The Lighting Basics: “What Are the Parts of a Light?”

Today, we answer “What are the parts of a light?” as fast as possible. This information is primarily for semi-trucks, but these basic concepts can be applied across the vehicle lighting industry.


All lights in the vehicle lighting industry contain these basic parts in order to function.


Assembly: The purpose of a lighting assembly is to hold all of the other parts of a light together. The assembly is then used to mount the light to the truck.


Bulb: A bulb is the portion of a light that becomes illuminated. A bulb contains a filament in incandescent products or a diode in LED products. Bulbs glow in different colors, hues, and intensities depending on the filament or diode used.


Lens: A lens serves a dual-purpose. Protect the bulb from damage and change a property of the light being emitted. One property could be to produce a color or change how light is projected or diffused.


Mounting: A light is mounted by the following methods.


Bracket: The assembly attaches to a stationary or movable bracket. The assembly itself doesn’t touch the mounting surface. An example would be a light bar on a police vehicle.


Flange: The assembly attaches to a metal or plastic flange into a hole with the lens flat against the surface. An example would be reverse lights on the back of a cab.


Flush: The assembly is mounted flat onto the surface and either screwed or bolted into place. An example would be side marker lights on a trailer.


Grommet: The assembly attaches to a rubber grommet into a hole with the lens flat against the surface. An example would be tail lights on a trailer.


Wire: Wires carry electricity to the bulb. Wires can be of many lengths, sizes, and may come with bare ends or a plug.


Keep in mind; these are the basic parts of a light. Additional features may be added.

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