How To Choose a Ceiling Light

Written by: Erica Spangler

Ceiling lights are one of the most versatile and popular lighting fixtures out there. Here’s a guide to help you find the one for you.
Ceiling Light on Wood Slat Ceiling

Ceiling Light Types

Flushmount

  • Mounts flush to ceiling
  • Requires a small amount of height
  • Great for low ceilings

Flushmount ceiling lights are some of the most common ceiling fixtures. These incorporate well into rooms and living spaces.

Shop All Flushmount Ceiling Lights

Semi-Flush

  • Hug close to ceiling, but not flush
  • Some semi-flush may mount flush
  • Still great for lower ceilings

Since semi-flush ceiling lights hang down slightly from the ceiling, these have a tendency to add a double lighting experience, where the light emanates from the fixture and reflects off the ceiling.

Shop All Semi-Flush Ceiling Lights

Accent and Spot

  • Directs light to a particular area
  • Typically flexible to point to desired area
  • Works well with other lighting fixtures

Accent or spot lights illuminate a particular area, which makes them a great addition to other light fixtures, such as lamps, for a fully illuminated room.

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Fluorescent

  • Typically defined by the long fluorescent tubes
  • Requires little height space and more ceiling space
  • Many are ENERGY STAR rated, saving you energy and money

Fluorescents offer a more affordable option for illuminating a larger area, such as your kitchen. Both the initial cost and the ENERGY STAR options make this a great option.

Shop All Fluorescent Lights

Recessed

  • Defined by its recessed installation in a ceiling
  • Requires little to no height space
  • Great for extra illumination

Recessed lights require multiple pieces and some extra considerations, yet the results are phenomenal.

Shop All Recessed Lighting

Lighting Direction

Up-Lighting

  • Light reflects off of ceiling and emanates from globe
  • Typically semi-flush ceiling lights

Down-Lighting

  • Light points downward
  • Typically flushmount ceiling lights

Ambient Lighting

  • Disperses light in all directions
  • Typically defined by glass globe

Important Considerations

Indoor Versus Outdoor

Ceiling fixtures have become popular for outdoor porches and bathrooms. However, make sure to check the UL rating of the fixture: damp for indirect moisture and wet for direct exposure to rain and snow.

Correct Amount of Light

If you are looking for the proper amount of wattage for your room then use the calculator below!


How much light do you need?


Suggested Total Wattage*
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