Lighting ideas for vaulted ceilings

Updated February 21, 2017

Vaulted ceilings are a quick selling point in a home thanks to the open feeling it provides. Lighting a room with vaulted ceilings, however, can be tricky. Typical lamps may offer localised light but does nothing for utilising the height and openness of the space. Torchieres or torch lamps are a common choice, but it does not flatter the vaulted ceiling so much as offer simple upward lighting. Some options are available that both light and flatter the beauty of a space with vaulted ceilings.


Vaulted ceilings allow for a bit of drama if you are open to it. Chandeliers come in a variety of styles and sizes to suit nearly every space and sensibility. The use of a chandelier with a vaulted ceiling will accent the room's height and volume by casting light both upward and across the room. This type of lighting also makes a clear statement like a crown jewel symbolising the room's signature style.


Using natural light via a skylight will save on the electric bill and bring a bright, warm light source to the room. This lighting method will bring attention upward, using and highlighting the full height of the ceiling. Skylights create a voluminous and open feeling to a room, if used correctly. This is great for the day but in the evening, other lighting options are necessary to light the space sufficiently.

Ceiling Fan

Using a ceiling fan, lowered to an appropriate level from a vaulted ceiling, can offer style and comfort. Heating and cooling costs can make vaulted ceiling an ongoing expense. Using ceiling fans, however, can adjust the temperature in the room to a more comfortable level while doing it stylishly. This type of lighting is more accessible and casual than something as striking as a chandelier. It is also more easily accessible for cleaning and maintenance.

Lighted Crown Molding

Crown moulding installed around the borders of a room with a vaulted ceiling can hide rope lighting inside. The effect will be a warm glow upwards along the ceiling itself that will radiate throughout the room, creating a cosy and romantic ambience while still keeping it airy and open. This is excellent for social gathering areas like dining rooms and living rooms.

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About the Author

Based in Southern California, Daniel Holzer has been a freelance writer specializing in labor issues, personal finance and green living since 2004. His recent work has appeared online at Green Your Apartment and other websites. Holzer studied English literature at California State University, Fullerton.