The Difference Between Semi-Flush and Flush Mount Lighting

The Difference Between Semi-Flush and Flush Mount Lighting

Deciding on the right lighting for your home or business can make all the difference. It’s important to choose something that will look good and suit you—but with so many options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To help guide you in selecting the perfect light, we’re looking into two popular types: semi-flush and flush mount lighting. In this post, we’ll dive into their differences and how to choose between them. Let’s start by exploring what they are!

What Are Flush Mount Lights?

Flush mount lights are fixtures that attach directly to a ceiling, often with little or no gap between the fixture and the ceiling. They’re ideal for rooms with low ceilings as they do not protrude as far into the room as semi-flush mounts.

Flush mount fixtures come in all shapes, sizes, and styles to suit any room and decor. They provide gentle, ambient lighting that creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere in the home or office. Flush mount lights are perfect for hallways, entryways, living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms. They’re also ideal for restaurants and stores needing attractive task lighting to show off merchandise.

What Are Semi-Flush Lights?

Semi-flush lights are a type of ceiling-mounted lighting fixture that provides ambient lighting. Unlike flush mount lights, which hug closely to the ceiling, semi-flush lights sit at a slight distance from the ceiling. This gives them an airy look while still providing ample illumination to any room.

Semi-flush lights tend to be larger and more decorative than their flush mount counterparts and are excellent for adding a unique touch of style to any room. You can also use them to create interesting effects with shadows that wouldn’t be possible with other lighting fixtures. With their versatility and range, semi-flush lights are a great choice for any space that needs an extra bit of light.

The Differences Between Flush Mount and Semi-Flush Lights

When it comes to selecting a type of lighting for your home, you may wonder what the difference is between semi-flush and flush mount lighting. Although they may appear similar at first glance, these two types of lighting have distinct differences that can greatly impact the look and feel of a space.


The height of semi-flush and flush mount lighting is one of the major differences between the two.


Semi-flush mount lighting hangs slightly down from the ceiling, usually no more than eight inches from its mounting plate to the bottom of the fixture. This difference in height means that semi-flush mount lighting might be more suitable for tall ceilings, as it will create a greater presence in the room and make a larger impact on the overall design.

Flush Mount

Meanwhile, flush mount fixtures hug closer to the ceiling and often have a profile less than four inches from the mounting plate to the bottom of the fixture. They’re ideal for low-profile ceilings because they don’t hang down as far and can create a modern, streamlined look.

Freedom of Movement

Your choice of lighting can also affect how freely you can move around in a room. In rooms where people move around a lot (such as a kitchen or living room), a flush mount light may be more suitable. This is because semi-flush fixtures tend to hang lower and can get in the way of movement. Flush mount lights are also a better option if you’re looking for bright illumination in a large space since they provide balanced lighting over the entire room.


When it comes to maintenance, semi-flush mount lighting and flush mount lighting differ slightly.


Semi-flush mount lighting typically consists of two parts: the fixture and the shade or glass holder that covers the lightbulb. This means that you can easily access both parts for cleaning and changing burned-out bulbs. However, because they hang down lower and are more accessible, semi-flush lights accumulate dust and debris faster, so you’ll need to clean them more frequently.

Flush Mount

On the other hand, flush mount lighting has a single-unit design, which means that you need to disassemble the entire fixture in order to access the lightbulb. But because they’re positioned flush against the ceiling, the shades create a barrier that keeps debris out, so you won’t need to clean your lights as often.


The style of these two lighting options also differs.


Semi-flush mount lighting has a stem and drops down from the ceiling. This gives it an added dimension that can create a more dramatic effect than flush mount lighting. In addition, semi-flush lights typically have larger shades to accommodate the additional length. This can also provide more lighting than flush mount lighting.

Semi-flush lights also come in a variety of style options, from modern to rustic, making them a great choice if you’re looking for something to fit a specific design aesthetic.

Flush Mount

Flush mount lighting is completely flat and mounts directly against the ceiling. This type of lighting is more limited in terms of style, but it can be a great option if you’re going for a more traditional or minimalistic look.

Factors To Consider

How do you decide which of these two fixture options to choose? Here are a few factors to consider while deliberating.

Room Size

A larger room with higher ceilings may benefit from semi-flush lighting, while smaller rooms with lower ceilings might be better suited to flush mount lights.


Semi-flush lighting fixtures allow for more decorative pieces, such as shades or crystals, and may be more visually appealing in certain spaces.

Light Output

Semi-flush lighting fixtures may provide more luminosity, making them better for task-oriented rooms such as kitchens or offices.

Installation Process

If ease of installation is important to you, flush mount lights are generally easier to install.

Your Budget

Flush mount lights are typically cheaper than semi-flush lighting fixtures, making them a great option if you’re looking for an affordable solution.

While these two lighting fixture styles offer similar benefits of providing ample light for a room, each one has its own unique aesthetic that can lend to different applications. By considering the size of your space, the desired effect of the light itself, and the overall look you want to achieve, you can easily choose between semi-flush and flush mount lighting to make your room shine.

If you decide semi-flush pendant lights are the right choice for your home or business, Bicycle Glass offers handblown semi-flush fixtures made from locally sourced, 100% post consumer recycled glass. Available in various sizes, styles, and colors, we have the perfect fixture for any space. Pay us a visit and shop our collection today.

The Difference Between Semi-Flush and Flush Mount Lighting
Back to blog