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What is a Flush Mount Light? & Semi-Flush Explained

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flush mount lighting in living room

Flush mount lighting fixtures are a popular choice to install in homes thanks to their space-saving nature that doesn’t compromise on style, nor the amount of light provided.  


But with so many lighting style choices available, it can be hard to navigate your way through which style would work best for your home. Fortunately for you, that’s where we come in. Here, we explain what flush mount lighting is, variations (such as semi flush lights), and why it might be the lighting style for you.

What are Flush Mount Light Fixtures?

As the name suggests, flush mount light fittings sit flush to the ceiling. There is no gap between the fixture itself and the ceiling, enabling you to make the most of your available headspace. They’re often the main source of light in a room, providing ambient lighting that shines downwards.


Available in a range of styles, there are flush ceiling light fitting designs to suit all decors, however they aren’t always as intricate in design as semi-flush mount lights or pendant light fittings. 


Also known as flat ceiling lights, they’re usually chosen in rooms that are limited on space or have lower ceilings. They’re also low maintenance, however, particularly when compared with other lighting styles, as it’s harder for dust to get into them.

How to Install Flush Light Fixtures

Installation of flush light fixtures is relatively simple, but be sure to turn off the power at the circuit breaker box prior to starting. The remaining steps are as follows:


  • Remove any old light fitting and disconnect wires.
  • Join new wires to the ceiling box.
  • Switch the power back on and check the light is working.
  • Attach the cover.


It’s worth noting that, if you aren’t confident in installing your flush mount lights, then it’s always best to consult an electrician.

Popular Types of Flush Mount Light

1. Modern Flush Mount Ceiling Light

Modern flush mount lighting suits minimalistic homes, because the flush-to-ceiling light fixtures are discreet and have less space for intricate detail.

These halo-style, flush mount fittings are having something of a ‘moment’ at the minute, providing visual interest in a subtle, contemporary manner.


This LED flush mount available from Overstock, $249, is super sleek and great for a modern home.

2. Farmhouse Flush Mount Ceiling Light

If you have a farmhouse-style home, then choose a rustic flush mount fitting. Lighting for this interior style often includes oil-rubbed metal, wood frames or glass shades (as shown here in this farmhouse hallway).


We love this caged, wooden design from Wayfair, $90.60, as it perfectly encapsulates farmhouse lighting style with its cosy, distressed aesthetic.

3. Mid-Century Flush Mount Ceiling Light

Mid-century modern design uses plenty of clean, curved lines and geometric patterns. This multi-globe light in a bright, contemporary gold shade lends itself perfectly to this on-trend style of decor.


Get the look with this flush mount light from Wayfair, $59.99, which has been made to perfectly combine retro and modern styles to work with mid-century modern homes.

4. Outdoor Flush Mount Ceiling Light

Outdoor flush mount lights are great at providing functional lighting, and because they sit against the ceiling, they’re less likely to collect dust and debris as quickly. Using a frosted glass option will allow you to create a gentle ambience with diffused light – perfect for summer evenings outdoors, or even in a summer house!


We love this stylish matte black light fitting from Amazon, $37.99, as it’s fully water-resistant and dimmer switch-compatible, so you can control the level of lighting in your outdoor space.

5. Industrial Flush Mount Ceiling

This modern, urban décor shows no sign of disappearing any time soon, and although industrial styles may make you think more of graffiti and distressed bricks, the lighting can add a touch of elegance to your space. This black metal shade with contrasting copper inner dome would look perfect in an industrial home without overpowering the space.


We love this matte-finish flush mount shade from Wayfair, $148.99. The exposed light will allow for maximum visibility within the room, without ever threatening to take over.

What is Semi-Flush Mount Lighting?

A semi-flush light sits close to the ceiling, although not completely flat against it, like a flush mount light. Slightly suspended, this lighting style leaves a little gap between the light fitting and the ceiling.


Whereas flush mount lighting is only directed downwards, the gap of the semi-flush mount allows for light to shine upwards, too, providing greater illumination and improved ambient lighting when compared with flush mount lights.


Although a semi-flush ceiling light sits lower than a standard flush mount fitting, it still saves more space when compared to pendant lighting. 


The main differences between flush mount and semi-flush mount lighting are:


  • Semi-flush light fittings offer greater amounts of light than flush mount counterparts.
  • Semi-flush fittings sit slightly lower than flush mount fixtures.

Popular Types of Semi-Flush Mount Light

1. Modern Semi-Flush Ceiling Light

This sculptural multi-globe light would fit in well with a more modern décor. The gold hardware offers warmth, whilst the orb-shaped shades maximises light and helps create a contemporary aesthetic. 


This semi-flush mount light from Wayfair, $115.99, creates a pleasant ambiance whilst maintaining an elegant style. The black metal hardware creates more of a statement light fixture with a touch of luxury added by the gold notes.

2. Luxury Semi-Flush Mount

The semi-flush mount nature of this chandelier gives you all the glamour without losing the space that pendant style chandeliers take up. A chandelier semi-flush mount will enable light to evenly cover the entire room, whilst adding visual interest and texture at the same time.


Totally submit to the opulence of this style with this fixture from Overstock, $156.99. The subtle silver tones allow the crystals to take centre stage, providing extra dimension through the multi-faceted shine.

3. Vintage-Style Semi-Flush Mount

Add a touch of retro opulence with this rippled glass, brushed gold light fitting. The texture and frosted glass base create a soft lighting that doesn’t impact visibility. This elegant design offers statement lighting (without being overly bold) that would suit most vintage or traditionally-styled homes.


We love this option from Wayfair, $1,279.99, particularly its delicate glass facets that add gently-illuminated texture across the room.

4. Traditional Semi-Flush Mount

If you want a cosy feel to your home, a traditional light fitting will lend itself well. With classic designs, traditional lighting stands the test of time and is versatile in nature. This style can help to balance the room, tying everything together without overwhelming the space. 


We’d pick this elegant style from Wayfair, $120. It’s a classic design but the matte finish offers the faintest of contemporary edges.

5. Farmhouse-Style Semi-Flush Mount

There’s no escaping the popularity of farmhouse décor. It offers a charming blend of rustic and contemporary design that creates an inviting tone to a room. Choosing a farmhouse semi-flush mount light will only enhance that welcoming atmosphere.


This semi-flush mount light fixture from Wayfair, $99.99, perfectly encapsulates farmhouse lighting, with its balanced combination of wood and black metal detailing. The exposed bulbs allow for maximum light to shine through, making it ideal for those bigger farmhouse-style spaces.


If you’re looking for a ceiling light, then both flush mount and semi-flush mount light fixtures are good options. For those limited on space, choose a flush mount fitting that sits tighter to the ceiling.


When space is no object, however, a semi flush ceiling light will allow you to produce more light within your room without being too overwhelming to the overall balance.


Whichever you choose, be sure to match it with the room’s décor as this will help to pull your room’s style together in perfectly-illuminated harmony!

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