cord covers the wiring, and you can easily strip it to expose the wires so you can rewire your light fixture any way you want!

2. Junction Box

As we’ve just mentioned above, the junction box isn’t technically part of a light fixture — it’s part of the power source you’re connecting to the light fixture. You’ll typically find a junction box on the ceiling or wall. Inside it are some wires that can connect to your light fixture. As mentioned above, while we can help you learn how to install flush mount lighting to a junction box, it’s always helpful to hire a professional when necessary.

A junction box is designed to protect your light fixture from the elements, as well as protecting you from accidental shocks. 

3. Bulb Socket

Another important part of a light fixture is the socket. This is where the bulb is installed, and it’s where you screw and unscrew the bulb when you need to change one that’s burnt out. Sockets come in several different sizes, including standard and candelabra. You’ll need to check for light bulb compatibility to ensure your bulb will fit into the socket.

With our light fixtures, we also offer optional socket covers that slide over the top of the bulb socket to ensure a sleek, modern aesthetic for every fixture.

4. Light Bulb

closeup of light bulb

When people think of light fixtures, they usually think about this part of a light fixture first because it’s the source of illumination. Most often, light fixtures are sold separately from light bulbs, as people like to customize the lumens, wattage, and opacity of their bulbs.

[Learn More About Light Bulbs & Lumens]

Some bulbs offer a warmer, orange tint to your illumination, ideal for cozy living rooms and bedrooms. Other bulbs deliver brighter, white or blue lighting that’s perfect for working in the office or cooking in the kitchen.

5. Reflective Lamp Shade

This is a useful flush-mounted or hanging light fixture part because it adds something visually interesting to your design while helping focus the light coming from it toward a particular area. Reflective light shades are typically made of opaque materials, like metal, so you don’t lose any of the illumination.

Directing light to one section of the space is great for reading nooks, office desks, and bedside tables, as well as art installations! They belong anywhere you need task lighting to fill in the extra layers of lighting design in your home.

6. Diffused Lamp Shade

glass globe diffusor lamp shades

This part of a light fixture is another type of lampshade, which is typically clear or only lightly obscured. You can find shades that diffuse light in materials, like glass, fabric, and woven materials. Acrylic is also a popular shade material, especially in indoor-outdoor living areas, because it’s weather-resistant and provides a very even, luxurious distribution of light throughout the entire shade while also elevating a space’s inviting ambience.

7. Canopy

A ceiling canopy isn’t always part of a light fixture. You generally use a canopy to cover an electrical box or blend a light fixture into the wall or ceiling a little more seamlessly. Its main job is to hide any unsightly connections and ensure a fixture looks complete.

Canopies can run the gamut of sleek and modern, as well as decorative and ornate — it depends on the fixture! Since we design minimalist, modern fixtures, most of our canopies are simple and unassuming. However, you can always choose your finish, exploring basic white and black, along with metallic hues, like brushed nickel, polished copper, raw metal, and raw brass. 

We even have fixtures that explore unique colorways in the Boutique Lighting Collection! Explore single-toned fixtures in slate or peach, as well as multi-color designs with two, three, or four colors, where each hanging light fixture part is a different hue.

8. Swag Hook

pendant light with a grey swag hook

One of our favorite parts of a light fixture are the swag hooks – we love how creative our customers get with these little accessories. While these, like light bulbs, are sold separately, they can help you customize how your light fixture hangs in your space. There are tons of different ways you can use hooks or cord stays to hold hanging cords in place, including on the ceiling and along the walls.

Our swag hooks are available in the same finish options as our light fixtures to ensure a color-match for your entire design.

Put Your Knowledge to Work

Now that you know all the essential parts of a light fixture, you can do so much more with your lighting design. Whether you customize a fixture from the ground up or just upgrade an existing fixture with a new shade or canopy, we’re here to help! Shop the Color Cord Company selection to find everything you need for lighting design today!

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