What Is Luminous Object & Non Luminous Object?

Luminous objects and non-luminous objects are explained with a lot of examples and explanations. I hope, you will learn the entire session.

An animated video is also part of this article to understand the session clearly.

Luminous Object and Non-luminous object

Luminous Object and Non-luminous object Basic Concept

Do you have any idea about what is luminous object? and non-luminous objects? Let’s try to understand it with a very simple example.

Rima is studying a book sitting on a chair.

She kept a notebook and a pen on her desk. Sunlight falls on a table from the window. She lives in a small house which has many plants all around.

luminous object non luminous objects
Luminous object non luminous objects

She has an emergency light if there is load-shedding. She was surprised last night when she saw the light from a firefly first-time.

luminous non luminous illuminated objects
Luminous non luminous illuminated objects


Now, do you know which one is a luminous object and non-luminous objects in the above examples? 

Let’s try to understand. We have seen the following objects in the above:

NotebookTableEmergency Light 

Now, if we observe all the objects closely, we will see a few objects like the sun, emergency light, and firefly produce light. But other objects like the person Rima, book, chair, notebook, pen, etc. can not produce light.

luminous objects non-luminous objects examples
Luminous objects non-luminous objects examples

Hence, the concept of luminous and non-luminous or illuminated objects comes into the study. Luminous means giving light. Hence, the luminous object means the object which gives light. The non-luminous or illuminated object means the object which can not give light.

Types of Objects

Based on the source of light, objects are classified into two categories:

  • Luminous Objects
  • Non-luminous or Illuminated Objects

Check out our ANIMATED video!

What is Luminous Object? Exmples

What is Luminous Object?

The object which produces light is known as a Luminous Object. It has the following characteristics:

  • Produces light
  • It has its own light
  • These objects are responsible for vision
luminous objects details & examples
Luminous objects details & examples

Luminous Object Examples

There are so many examples of luminous objects in the universe, few of them are listed for reference,

  • Sun,
  • Stars,
  • Torch,
  • Laser,
  • Bulb,
  • Tube light,
  • Fireflies,
  • Jellyfish etc.

What are Non-Luminous Objects? Examples

What are Non-Luminous Objects?

The object which is not able to produce light is known as a Non-Luminous Object or Illuminated objects. It has the following characteristics:

  • Not able to produce light
  • Don’t have its own light
  • These objects are visible due to luminous objects

Examples of Non-Luminous Objects

A few of the examples, for non-luminous objects, are given below for basic concepts.

  • Person,
  • Table,
  • Chair,
  • Windows,
  • Books,
  • Pens,
  • Brick, etc.
illuminated objects
Illuminated objects

Difference Between Luminous and Non Luminous Objects

There are many differences, as follows between Luminous and Non Luminous Objects:

DescriptionLuminous ObjectsNon-luminous or Illuminated Objects
Produce Light or NotProduce LightNot able to produce light
DependencyIt is independent It depends on the luminous object
SourceThese objects are the sources of lightIlluminated objects are visible only when light bounces back from them
ExamplesSun, stars, torch, bulb, etc.Chair, table, book, pen, etc.

There are thousands of examples of luminous & illuminated objects.

Do you want to know about the examples of transparent objects or translucent objects, check our other article.

How Do We See Luminous Object?


We know that if the light is present, we can see the object. Remember that, if the light is coming from an object to our eyes, then only we see the object. Now, in the same philosophy, this object means, here, it produces light that comes directly to our eyes and we can see.

Hence, we see the object.

how do we see luminous objects
How do we see luminous objects


Look at the example, we see the bulb. How do we see it? Here, light from the bulb is coming to our eyes directly and we see the bulb.

How Do We See Non-Luminous Object?


We all know that the non-luminous object doesn’t have its own light. Then it’s an obvious question how do we see the illuminated objects? 


A luminous object produces light that falls on the illuminated object. After that light rays from the non-luminous object bounces back to our eyes and we see.

To understand the non-luminous object, take an apple. Can you see the apple at night or in the absence of light? No, we cannot. Now, in the daytime when sunlight is present or at night when the bulb is switched on, we can see.

how do we see the non-luminous or illuminated object?
How do we see the non-luminous or illuminated object?

Here, the sun is the source of light and the light falls on the apple. After that, the apple bounces back the light to our eyes. Hence, light rays come to our eyes and we can see.

Is Moon A Luminous Object? – How Do We See the Moon?


Moon can not produce light. Hence, the moon is an illuminated object i.e. it doesn’t have its own light.

Then it’s an obvious question how do we see the moon?


We all know that the earth moves around the sun and the moon moves around the earth.  Due to this behavior of the moon, we see it at the night, as a bright object, where from we get the light. As the moon is a non-luminous object,  it should not provide the light. So, what is the reason?

Let us try to understand, the process,

  • Sunlight produces light.
  • The light falls on the moon.
  • Some of the light from the moon is bouncing back to our eyes.
  • Since light comes to our eyes, we see the moon at night.

Hence, we see a glowing moon at night in the sky, although it is an illuminated object.

how do we see moon explanation?
How do we see moon explanation?

In the above image, light rays from the sun fall on the moon and some portion of the light rays bounces back to our eyes and we are able to see. This phenomenon of bouncing back of the light is called a reflection of light.


So, finally, we have learned both these objects along with a lot of examples, images, differences. If you have any doubt or you want to add something to this article, please write us.

Further study

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How does light interact with mattersOpens in a new tab.

What is reflection of lightOpens in a new tab.

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How does light travelOpens in a new tab.

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