Find the Right Lighting For Your Ceiling

Written by Milan Jara on 13th Jan 2015

As ceiling experts, we know that the job is only half-done when the ceiling is completed. After the ceiling is done, it is time to find the perfect lighting compliment to the ceiling and the rest of the room. Does the ceiling you just installed dictate what kind of lighting you can have? As creative people, my wife and I love the challenge of matching up the right lighting with each room. We have developed some ideas over the years as to what kind of lighting works best in each situation, and we find that our instincts are usually right.


Photo by Elliott Brown (Flickr)

What About Chandeliers and Drop Ceilings?

One of the most common lighting questions we get is about the use of chandeliers with drop ceilings. Can you use a chandelier with a drop ceiling? If you do install a chandelier with a drop ceiling, then you need to remember to install the chandelier into the rafters that hold the drop-ceiling grid. If you affix the chandelier to the drop ceiling, then drop is exactly what the chandelier will do! There are plenty of creative ways to make the chandelier look like it is mounted directly to the drop ceiling without actually taking that kind of a chance, so we have no problem installing a chandelier with a drop ceiling.

How About Chandeliers in General?

Sometimes, a nice chandelier can accent a decorative ceiling and enhance a room. But if you get a huge chandelier, then you are taking away from all of the work that was done with the ceiling. Chandeliers create lighting patterns and a look that can stand on its own. The rule we use is that the chandelier will, to some extent, take away from the ceiling, and we avoid large chandeliers with decorative ceilings.

Do You Use Sconces?

Sconces are more of a wall thing, but they can be nice accents to a chandelier. We also recommend sconces on either side of mirrors or large hanging portraits to help them stand out.

Can I Use Recessed Lighting With a Tin Ceiling?

The answer to this is yes, but you have to be careful. Recessed lighting is best used when it fits into the design of the tin tiles you are using. For example, tin tiles with a large, circular opening in the middle of them are just screaming for recessed lighting. But tin ceiling tiles that are filled with decorative patterns are not going to look right with recessed lighting.

What About Pendant Lighting?

Pendant lighting is, believe it or not, very functional lighting. We know that it looks great, but it also serves a specific purpose. We use pendant lighting in kitchens to offer a spotlight effect on the eating area or the food preparation areas. If you have a reading corner in one of your rooms, then pendant lighting in that corner would work well. But pendant lighting used throughout an entire room is probably not going to work very well.

What if I Have a Skylight in My Room?

Even if you have a skylight in your room, it is still going to get dark at night where you live, so you will need lighting in that room. We try to avoid accenting a skylight with lighting because some people do not like the glare that comes off of the skylight glass. But we have found that track lighting inside a skylight can offer a very interesting and unique effect at night. You should give it a try!

Should I Install a Ceiling Fan?

There are so many different designs of ceiling fans that we know that you will find one you like. We try to match the color scheme of the ceiling fan with the ceiling to help keep continuity with the decor. But there is just something cool about spinning ceiling fan blades that clash with the color of the ceiling that makes us at least offer it as an option to our customers.

Every room has different lighting needs, and that does not change when you install a new ceiling. When we discuss ceiling projects with our customers, we always discuss lighting options and do our best to make the lighting show off the ceiling as well as the rest of the room.

Milan Jara

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