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Glossary of Lighting Terms

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D/A Converter
Digital-to-Analog Converter

Data Sheet
see Cut Sheet.

Daylight
Light that has a color temperature of approximately 5500-5600°K, which has been approximated to be the color temperature of ordinary sunlight during the day under normal atmospheric conditions.

Daylight Booster
see Punch Light.

Daylight Filter
A filter used to balance light from a source such that the spectral distribution will approximate daylight, i.e. 5500-5600°K.

DC
Abbreviation for Direct Current.

DC Volts (VDC)
A unit of measurement for Voltage Potential, specifically for direct current voltages.

Dead
Anything that is supposed to be carrying, or has the potential to carry electrical current, but isn't.

Dichroic
A type of metallic coating applied to glass and some other materials that allows certain wavelengths of light, or other electromagnetic radiation, to pass while reflecting all others.

Diffuse
To scatter light using diffusion material.
A term used to describe a somewhat dull and/or stippled surface that is moderately reflective.

Diffuser
Generally, something made of diffusion material.
In the film and video industries, a fabric panel, used for diffusing, with the light source being a luminaire or sunlight. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and materials of varying textures.

Diffusion Frame
An apparatus used to hold diffusion material. It can be of various shapes and sizes, and may comprise one or more pieces.

Diffusion Material
Any reflecting or transmitting media for which the reflected or transmitted light is distributed uniformly, i.e., scattered over a wide range.

Diffusion Media
see Diffusion Material.

Digital Multiplex (DMX)
A system that simultaneously transmits more than one digital signal.

Digital-To-Analog Converter (D/A Converter)
An apparatus that converts digital signals to analog signals.

Dim
To change the intensity of a luminaire.
The state of a luminaire at very low intensity.

Dimmer
An apparatus used to control the intensity of a luminaire.

Dimmer Card
A circuit board that contains some or all of the electronic components needed to electronically dim a luminaire.

Dimmer Module
A discrete apparatus that contains a dimmer card, its enclosure or mounting apparatus, and perhaps other related items such pilot lights or handles.

Dimmer Pack
A portable housing that contains a group of electronic dimmers, usually not less than 4 or more than 24. Some dimmer packs are designed such that they can be permanently installed.

Dimmer Panel
An apparatus, usually 19" long, that contains a group of electronic dimmers that get installed into a dimmer rack.

Dimmer Rack
An apparatus designed to contain a large group of electronic dimmers. Permanently installed dimmer racks comprise a metal frame and housing in their construction, and are hard wired. Portable dimmer racks are provided with connectors for a tie-in, and are usually provided with wheels, handles, and a metal frame in a metal-lined wooden housing.

Dimmer-Per-Circuit
A situation or design where each electronic dimmer used in a theater or studio affects only one circuit.

Direct Current (DC)
An electrical current that maintains constant direction.

Direct Current Voltage
A voltage that maintains constant polarity.

Direct Lighting
Illumination on a subject or area that goes directly from the front of the luminaire in a straight line to the subject or area.

Disappearing Footlight
A footlight mounted into a stage floor, that when closed, has its lid completely flush with the floor. The lid is usually made from the same material as the stage floor.

Distribution
see Light Distribution.

Distribution Equipment
Any electrical apparatus that routes electrical current to another apparatus, usually luminaires.

DMX
Abbreviation for Digital Multiplex.

DMX 512
A somewhat unique digital multiplex signal with specific characteristics that is commonly used in the stage and studio lighting industries. Control consoles designed to generate this signal were originally designed to control a maximum of 512 apparatuses, usually dimmers, but now can control many more.

Donut
A flat metal apparatus with a circular hole in the center used to reduce halation and sharpen the image when using patterns.

Door
A single flap on a Barndoor.
A cover to an access opening in the housing of a luminaire or other apparatus.

Double Ended Lamp
A somewhat elongated lamp that has a base and contact on each end.

Double Header
A tee bar with two individual, or sets of, studs or receivers.

Double Pipe Clamp
Two pipe clamps connected together via a short stud with their serrated jaws on opposite ends. It is used to connect two pipes together.

Double Pipe Clamp Extension
Two pipe clamps connected together via a narrow pipe, usually 24" or more, with their serrated jaws on opposite ends. It is used to connect two pipes together.

Down Light
Downward illumination, almost perpendicular with the floor.
A luminaire that provides such illumination.

Downstage
The stage area nearest the audience, also containing the apron.

Drafting Template
A translucent mask with traceable patterned cutouts of luminaires and other items used to draw a light plot.

Dress
To arrange electric cables in a neat and orderly fashion.

Drop Box
see Plug-In Box.

Drop-In Iris
An iris mounted to a plate that can be installed, i.e., dropped into or removed from a luminaire.

Duvetyn (Duvatyne, Duvetine, Duvetyne, Duvyteen)
An opaque material used for butterflies, cutters, flags, gobos, and overheads in the film and video industries.
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