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Oily animals (birds and fish) were also used as lamps after being threaded with a wick. Candles and glass and pottery lamps were also invented.Gas lighting was economical enough to power street lights in major cities starting in the early 1800s, and was also used in some commercial buildings and in the homes of wealthy people.Lamps typically used animal or vegetable fats as fuel.Hundreds of these lamps (hollow worked stones) have been found in the Lascaux caves in modern-day France, dating to about 15,000 years ago.There are also downlights with internal reflectors designed to accept common 'A' lamps (light bulbs) which are generally less costly than reflector lamps.Downlights can be incandescent, fluorescent, HID (high intensity discharge) or LED.The gas mantle boosted the luminosity of utility lighting and of kerosene lanterns.The next major drop in price came about in the 1880s with the introduction of electric lighting in the form of arc lights for large space and street lighting followed on by incandescent light bulb based utilities for indoor and outdoor lighting.
Proper lighting can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, or have positive psychological effects on occupants.
For critical inspection or color matching tasks, or for retail displays of food and clothing, the color temperature of the lamps will be selected for the best overall lighting effect.
Forms of lighting include alcove lighting, which like most other uplighting is indirect.
Some are very plain and functional, while some are pieces of art in themselves.
Nearly any material can be used, so long as it can tolerate the excess heat and is in keeping with safety codes.
The more transparent the lighting fixture is, the higher efficacy.