Tray ceiling lighting ideas

Written by j. lang wood
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Tray ceiling lighting ideas
A well-designed chandelier can enhance the look of a tray ceiling. (Chandlier image by NICS Escapee from

A tray ceiling is an architectural feature that adds a variation in ceiling height to add interest, spaciousness and a touch of luxury to a room. Tray ceilings can vary in design from the very subtle to the ornate and highly decorated. Tray ceilings can be painted a darker colour to enhance the recessed look or decorated with murals. You can create additional effects by adding crown moulding and subtle lighting to your tray ceiling.

Recessed Can Lights

Can lights are a type of recessed lighting that lies flat against the surface of the area where they are installed. Most can lights used in home construction have a fixed socket that points downward, but recessed can lights now come in a variety of options, including those with dimming capability, multi-light cans, and directional cans. Directional can lights can be swivelled to light decorative accents and to create different mood effects. Recessed can lights can be easily installed at desired points in the tray ceiling.

Rope Lighting

Rope lighting is often used behind crown moulding to create subtle lighting effects for tray ceilings, according to Rope lighting is a flexible tube of small lights strung in a line that can be tucked behind crown moulding to give off a quiet glow that is ideal for enhancing tray ceilings. The lights come in a variety of colours as well to enhance room colour and provide mood enhancement.

Miniature Track Lighting

Track lighting calls to mind the large lights used in the past to highlight artwork and other objects in a room, but today's track lighting also comes in a miniature variety used to enhance the drama of a tray ceiling and focus on design details, like murals painted within the tray, faux finish designs or other design features in the room. Miniature track lighting comes in low voltage to provide soft lighting that enhances the tray ceiling effect.


Adding a gorgeous chandelier can add drama and elegance to any tray ceiling. Antique-style chandeliers can give the room a traditional look while modern designed chandeliers can create an upbeat and forward-looking feel. Today's chandeliers come in a variety of different styles and materials that, combined with crown moulding and faux finished paint, can utilise tray ceiling designs to their best effect in a room.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting units can also hang from a tray ceiling for a simple yet dramatic effect. Burnished metalwork and unusual shapes can add a modern quality while still utilising the elegant design provided by the ceiling trays.

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