When it comes to designing ceiling lighting fixtures, one has to be careful about several things. First of all, they are the most striking feature on the ceiling, which means they need to meet specific esthetic criteria. Next, they are responsible for the quality of light in the room where you’re likely to spend a lot of time. Finally, they may be difficult and expensive to maintain and change, so making a right decision is very important.

Luckily, today we have a wide range of products to choose from. At the same time, the fact that there are so many different products can be a disadvantage, since many people are simply overwhelmed by the options. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between various types of ceiling fixtures available.

Pendant lights

421729919_67d23fc90c_zPendant lights are the fixtures attached to your ceiling, but the light sources are hanging. This category comprises traditional chandeliers as well as modern fixtures, where a bulb is fixed to the end of a hanging bar. Their design makes them highly visible, which means they are equally important as a light source and decoration.

Pendant lights should complement the style of the furniture in the room, which means choosing a neutral style might be wise if you’re planning to redecorate the living room in future. Another thing to bear in mind is that you can’t expect one pendant to illuminate the whole room, since it creates a lot of light coming from just one source.

To make the most of pendants, we need to bear several things in mind. First, they can be nothing more than decorative lighting, with wall fixtures actually providing the actual lighting. Next, they might illuminate crucial parts of the room, such as a table or a desk. Finally, they can be used to create diffuse light. For example, a single pendant light shining upward onto the ceiling leads to the reflected light filling the room, provided the interior is white or reflective. So, the decision on how to use pendant lighting rests solely on you. Whether you’ll use it for decoration or providing ambient lighting depends on the type of fixtures used.

Recessed Lighting

This extremely popular type of ceiling lighting includes all variations of lights “recessed” into holes created in the ceiling. It can be very complicated and pricy to install such lighting, which means you need to hire experienced professionals for the job.

This option is particularly convenient in rooms where fixtures and appliances are rarely moved around, which allows you to plan the lighting around them. The light is only downward lighting, which limits decorative options. Usually, the best idea is to add wall lighting and lamps to soften the strong ceiling light. With modern LED ceiling lights taking the world by storm, this type is also becoming popular because of significantly lower electricity bills.

Track Lighting

5765608678_650cd66ef0_zLighting fixtures placed on an electrified track across the ceiling are also very popular. Such fixtures are extremely flexible and can be moved around and replaced easily. However, their quality is questionable in most cases. Most of them are spotlights, which means they are best used for accent lighting, which highlights objects in the room, such as artwork, attractive curtains, etc.


Like with any other aspect of functionality and design, the choice of ceiling fixtures largely depends on your needs and wishes. If you wish to provide good light on faces, pendant lighting is the answer. Recessed lighting will illuminate the whole room, while track lighting might give you much desired flexibility if used properly.

Naturally, there are many other options out there and you should consider all available options and possibly consult an interior designer before making such an important decision.