Lighting Glossary

Light your teen's room with creative and functional lighting. Below are definitions of terms describing our different lamps and shades so you can pick the perfect one.

Cutout Shade

A lamp shade with a pattern cut into the top layer of the material. Combined with a lighter material underneath, the cutout section allows light from inside to glow into the room, creating ambient lighting.

Clip Lamp

A lamp with a clamp at its base. This allows the lamp to be placed almost anywhere, like on a headboard or desk. The clip is sturdy enough to clamp to furniture but designed with rubber tabs on the inside to protect the furniture's finish.


A wall-mounted lamp that is wired to a light switch, rather than simply plugged into an electrical outlet. Installation by a professional electrician is strongly recommended.

Hi/Lo Switch

Designed for use with a bulb rated for two different wattages. Each turn of a two-way switch makes the bulb brighter, until the third one, which turns it off.


A wall-mounted light fixture — either hardwired or plug-in — used for soft, indirect lighting.

Swing-Arm Lamp

A wall-mounted lamp with two hinges that allow the arm(s) to pivot. The lamp's position can be adjusted from close to the wall out to the end of the fully extended arm.

Task Lighting

Illumination that is focused onto a desk or tabletop to facilitate tasks, such as reading and writing.

Three-Way Switch

Designed for use with a bulb rated for three different wattages. Each turn of a three-way switch makes the bulb brighter, until the fourth one, which turns it off. When choosing a three-way bulb, never exceed the maximum wattage rating for your lamp.


A seal of approval by the Underwriters Laboratory, which inspects electrical components for consumer safety. All Pottery Barn Teen lamps have UL—listed sockets and cords.

Upholstered Shade

A shade that contains two layers of fabric — one on the outside and one on the inside.


A thin, almost translucent plastic-coated material used to line the insides of lamp shades. It protects the shade from interior heat and helps the outside material maintain its color and shape.