Interior Illumination: A Guide to Choosing Ceiling Light Fixtures

By Steve George

July 12, 2023Home & Decor

There’s no doubt that lighting can significantly affect the way we feel and perceive a certain space. From bright and bold colours to soft, muted tones, these fixtures serve as the foundation that set the tone and mood of a room. Naturally, dark and gloomy spaces aren’t appealing and can leave one feeling uninspired. Therefore, proper interior illumination is an essential step in any home decor makeover.

With that said, the kind of light fixtures you choose plays a role in transforming the look and feel of your space. Among the possible options, ceiling models are a consistent and popular choice for their minimal design, versatility, and ability to provide the necessary illumination.

What Are the Different Types of Ceiling Lights?

When you’re browsing through the wide range of bright ceiling light fittings available, you’ll notice a few distinct types based on their shape and placement. While they all offer exceptional illumination, each model is unique and differs in its own way.

Flush Mount Lights

Also known as close-to-ceiling fixtures, these models are attached to the ceiling with a mount that blends into the background. This design is inherently subtle and unassuming, with its low-hanging frame destined to blend into your existing decor.

In general, they have a shallow profile that doesn’t jut out too far from the ceiling, providing a low-key source of ambient light. They’re not very bright but they can easily serve to illuminate a room as they are available in multiple sizes and shapes.

flush mount ceiling light

Semi-Flush Mount Lights

These models are slightly more intricate and often come with attractive elements such as glass discs or crystals. While they still don’t hang too far from the ceiling, they protrude slightly more than flush mount lights, and as such require a higher ceiling.

Unlike their less decorative counterparts, these models are suitable for a wide range of interior styles, from vintage to modern. Their unique design allows them to offer bright and dispersed light, with the crystals and glass discs acting as diffusers for a softer glow.

semi flush mount ceiling light

Recessed Lights

These look quite similar to flush mount lights as they are mounted and almost flush with the ceiling. However, unlike the previous models, recessed lights are designed to be placed inside a cut-out in the ceiling, instead of being directly attached to it.

This kind of design is usually installed in larger rooms and halls, either to highlight a certain element or for ambient lighting purposes. Plus, since they are placed and mounted within the ceiling itself, they require no additional space and remain virtually hidden.

recessed ceiling lights

Pendant Lights

These are long-hanging fixtures that come with a single lamp on the end of the rod or cord and are usually hung from a hook or other support system. They feature an attractive and eye-catching design that can instantly draw attention with their downward stream of light.

The myriad of designs and colours available makes them suitable for a wide range of styles and purposes. For example, modern pendant lights have cage-like designs for a sleek and contemporary look, while vintage models come with intricate details for a timeless touch of elegance.

pendant ceiling lights


While the traditional image of a chandelier is often associated with grandiose and luxurious designs, many new models come in simpler and more minimalistic forms. Still boasting a touch of sophistication, they can be used to great effect by adding an air of sophistication to any room.

These larger models are usually used in more spacious halls and rooms, but their unique design makes them suitable for a room of any size. Not only do they provide an ample amount of light, but their eye-catching appearance makes them the focal point wherever they are placed.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Ceiling Light

Other than the specific shape and design, a few other factors can determine the type of ceiling light fittings you go with. This involves taking on a more practical approach and determining the necessary functions of the fixture.

Room Size and Ceiling Height

Logically, the size and height of a room will determine the type of lights that are suitable for it. For example, flush mount lights work best in rooms with low ceilings, while a chandelier is best suited for higher areas.

If you go with something too large, the room will feel cluttered and unappealing. On the other hand, a fixture that is too small can make it seem dull and under-illuminated. Knowing what you need in terms of size is an essential part of this decision-making process.

living room ceiling lighting fixture

Purpose of the Fixture

Not all lights are made the same, and this goes beyond physical design. Depending on what you need it for, the type of light bulb installed in each fixture can make a huge difference. Pendant models, for instance, are great for task lighting due to their directional illumination, while recessed fixtures can be used as accent lighting to highlight certain areas.

ceiling lighting fixture range

Cleaning and Maintenance

Even if a certain fixture looks appealing and suits your needs, you need to consider the cost of maintenance. For example, chandeliers are attractive but require frequent cleaning and maintenance due to their intricate details, whereas a flush mount light will require less attention but may not look as visually striking.

woman cleaning her lighting fixtures