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How to Choose Ceiling Lights


Ceiling lights are one of the basic staples of nearly any indoor lighting scheme. Not only are these fixtures relatively compact, but they come in a huge range of styles, and generally are available at a lower price point than chandeliers or pendants. These versatile lights are great additions that work in every space, regardless of the room’s height, style, or specific lighting needs.

Read on to get the details on what these light fixtures can offer!

Flush Mount vs. Semi-Flush

Nearly all ceiling lights fall into one of two categories: flush mount or semi-flush mount. But, what does flush mount mean? Simply put, it just means that the lamp is mounted “flush” against the ceiling, or without any gap between the lamp and the ceiling. Semi-flush mounted lights have a base that mounts flush, but have a stem or extending piece so that the main lamp sits down from the ceiling a bit.

Deciding which one is best for your room really depends on how much space you have. If you have 8 foot ceilings and a 6’5” member of your family, a semi-flush light may be cutting it a bit close height-wise. However, if you have taller ceilings or a space that doesn’t need as much headroom (such as over a dining table), a semi-flush light can be a bit more of a statement piece.

Hinkley Lighting Hathaway CFL Flush Mount Ceiling Light Hinkley Lighting Hathaway Semi Flush Ceiling Light

Sizes & Measurements

To find the best fit for your space, it’s helpful to know a bit about the measurements of different ceiling lamps and the options that are available. The two most important terms to look for are the height and the diameter of the lamps.

The Height or Profile of a ceiling light refers to how far the fixture protrudes down from the ceiling. Flush mount lights are often used in certain applications specifically because they are available in models that feature a very thin profile. However, there are also a wide range of styles that feature a variety of heights to suit any need. For really tight spaces, you can opt for a fixture that has a profile as small as just a couple inches, however, there are generally more choices if you have at least four inches of ceiling space to work with.

Diameter is the end-to-end measurement of how large of a footprint the lamp will have once it is mounted. This is an important dimension to consider because it is reflective of the overall scale of a ceiling light and a simple way to tell if it will per proportional in a room.

Satco Products Blink 9-in Slim Round Flush Mount LED Fixture Feiss Cervantes 2 Light Semi Flush Ceiling Light Visual Comfort Alexa Hampton Basil Large Flush Mount Ceiling Light Eurofase Lighting 5 Light Sensation Flush Mount Ceiling Light in Chrome

Ceiling Light Style

Design styles

While many think of flush mount and semi-flush mount lights as the basic builders models, there are actually a wide range of expressive ceiling light styles! From simple lamps that showcase high end finishes to elegantly shaped shades and chandelier styles, there really are designs to complement any space.


When it comes to finishes, close to ceiling lights are as diverse as any other type of lighting. You can select anything from sleek and modern chrome fixtures to earthy oil rubbed brass. However, it is worth noting that if you prefer to have your flush mount blend in a bit more, it can be helpful to match the finish of the lamp with other hardware in the room. This gives your lighting a coordinating and polished look that perfectly complements the space.

Glass Shades

Most close to ceiling lamps feature a glass shade that covers the bulbs, and the type of glass that this shade is composed of will dramatically affect the type of light that it projects into a space. Etched or frosted glass shades will diffuse light more and give off a softer glow, while clear glass offers brighter and more direct illumination. Other options such stained glass or tinted glass will both diffuse and tint light, giving a space a more intimate feel.

Hinkley Lighting 2 Light Plantation Flush Mount Ceiling Light Quoizel Trilogy Large Semi-Flush Ceiling Light Nuvo Lighting 2 Light Parker Flush Mount Ceiling Light, Polished Chrome Sea Gull Lighting 2-Light Stirling Flush Mount Ceiling Light


Most ceiling fixtures will fit into standard electrical outlet boxes and are fairly straightforward to install. However, if you do not already have an electrical box in place at the installation site, you may need to call in a professional to complete that element. Otherwise, you can simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect your new ceiling light. Remember, always shut off the electricity before you begin doing any work with wiring or electrical.

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