In general, lead-lights are decorative windows composed of a mosaic of coloured glass held together with lead cames which have been soldered together.
The lead cames normally have a cross section in the shape of an H, varying in size from 3mm to 24mm. In order to create a harmonious design, different thickness of lead can be used in a single window, to great effect.
Lead lights are unpainted glass panel with a simpler design than that found in stained glass for normal domestic use or or commercial glazing. Stained glass windows have a more complex design, the coloured glass is normally painted making a more suitable technique for religious purposes.
In leadlight panels the lead cames are more visible, creating a pattern of black lines normally with a geometrical pattern. This cutting and leading the glass correctly is very important so as to avoid an unpleasant visual impact.
Lead-lights are of Roman origin and were generally made out of glass or really thin alabaster sheets held together with a structure of wood or stone. The lead was introduced in early medieval times, and due to its malleability it was the perfect material to bend around the different shapes of glass.
Leaded stained glass window, lead lights window created for a private apartment in Rome. Geometrical window with a very large number of little glass fragment of mouth blown glass. In this case both, the glass cutting and the leading have to be very precise in order to create a precise geometrical pattern.
Today, commercial lead-light panels are available on the market and these are made out of a single sheet of glass, with adhesive lead cames. The glass is clear and coloured with resins that don’t require kiln firing. These are poor imitations and after a number of years it is common for the the lead to detach from the glass and the colour to flake due to UVB damage.