Lighting Solutions for a Pitched Ceiling

Updated February 21, 2017

A pitched or cathedral ceiling refers to a ceiling that isn't flat; instead it slopes upward, often higher than most typical ceilings. Such a ceiling is truly a "gift" to a room when it comes to design as it gives a room instant uniqueness and flair. It can pose a slight challenge when it comes to lighting a room; however, you can overcome this challenge easily with a few strategies.

Hanging Lamp

A hanging lamp is a necessity in a room with a pitched ceiling as it lights the upper portions of the ceiling, preventing the room from looking like a cave. For a room with a pitched ceiling, a hanging lamp is a "base lighting fixture." It lights the room from the centre outwards, throwing an equal amount of light to all top corners of the room. With many hanging lamps, you can vary the length of the cord or chain that it hangs from, allowing the light to descend higher or lower. Hanging lamps come in a variety of styles, from chandeliers to pendant lamps to ceiling fans with affixed bulbs.

Natural Light

If at all possible, try to maximise the natural light in the room. The rooms with the best lighting designs are the ones that have a healthy balance of natural and artificial lights. For example, consider installing a window on one of the walls perpendicular to the ceiling, just beneath the pitch, which will not only let in a great deal of light, but aesthetically it will give the pitched ceiling an even greater sense of balance. For a truly striking look, consider installing skylights along the slanted or curved panels of the ceiling to give the entire room a distinctive look and let in a great deal of light.

Track Lighting

Track lighting is in many ways an especially appropriate solution for rooms with pitched ceilings as you can angle designated bulbs of the track lighting to various points of interest in the room. For example, on a typical three-bulb section of track lighting, you could angle one bulb directly at a statue or vase of interest in the room, another bulb at a reading corner and the final bulb at a bookcase or mirror. Track lighting allows you to easily eliminate the shadows and dreary spots that a room with recessed lighting sometimes creates.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."