Basically, I hate all of the ceiling fixtures in my house.
March 13, 2008 1:21 PM   Subscribe

I need suggestions on replacing light fixtures in my home. I am looking for advice and opinions on what to do with ceiling fixtures/lighting in relatively small rooms.

Most of the rooms in my house are pretty small, with relatively low ceilings. My house is about 1250 sq ft, has 3 bedrooms. and was built in the 1950s. I am having a really hard time making decisions about what to do with the fixtures.

The bedroom and the kitchen both had lights and ceiling fans. The house has central air, so I am thinking about removing both of the fans and haven't decided what to do about the fixtures. In the kitchen, the ceiling space is so limited that you couldn't even open some cabinet doors while the fan was running so I am definitely getting rid of the fan there.

I am considering the following options for the kitchen, and 3 bedrooms that all have ceiling fixtures:

Kitchen: regular fixture, recessed lighting, or "modern track lighting"
Bedrooms: regular fixtures or removing the fixtures entirely and just having floor or table lamps.

I have looked a lot at ceiling fixtures and don't find much I like. The only place I've really found some stuff I like is Restoration Hardware. And because the room are small and the ceilings are not high, you really notice the fixtures.

Please let me know what you've done to modernize light fixtures in your home and especially if you are working with small spaces. Money isn't a huge issue, I would rather hire an electrician to put in recessed lighting than have a fixture there that I don't like.
posted by hazyspring to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'd keep the fans in the bedroom - helps move the hot/cold air around - can make heating/cooling more efficient. Most ceiling fans have winter/summer switches to accomplish this. Update them if they are old fashioned and not to your liking. Plus, the fans can really cool off a room in the summer when you don't want to run the central AC.
posted by jerseygirl at 1:35 PM on March 13, 2008

Best answer: You could try the lighting advice page at Rejuvenation here. Enter the specs on each room and see what they come up with. They have both '50s era and contemporary fixtures.
posted by lunaazul at 2:53 PM on March 13, 2008

I second Rejuvenation. They have some wonderful retro light fixtures as well which would work with your 50s house. The catalog is full of amazing stuff - if you go online and order a catalog you should have it within a week.
posted by Ostara at 4:37 PM on March 13, 2008

It's not a direct answer to your question but I'd like to alert you to some thing that surprised me when we did something similar recently.

A lot (maybe 'almost all') of recessed down lighting is halogen based. These produce a lot of heat and as a result you need to do one of two things to reduce the associated fire hazard : place a fireproof enclosure over the top each one or ; cut holes in the ceiling insulation (I'm not an electrician so don't take my word for that but that's what I understand).

In fact we weren't presented with the fireproof enclosure option is was simply 'cut holes in the ceiling insulation'. This sounded like madness - first use a type of bulb which is pretty power hungry to start with and then cut holes in your ceiling insulation so that your room requires more power to heat it.

There are other, non-halogen, types of recessed down lighters (eg and maybe the fireproof enclosure option is the way to go if you want halogens but just be alert to this type of thing when reviewing options because it amazed me how low a priority was placed on power consumption when discussing options with the architect/lighting designers.
posted by southof40 at 4:43 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

As for fixtures, I love Hubbardton Forge. They can be expensive, but their ceiling fixtures were the only ones I liked for our foyer and hall after months of searching (no nipples!). I don't care for their floor or table lamps which are more craftsman than I like, but a lot of their sconces, pendants and ceiling fixtures are nice and sleek.
posted by evening at 5:53 PM on March 13, 2008

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