Flush mount lights are a sleek yet functional type of lighting designed specifically for kitchens. As the name suggests, these fixtures mount directly to the ceiling with the trim or diffuser lying flush with the surface. This provides an understated, minimalist look compared to hanging pendant lights or elaborate chandeliers.
The defining feature of flush mount kitchen lights is their ability to cast light directly downward. This focused downlight illuminates countertops, islands, and other work zones where focused task lighting is needed. Flush mounts provide excellent ambient lighting while avoiding the pitfalls of overhead lighting that can create shadows and glare while cooking or prepping food.
How Flush Mounts Differ from Other Kitchen Lighting
There are several types of kitchen lighting to consider, each with their own pros and cons. Here’s how flush mount lights are unique:
- Pendant lights hang down from the ceiling, obstructing headroom and collecting dust and grease from cooking vapors.
- Chandeliers are large and ornate fixtures that tend to suit formal dining rooms better than casual kitchens.
- Recessed lights are installed into the ceiling cavity so the fixture is hidden. They create pools of light but lack the stylish appeal of flush mounts.
- Flush mount lights combine form and function. They offer the focused downlight of recessed cans with the stylish appeal of pendants in a low profile design.
Pros of Flush Mount Lights
There are several benefits that make flush mount lights a smart choice for kitchens:
- Sleek, minimalist aesthetic fits contemporary kitchen designs.
- Don’t obstruct headroom or collect dust/grease like hanging pendants.
- Perfect for kitchens with low 8-9 foot ceilings; no awkward hanging wires.
- Bright focused light where its needed most over countertops and islands.
- Scale small fixtures to fit tight spaces like galley kitchens.
Benefits of Flush Mount Lights in Kitchens
Let’s explore why flush mount lights are so well-suited for kitchen illumination:
Focused Illumination for Tasks
Kitchens require bright, shadow-free lighting for food preparation tasks. Flush mount fixtures cast light directly downward onto countertops, stoves, and sinks where you need it most. This prevents squinting, eye strain, and injuries while chopping, cutting, or cooking.
Don’t Obstruct Movement
Pendant lights, chandeliers, and hanging lamps often impede movement in the kitchen. You can easily bang your head on hanging lights when reaching for cabinets or cooking over the stove. Flush mounts don’t hang down so they stay out of the way.
The clean, streamlined look of flush mounts blends seamlessly into contemporary kitchens. Their low profile doesn’t detract from modern backsplashes and tiles. Flush mount lights complement granite, marble, and other decorative countertops without competing for attention.
Perfect for Low Ceilings
Kitchens with limited ceiling height are common in apartments, condos, and bungalows. Flush mount lights position neatly against the ceiling, avoiding any awkward hanging wires or chains. This makes them an ideal choice when space is at a premium.
Brighten Small Kitchens
Galley kitchens and kitchenettes lack square footage but still require adequate lighting. Flush mount fixtures maximize illumination in tight footprints. Smaller flush mounts with low lumen output prevent overpowering tiny kitchens with too much brightness.
Considerations When Choosing Flush Mounts
Keep these key factors in mind when selecting flush mounted kitchen lights:
Flush mounts look best centered precisely on the kitchen ceiling. Measure the ceiling area or focal points like islands accurately when choosing fixture sizes. An incorrectly sized light looks awkward and fails to illuminate properly.
Consider the room size, ceiling height, and tasks when calculating lumen output. Insufficient light makes cooking difficult; excessive brightness causes glare. Flush mounts from 1000 – 4000 lumens are common for kitchen use.
Match Decor Styles
Flush mounts come in a range of decorative styles – modern, contemporary, transitional, rustic, industrial, etc. Choose light finishes and glass/metal tones that coordinate with your cabinetry, floors, and backsplash.
You can choose cool white light for an energetic look or warm white for a cozy ambiance. Adjustable color temperature lets you customize between warm and cool.
Energy Efficient LEDs
LED flush mount kitchen lights last up to 50,000 hours and use up to 80% less energy than halogen or incandescent. This makes them the most cost-efficient lighting option.
Hardwired vs Plug-In
Permanent hardwired installation is typical, but some flush mounts plug in to outlets for greater flexibility. Consider your electrical setup when choosing mounting options.
Flush Mount Lighting Design Tips
Use these design strategies when installing flush mounted kitchen lights:
Center Over Key Areas
Focus flush mounts over the sink, stove, island, and other task zones where illumination is needed most. Center larger fixtures evenly on the ceiling.
Use Multiple Lights
A single flush mount won’t provide sufficient general lighting. Use several to brighten up the full kitchen. Space multiple small fixtures evenly instead of one large one.
Combine With Recessed Lights
Add recessed can lights to amplify overall light levels. Flush mounts provide task lighting; recessed lights offer ambient fill lighting.
Layer the Lighting
In addition to flush mounts, incorporate pendant lights over islands and sconces on nearby walls for a layered lighting approach.
Highlight Architectural Details
Use linear or rail flush mounted lights to accentuate lines, shapes, and textures in backsplashes and decorative tilework.
Wall Sconces for Accent
Flank flush mounts over islands or the sink with matching wall sconces. This boosts light levels while adding decorative flair.
Styles of Flush Mount Kitchen Lights
Flush mounts come in an array of shapes, sizes, and styles. Consider these popular options:
Simple Dome Shapes
Dome style flush mount lights feature rounded shapes with metal or glass lamp shades. The simplified dome shape suits modern, contemporary kitchen designs.
Bowl or Half-Dome Shades
Glass bowl or half-dome diffusers soften and distribute flush mount light. The rounded bottom directs illumination downward where needed.
For traditional kitchens, flush mount lantern lights evoke an old-world cottage feel. Choose metal finishes like antique brass or weathered tin.
Tinted, frosted, or hammered glass lamp shades diffuse flush mount light beautifully. Glass filters harsh glare.
Exposed Bulb Styles
Industrial flush mounts feature visible filament bulbs for an edgy look. Combine with black metals and Edison bulbs.
Modern Geometric Shapes
Streamlined rectangular or square flush mount fixtures provide contemporary style. Lean toward minimalist forms and polished metals.
How to Install Flush Mount Lights
Follow this process to install flush mount kitchen lights safely and correctly:
Turn Off Power
Turn off power at the circuit breaker before doing any electrical work. Use a non-contact voltage tester to confirm power is off.
Follow Electrical Safety
Adhere to all guidelines including wearing rubber soled shoes and eye protection when wiring.
Assess the Ceiling Box
The existing electrical box must be rated to safely hold the flush mount’s weight. Plastic boxes won’t suffice for large heavy fixtures.
Secure the Base
Screw the flush mount base tightly to the ceiling electrical box for a secure mount.
Connect fixture wires to supply wires correctly using wire nuts of proper size. Follow the connector cap instructions.
Attach Bulb & Trim
Insert the bulb, attach glass or metal trim, then restore power at the breaker once everything is secured.
Flush vs. Semi-Flush vs. Recessed Lights
How do other popular kitchen lighting options like semi-flush and recessed lights compare to flush mounts?
- Descend slightly from the ceiling like mini-pendants.
- Provide more decor than flush mounts but less than pendants.
- The light socket is visible; bulbs are not recessed.
- Offer a transitional option between flush and pendant lights.
- Recessed into ceiling cavities so the fixture itself is hidden.
- Cast pool circles of light; not as focused as flush mounts.
- Provide ambient fill lighting; lack decorative style of flush mounts.
- Can be installed to supplement flush mount task lighting.
Flush mounted lights are a versatile kitchen lighting solution. They provide excellent task lighting under cabinets and islands. Their minimalist low profile blends into both modern and traditional kitchens.
When selecting flush mount kitchen lights, choose fixtures sized appropriately for each space. Calculate required lumens based on room dimensions and tasks performed. Layer lights and combine with recessed cans for well-rounded illumination.
Install flush mount kitchen lights properly using sturdy electrical boxes. Follow all electrical guidelines carefully. Place lights thoughtfully over key work zones for safety and convenience. Flush mounted lighting illuminates kitchen tasks beautifully without obstructing movements or cluttering the view.