A couple of weeks ago, I shared a photo on Instagram from my California Cool Master Bedroom project and passed along a little design tip about using plug-in wall sconces. When I asked if y’all would be…Read More
Lighting is one of my absolute favorite things to find for client projects and for my own home. A good light fixture can be the icing on the cake and add that wow factor, or it can play more of a supporting role. Every room has different lighting needs, and finding the right one for your space is key both for functionality and style. Today, I want to chat with y'all specifically about ceiling light fixtures, but don't forget about layering other light sources in with table lamps and task lights. If you want to read more about the importance of layering lighting, you're in luck! I wrote a whole post about it. :) You can head there next!
And because I want this post to be as helpful as possible, I've also scoured the Internet and rounded up 30 amazing ceiling light fixtures to get you pointed in the right direction as you figure out what will work best in your home. I've included flush mounts/semi-flush mounts, pendant lights, and chandeliers in several different finishes, styles, and sizes. If you like the shape and look of a light fixture, but not the finish - say you want black instead of brass - click over to the website to see the options. Many of them come in several different options and they're all under $300! Some are even well under that price.
So let's take a deep dive into all things ceiling lights, shall we?
First of all, we need to go through some basics so that we're all on the same page about the different kinds that are out there. In general, there are three main categories of ceiling lights: recessed ("can") lights, flush mounts/semi-flush mounts, and hanging light fixtures (this includes pendants and chandeliers). They're all hardwired into electrical boxes. I've interspersed images of various rooms in our home with different light fixtures to show you some examples.
Recessed lights aren't something I'm going to cover much today, but I wanted to point them out since they're so common and can be helpful in providing good ambient lighting throughout a room. They are installed into the ceiling so they're completely flush and they cast light directly downward in a cone shape. They honestly don't do much (or anything, ha!) for a space style-wise, but they are functional. If you go with recessed lighting in a space, my preference is to also have a beautiful ceiling light installed.
I tend to group flush mounts and semi-flush mounts together since they're both close-to-the-ceiling light fixtures. Historically, good-looking flush mounts have been really hard to find and the ones that did exist often resembled a female body part that I won't name here. :) BUT, times they are a-changing, folks, and there are some great, affordable versions out there these days. Just take a look at my roundup at the end of the post!
Flush mounts and semi-flush mounts are great for living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens - places where you don't want to have to worry about bumping your head as you walk through a room. In rooms with 8' ceiling heights or lower, you'll want to opt for a true flush mount fixture. If you have ceilings that are taller than 8', you can go for either, but I often prefer a semi-flush mount. I like for the ceiling to have a little bit of "breathing room" between itself and the top of the light fixture. Plus, there are a lot more good options in the semi-flush category.
Hanging light fixtures are just what they sound like: they hang down from the ceiling by a rod, chain, or cord. Pendants and chandeliers fall into this category, and the difference between them? Pendants usually hang from a cord and end with a single bulb or two at the end, while chandeliers may hang from a single cord or chain, but typically end in a branched system with multiple bulbs. There are some fixtures out there that blur the lines between chandelier and pendant - don't get too caught up in definitions - it's more about making sure you choose the right one for your space!
Pendant lights can be subdivided into two further categories: mini pendants and regular sized pendants. Sometimes it can be hard to tell in photos how large they are, so be sure to check the dimensions before you buy - it would be pretty terrible, for example, to accidentally end up with a mini pendant hanging over a dining table! Mini pendants are often what you see hanging over kitchen islands, kitchen sinks, or even over bedside tables as an alternative to table lamps.
Chandeliers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and you can hang them in more places than just over a dining table. If you have spots in your home with really high ceilings or a two story entryway, chandeliers are a great option - they feel proportional in large, airy spaces, and can be a beautiful, eye-catching part of the space.
Whatever you choose for your space, make sure the scale, height, and level of brightness are the right fit. When you walk into a room and flip on a switch, you want your ceiling light fixture to be bright enough to light up the whole space so you can see everything and navigate the room easily. If you have a particularly large space, you may want to consider installing more than one ceiling light. Adding in table/floor/task lamps can fill in the gaps and provide extra lighting where needed.
If you're currently swapping out light fixtures in your home and need some help, be sure to check out my e-design services. We can come up with a package that will fit your needs, whatever they are!
Ok! So now that you know all about ceiling lights, it's time to look at all the pretty fixtures I've rounded up!* Below, you'll find 30 of my favorite recent finds. They generally lean more modern/clean-lined, but many of them fit nicely into a variety of decorating styles. I know 30 is a LOT of light fixtures, but I wanted to make sure there was a good variety of types and finishes. You can pin the graphic for future reference if you'd like!
You'll see that there are links to the fixtures immediately following the graphic. They're divided up by row. After that, you'll see a second, identical graphic that you can shop directly. Hover your mouse over an item or tap it with your finger on a smart phone to go to the site. If you're reading this in your inbox, you'll need to click over to the full site to use that feature!
- ROW 1 // Brass Globe Pendant | Chrome Sputnik Semi-Flush Mount | Single Bulb Semi-Flush/Pendant
- ROW 2 // 3 Light Opal Glass Semi-Flush Mount | Black/Glass Pendant | Chrome Schoolhouse Semi-Flush Mount
- ROW 3 // Black/Glass Flush Mount | Star Flush Mount | Black/Brass Triple Arm Chandelier
- ROW 4 // Brass Semi-Flush Mount | White Glass Globe Fixture | Oversized Black Shade Pendant
- ROW 5 // Chrome Flush Mount | Brass 6 Arm Torch Chandelier | Faceted Glass Pendant
- ROW 6 // Black/Wood Pendant | Brass Capiz Pendant | Mid-Century 10 Light Chandelier
- ROW 7 // Mid-Century Semi-Flush Mount | Black Flush Mount | White Cone Pendant
- ROW 8 // Black Wire Pendant | Brass Globe Light | 5 Light Black Chandelier
- ROW 9 // Brushed Nickel Sputnik Light | Abstract Cube Pendant Light | Mixed Metal Schoolhouse Semi-Flush Mount
- ROW 10 // Drum Semi-Flush Mount | Polished Nickel Mini Semi-Flush Mount | Minimalist Brass Chandelier
*This post contains affiliate links, which means Mix & Match Design Company earns a small commission from you purchase at no cost to you.
Last week, I was talking with a client about about the design plan for her living room, and she asked a great question: if I have plenty of overhead/recessed lighting, why would I need table and floor lamps? I thought that was a great question, and since I'll bet she's not the only one wondering about that, I figured I'd address it in a blog post!
Practically speaking, lighting is essential for any room to function well, but a well-lit room takes things a step further - it sets the entire mood and style of a space. Think about how you feel walking into your standard corporate office with its extra bright overhead lights versus a hotel lobby that combines chandeliers, table lamps, and other accent lighting. There's a big difference, right?
Let's think about what this might look like in your home.
When you vary the types of lighting in your home, it creates a comfortable, visually balanced space that feels warm and inviting. When you incorporate those different types all in one space, it also makes your room more versatile. If you have all recessed lighting, for example, it can feel too harsh, but if you only have task lighting, it may seem too dim - maybe even downright depressing.
Ideally, rooms will have a mix of ambient, accent and task lighting. With all three, you'll be able to maximize the space's versatility, and you're guaranteed to have enough light. And, if you want bonus points, adding dimmers to some of your lights will give you even more flexibility.
So, what are these different types of lighting, you might be asking?
Ambient lighting is a fancy word for general light. It's what I like to call "flip the switch" lighting - in other words, when you walk into a room and flip the first switch you find, it should light up the majority of the room without adding harsh glare. Chandeliers, pendants, recessed lighting and some wall sconces typically fall into this category. In a small room, a table or floor lamp can be bright enough to be classified as the ambient light source.
Accent lighting does exactly what it sounds like - it highlights certain parts of the room and makes them into a focal point. It can be used to highlight things like paintings, fireplaces, or other architectural features. These should be brighter than the ambient lighting in the room, but since they're focused on a particular object and aren't the main source of light, they don't appear harsh. Examples of accent lighting are track lights, spotlights and some wall sconces.
Task lighting brightens particular spaces for specific tasks such as reading, cooking, or applying makeup. They help prevent eye strain and can be used to softly light a room when you don't want to use overhead lights. Examples of task lighting are table, floor and desk lamps, pendant lighting, and under-cabinet lights.
If you're putting together a lighting plan for your home, think about how a space will be used and what lights will be most effective at accomplishing necessary tasks. It's usually easiest to start with the ambient lighting and then focus on accent and task lighting. Start general and work your way to specific needs.
I could go on and on about lighting, but I think I'll stop there for today! I hope this information helped you understand the importance of layering lighting in a room. If you need help with this in your home, hit me up! I'd be more than happy to work with you on your specific lighting needs!
Click here to read more about my e-design services!