Ceiling lights are designed to provide general illumination to a space, but they can also add so much more to it when you get it right, your ceiling lighting can really elevate your room design and illuminate your style.

In this guide, we have put together all you need to know to easily choose the right ceiling light to spark your space.

The basics

When it comes to choosing the perfect ceiling light for your space, you can nail it with 3 key elements size, illumination and style.

Let’s get started

1. Size matters

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To avoid disrupting the design of your living space, it’s crucial to choose the right size ceiling light.

Consider the size of the space the fitting will feature in, including the height and width of the area. Oversized fittings can clutter a room and restrict vision lines, while an undersized light will look insignificant. The lighting should not look oddly small or overpowering.

As a general rule, the larger the area, the bigger the light should be.

First Step: Measure the height of your ceiling to define the type of light you need

This may sound obvious but if you have high ceilings, you will need longer drop ceiling lights and, if you have a lower height ceiling you will need ones that fit closer to the ceiling.

  • Pendant light: If your ceiling is above 2.4 m, you can have hanging ceiling lights, including amazing chandeliers. Ceiling pendants are trendy and versatile. They can be classic and timeless or modern and contemporary, along with everything in between!
  • Semi-flush ceiling light: These are ideal for homes with standard ceiling heights, or perhaps over tables in a house with low ceilings (between 2.4m – 2.1m height). The semi-flush mount fixtures are still suspended like pendant lights, however the gap between the ceiling and fixture is smaller.
  • Flush ceiling light: These ceiling lights have the lowest projection from the ceiling, so are perfect to use in homes with lower ceilings (or if you have very tall occupants or visitors!) They come in many styles that will suit every taste, budget and style. If your ceiling is lower than 2.1m, and you want to create a design statement in your space, they are the one to use.

Second Step: Define your lighting Diameter and Height.

There is a calculation that you can do to determine the right size light for your room size. It can be increased or decreased by 10% depending on your taste.

Diameter/width is key!

Determine the diameter of a light fixture that’s best for your space with the following formula:

Measure the length and width of the room in meters

Example: 3.0m by 3.7m

Add the two lengths together. Example: 3.0m + 3.7m = 6.7m

Multiply that number by 7.5 Example: 6.7m x 7.5 = 50.25m

Round the number and swap that value to cm

Example: 50.25m becomes 50cm

This number would be the ideal diameter for a light fixture in this room.

Example: 50cm

To make it even easier, we have put together the handy chart below, to find the right-sized ceiling light instantly!

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If you have high ceilings, a slightly larger lamp will work better for your space. We recommend increasing the diameter you get from the calculation.

If the room is very narrow, it is better to use 2 points of light.

(Room Length (m) + Room Width (m)) x 7.5 = Fixture Width or Diameter (cm)

If you plan on placing the light fixture over your dining table, choose a lamp where the diameter is half the table’s length. In other words, if the table is 150cm long, the lamp should be about 70cm to 75cm. For a banquet-style table or an especially long dining room table, two lamps work better than one.


In general, we recommend the light to be 6 – 7cm tall for every 0.3m of space between the floor and ceiling.​ ​You can find this number by following the next formula:

Start with the height of the room (floor to ceiling) in meters.

Example: 2.4m high

Multiply the height by 6 or 7 per 0.3m

Example: (2.4/0.3) x 6 and (2.4/0.3) 10 x 7 = 48 – 56cm

48-56cm is the range of the ideal height for a light fixture in this room

The above calculations assume you have a ceiling height proportional to the room size. If you have low ceilings, then we recommend flush mounts, semi-flush mounts and recessed lighting, which are perfect as they will add light to your space, while taking up little room.

Below is a helpful guide to working out how high you should hang your flush light, ceiling pendant or chandelier:

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If your room is large or requires overall light, consider having a number of pendant lights spaced evenly throughout the room.

“Clustering” is another great technique that can be used to accent a nook in the corner of a room or to embellish a stairwell with a cascade of lights. Try hanging pendants at different heights or selecting different shapes or colours from the same pendant range for fun but cohesive look.

2. The perfect illumination

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Consider the amount of illumination you need in each room.​ The amount of light you want in a bedroom is going to be different from the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The colour and intensity of the bulb you choose will affect the mood and effectiveness of the lighting.

With the transition to LED bulbs, we can no longer rely on wattage as a reliable measure of light output. LEDs require far less electricity (and therefore less wattage) to produce the same amount of light output.

The reliable measure is called lumens and, as a general rule of thumb, we’d recommend 250 lumens per square metre. This can be spread across a mixed-use of ceiling lights, lamps, and wall lights to achieve the light required collaboratively. This also allows you cleverly to choose which lights you have on, so if you need a brightly lit room for working you can have them all on, but if you’re cosying down for a relaxing evening, you can select just a sidelight for a gentle glow.

Below is a quick look for the number of lumens that is recommended for your size of the room:

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3. Styles that match

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Ceiling lights are often the centrepiece in a room. Look at your room décor and then select the lighting that will enhance your interior. What is the feel of your room? Do you want a luxurious feel or a contemporary urban look? When selecting your ceiling lights also keep in mind the style and age of your home. Fashions and trends come and go, but if you choose the correct type of fitting, it will blend well with your home, remaining a pleasant feature for many years without becoming out of date.

If you have big furniture items, such as a large dining table, then a substantial chandelier style ceiling light fitting will make the room seem more balanced. Try to coordinate the other light fittings in the room to complement your main ceiling lighting. Many of our ceiling lights have matching wall features and lamps to make this easier.

There are so many metal and colour finishes to choose from, and you can even match with door handles, switches, curtain rails etc. Colour schemes from the cooler colour spectrum suite chrome, nickel or silver fittings whilst warmer colours are excellent with brass, gold, bronze or antique finishes.

Apart from considering the materials you want, decide what main function the lighting will serve. Once you have narrowed down to, for example, a focal spotlight, you can choose from relevant designs, rather than be overwhelmed by an entire catalogue.

Extra Tip

Dimmable lights allow you to have more control over your room. Dimming lights can help create ambience, whether it’s for a party, get-together or a cosy night in. As an added benefit, when the lights aren’t turned on the brightest setting, they save bulb life and use less energy to save you money!

If you need even more inspiration, check out iLite’s ​led lighting ideas to spark your living room.