Designer Ceiling Light Tips: Choosing the Right Lights

Ceiling lights may be one of the most common lighting solutions for general overall room lighting. These home lighting staples come in various styles and finishes, giving you plenty of options that fit into your decorating scheme. With so many types of designer ceiling lights, knowing a little bit about each can help you choose the right one for your home.

Here’s a quick look at the different types of lights and what to consider when choosing one for your home. Choosing dimmable fixtures offers more lighting control and helps create the ideal mood for every occasion.

The Different Types of Ceiling Lights

The four types of designer ceiling lights include flush mounts and semi-flush mounts, pendants, and chandeliers. Keep in mind that ceiling lights augment the lighting in a room and are often placed in areas that do not get much natural light—choosing designer ceiling lights that are just as beautiful unlit as they are functional when lit makes every room in your home bright and beautiful.

Flush Mounts and Semi-Flush Mounts

As the name implies, flush mounts are flush with the ceiling. They are often found in hallways, small entryways or foyers, laundry rooms, and closets. They have traditionally been unobtrusive lighting that hovers in the background, but these days you can find more shapely and decorative versions that add to your décor. Semi-flush mounts are generally more decorative than flush mounts and have short stem or chain that keeps them closer to the ceiling than a pendant or chandelier. Both of these types of lights are ideal for rooms with lower ceilings.


Lettie 14 Inch 1 Light LED Flush Mount by Hudson Valley Lighting

The attractive silhouette of the Lettie 14 Inch 1 Light LED Flush Mount by Hudson Valley Lighting grace and style to this entryway. The spun metal swerves out in a funnel shape to meet the shade that diffuses gentle lighting, creating a welcoming atmosphere for family and friends.

Estee 19 Inch 3 Light Semi Flush Mount by Mitzi

@figinteriors_wi, photography by @shannawolfsphotagraphy

The stunning and timeless Estee 19 Inch 3 Light Semi Flush Mount by Mitzi brings decorative flair without hanging too low over the bathtub. It creates a calm, serene, spa-like vibe in this bathroom, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.


Perennially popular, pendants are available in classic, modern, and contemporary styles. Often found over kitchen islands, they have migrated to every room in the home, making them a versatile choice for ceiling lighting. They usually have a cable, chain, or rod that can be adjusted to the best height for the room they are installed.

@cm.interiors, photography by @madisonmalagaphoto

Townsend 17 Inch Cage Pendant by Savoy House

The open lantern look of the Townsend 17 Inch Cage Pendant by Savoy House adds a bold visual touch that highlights the stunning six-foot artwork in this space. The warm brass finish connects with the frames and complements the warm wood accents in the room.


The quintessential statement light, chandeliers are automatic attention-getters. Although traditional chandeliers dripping with crystals are what many people think of, chandeliers can come in many styles and sizes. Chandelier means a multi-armed ceiling light, which can come in traditional and modern styles that perfectly illuminate a room.

@kate_saige_interiors, photography by @susiephoto

Tilda 5 Light Mini Chandelier by Arteriors Home by Arteriors Home

The Tilda 5 Light Mini Chandelier by Arteriors Home by Arteriors Home makes a statement in this elegantly simple home office. Paired with the stunning wood desk, the Tilda enhances the nontraditional look and becomes an attractive focal point in the room.

How Do I Know Which Ceiling Light to Buy?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a ceiling light. First on the list is what fits with your personal style and your home’s design. Ceiling lights come in all shapes and sizes and are made of various materials. The fixture’s design often affects how small or large it appears. A complex design may make it look bigger than it is.

Keep this in mind, along with the ceiling height, diameter, and table size, to ensure the room is balanced. But don’t worry if you go a little bit smaller or bigger as long as it is about the size the measurements indicate. If you choose a chandelier or pendant, you can get away with something slightly larger, especially if you want to make a splashy statement in the room.


Aerin Jacqueline 32 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort Signature Collection

The Aerin Jacqueline 32 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort Signature Collection enhances this dining room with dazzling style. The white glass beads carry the blue and white color scheme throughout the space. This spectacular piece will catch the eye of everyone who enters this beautiful dining room. This is just one example from the Visual Comfort Signature Collection.

How Do I Choose a Lighting Design?

The key to lighting design is giving the eye a focal point and letting the rest of the lighting work subtly in the background. More than one statement piece can overwhelm the design, cause confusion and reduce its impact.

Examples of dramatic focal point ceiling lighting include beautiful chandeliers, pendants over the kitchen island, and a contemporary fixture over the dining table. When choosing a lighting design, size and scale are just as crucial as aesthetics. An overhead fixture that is too large can overload the space and take away from the look you want. An excellent general rule is to start with the room’s diameter and determine the size of your fixtures. In larger kitchens, a grouping of fixtures can serve as a focal point over the island.

@moderneradesign, photography by @paul_swanson_

Visual Comfort Modern Collection Sean Lavin Nyra 42 Inch LED Large Pendant

A space as large and bright as this one can handle lighting that makes a bold statement like this pair of Visual Comfort Modern Collection Sean Lavin Nyra 42 Inch LED Large Pendants. They float ethereally above the kitchen island, highlighting the beautiful beams and the height of the vaulted ceiling. Designed with LED technology, the acrylic panels produce ample general lighting. The pairing helps define the kitchen in this open-concept space.

@juliaadeledesign, photography by @tessaneustadt

Generation Lighting Hanks Mini Pendant

This grouping of three Generation Lighting Hanks Mini Pendants brings attention to the lovely island below. The midnight black is in sharp contrast against the white ceiling and cabinets, creating a delicate tension in the design and offering plenty of direct lighting where needed.

Where to Shop for Contemporary and Designer Ceiling Lights

Once you’ve taken your measurements, you’re ready to head to Capitol Lighting. You’ll find an enormous selection and expert knowledge to help you find the perfect ceiling light for your home.


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