Detailed ceiling flush mount buying guide covering types, styles, materials, shades, bulbs... everything you need to know about these popular types of lights.
While there are plenty of ceiling flush mount lights to choose from, they’re more functional than aesthetic.
Related: All Lighting Options
I. Our Ceiling Flush Mount Light Buying Guide
There are many things to consider when purchasing ceiling flush mount lights. Different types of ceiling flush mount lights serve various functions.
Picking the right ceiling flush mount lights can have a huge impact on the rooms in your home. Depending on your light fixtures, you can create an elegant atmosphere, a rustic ambiance, or other types of charmingly-designed areas in your home.
Compared to other light fixtures such as table lamps and pendant lights, flush mount lighting can be much more unobtrusive and take up less space in your home or in any individual room.
It is important to consider all of the different possibilities of your lighting fixtures carefully, as there are many options to choose from and each can change your overall home aesthetic in different ways.
The main things to consider are the flush mount light options, styles, and materials. You will also want to consider ceiling flush mount light locations and usages, shade styles, and finishes.
A. Three Main Flush Mount Light Options
Your first decision to make when buying ceiling flush mount lighting, is to choose whether you want a full flush mount light or semi flush mount lighting. You may also choose directional or spotlight lighting. These lights can work great in many areas of the house, although in some cases you may wish to have pendant lighting or chandeliers instead.
1. Flush Mount
Source: The Home Depot
Full flush mount lighting is installed directly on the ceiling and leaves no spacing between the light and the surface of the ceiling. This type of lighting is ideal for rooms that have low hanging ceilings such as smaller rooms. These smaller rooms may include bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, or kitchens.
2. Semi-Flush Mount
Semi-flush mount lighting is ideal for rooms with higher ceilings. This type of light drops from the ceiling a bit and leaves some space between the ceiling and the fixture. This kind of light can be common in living rooms, lounges, dining rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. Semi flush mount is different from pendant lighting however, as pendant lighting hangs even further down.
3. Directional and Spotlight
Source: Annapolis Lighting
Directional lighting and spotlights are very similar to standard flush mount lights and can be installed on ceilings in a variety of areas. Unlike, flush mount and semi flush mount lighting, this type of lighting points directly at a specific spot and light up a particular area.
B. Flush Mount Light Styles
Your next decision to make when choosing a style of the light. Different styles will work better for certain settings, and you may choose from many different options to suit your preferences.
The main options are traditional, transitional, contemporary, stylish, and rustic.
Source: Rosalie Homes
Traditional flush mount lighting work for a more old-fashioned and antique feel and design. These are often available in brass, iron, or bronze colored tones. Traditional lighting fixtures have a simple look that can work well for many room designs and setups.
Traditional lighting is similar to transitional lighting, but transitional lights have a more of a modern feel and design that is a bit more flexible than transitional lighting.
Transitional flush mount lights are designed in a way that incorporates elements from both traditional and contemporary designs. A wide range of styles is available in transitional light fixtures, meaning there are many options to choose from.
Most of these transitional lights can be found in the form of a bowl that is made of plastic or glass. Many of these have iron or bronze colored designs while some have more modern nickel or stainless steel elements.
Source: Soul Speak Designs
Contemporary light fixtures are elegantly crafted and have simple design elements that make them perfect for more modern designed rooms. These are often considered minimalist but can work as a great and stylish look in a room.
Source: Parrot Uncle
These styled flush mount designs are a bit more lively and have diverse elements that are made to work in very specific functions. These are very specific and may need to be used with uniquely styled rooms. These are liable to clash with certain rooms that are too basic in nature and are likely to stand out too much if not chosen carefully.
C. Flush Mount Lighting Materials
Source: Barnlight Electric
You will also want to consider what type of material your flush mount lights are made of when purchasing them. Various materials can make up the base of a flush mount light, the shade, and other components.
These materials can include copper, chrome, stainless steel, plastic, crystal, and wood. These materials can be included in a flush mount light or the colors and finishes can also feature the tones of these materials.
Copper is a very common material that is used in many ceiling flush mount lights. This material can include copper or copper alloys including brass and bronze. Copper is often used as a finish for flush mount lights. This material is mainly used for traditional and transitional lights but may be found in other styles as well. Copper and bronze tones can work well for many designs.
Chrome is also common in the design of ceiling flush mounts and helps to create a contemporary look with a sophisticated finish and look. These can help to form creative and stylish designs that have a modern feel to them.
Many contemporary styled flush mount light designs feature chrome colors and finishes prominently.
3. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is used in many modern and transitional flush mount lights and help to create a refined design that is simple and minimalistic. These are often accompanied by glass domes, and the steel works as an excellent and sturdy border to the fixture.
Stainless steel can be an excellent choice for use in your home and can have a great and refined look that will work well for many types of homes and residents.
Plastic flush mount lighting materials can also help to create a simple yet modern look. Plastic fixtures are often colored white, but other options exist as well to allow these lights to fit in well in different settings.
Plastic can look just as great as other types of materials but have the added benefit of being cheaper. Plastic is still quite sturdy though, and can be a great choice for a home if you’re looking for a material that is fairly durable.
For more formal spaces, crystal material is a great option that works well to create a refined and elegant design that screams elegance and refinement. These light fixtures are often suited well for a dining room area, a foyer, or other formal areas. Crystal is very similar to glass but is often more refined and has more sharpened designs than most glass materials do.
Wood tones and various wood features are often used in the development of mount flush lights as well and help to create a rustic look that works well for many types of spaces.
These lights may work especially well for rustic homes such as cabins or rural themed houses and homes. Wood can create a unique and cozy aesthetic and can be a big change from many of the other materials that can be used instead in a flush mount light.
D. Ceiling Flush Mount Shade Styles
Ceiling flush mount lights usually have a hard or soft shade that may help to diffuse the light. Other lights will feature clear glass or clear plastic that doesn’t diffuse the light but allows it to direct and include a lot of brightness.
Many ceiling lights have a glass shade to cover the bulbs in the flush mount light. This glass can come in different varieties and can effect the light and space in different ways.
Various types of glass are most often used as the shade for a flush mount or semi-flush mount light. Shades can also be made out of plastic or linen.
1. Clear Glass
Clear glass will offer a room a more bright and direct amount of light that will help to illuminate a space. Clear glass is one of the more basic types of glass shade you can get and can work to blend well with many types of settings.
Clear glass can be a bit too basic, however, and may let in too much direct light for your preference.
2. Etched Glass
Etched glass will help to diffuse the light coming from the ceiling fixture and will give off a soft glow. An etched glass design can also be very stylish and can add a lot to an otherwise basic flush mount light.
3. Frosted Glass
Like etched glass, frosted glass shades will help to diffuse the light and give off a softer glow. This diffusion can help to combat the effect of direct light and be a much better option for a room to create a more calming atmosphere.
4. Stained/Tinted Glass
Tinted and stained glass will help to diffuse light while also giving off a shade in a particular color. This mixture will help to give a space a more intimate and ambient feel.
Tiffany lamp shades fall under this category and the stained glass can be extravagant or it can be quite basic. Stained and tinted glass can be a great choice for a glass shade instead of a more basic clear glass feature.
Many types of ceiling flush mount lights also feature a plastic shade. These shades can be quite similar to glass shades that cover a bulb and can vary in many ways. The plastic can be clear or can help to diffuse light in different ways. Plastic shades may be etched, tinted or diffused in some way or may be very clear instead.
Plastic has a benefit over glass because it is a cheaper material. Plastic is more sturdy than linen shades, however, and can work well if you’re looking for a more durable option.
While many flush mount lights have shades that are made of glass or plastic, linen is also a popular choice and can help diffuse light and create a softer atmosphere in a room. Linen shades are usually cheaper than glass shades, though they are not as sturdy as glass shades or plastic shades.
E. Ceiling Flush Mount Light Finishes
You now know about the many types of ceiling flush mount lights and the options available to you, the styles of flush mount lights, flush mount lighting materials, and flush mount shade styles.
In addition to these characteristics of flush mount lights, you will also want to consider the finishes that you would like on any flush mount lights that you purchase.
Flush mount and semi-flush mount lighting is available in many different finishes that is meant to work and be compatible with your home decor.
Ideally, you should match your light finishes with the other features of your home. Door handles and cabinet hardware that features brushed nickel should be matched with light fixtures with brushed nickel. Choose lighting fixtures with a complementary finish to existing items in your home.
Flush mount lights can have a variety of finished on them. Popular finishes can include brushed, nickel, satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, antiqure bronze, and white.
1. Brushed Nickel
Often chosen for kitchen and bathroom faucets, brushed nickel can also be chosen as a finish for many ceiling flush mount lights. This finish is very similar to satin nickel finishes.
2. Satin Nickel
Satin nickel is also uses as a finish for many ceiling flush lights and semi-flush mount lights. Doorknobs and faucets often use this type of finish as well, so it is ideal to match your light fixtures with these items if they have this finish.
3. Oil-rubbed Bronze
In contrast to brushed nickel and satin nickel finishes, oil-rubbed bronze is a finish with a much darker tone. The tone of oil-rubbed bronze is meant to replicate aged bronze and has been chemically altered in order to achieve this effect. The finish can look like a deep chocolate brown or dark gray, and often has copper undertones.
4. Antique Bronze
Antique bronze is also often used for many items around the home such as faucets, light switches, and doorknobs. This finish is dark and very similar to oil-rubbed bronze, and people often mistake the two. Antige bronze creates a great look that suits a flush mount light nicely.
While bronze and nickel tones are popular for flush mount light finishes, a solid white color is often used as well. White finishes understandably give off a much brighter tone and can be very vibrant. White an work well with almost any room and looks great as a finish to a flush mount light or a semi-flush mount light.
II. More Details
There are other things to consider when choosing a ceiling flush mount light, and here are a few of the main things. By considering all of these aspects you will be more likely to purchase a flush mount light or a semi-flush mount light that looks great in your home for years to come.
Some of the main additional things to consider when selecting a flush mount light are the cost, the size, key features, safety precautions, bulb types, and the number of bulbs.
Depending on the materials that are in the flush mount light you would like to purchase, they price can vary. Metal, crystal, and glass materials can be more expensive. Plastic and linen can be much cheaper and more affordable in comparison to other materials.
There is a huge range of prices with the flush mount and semi flush mount lighting. Prices can start as low as $10 for cheaper and more basic options. Prices can go into the thousands for more extravagant lighting fixtures, however.
Much of the main choices for flush mount lights usually are in the range between $500-$250.
Size is important when choosing flush mount lighting for your ceiling. Depending on your ceiling height you will want to make a choice between a flush mount light or a semi flush mount light.
It is important to take into account the height and profile of the ceiling fixture. The size relates to how far a fixture lowers down from the ceiling. With flush mounts and semi-flush mounts, there is a range of variation. Some lights are slimmer while others are wider. You will need to take this into consideration when determining how light will work with the size of your space.
Flush mount lights typically work better for lower ceilings such as those below 8′.
Semi-flush mount lighting is more useful for higher ceiling such as those between 8′ and 10′.
It is also important to consider the diameter or the end to end measurement of a fixture. It is important to consider the overall scale of your ceiling and how the light will work with the room.
Read the manufacturer’s instruction manual to be aware of any safety, warnings, precautionary information. If in doubt, be sure to hire a qualified technician to complete the installation of your flush mount lights. Also be aware of wattage requirements before installing.
As with all products requiring electricity, there is a danger of shock or fire hazard, so be sure to exercise caution at all times when dealing with these light fixtures.
Using the correct size for your rooms can also prevent danger to people in a room as low hanging lights can become a hazard.
D. Bulb Types
Choosing the right bulb can also have an impact on the ambiance of a room, and different lights work better for different rooms.
Warm white color temperature works well for living rooms and bedrooms. Bright white colors work excellent for kitchens and workspaces. Daylight color temperatures are ideal for home studies.
Choosing the right bulbs can also have an impact on power consumption, and many energy efficient options exist to help you save power and money.
Ceiling flush mount lights can be great to be used with bulbs such as incandescent lights, compact fluorescents (CFL), LED lights, halogen lights, and others.
- Incandescent: Incandescent Bulbs are traditional bulbs that provide a warm look, but have become less used since people are turning to more energy efficient alternatives.
- Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: These are energy efficient bulbs that consume much less energy than traditional light bulbs. They often have a cool tone but can be found with varying levels of brightnesses and temperatures. These bulbs require safety precautions since they are created with mercury.
- LED Lights: Like CFLs, LED lights are very energy efficient. These can last three times as long as CFLs and can help save money. Many LEDs are harsh in tone, but some newer LEDs have a warmer tone.
- Halogen: Halogen lights are ideal for task lighting and emit a bright light. Halogens are somewhat energy efficient but not to the extent of LEDs or CFLs.
E. Number of Bulbs
You may also need to be aware of how many bulbs a particular flush mount light has. Some flush mount and semi flush mount lights will have just one bulb while others will have several.
More bulbs can mean more light while a single bulb can be more energy efficient. Choosing between one or multiple bulbs can also have an effect on the look and tone of a room.
There’s no wrong answer, of course, but a single bulb or multiple bulb flush mount light can alter the environment of a room in many ways. It can be a great idea to consider what kind of flush mount light or semi-flush mount light would work best in each individual room before making a purchase.
You can install flush mount lights on your own, and it can work well as a DIY project. A ceiling flush mount light can be a simple project to work on and install.
If in doubt or if home improvement isn’t your bag, you may prefer to hire a professional to install the lighting instead. A professional installation will help to ensure that you have your light installed properly and that safety risks are minimized.
Use precautionary measures at all times when installing a light and be careful of electric shock and fire hazards and wattage requirements. Be aware of all wattage requirements of the lighting fixture and the bulb requirements.
G. Ceiling Flush Mount Lights vs. Pendant Lights
Pendant lights and flush mount lights are very different lights. Pendant lights are hanging lights that can be used throughout your home.
Flush mount lights are installed on the ceiling, but stay close to the ceiling when installed and do not descend down any.
Like pendant lights, semi-flush mount lights hang down from the ceiling. Semi-flush mount lights are much more similar to flush mount lights however.
Semi-flush mount lights don’t descend as far down as pendant lights, which often hang down quite a bit from the ceiling where they are installed.
III. Where to Buy Ceiling Flush Mount Lights Online
Many great flush mount lights can be bought online and delivered to your home easily. Now that you know the details of all the flush mount lighting options available, here’s our selection of the best online merchants to buy ceiling flush mount and semi-flush mount lighting from: