Leadlights are decorative windows made of small sections of glass supported by lead sidings. The terms leadlight and stained glass can be used interchangeably to describe all windows in which the glass is supported by lead.
Traditionally however, stained glass refers to large pictorial or other elaborate representations, commonly seen in churches and other such works of architecture. Leadlight by comparison is traditionally less complex in design and simpler in technique and is most often seen in smaller scale commercial and domestic architecture and decoration. Popular applications of leadlighting include leadlight window and door panels, leadlight lamps and decorative items such as sun-catchers. Leadlighting of many forms was a common architectural feature in homes from 1860 to 1930 and has experienced a resurgence of popularity in many modern homes.
Leadlighting and stained glass manufacture and repair has always been the province of highly skilled and specialist craftsman. The late 20th century however, saw a popular revival of the craft which is now taught in many colleges and practiced by artists, craftsman and amateur hobbyists alike. Leadlight manufacture and repair is now most often the province of architectural and commercial glass specialists. In addition to stained glass and leadlight design, manufacture service and repair, these firms can offer a range of additional services including commercial and architectural glass solutions, glass doors and windows, coloured glass splashbacks and frameless shower screens.