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How to Light a Vaulted Ceiling

How to Light a Vaulted Ceiling

Posted by Chris Johnson on Sep 17th 2015

Vaulted ceilings can be great assets to any building, giving rooms a much more spacious, airy feel. But all that extra space can also be a challenge to light. What's the best kind of lighting to use on a vaulted ceiling? We're glad you asked!

Start with recessed lighting.

If your ceiling has any kind of slope to it, it will almost definitely benefit from a healthy spread of can lights. You really can't go wrong with recessed lighting in a vaulted ceiling because their versatility, inconspicuous design and customizable illumination. There are many kinds of recessed trims you can pick from, and we recommend choosing fixtures with housings specially designed for vaulted ceilings. There are a lot of different ways to space your recessed lights, so take into consideration what effects you want the light to have. You might choose to spread recessed lights across the whole ceiling, or keep them mainly around the wall border. There's no right answer here, and for extra help, check out our blog post on laying out recessed lights. Recessed lights do great as the primary source of illumination, especially when paired with interesting pendant lights that create a beautiful layered look in your vaulted room.

Use pendant lights to fill the extra space and jazz up the room's style.

Pendant lights and recessed lights are the dynamic duo of vaulted ceilings, so make sure you take full advantage of both! Pendant lights don't work in every room, so if you have a vaulted ceiling, go crazy. If you prefer something a little more practical (like a ceiling fan) or dramatic (like a chandelier), who's to stop you? Your vaulted ceiling gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to what type of space-filling light fixture you want, so go with your gut. The sky's the limit.

For more challenging architecture, try something linear.

Strip lighting looks really nice with ceilings that are rounded, especially if you can hide it behind some kind of lip. If your ceiling has rafters or some other warehouse-esque unevenness to deal with, you might consider track lighting. Track lights are very versatile and give nonconventional ceilings a hip, artsy look that could be just what you were looking for.

Want more natural light?

If you can make it happen, skylights are awesome for vaulted ceilings because the angle of your ceiling will let in more sunlight than a typical flat roof might. This is a fantastic way to light any room without spending anything on energy bills.

Have specific questions about lighting your vaulted ceiling? Let us know!

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