Ceiling Lighting

Ceiling Lighting Fixture Types and Styles

Good lighting design always includes research and a plan. Here are some things to think about.

Ceiling types

  • Tray ceilings have a flat raised central panel with sloped planes angling down to meet the walls. The raised ceiling adds height to a room.
  • Cathedral/Vaulted ceilings follow the home’s roofline and have a high central ridge.
  • Flat ceilings are the most universal and basic. The beams in the ceiling are concealed so there is just a flat horizontal surface.
  • Dropped/Suspended ceilings are lowered from the natural ceiling height, often times to conceal structural elements such as beams, recessed lighting fixtures, and air ducts for heating and cooling systems.
  • Coffered ceilings have a series of sunken panels creating a grid-like pattern.
  • Beamed ceilings have exposed support beams made of wood or metal.

Regardless of the ceiling type you are dealing with, one thing to remember is your ceiling is providing light to the rest of the room.

Light fixture types

  • Flush mount/recessed/can/canned lights are a clean and inconspicuous way of brightening a dark room, or creating task lighting without the cluttered feel of other lighting types. Floodlight bulbs are good for ambient lighting and spotlight bulbs are great for task oriented lighting. There are many styles available in both low voltage and line voltage versions.
  • Suspended or hung lights include Track lights which are best used in areas where task illumination is essential. Pendant lights that can add a touch of splendor and work great in kitchen spaces such as over countertops, tables and islands. Chandeliers which are commonly used in formal dining rooms, foyers, and other special areas of the home where a touch of elegance and charm is needed. Lamp lights such as Tiffany lamp lights are primarily used for decorative purposes where a specific antique-type theme is present. Lanterns are great hung outdoors or indoors and of course Ceiling fans with lights which are so diverse they can be used for dual purposes- light and comfort of any room.

Lighting styles

There are many different styles of ceiling lighting. In general, you’ll want to choose a style that complements the architectural style of your home. Here are just a few of your options.

  • Vintage/Antique/Period: Sending you back to the days of a bygone era with old and worn characteristics, although these days they are easily restored and replicated.
  • Contemporary/Modern: Bold color, clean lines, artsy, sculpted finish with industrial elements. Simple, clean and practical combined with geometric shapes and symmetry.
  • Traditional: Classic details reflecting periods such as Colonial, French and Country. Ornate and showy details with old world flair.
  • Arts & Crafts: Victorian style which leans towards straight lines and the use of natural materials.
  • Art Deco: Abstract and urban with soft, curving housing (typically porcelain or glass) often including patterned metalwork.
  • Colonial: Simple, refined and practical typically found in a Georgian style.
  • Mission: Warm, boxy and similar to Arts & Crafts with simple, plain, and straight lines. Typically found in darker, warmer tones.
  • Tiffany: Distinctive, colorful stained glass in unique and beautiful varieties.
  • Tudor: Following the style of rustic English cottages, this style often uses glass in heavy metal surroundings garnished with chains for a medieval look.
  • Victorian: Typically etched or opaque globes with ornate metalwork.

Also remember, if you need to convert an old light fixture to accommodate something new, The Can Converter can help. See how easy they are to install.