Ideas + Inspiration

Drop Ceiling Lighting Ideas

Drop ceilings, or suspended ceilings, add a modern architectural touch in homes and can offer some great options for lighting. Recessed lighting and cove lighting can add warm and diffuse ambient light to your space and can be combined with wall sconces or lamps to create layered lighting. Soffit lighting or or a drop hiding a ceiling beam is an ideal place to mount a pendant fixture which draws attention and focus to the pendant and to the overall interesting architectural design of your ceiling.

Finding Balance

Above bed hotel lighting
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A drop ceiling is a great place to add cove lighting for a warm ambient glow. Consider adding a few can lights to even out the light and provide balance for your room and place a lamp at your bedside for task lighting.

Split the Difference

Pendant lighting for drop ceilings.
Nula Pendant Light from Hinkley Lighting

A soffit ceiling can be the perfect place to suspend a stylish pendant light. When the drop ceiling separates two distinct spaces, choose a pendant light that reflects the character and ambiance of both areas for a cohesive design and great ambient illumination.

Backdrop Ceiling

Drop Ceiling sputnik lighting.
Sputnik Chandeliers

Use your drop ceiling as a backdrop to highlight a statement chandelier, and enhance the overall lighting with wall sconces that share design elements with it. Create a stylish seating area by arranging a sofa and armchairs around a coffee table centered under the chandelier.


Drop ceiling bathroom lighting ideas
Vanity Lighting

Recessed lights are an excellent addition to a drop ceiling in your bathroom. Since they are typically darker rooms, can lights will add some much-needed brightness and can be combined with wall sconces around the vanity for effective layered lighting.

Working Together

Bathroom drop ceiling lighting ideas.
Tao Wall Sconce By Kichler

Drop ceilings allow for so many options for lighting. Instead of installing lighting fixtures directly on the drop ceiling, consider adding wall sconces that will direct light upward and highlight the architectural features of your ceiling. Add recessed lights on either side for even more ambient illumination.

At Attention

Dining room drop ceiling lighting
Dining Room Chandeliers

If your suspended ceilings are around the perimeter of your room, draw attention to the added height in the center by installing a low-hanging pendant or chandelier. Offset the low light with can lights in the drop ceiling for perfect layered lighting.

Cutting Edge

Modern bedroom over bed lighting ideas
Gun Table Lamp from FLOS

Showcase the height variations of your ceiling by adding cove lighting around the edges of the drop ceiling for downlighting. With the addition of recessed lights and a ceiling fan, your bedroom will be a perfectly lit and seriously relaxing retreat.

Contemporary Combo

drop ceiling chandelier ideas
Bowery 3-Tier LED Chandelier By Fredrick Ramond

For a contemporary space, hang a modern chandelier with a minimal, yet visually compelling design over your seating area. Complement the chandelier with can lights at the edges of your drop ceiling to highlight a colorful wall mural or interesting artwork.

Group Dynamics

Living Room led cluster pendant ideas
Urban Mini LED Pendant Light from Axolight

Create a modern living room by grouping multiple pendant lights in the upper portion of your ceiling and installing a linear arrangement of can lights in the suspended ceiling. Hang the pendants at different heights to create an interesting design and visual appeal.

Having drop ceilings can add so many lighting options for your entire home. From recessed lightings to pendant lights, they offer a jumping-off point to base your whole lighting scheme on. Use them to add style to your space or to add the finishing touch for perfect layered lighting. For more YLighting ideas, see our Ceiling Lighting Ideas.

For even more, follow our favorite Modern Ceiling Lighting ideas on Pinterest:

Team Y

Team Y

Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.

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