Advice selecting appropriate Ceiling Light

bobby1973March 10, 2014

Hi folks - I attached a reference photo. My family recently moved into our newly constructed home. As is typical, the rooms don't include ceiling light fixtures, but I requested pre-wiring in all the rooms. Anyhow I selected this beautiful antique bronze finish ceiling light for our family room. It wasn't until last night when I installed it that I realized how unproportional it is to the room. The light is just completely dwarfed by the sheer size of the room. I'm definitely going to take it down and maybe install in our laundry room. Although it's probably a little fancy for a laundry room:) The problem I'm facing is selecting an appropriate ceiling light fixture for this family room. I would greatly appreciate any feedback that you could kindly offer me. I think whatever it is, the light should maintain that farmhouse theme that's consistent throughout the room. I looked endlessly online but couldn't find anything I liked. There are some lanterns on my fireplace mantle, so maybe something along those lines would work. I look forward to responses that anyone would be kind enough to share. Thank you kindly!

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That looks a little like a pendant, like for over an island. Do you want a chandelier instead? That would seem to make sense. Any other style direction? And what would you like to spend? I think it will be at least a few hundred, but it is not hard to spend 5-10k on a chandelier. So some direction there would help with suggestions, too.

Where have you looked? Shades of light is a good place to start, as are Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs. I'd also try Etsy. A step up in quality is Circa Lighting, maybe Currey and Co.

Layla Grace carries a lot of brands so you could try their site. I personally have found a lot of unusual farmhouse-y lighting at the french site "deco et cie" (they can rewire it for the US). Not terribly pricey, either.

Here is a link that might be useful: Different choices, not too costly

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:19PM
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Perhaps you are not a fan of fans, but you have the space for one and I love having mine (even though I quite dislike the particular ones that came with the house!)

I think that one of those lampshade pendants would look nice; I have seen them ranging up to quite large:

Here is a link that might be useful: something like this?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:37PM
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I'm not sure I'd put an overhead light in that room. What will you use it for (I mean what activities that need more light than lamps can provide)? I think raee's suggestion of a beautiful fan is a good one.

Beautiful fireplace, by the way and I love your turquoise table!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:57PM
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joaniepoanie has old fashioned fixtures.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:56PM
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How high is the ceiling? If it is a regular 8 foot ceiling, I'd be inclined to go with an unobtrusive flush mount fixture.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 5:09PM
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If it were my room, I'd think it through this way. (Will assume your ceiling is 8' or 9' and that fixture is about 20" across.) First, what's the purpose of the light? If it's supposed to provide general room lighting (like a ceiling fixture in a bedroom), you've got a problem. Anything large enough to do that, which would look proportional in width, will require too much height and won't work for a low (standard) ceiling like that. You could put a typical flush mounted bowl type fixture, but it would also look too small.

There are wide flush and semi-flush fixtures without much height available such as the following but they are pricey or don't have the look you want or would look outright ridiculous.

Transitional Ceiling Lighting by Sherman Oaks Lighting Lighting Front

Traditional Ceiling Lighting by Sherman Oaks Lighting Lighting Front

There is the following which isn't too expensive:

Transitional Track Lighting by Sherman Oaks Lighting Lighting Front

But, then I'd say to myself, wouldn't track lighting be better? You can make the track the entire width of the room if you want and use it to spotlight or highlight areas, such as the fireplace. Use floor lamps or table lamps to give lighting for reading.

The other option would be to use the junction box for a fan.

IMO, that's why large rooms (living rooms, family rooms) with standard height ceilings typically do not have a central ceiling fixture.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Thank you everybody for the awesome feedback! It is a tough situation because the room is so large, yet the ceiling height is standard. There definitely needs to be some sort of overhead lighting in that room because the existing floor and table lamps just aren't enough to illuminate the room. A ceiling fan/light combo is a possibility. A chandelier is a possibility but I would have to keep the chain real short. I don't want to obstruct the view of the fireplace. I saw a beautiful red lantern chandelier for about $250 from Ballard, but I just think a chandelier would look awkward in that room because it would be hanging on such a short chain. I'm going to explore those lighting companies that you folks suggested and take it from there. Thanks again for the feedback everyone!


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:26PM
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I like the idea of a ceiling fan. I wouldn't live without mine in our living room even though the one we have is as ugly as sin. It just adds so much comfort to a room. In the summer, it helps keep you at a comfortable temp without turning the A/C so high, in winter, they can help distribute warm air that gathers near the ceiling. There are a lot of styles available in the traditional farmhouse style you favor. I like the selection at Lamps Plus.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:56PM
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I have a living room with no ceiling light and I find that a torchiere providing up lighting really helps the whole room feel lit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lamps plus torchieres

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:59PM
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I think having mutliple sources of light from different planes is good; so IMHO you are lucky to have the ability to put one overhead. Especially since it is not easy to add later.

I think there are four ways to go

1. Use a flush or semi-flush ceiling mounted light. As someone said, however, you will want to mock that up to scale as it might look lonely.

2. If you have an area where people are not walking, ie there is a coffee table there, or an ottoman, you can hang a chandelier that is lower than normal, meaning you can choose a larger one. But only if you commit to that furniture arrangement. You can find many examples of this, here is one I grabbed quicky:

3. I agree that a ceiling fan might look nice, with or without a light, perhaps a hugger style. Go with something very classic and simple. Try Period Arts

4. Have your electrician cap it and live there for a while before you decide.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:14PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would look for something large, close to the ceiling and reasonably unobtrusive and provide some general lighting. Though it may not be strictly farmhouse, I think it would look well in the room....

I know you didn't ask, but the other tripod light on the right seems to be out of proportion with the room as well....

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Excellent advice everyone. I love those 'globe' chandeliers! When I sat down with the builder, the first upgrade I requested is for every single room in the house to have pre-wiring in the ceilings. I love floor and table lamps but they just can't compete with overhead lighting. I love the idea of having these different light sources complimenting each other. There is in fact a coffee table/steamer trunk that I refinished that's positioned directly below the ceiling light. So if I do hang something like a globe chandelier, I wouldn't have to worry about anyone hitting their heads while walking underneath it. It's a 9' ceiling by the way. I'm going to do some mockups using Photoshop to swap in potential options and definitely post them to get your opinions. Thanks again for your help everyone! You've all been awesome.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:48AM
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This is just an example with a $150 Hampton Bay celing/light fan from Home Depot. I think it works.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:14AM
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This is another comparably priced Hampton Bay celing fan/light combo. This one has oil-rubbed bronze hardware with a clear glass light cover that kind of has a 'lantern' appearance to it, which I think will nicely compliment the cluster of lanterns on the fireplace mantle. I'm leaning towards this one. The ceiling fan/light combo that I previously posted has brass hardware and has more of a 'modern' appearance to it, which to me really doesn't compliment the farmhouse them in the room. I'd love to hear what you think. Thank you once again!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:27AM
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Totally works. Do you need a fan ?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:52AM
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This is a close-up image of the other unit I'm considering.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:54AM
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They are both really handsome. I wonder if #1, with its more exposed bulb, will offer a little too much glare (something that I am really sensitive to).

Based on overall looks, plus the opaque shade, I prefer #2 -- it doesn't say "not farmhouse" to me at all.

In fact I like it so much that I am thinking about my replacing my excellent but totally 1980s bright brass 4 light FR fan with it! Thanks for finding it!

Let's see what others think..

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:43AM
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Thanks 'raee' - I'm actually leaning more towards that one now as well. I think the brass hardware on the ceiling fan will tie in nicely with the brass hardware on the tripod lamp (which you can see better in the attached photo). And there's already so many dark tones in the room with the sofa set, the two corbels, and the cluster of lanterns on the fireplace mantle. Thanks again for your thoughtful input!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I like the second one, too. It has a lanternish look to go with your fireplace lanterns. I think a fan will be a good scale to fill the space and give you the overhead lighting you want.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Here is a link that might be useful: Lindsey Adelman DIY kit

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:32PM
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i like a ceiling fan in your room too. my only concern with the opaque shade fan is that when the lights are on the globe will probably be an orangey color... will that bother you, or is that fine with you?? color changes like that sometimes drive me nuts!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:15PM
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How bright of a bulb will the fan lights be? If you are wanting them for primary illumination of the room, be sure to check that. My old fan does a great job, it has 160 watts (incandescents) total. If the fixture has enough room you can put in the brighter LED or CFLs, for the same or less wattage.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:07PM
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You may find something on the attached list that would be helpful in your search.

Here is a link that might be useful: Apartment Therapy

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:39PM
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