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How to Choose the Perfect Close to Ceiling Light Fixture, in less
than 5 minutes – Guaranteed!
Flush Mount or Semi-Flush Mount lights are
likely the most common lighting fixtures in your home. They are
versatile, don’t require much space, and are available in a multitude of
styles and finishes. Close-to-ceiling lights are natural choices for
closets, hallways, and small rooms. Just because you don’t have the
space for a large, elaborate light fixture, doesn’t mean you have to
settle for plain, boring lights. So how do you pick the perfect ceiling
light? Follow these easy steps:
When to use Close to the Ceiling Lighting
• For ceiling heights of 8’ or less where
people walk underneath the light, you don’t have much choice other than
a Flush Mount ceiling light
• If you need general illumination (sometimes
called “ambient light”) Flush or semi-flush are good choices to brighten
an entire room.
• Close-to ceiling lights are perfect for
lighting closets, bedrooms, hallways, entry ways and bathrooms
• Adventurous designers are picking
semi-flush fixtures for dining areas too. Just be sure you are getting
at least 300 watts of light and the styling is distinctive. Never pick a
functional or boring light for a prime location.
When NOT to
use Close to the Ceiling Lighting
• If you need to focus the light to highlight
your room’s artistic features, instead of ambient light, designers
recommend recessed lighting or even track lighting.
• If your ceiling isn't wired for a light
fixture, you can hire an electrician, or instead choose a Table Lamp or
a Floor Lamp.
• If you would like to also move air,
consider a ceiling fans with lights, especially above your bed to make
sleeping more comfortable during the dog days of summer.
• Task lighting in the kitchen or above a bar
is normally left to pendants or recessed lights. Task lighting in your
home office best handled with a desk lamp
• For a large room with higher ceilings,
consider a larger fixture like a chandelier which provides both more
light and a focal point to your room.Determine the height
Flush vs. Semi Flush Lighting
Once you have decided a close to the ceiling
light is the right pick, you can save time if you can eliminate half the
options by knowing if you need a Flush Mount or Semi-Flush. A flush
mount naturally sits directly on the ceiling, while a semi-flush hangs
down several inches, leaving airspace between the ceiling and the
fixture. Based on your ceiling height, you may be limited in what
fixture you can install:
• For low ceilings (below 8'), you will want
to pick a flush mount light fixture. (If you will ALWAYS have a table or
counter below the light, you can choose a semi-flush or even a
• For ceiling heights of 9' to 10'), consider
a semi flush mount light. Most hang less than a foot from the ceiling.
• For over 10' ceilings, you should consider
chandeliers or pendants.
• A flush light fixtures work best in
hallways, closets, bedrooms, or bathrooms.
• A semi-flush light fixture adds a nice
touch to a kitchen nook or a smaller low-ceiling dining room.
The 2 factors to consider when sizing up your
semi-flush or flush ceiling light are the:
Width of the fixture – To
select the fixture size that will feel right in your room, start with
this rule of thumb. Add together the width and length of the room in
feet. Then convert this sum to inches. This is the approximate width of
the ceiling light fixture you need. Like all rules, this one doesn’t
apply to every situation, so don’t get too hung up on hitting an exact
Amount of light provided.
Recall Ceiling lights provide ambient light. To find proper ambient
lighting for a room, multiply the room dimensions to get your total
square footage (12’ x 14’ = 168’). Then multiply the square footage by
1.5 for total watts of illumination needed (168’ x 1.5 = 252 watts
– If you think you need more light than a normal fixture provides,
consider a light that accepts CFL bulbs. These efficient blubs work well
with Flush mount lights and can boost light output up to 4 times. (For
example, a fixture with 2 40 watt incandescent bulbs gives 80 watts of
light. But if you switch to 2 x 40 watt CFL bulbs, you get the
equivalent light of a 300 watts, increasing your output by almost 400%!)
What’s Your Style?
Hang in there, we are almost done. One critical decision remains. What
STYLE best fits your personality? The old options of traditional or
contemporary or Transitional (whatever that means) just don’t fit
anymore. So we have sorted our ceiling lighting into 11 distinct
categories. Explore the ones that are pinterest-worthy.
With so many options available to you finding the perfect semi-flush or
flush ceiling light to fit in with your current interior décor is within
Matchy Match or Blended?
• If your room has additional light fixtures, you should always consider
buying lights from the same collection. Yes, look at them, but please
don’t feel locked in to only these options. Designers today are not
constrained by only choosing “Matchy-Matchy” options. Blending is in.
Think outside the box a bit and try to blend different looks together.
If you need a second opinion, just call or chat with one of our lighting
pros. We love to help creative thinking customers!
Insider Tips & Trends
• LED and Xenon ceiling fixtures push the style envelope and create
lights that will stun your guests.
• Energy Star close mount lights can significantly lower your utility
bill and boost your light output.
• Fabric shades are back. Check out the new styles.
Choosing the right semi-flush or flush ceiling light should be
determined by your own personal taste and style. Trust your gut and
first impression. You know what you like and what makes you feel good.
Choosing the Right Light Bulb in your Flush Mount Light
Ideally, low wattage bulbs are used in flush mount lights or Semi Flush
mount lighting because otherwise the fixture could over heat, given the
closed nature of flush mount lights. Be careful not to exceed the
maximum wattage shown on the label. Helpful Tip: If you need more light
than the maximum wattage allows, consider using a high lumen CFL bulb. A
27 watt CFL gives you the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent.
Incase, flush mount lighting is used outdoors, a fixture every 8-10 feet
will provide safe light for walking.
Easy Maintenance of your Flush
Cleaning, maintaining and installing bulbs in flush mount lighting are
an easy process. It usually requires one to:
• Unscrew the center bolt.
• Remove the bowl and clean or install bulbs.
• Restore bowl and screw it back in position
Flush mount lighting is
available in a variety of finishes and styles. Some interesting types
• Silver &
Pewter Flush Mounts
Flush Mount Fixtures
• Dark Flush
• Cream &
Light Flush Mounts
• Tiffany &
Art-Glass Flush Mounts
Track Flush Mounts Lighting
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