3 Ways to Light a Coffered Ceiling


The drama of a coffered ceiling can be made even more eye-catching when proper lighting is used. One major difference with coffered ceilings, compared to regular flat ceilings, is that usually less is more. Since this ceiling is already a statement on its own, you should approach the idea of lighting with a more minimalist viewpoint in mind. Special thanks to Jason Tilton of Fanatic Finish for the infographic below about coffered ceilings.

Here are 3 ways you can incorporate beautiful lighting into your coffered ceiling.

Choose Indirect Lighting for a Subdued Ambiance

By far one of the most attractive and popular lighting ideas for coffered ceilings is indirect lighting. Usually these are recessed puck lights located within the coffered box beam and facing parallel to the floor. This doesn’t just shine light straight down in a harsh manner, but rather creates a warm ambiance and lights up the ceiling. More subdued lighting like this is wonderful for living rooms and dens where dimmed (or dimmable) lighting is a good choice.

Select Just  One or Two Statement Hanging Lights

If you decide to use hanging lighting be sure you don’t go overboard with how many lights you decide to hang. A coffered ceiling is already very imposing so instead of the ceiling and multiple lights fighting for attention limit hanging lights to just one or two. In the average room having the subdued indirect lighting mentioned above combined with one centered statement chandelier will provide plenty of light and actually draw the eye to the ceiling.

Add Recessed Lighting Around the Coffered Boxes

This unique approach to lighting works well on coffered ceilings that have a wide border between the coffers and the walls. Instead of adding lighting within the ceiling, add recessed lighting around the outside of the coffered portion. This still provides plenty of lighting and doesn’t at all detract from the coffered ceiling itself. Going this route is ideal for those that have designed to paint the inside of their coffers for added effect.

Before installing coffered ceilings it is a good idea to have some idea of how you’d like the lighting to be. This saves the potential issue of badly placed joists or other construction becoming obstacles, especially for coffer centered recessed lighting. It is a good idea to discuss your lighting plans with the contractor building your ceiling prior to them starting construction.