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Modern Ceiling Lights

Modern home lighting is an oft-overlooked design aspect in any given room. However, contemporary ceiling lights have the power to set the tone and mood for a space. They are equal parts functional, adding brightness and warmth to an area, and aesthetically pleasing — at least, they should be.

Given the key role ceiling lighting plays in effectively illuminating every corner of a room, it’s no surprise that some of the most iconic mid-century modern ceiling lights were born in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark in the mid-1900s. Scandinavian winters were long and dark, and demanded effective — and attractive — artificial lighting. Nordic designers like Denmark’s Poul Henningsen answered this call, with eye-catching ceiling lights and hanging pendant lights that emitted warm, far-reaching light. Mid-century modern ceiling light designs mitigate harsh shadows and glare for illumination that feels natural. Modern ceiling lights and pendant lights are the perfect lighting solutions for gentle transitions from day to night.

From modern bedroom ceiling lights to kitchen and bathroom lighting, there is a fixture for any — and every — room in the home. At Design Within Reach, discover living room ceiling lighting ideas, modern ceiling lamps, and more to brighten your space.

How to Choose Ceiling Lights

It’s important to remember: Ceiling light dimensions should be proportionate to the size of the room and the scale of its furnishings. In addition, think about the shape and material of the piece so that it complements your interiors. Designer ceiling lights are available in a wide range of styles — from traditional, like a pendant light fixture with a drum shade, to modern, like a geometric chandelier rendered in polished aluminum.

For a small room, or even a room with low ceilings, such as an office or powder room, consider a minimalist ceiling light that creates a warm glow. Similarly, a small-scale sculptural lamp that mounts flush with the ceiling is a perfect choice for smaller spaces.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for light fixtures for a living area, formal dining room, or kitchen, opt for a pendant or chandelier with multiple bulbs. Consider hanging matching pendants over a long rectangular or oval-shaped dining table. A larger space not only needs more light, but also requires a larger fixture that doesn’t get lost in the expanse of ceiling.

Ceiling light design is an aspect of your home’s interiors that should not be overlooked. Give it thought, attention, and enjoy perusing the many different types and styles of ceiling lights.

At Design Within Reach, we’re here to answer questions and more, with complementary design services to support you at every step of your interior design journey. Our staff of in-store design professionals can give advice and recommendations via chat, photos, and live video. They can also do 3-D renderings of your rooms so you can see how an arrangement might work. Look for the black chat icon at the lower right of webpages.

What is a pendant light?
Named from the Old French word meaning, “to hang,” pendant lights are hanging ceiling lights suspended from a long cord, rod, or chain. Pendant lights typically have one light bulb per fixture and can be used for ambient or task lighting.

What ceiling lights are on trend?
For their versatility and aesthetic appeal, pendant light fixtures have evergreen popularity. That said, certain contemporary styles, including pendants with lantern-like paper shades, globe pendants with sand-blown, striped, or colored glass diffusers, and Scandinavian modern pendants with downturned metal shades, are currently on trend.

How many pendant lights over kitchen island?
Typically two pendant lights placed approximately two feet apart will be enough to illuminate a kitchen island that is under six feet long. For kitchen islands longer than six feet, consider three pendant lights.