Re: Question: when a Cisco AP is called "lightweight"
Cisco Lightweight APs definitely need a Wireless LAN Controller to work.
They are called Lightweight Access Point because -
The amount of processing within an access point is reduced, enabling the limited computing resources within these devices to focus on wireless access, as opposed to filtering and policy enforcement
It enable a scheme whereby traffic handling, authentication, encryption, and policy enforcement (QoS, security, etc) can be centralized for an entire WLAN system which is Wireless LAN Controller in Cisco's portfolio.
Bare minimum configuration is stored on the AP, while majority of the configuration is pushed from the Controller.