Electronic level schemes with the host valence and conduction band together with the level locations of ground and excited states of defects are used to explain and predict luminescence and carrier trapping phenomena. These schemes are always constructed and interpreted by using the electron picture. In this work the alternative hole picture is presented. Such picture is sometimes used in the field of semi-conductors but hardly ever in the field of wide band gap inorganic compounds. We will focus on the lanthanides, and first show where to draw the hole ground state and excited hole states in our scheme. It leads to up-side-down Dieke diagrams and up-side-down configuration coordinate diagrams but for the rest everything is equivalent to the electron picture. With the hole picture, luminescence quenching via hole ionization to the valence band and hole trapping in defects can be illustrated much more conveniently than with the electron picture. As examples the quenching of the Tb3+ D45 emissions by electron ionization and the quenching of the Eu3+ D05 emissions by hole ionization are compared.