15 Types of Ceiling Lights to Suit & Enhance Your Decor

Updated: | Categories: Interiors, Lighting
types of ceiling lights

All types of ceiling lights are among the most important elements of a room. Without these lights, a room might not look like you envisioned it. To bring that vision to life, you must install suitable ceiling lights, and knowing different types is the first step of this journey.

There are a set of main ceiling light types commonly used. Although their primary purpose is to illuminate rooms, each of them works uniquely and can provide different benefits.

You don't change ceiling lights every day, so it is better to know what they do before choosing one. Don't worry; we'll try to break down everything into digestible bites.

15 Types of Ceiling Lights

The diverse and unique collection of ceiling lights can confuse you. To ensure that doesn't happen, here's our detailed view of each of these ceiling light types, and don't forget to match your various types of light switches to the fixture colors and styles.

Flush-Mounted Ceiling Lights

some ceiling light types, like flush-mounted ceiling lights, do not take up space on your ceiling

As the name suggests, this ceiling light sits flush with the ceiling. These lights are mounted directly to the ceiling, so they don't take up much space and are perfect for rooms with 8ft or less ceiling height.

Also, they look somewhat like white-colored domes. The white part acts as a light diffuser, and the light bulb is located under the diffuser.

There is tin foil next to the bulb to help deflect the light. Thanks to modern techs, flush ceiling lights are available in various lighting colors, such as warm or cold white, red, green, and blue.

Semi Flush-Mounted Ceiling Lights

if you are okay to ceiling light options with a small rod that takes up a tiny bit space, you can go with semi flush-mounted ceiling lights

Well, semi-flush lights are quite similar to flush lights but look very different. These lights are also mounted to the ceiling, but a small rod extends its hanging capability. Usually, these lights hang down 4 to 6 inches from the ceiling.

Unlike flush ceiling lights, semi-flush styles of ceiling lights are not limited to a dome shape. They're available in various sizes, shapes, and have many other ceiling light options to choose from.

Some lights might not have lighting diffusers. To make up for the absence of a diffuser, they usually have multiple bulbs, providing sufficient light throughout the entire room.

Recessed Ceiling Lights

some ceiling light styles like recessed ceiling lights are perfect for rooms with low ceiling

These recessed lights or "can" lights are suitable if you have a low ceiling and don't want anything to stick out of the ceiling. They can save up a lot of vertical space as they go inside the ceiling.

Recessed lights help brighten up the room, eliminate shadows, and spread light evenly across the room, thanks to their powerful LED bulbs.

In the past, recessed lights used to have typical incandescent bulbs, giving off a soft yellowish light. After including LED bulbs, you can get a wide range of color tones. From warm yellowish-white to cool white, everything is now available.

The best part is that LED recessed types of ceiling lights support dimmers (not the incandescent bulb variety). It means you can dim the lights if they are too bright or crank up the power if they are too dark.

Utility Lights

there are some specific styles of ceiling lights like utility lights are generally preferred for apartments or big buildings

Well, utility lights are very similar to flush-mounted ceiling lights. Both of these lights are mounted directly to the ceiling and sit flush with it.

The only difference is that utility lights are long, narrow, and have multiple bulbs in a row. You can even get utility lights with LED strips inside if you want.

Using led strips will let you have a wide range of color options, such as warm white, cool white, red, blue, purple, etc. You can also hang the light from the ceiling, but mounting them directly to the ceiling is best.

Chandelier Lights

if you are looking for different types of ceiling lights that are fancy and expensive, chandelier lights are for you

Chandeliers are a fancy and expensive option if you want to enhance your drawing or dining room appearance. These lights come in limitless designs.

Some hang very low from the ceiling, some have long glass patterns, while others have exotic steel frames. Every chandelier can be installed with a combination of incandescent lights and LED lights.

As for the color options, you can get whatever color you want. You can also get chandeliers with or without lighting diffusers. Of all the different types of ceiling lights, these tend to be the most expensive and luxurious.

LED Lighting

led lighting

This type of ceiling light is the most advanced and energy-efficient one. Many types of LED lighting comes in strip form. Depending on the budget range, these stripes might or might not have water resistance.

LED's are (and also stand for) 'light emitting diodes'. These types of light bulbs don't burn out on you and there's no filament to pop when the power flickers, etc.

The best part is that LED strips are very flexible, so you can twist or turn them however you want. These types of ceiling lights also come in RGB, which means you can change the colors at any time.

Unlike other lights, you don't have to pay for installation. LED strips don't require professional help and can be installed using glue. Sometimes the strips come with pre-applied double-sided tape for easy installation. Make sure the surface is solid.

Ceiling Fan Lights

ceiling fan lights

Ceiling fans with lights is an interesting and fun idea. You can knock two birds (have illumination and air circulation) with one stone, making it cost-effective.

You don't get many ceiling light options after you install them, but before purchase you may find no other ceiling light styles that offer as many choices as ceiling fans.

As the name indicates, these lights are built into the ceiling fan. Thus, you don't need to install ceiling fans and lights separately. These lights generally come with incandescent bulbs and a lighting diffuser to distribute light evenly throughout the room.

Pendant Lights

pendant lights

These pendant lights act somewhat like chandelier lights. The key difference is that pendant lights focus on a single area rather than illuminating the whole room. They hang very low from the ceiling, which means the ceiling should be more than or at least 10ft tall.

Unlike chandelier lights, pendant ceiling light types are not that fancy-looking. In fact, they look very simple with a minimalist design.

Inverted Pendant Lights

inverted pendant lights

In contrast to pendant lights, inverted ones do not hang very low from the ceiling. But, of course, you can adjust how low it hangs from the ceiling to match the room.

Inverted pendant lights are also called up-lights because they point upwards. Yes, these lights illuminate the ceiling instead of the room. They are great for installing in the kitchen or hallway.

However, these lights are limited to incandescent bulbs 99% of the time. LED bulbs are pretty rare for inverted pendant lights.

Track or Rail Lights

track or rail lights

Track lights are fixtures installed on metal rails or tracks. Multiple light bulbs or spotlights are fixed on a single metal track or rail. The great thing is each part of the track light is modular, meaning that everything can be moved or customized.

You can move or rotate the individual types of track lighting bulbs on the rail so that each of the lights can focus on different parts of the room. Or you can point all of these different types of ceiling lights in one direction for maximum illumination.

Glass Ceiling Lights

glass ceiling lights

These glass ceiling lights are fairly simple incandescent bulbs that hang high or very low, depending on what you want. The glass diffuses the harsh light and makes it soft.

Depending on the design of the glass, you can get either a modern or classic look. It also easily blends in with the room, so it does not receive any unwanted attention.

Lastly, the color of the glass can affect the light color. Using crystal clear glass won't affect anything, though. You can treat this as a form of ceiling light options if you want to take advantage of this aspect of glass ceiling lights.

Metal Ceiling Lights

metal ceiling lights

Well, metal ceiling lights come in different shapes, sizes, and designs. Unlike glass ceiling lights where the harsh light gets diffused, metal lights don't offer anything like this.

Depending on the design, metal ceiling lights can offer ambient lighting, task lighting, or accent lighting. These are easy to match to whatever types of floor lamps you have in the room, too.

Fabric Lights

fabric lights

As the name suggests, fabric lights are types of light fixtures that have fabric surroundings. You can even call them ceiling lamp lights. Because of the fabric, the light can only focus straight below.

All the other sides will have diffused low light. If you want, you can get a dome-like fabric that will look similar to the sun when turned on. Also, you can mount the fabric ceiling light types directly to the ceiling or hang them low. But, remember, the lower it hangs, the lesser area it will illuminate.

Besides, the color of the fabric will determine the light color. You can easily match these to whatever types of lamps you have in the room too since you can always get new lamp shades in the right types of upholstery fabric and color.

Spot Lights

spot lights

The spotlights are single LED lights that can be mounted directly to the ceiling or mounted using a rail or track. These ceiling light styles cover specific spots of the room.

Whether you mount them directly or use rails, you can move spotlights according to your preference. These lights are famous for their high power. However, you can control the light intensity with buttons or dimmers.

As spotlights use LED, you get the flexibility to choose from a wide range of colors, including (but not limited to) warm or cold white, yellow, blue, red, green, and purple. As far as ceiling light options go, you get many here with LED spot lights.

Island Lights

some types of ceiling lights like island lights have long cords making them to hang over a kitchen island

While not strictly any specific types of ceiling lights, what makes these unique is that they're designed with long cords within protective tubes to hang really low over a kitchen island. They're often comprised of two or three lights, either separated or on one wide fixture.

This allows you to have either mood lighting or low lighting if you just are making a quick trip to the kitchen in the evening, or if you're cooking or eating at the island you can have extra light to help you see what you're doing.

Types of Ceiling Lights for Every Decor Style

No matter how luxurious your room is or how expensive the floor tiles are, those things won't reach their full potential if the room does not have proper illumination.

By installing suitable styles of ceiling lights, you can enhance the outlook of your room. Remember that the lights' color tone also plays a vital role in beautifying the room.

There's always an option to customize ceiling lights to fit your needs. But if you don't want the hassle of customization, these popular types of ceiling lights are all you need.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, whose life is consumed by all things home and garden. Started as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.