The elaborately named warehouse shade RLM pendant is designed with a dual purpose in mind: to illuminate a specific area while also reducing wasted light by focusing the light’s direction. RLM, which now stands for Reflector Luminaire Manufacturer, once stood for “reflector light microscopy” and its practice and perfection is kind of a big deal – especially in areas where there are Dark Sky ordinances that regulate light pollution.
Warehouse shade RLM pendants are not just for warehouses. There are thousands of styles and residential applications are common – people like to use them for their driveways and courtyards, in their barns and garages, and anywhere else they need a lot of overhead light.
RLM pendants can be mounted on (or hang from) individual light posts or the ceiling/wall if being used inside. Some stay relatively flush with the surface while others hang from cords, and many are adjustable in this way. They are typically built for industrial use and so they are very durable, but designers have responded to the growing interest of using these types of lights in all kinds of settings.
What they all have in common, though, is that they are made for directing lots of light downward. Some have more open shades that allow the light to spill out in a broad area and others focus the light into more concentrated beams. The latter are common in restaurants and coffee shops where they can be used to illuminate space while also creating a dramatic effect.
Practical things to consider when buying RLM pendants is how much space needs to be illuminated and from what height the light will be suspended. This can be addressed by what type and wattage of bulb is used, but the shape of the shade and position of the light when mounted should also be noted.
Popular warehouse RLM pendant styles include rim pendants, HID security and office lighting, and fluorescent shade rim pendants, and there are countless variations on these design themes.
RLM pendants are most commonly crafted in metal because it is a more durable material, although sometimes things can get a little funky with a heavy glass design. Generally speaking, though, their variety stems from their style, finish and color, and it’s not difficult to achieve a contemporary or retro look.
One of the most important things to remember when buying these types of fixtures is that the mounting accessories are sometimes sold separately, and the best RLM pendant in the world can do no good if it can’t hang out and shine.