“Porch light” almost seems like a derogatory term when used to generally describe the vast array of designs available within the sometimes crazy but often conservative category of outdoor ceiling lights. Utility and durability are the hallmarks of these fixtures and so do not frequently call for too much flair.
Outdoor “close to ceiling” lights are fixtures that usually trend toward the smaller side of the size scale and are mounted either on or near the ceiling of a porch, deck, alcove or piazza. Close-to-ceiling lights come in styles that range from classic to contemporary and are designed in all types of materials with just as many kinds of finishes.
More compact designs are popular for numerous reasons, not least of which is their ability to weather a storm without breaking. Small glass panes and metal construction or the use of a polycarbonate dome are just two design methods employed to ensure lasting durability in some styles.
Although there’s no reason to show favor for one style over another, there is a notable fascination with nautical themes when it comes to outdoor ceiling lights. Close-to-ceiling lights with the recognizable cross-hatched lamp covering are popular, as are pendants designed in the tradition of seaman’s lanterns.