Ceiling Lighting Overview

Don't know your Semi-Flush Mount from your Pendant? No worries. We've organized all of the major kinds of ceiling lighting from the most concave/hidden to the most convex/protruding.

There are six main categories of Ceiling Lighting. When you think of them all as a progression of the how much they hang or don't hang below the ceiling, it's easier to remember them all. First check out this infographic overview of the six main categories we'll be discussing.

1. Recessed Lighting

We all recognize Recessed Lighting as that magical hidden light source seemingly tucked away deep in the ceiling. Recessed Lighting provides more direct lighting and can create a cozy atmosphere. If you choose dimmable Recessed Lighting, you can choose between an elegant atmosphere or a practical 'getting ready' room and everything in between.

Canned Lighting (the less magical term) is the deepest kind of Recessed Lighting and is as concave as it gets. Most recessed lighting, especially in homes, come in single bulb instances, but complex multi-bulb configurations are available and usually installed in industrial bathroom ceiling settings.

2. Regressed Lighting

Similar to Recessed, and some would argue that is a quality of Recessed and not its own category, most of the body still sits inside the ceiling tucked away with all of the unsightly wiring. Technically, all Regressed Lighting is Recessed, but the Regression refers to the relationship of both the light source and the trim to the depth of the housing. Regressed Lighting can take on many forms as it can sit just above the ceiling line, or just below.

Regressed Lighting always has trim of various shapes and widths that establish the edge of the lighting as to cleanly and elegantly transition into the ceiling. This is both the beginning and end of the blurring between concave and convex lighting, where we start to descend below the ceiling from here on out with either the light itself, the trim or both. Like Recessed Lighting, Regressed lighting mostly exists in single bulb instances. Industrial setting light bulb quantities? – all bets are off.

3. Flush Mount Lighting

And we're out! Time to move beyond the introverted and the unsure-of-itself lighting and break out into the open with Flush Mount Lighting. This lighting proudly sits entirely below the ceiling line with the majority of the base (think upside-down base) sitting flush against the ceiling. Flush Mount Lighting usually takes the form of a drum or dome. Flush Mount Lighting is also the beginning of the 'anything goes' approach to light bulbs. Anything below the ceiling can have as many light bulbs as the designer sees fit. Traditionally though, Flush Mount Lighting will have one or two bulbs which either point down or in opposite directions.

4. Semi-Flush-Mount Lighting

Similar to Flush Mount Lighting, Semi-Flush Mounts can look like their predecessor but are dramatically less flush with the ceiling. They're also, in a kindred way, similar to Regressed Lighting as they seem to be having an identity crisis... "Am I a Flush Mount or a Mini-Pendant Light?" is what we imagine they must be constantly saying to themselves. Semi-Flush Mounted lights can look just like Flush Mounted lights as they are both minimally flush with the ceiling as well as the bulk of the fixture is minimally hanging from it. Once again, the amount of bulbs you'll find these lights configured with is whatever the designer envisioned and the manufacturer built.

5. Pendant Lighting

Finally a light that has some courage to put themselves out there! Pendant Lighting is not afraid to make its presence known as it is named after its descent into the space below it. Pendants are traditionally one bulb and hang, or stem straight down – although the lines are constantly being blurred with modern designs. Pendants need to air on the conservative side as they can veer dangerously close to becoming categorized as Chandeliers (the next and last category) especially when the bulbs jut straight out, start to curl or even point upwards. Pendant Lighting can have multiple bulbs but again that's when you start to take the path towards our last and most bold kind of Ceiling Lighting...

6. Chandelier Lighting

Bold. Abundant. Beautiful. Elegant. We've arrived at the extrovert of Lighting – Chandeliers. Originally French for 'candlestick,' then intended to mean several candlesticks, and eventually becoming synonymous with high-class, bold and decorative lighting, Chandeliers are the ultimate show piece where form and function are constantly vying for attention. No Chandelier would be complete without several lights, nor would it be without decorative stones, glass or crystals to sparkle and dazzle as the lights maneuvers its way to the eye.

"But what about..." Sure we could get into Mini-Pendant, Multi-Pendant, Mini-Chandelier and a dozen other variations and hybrids but we feel these 6 main categories are good break points. They distinguish the main kinds of Ceiling Lighting in a way that you'll easily remember the next time you remodel your beloved bathroom.

Have thoughts or questions? Leave a comment and we'll look forward to conversing with you!

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