Contemporary Ceiling Lighting Options

It seems to me that too few of you consider ceiling lighting when looking for light fixtures nowadays. It may be a bit presumptuous of me, but I consider myself fairly average and I too am often guilty of overlooking ceiling lighting options such as chandeliers, pendant lights, mounts and even track lighting. So I guess I'm lumping whoever's reading this in with me. I apologize in advance for that. If you are one of the few who are "in the know" as far as ceiling lights go, then you probably do not need to keep reading. You are free to pursue other productive uses of your time like needlepoint, stamp collecting or learning Latin. As for the rest of you, read on and we'll explore the wonderful world of ceiling lighting and how you can use these versatile fixtures in your home or apartment.

Let's start with the granddaddy of ceiling fixtures, the chandelier. If one lighting fixture has truly evolved over the course of its existence, it's the chandelier. Once a status symbol hung in many a dining room and atrium in decadent Victorian homes, these early chandeliers were odes to extravagance and overindulgence. And they were huge. Monstrous, really, some were probably larger than most modern day studios and lofts (not really). One can still find chandeliers that harken back to those days, ornate, almost to a fault, and big enough to need their own zip code. On the flip side, contemporary chandeliers are often very understated and sleek with simple designs and a wide range of sizes. Really, the only thing these modern chandeliers have in common with their predecessors is the name. For the most part, however, their uses remain the same – entryways and dining rooms is where they work best.

Perhaps the hottest form of ceiling lighting currently is the pendant light. Pendant lighting has invaded everything from retail shops to your neighborhood Starbucks, and is slowly making its way into more and more homes. The versatility of pendants makes them ideal for any size room. Pendant lights are generally small and feature adjustable cords, so they work with a variety of ceiling heights. The best part about pendants is how customizable they are, as far designing your own formations and varying the cord heights to create your own unique look. Pendant lights work almost anywhere, but are ideal for kitchens and dining rooms.

Not as hip and sexy as pendant lighting, but perhaps more practical and useful, are ceiling mounts and track lighting units. There are plenty of flush and semi-flush mounts on the market that break from the mold of the boring square or circular models. Also, track lighting units have undergone some style changes as well, with many featuring curved or wavy bars and a wide variety of contemporary shades.