Explore 2021 Ceiling Lights Today
What’s your style? Do you prefer brass, chrome, polished nickel, or bronze? Whatever your preference is, we have the right ceiling lights for you. Styles range from the charm of farmhouse to modern and minimal. Find your perfect style today!
Which Ceiling Light is Best for You?
Ceiling lights cover a broad spectrum of styles, shapes, and materials, providing plenty of options for your home. Choose from ornate pieces that hang from chains or rods to low-key, yet functional recessed lights to illuminate your space. Each light achieves its own unique brilliance, making it easy to find the right light for your home.
There are five main types of ceiling lights:
- Flush Mounts
- Recessed Lights
- Ceiling Lights with Fans
Each fixture comes in a variety of styles , with price points fitting every budget, making it easy to find a personalized lighting design in your home.
What Are Ceiling Lights?
Ceiling lights includes chandeliers, recessed lights, pendants, flush mounts, and lights with fans. They hang from a chain or a rod, mount directly to the ceiling, or install into recesses built in the ceiling for an elegant, yet functional appearance.
Ceiling lights contribute to the three types of lighting that make up every room: general, task, and accent lighting.
General lighting is also known as ambient lighting. It includes light from windows, skylights, and the main light in a room.
Accent lighting highlights a specific area or feature of the room, such as art on a wall, a bookcase, or an archway.
Task lighting is a light that’s specific to illuminating an area or workspace.
Some rooms include all three types, or they may have only one. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to utilizing the types of lighting, but there are configurations that work best for each specific room and style.
Ceiling Light Safety Ratings
Thanks to their flexibility and beautiful aesthetic, ceiling lights are used everywhere from outdoor patios to entry foyers to dining rooms. Since the climate in a living room is much different than in a shower or a porch, lights have UL safety ratings. These ratings define what environment a light is best suited for, both to protect the light, your home, and your electrical wiring.
Use these as a guide as you shop for your lights:
Dry – Works best in dry rooms indoors. Kitchens, living rooms, hallways, entryways, laundry rooms, and basements are all ideal areas.
Damp –Lights with additional seals and wire protection. These are ideal for areas where moisture or humidity is often present, like bathrooms or covered patios.
Wet – Works in areas where lights are in direct contact with water, such as above showers or anywhere outdoors.
Types of Ceiling Lights
Ceilings lights are divided into five main types: chandeliers, pendants, flush mounts, recessed lights, and ceiling lights with fans. Each style comes in a variety of sizes, designs, and finishes, allowing you to choose the right one for your home.
Chandeliers hang from the ceiling, often using multiple lights. They come in sizes both large and small, with a wide selection from simple and rustic to decorative elegance. Choosing the right size for you often comes down to how you want to hang it. With shorter 8’ tall ceilings, a chandelier should hang no lower than seven feet above the floor. With higher vaulted ceilings, a chandelier should hang at least 8’ from the floor. You can choose sizes as small as 11” wide or larger than 72”. Either way, there’s a chandelier for you home.
Chandeliers come in a variety of materials including glass, crystal, steel, wood, brass, and many more. Choose from ornate designs that dazzle or simple, modern designs with clean lines that promote relaxation.
Similar to chandeliers, Pendant lights hang from the ceiling, creating an eye-catching focal point in the room. However, pendant lights tend to be more functional, providing both style and functional lighting. They come in mini-pendant, single light, or multi-light configurations, and are mostly used for accent or task lighting. Pendants add an extra bit of illumination in stairways, kitchens, foyers, bathrooms, or bedrooms. Hang one in an area for a spotlight effect or hang multiple for more uniform lighting. When hanging multiple pendant lights together, aim for a spacing of 24 to 30 inches to provide good coverage while allowing each pendant to be its own focal point.
Pendants come in styles that range from rustic to classic to industrial, with everything in between. Imagine choose a modern glass style with exposed Edison bulbs for the veranda and an ornate traditional style cast-iron pendant with frosted shades to diffuse the light for the kitchen. For whatever look inspires you, there’s a right fit for you.
Flush mount ceiling lights work well in most rooms. The “Flush” refers to the way the fixture installs directly to the ceiling without hanging down like a pendant or chandelier. Because of this, flush mounts work especially well in rooms with low ceilings.
If you’re looking for something between a hanging light and a flush mount, a semi-flush mount light and drop ceiling lights are great options. With semi-flush mounts, the base is still mounted flush to the ceiling, but the light itself hangs a few inches from the ceiling for some separation. With drop ceiling light fixtures, the light doesn’t hang from the ceiling, it’s a long panel or grid of light – great for basements or work areas.
Styles include circular, square, geometric, or elaborate designs. Materials include stainless steel, iron fabric, aluminum, and more.
If you’re looking for a lighting option that provides illumination without dipping below the ceiling, recessed lighting is ideal. Recessed lights are an excellent way to brighten up the room without interrupting the flow since the entire fixture is tucked above the ceiling.
Recessed lighting fixtures may not look stylish, but they never go out of style. They match everything and are incredibly versatile, providing functionality to any room.. When it comes to installing recessed lights, it’s important to make sure the lights are evenly spaced so you get smooth lighting across the room.
Recessed lighting works especially well with pendants and chandeliers because of the dimension the combination adds to a room. Layering the lights together adds an touch of radiance a chandelier or pendant may not provide on their own.
Ceiling Lights with Fans
Looking for a way to keep energy costs low? Well, fans with ceiling lights can help. Serving two purposes by adding light and keeping the room cool at the same time with one fixture, ceiling lights with fans are a great way to maximize your space. Designs cover a wide spectrum of styles ranging from contemporary fandeliers to classic styles that work in any room.
Best Ceiling Lights for Every Room
Lighting is special because of the impact it has on everything else in a room. It affects the décor, function, color, style, and the way you feel when walking inside. Some rooms look ideal with brighter, layered lighting while other rooms are better suited with one ceiling light.
The kitchen is a hub of activity, from family meal gatherings to parties and light-night fridge runs. As such, more lights tend to be better. Layering kitchen ceiling lights creates a brighter, more open room that appears larger while also making it easy to prep, clean, or cook.
Flush mount lights, chandeliers, pendants, recessed lights, and lights with ceiling fans all work well in the kitchen. Consider combining recessed lights and kitchen island pendants to achieve both general and accent lighting. Over the dining table, a chandelier is a classic focal point for general, accent, and task lighting. And circulation is always important in a kitchen, so a ceiling fan with lights is great at quickly clearing out lingering aromas from the last meal or excess heat from the oven. Flush mount fixtures keep a low profile while still providing plenty of illumination, making them a good choice as well.
While the bathroom is a great area to play with lighting styles, you have to make sure you use damp or wet-rated lights. The humid atmosphere from showers and bathtubs creates enough moisture to damage lights with dry ratings. For lights above the shower, go with a wet-rated light. Damp-rated lights work above bathtubs or vanities since they aren’t directly by streaming water.
Other than that, most lighting styles work in a bathroom. Flush mounts make a low-profile option, pendants perform as well as vanity lights, recessed lights add extra light, and chandeliers can add a chic touch above a bathtub.
The bedroom is all about creating a relaxing space for you to recharge. With that in mind, bedroom ceiling lights range from simple to elaborate. For a cozy feeling, opt for a flush mount light on the ceiling or pendant lights hanging above nightstands, acting as bedside lamps. Add an elegant statement with a chandelier, use recessed lights for a minimalistic approach, or keep the room cooler by using a traditional fan with lights. Add multiple lights for a brighter atmosphere or go with fewer lights to keep the room relaxed.
Since the living room is great for entertaining, spending time with family, or simply unwinding,, it’s wise to prioritize the ambience over the function. Where kitchens need to have practical lighting for cooking, the living room is a personal space to enjoy with friends or family, to show off your personal style. Lighting is key part of that. Don’t be afraid to get adventurous with it. Add a chandelier to create a centerpiece for conversation, utilize recessed lights to highlight décor, or choose a flush mount for an understated look. Love, bright, airy spaces? Use a combination of recessed lights with chandeliers or pendants to open up the room.
Hallways and Entryways
Hallways and entryways are great areas for experimenting. For a utilitarian and low profile look, go with a flush mount fixture. To show off your style, choose a bold chandelier or pendant. Or add recessed lighting for a gallery effect. If you like control, track lighting is a good option in hallways and entry foyers because it’s never fixed, allowing you to direct the heads wherever you want to illuminate.
For narrow hallways with low ceilings, we recommend going with recessed or flush mount lights. For wide hallways, or entries with vaulted ceilings, we recommend chandeliers because of their size and how they hang.
The laundry room is all about practicality. You should never walk into a dim-lit laundry room to fold or sort laundry. As such, we recommend using recessed lights or flush mount ceiling lights with high lumen outputs to make erasing stains or doing laundry much easier.
For larger laundry rooms, recessed lighting is a great option, providing even lighting across the entire area. For smaller laundry rooms, a flush mount is a great choice since it requires only one installation area but still provides enough light.
The best lights for basements depend on a few factors: how large your basement is, what you use it for, and how high the ceilings are. Of these, the most important consideration is ceiling height. For low ceilings, we recommend going with recessed lighting, flush mount, or drop-in ceiling fixtures. Each of these options has a low enough profile that they will blend in easily.
If you have higher ceilings, a mixture of recessed, pendant, or flush mount styles work well. Since basements tend to be on the darker side, we recommend using two lighting types to create a brighter, more welcoming space.
Since outdoor lights are exposed to the elements like wind, rain, and snow, it’s important to use only lights rated for damp or wet areas. For porch lights, we recommend pendants, flush mounts, or recessed lighting to provide plenty of light. Pendants add a touch of style while flush mounts and recessed are simple in their design and appearance. For homeowners in warmer climates, we also recommend a ceiling light with fan to circulate air on patios or porches to create a cozy, inviting environment. For added light outside, pair ceiling lights with lanterns as well as other outdoor lighting styles.
Bright Ideas for Ceiling Light Styles
While function is important, style also plays a role in the best ceiling light fixture for your home. Since lighting affects every other facet of a room, browsing by style is a great way to narrow down your options to only the types of fixtures you’re interested in.
Modern is all about clean lines in design, offering a beautiful elegance through simplicity. These lighting styles are less about elaborate decoration and more of an emphasis on clean, functional design. This style focuses on mixing man-made materials like glass and chrome with natural elements like wood to create something new. Modern ceiling light fixtures include chandeliers, pendants, and flush mounts so you have a variety of designs and colors to choose from.
The classic style focuses on timeless designs with the right amount of ornate decoration. It’s traditional, emphasizing art, furniture, and those extra details that complete the room. Classic lighting fixtures are also functional, but also more elaborate in design with extra flourishes such as dangling pieces of crystal, etched glass, or swirling metalwork. Popular finishes for this style include oil-rubbed bronze, crystal, gold, silver, and glass. Pair ceiling lamps with a sconce for the perfect classic look.
Transitional styles borrows elements from multiple styles, allowing you to combine the styles you love. For example, consider adding a touch of contemporary with traditional for an updated look that’s unique to you. Lighting for a transitional room is flexible, choose from lights with minimal design to sumptuous styles. While other styles have guidelines, transitional is all about what you prefer.
The cottage aesthetic is inviting – the ideal picture of coziness. Imagine rooms full of throw blankets and maybe a few thrifty touches, this style focuses on warmth. Bring natural elements into this room, like antique white or distressed materials including metal or wood. Popular ceiling lights in this style are crafted with glass, fabric shades, or steel.
Industrial styles focus on utilitarianism over decoration. Everything should have a place and a purpose. When it comes to ceiling light fixtures, exposed light bulbs with glass shades, or no shades at all, are popular choices. Metal finishes work best, especially iron or steel since they instantly add the feel and minimalism associated with industrial décor and design.
Farmhouse is popular because of how welcoming, rustic, and nostalgic it makes people feel, even if they’ve never lived on a farm. Shiplap, iron, and shades of white create a style reminiscent of the whitewashed farmhouses of the 19th century. Wood is a key element to this style, as well as steel or iron, which makes lighting important for this aesthetic. Chandeliers and pendants are popular in this style, especially if they’re crafted with distressed wood, glass, or metal. The drop-down light style elevates farmhouse to chic without overpowering the room.
Which Ceiling Light is Best?
When looking for ceiling lights for your home, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. How tall are your ceilings? Is the ceiling mount compatible with your electrical wiring? Find the answers to these questions below.
For low ceilings
When it comes to low ceilings, ceiling lamp options can seem limited, but that’s not the case. While recessed lights and flush mount styles typically work well with ceilings that are seven to eight feet high, those aren’t the only options. Semi flush mounts hang down from the ceiling, but not as far as other hanging lights, providing an option that can have similar design elements with the need for a higher ceiling.
For high ceilings
High ceilings range from nine feet tall to over 14 feet. With this height difference, pendant lighting, chandeliers, semi-flush mounts, and recessed lights tend to be the ideal options. Utilizing recessed lights and hanging lights together provides a greater amount of illumination, making a room appear larger and brighter instead of small and shadowy.
Ceiling Light FAQ
How to Install Ceiling Lights
There are a few considerations when installing a new light. The weight and size of your old light as well as the new light both affect what you need to do for your install. If your new light is significantly heavier or different than your old light, you may need to consult a professional. For example, if you’re changing a recessed light to a chandelier, or vice versa, an electrician might be necessary. At the very least, you want to make sure you have sufficient support for the fixture.
If you’re swapping out one flush mount for a new flush mount that’s similar in weight, follow the instructions that accompany your new light. Since electricity and live wires are involved in changing a light, make sure to follow all safety precautions as you update your lighting. For any questions, please consult a professional.
How do you swag a light fixture?
You can swag some light fixtures to keep them closer to the ceiling or fix an off-center mount. Swagging is when the fixture is still installed in the original electrical box, but the fixture swings over, hanging from a hook in the ceiling. When swagging a light, be sure to install the hook in a stud in the ceiling for stability. Otherwise the light fixture has a high risk of ripping out later.
Find the Right Light for Your Ceiling
With a wide variety of lighting products available, as well as free ground shipping, there’s the ideal fixture for your home and budget. Browse our styles to find the best fit for you, and don’t forget to check out matching wall lights or lamps. For personalized design assistance for your lighting needs, contact our lighting experts and room planners.