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Design

Say Goodbye To The Boob Light – Awesome Flush Mounts For All Budgets

I feel pretty confident that over half of everyone reading this post has been victim to the “boob light” at some point in their life. You know the one…outdated metal trim, fluted or frosted glass, and of course the nipple (or more appropriately known as a finial). And look if you love them that’s great, but I’ve primarily seen them in rentals because they are generally super affordable, thus ideal to buy in bulk. This one is only $16 which I can understand is hard to pass up as a landlord. But if you are a renter or a homeowner that needs a flush mount style light PLEASE know they are other options for you! Aside from my short stint abroad, I have never not replaced the lighting in my rentals. It not only instantly modernizes a space but also makes it feel more personalized. Exhibit A – Caitlin’s Hallway:

I know we’ve said that 100x over so I’ll stop, but as proven above the results are UNDENIBALE. Now, replacing a builder-grade boob light isn’t the only reason someone might need a flush mount (or semi-flush mount) light. You might live in a building with low ceilings. Someone in your household could be extremely tall so chandeliers end up being a total nuisance (something I myself will never have to endure:)). Maybe you just like them! Whatever your reason may be, I tried my best to show you really solid (and pretty) options with a large range of price points (two are under $35!). Time to shop…

Under $125

design by emily edith bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: emily bowser’s beautiful hardworking, multipurpose room reveal (+ get ready for her diys)

Understandably there’s a lot of debate about whether one should invest in a rental or not. I’m probably not the best example for the latter but affordable lighting is your friend. Of course, tighter budgets are not exclusive to renters. I mean owning a house and having a mortgage costs a lot of money so finding more affordable lighting options is equally as valuable. Here are some of my favorite options:

1. White Metal Dome Adjustable Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Light: I love the organic modern feel of this one! It’s technically a semi-flush mount but perfect for a directional light look.
2. Eshe Rattan Semi Flush Mount: A great fixture to add some visual texture and soften a room.
3. Tapered Flush Mount Ceiling Light: This light is the ideal balance of modern and traditional. Plus that shade is going to give off a lovely glow.
4. REGNSKU: I am obsessed with the vintage versions of these! But for $28 how can you beat this one?
5. Semi Flushmount Ceiling Light: Another modern traditional light but with a bit more drama with that black shade:)
6. Scalloped Semi-Flush Mount Ceiling Light: Mallory bought this for her entry and loved the look of it (it’s pretty freaking cute). She did mention that it doesn’t give off a ton of light so this is better for a space that doesn’t need to be super well-lit. It’s more of a mood:)
7. Rattan Pendant: So cute! The scalloped bottom is such a nice detail.
8. Fabric Shade Drum Flushmount: Simple, elegant, and works with a ton of styles.
9. Drum Jute Flush Mount Light: I love the tone of this drum shade because it feels a little more unique than the standard white. Plus it’s on clearance for such a great price!

$125 To $200

design by kirsten blazek | photo by alex zarour of virtually here studios | from: tour creative director and founder of a1000xbetter kirsten blazek’s soulful, vintage filled home

As most things in life go, if you have a bit of a bigger budget you have some more options stylistically. Also, I tried to have most of these options sizable enough for a bedroom or kitchen but remember to look at the diameters:)

1. Natural Jute Woven Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Light: Natural, geometric, and pretty. What’s not to love?
2. Allegra Large Linen Flush Mount Light: I LOVE ceramic light fixtures and this one looks so beautiful with tons of texture.
3. Semi Flush Hand Carved Light Fixture: Perfectly vintage-inspired and I have looked around my home a couple of times to see where it could work.
4. Stevie Flush Mount: A great California Casual organic look.
5. Copa Tiered Natural Rattan Flush Mount Light: Naural with a hint of glam. So fun!
6. Rattan Semi Flush Mount: I love how neutral and subtle it looks at first but as you get closer you can see all that beautiful texture.
7. Nodes Flushmount: Very similar if not identical to the one in the photo above which proves it’s a perfect splash of understated modern glam.
8. Small Jake Flush: This one is on the smaller side but is so simple and elegant.
9. Liz Rattan Flush Mount: For me personally, if I were to get a rattan flush mount this would be a top contender. The style is right up my alley!

$200 To $500

As we up the price, here are three different types of rooms that each have a beautiful flush (and semi-flush) mount light. They truly are great in every room:)

1. Moxie Semi Flush: Another vintage-inspired light that I would happily have in my home. I think it would add an insane amount of style to whatever room it was in.
2. Tisse Oversized Woven Rattan Flush Mount Light: In the competition of my favorite rattan flush mount this might be number one. It’s from Athena Calderone’s Crate & Barrel collection so I shouldn’t be surprised.
3. Carneros Milk Glass Flush Mount: Industrial yet a little traditional (could easily work with a modern farmhouse style). I think this is such a cool light.
4. Cruz Flushmount: Now we’re getting a little more midcentury with that sleek, elegant cone shade. But I really love how the blub drops down from the center! Such a nice little touch.
5. Sago Rounded Rattan Flush Mount Light: This is the last rattan fixture that really has a hold on my heart. You don’t typically see rattan that shade of brown and it’s so chic.
6. Ariel Fluted Marble Flush Mount Light: What’s not to love?! And given it’s 12″ in diameter it’s a perfect and versatile light for a small space.
7. Rainier Brass Conical Flush Mount Light: The simplicity of the metal and the tone of the brass is so pretty!
8. Zara Semi Flush: A wonderful nod to a very Parisian vibe. Simple yet very luxe looking:)
9. Nodes Semi-Flushmount: I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. A bit modern brutalist feel and I love it.
10. Tiered Drum Semi-Flush Mount Fixture: This is a newer light from Rejuvenation and it’s beautiful! Classic, simple, and from the looks of it gives off a beautiful warm light.
11. Wally Flush Mount Light: A great trend-forward option!
12. Conical 16″ Drum Semi-Flush Mount: A very classic and simple piece that still feels very textured.

$500 To $900

There are definitely guidelines for flush mount sizing based on room size. The general rule is to add the width and length of a room together by feet and then convert those feet into inches, giving you your “ideal diameter size.” For example, a bedroom is 12′ x 12′ which equals 24 feet. That would then mean my ceiling light should be around 24 inches.

But of course, you don’t have to follow those rules! As you can see in Birdie’s old nursery on the left, that beautiful flush mount would likely be considered “too small” for that room but it looks beautiful. Then on the right, Megan Hopp used that same fixture where a recessed light might have gone. Actually, there are at least two of them in the room (you can’t see the other in this photo). Now, for a recessed light replacement, this fixture might be thought of as too big but look how awesome it looks! So take a look at the rules and then if you want, throw them out:)

1. Breton Flushmount: A classic style with the prettiest patina.
2. Astor 12″ Flush Mount: The perforated detail gives it a cool, interesting look.
3. Blair 10″ Flush Mount: I just love the shape and it comes in a bunch of other metals.
4. Turio Oversized Black Flush Mount Light: This is perfect if you want the vibe of a chandelier but don’t have a lot of ceiling height.
5. Capiz Flushmount: Love the honeycomb detail and would really draw your eye up.
6. Auden Blackened Brass Flush Mount Light: This one is right up my alley. I love a chic saucer light.
7. 6 Light Perforated Elegant Ceiling Flushmount: Another vintage-inspired piece that I adore. It also comes in a ton of other metal options.
8. Champignon 5-Light Flushmount: This is a great piece if you want a large light and a little whimsy:)
9. Ankeny 16″ Alabaster Flush Mount: This one is super chic and feels very Architectural Digest which you know I love.
10. Renato Flush: This says “sophisticated glam” in the best way.
11. Clark Flush Mount: As you can see from the photos above this is a real showstopper and is so pretty in person.
12. Lamina Polished Brass Flush Mount Light: Vintage-inspired, of course, and a really incredible piece to make a visual (but not overwhelming) impact.

Over $1000

design by asom home | styled by velinda hellenemily edith bowser, and julie rose | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: tour this eclectic midcentury modern house designed by asom home + 10 approachable design tricks anyone can do

You know I had to include some dream pieces:) But also we all have different budgets and these beauties might be just what you’re looking for. Let’s jump right in…

1. Rotonde X: Roman and Williams Guild sells only a few light fixtures but they are all so special. This one also comes in two sizes.
2. Ray 17″: Emily just got this one for an exciting project she’s been working on! It looks incredible and we can’t wait to show you.
3. Sarah Ceiling Fixture: When I saw this new Lostine line I nearly fell off my chair. I love these leather and brass pieces so much. The table lamps are also to die for.
4. 24″ Ormandy Semi-Flush Mount: You know Rejuvenation was going to be on here at least a few times because their style and quality are so good. And this one is so beautiful! The suspended semi-flush mount is such a great detail.
5. Flush Dome 20″: We’ve all been Allied Maker fans for years and Em got to work with the for the mountain house! This oversized piece is incredible and I love everything about it.
6. Uno Shade Flush Mount: I just think this one is awesome and there are so many ways to personalize it!!

If you were searching for a flush mount I hope you found one or at least this helped you to narrow down your search:)

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Asom Home | Styled by Velinda HellenEmily Edith Bowser, and Julie Rose | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Tour This Eclectic Midcentury Modern House Designed by ASOM Home + 10 Approachable Design Tricks Anyone Can Do

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🥰 Rusty
11 months ago

Refreshingly, I preferred most of the more affordable options to the crazy-priced ones.
Nice round-up, Jess.
Thanks 🤗

Erin Dae
11 months ago

I went down the rabbit hole of flush and semi-flush mount fixtures during my bathroom reno. I wanted a chandelier moment over my new beautiful soaking tub – but my ceilings weren’t high enough to pull it off and adhere to the electrical code. Enter the flush mount! It is a wet-rated fixture and it has strings of crystals on it to give me just the right amount of bling in the space while also ensuring my bathroom would pass final inspection! This post is giving me the nudge to replace a couple of other ceiling fixtures in our home that I have neglected (ignored) for too long. Thanks Jess!

Amanda
11 months ago

This post is so timely! I’m moving into a Chicago rental with boob lights one month from today and am already having internal debates about whether I’ll replace them. The cost of the light isn’t the issue, more the logistics of replacing (then re-replacing or leaving) the lights when I move out. Caitlin / blog readers, any insight into how to cost-effectively replace a light if you’re electrically illiterate?

Admin
11 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

oh my gosh YES thank you for asking!!! i’m sure other folks will have tips (please share!) but the biggest rec i have would be to get all your lights delivered and ready to install before calling your electrician. you can save a lot if they can stack their work!! case in point: i believe i paid about $200 for the removal/installation of both hall lights AND my bathroom light in 2021, but i had to pay the same price to switch out just my dining room light in 2023 as the electrician had to hit their minimums to justify the trip. i think the peace of mind from working with a licensed electrician is 100% worth it, too. i know it’ll be frustrating to drop another 400 bucks or so to swap things back when i move out (cause ya girl is never letting these go!!!) but i have been able to set aside money for that expense over time (only cents per day, long-term!). that said, jess is an incredible DIY lighting installation expert so it can definitely be learned and done well!!! i honestly would have just done it myself in a newer build, just don’t trust… Read more »

🥰 Rusty
11 months ago

In Australia, our electricity is 240 volts – twice the voltage in the USA – so we are NOT allowed to do anything with any electrical items.
Until I knww tge difference in voltage, I used to wonder how/why people in tge US wererewiring tgeir own lights. Now it makes sense.
Readers in other countries should be mindful of the voltage and rules where they live.

Lisa
11 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Oh this is fascinating and just made me look up the voltage in my own country. in most of europe its apparently 230 volts and at least where i live it is very very normal to change your lights yourself. for anything more involved you’d definitely get an electrician, but for lights? you either do it yourself, ask the internet how to or your friend’s friend Peter who knows how it works… so maybe its also a matter of custom? or idk.. here at least if you change your lights you just have 2-3 wires depending on the age of your house that are colour coded and that you then just need to connect with the same colour wires in your lamp so it really is very easy and if you did do something wrong every house/flat (except very ancient ones) something that in English you apparently call a “residual-current circuit breaker” i.e. a device that immediately shuts of the electricity in your house/flat in case anyting goes wrong so you do not get electrocuted or anything like that. So switching lights always felt safe and easy to me and I have always wondered how this works/why it is different… Read more »

🥰 Rusty
11 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

We have to have 2 RCD (residual currency device) switches by law.
Basically, your home insurance is null and void if you do electrical anything yourself, too.
Unfortunately, electricians (Aussie = “Sparky”) are very expensive, @ $120 p/hour minimum.😯

Lisa
11 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

ouuuh interesting! well if it makes you lose your insurance i can definitely understand why you wouldn’t risk it!! thanks for sharing – it’s always fun to learn about other places 🙂 (and sh— that is VERY expensive…!!)

🥰 Rusty
11 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

ALL trades (tradies) are expensive here, because of the huge salaries the mining industries pay. We have to compete with that!

Diane
11 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

As a landlord, I really do not want my tenants to change out lights. One of my rentals was built in 1951 and the wires are now quite short from changing out the dining room chandelier several times. Each time you rewire a light, you cut and shave a bit of wire off. Check with your landlord before changing them or you could have to pay an electrician to replace the wire all the way to the electrical panel.

Jose
11 months ago
Reply to  Diane

Not if I switch out the light and just take my nice fixture with me when I leave! The landlord doesn’t even HAVE to know you messed with the light if you just replace the original before your lease expires. Truthfully, my landlords always loved the improvements that I made and even paid me to leave them instead of replacing the original fixtures. And, for the record, I have replaced lights in every rental I lived in and rarely ever had to shorten any wiring.

Kelly
11 months ago

These posts are always so helpful! Thank you! (Also, number 2 and 3 in the $125 – $200 section are flipped. No big deal, but in case you want to edit.)

Cici Haus
11 months ago

I actually liked the most in the first and second tiers! ha. Requesting a roundup of chandeliers for a formal entryway. I have no idea what to do!

Lisa
11 months ago

Thank you!!!!

Ashley
11 months ago

We have the West Elm drum light and are actually looking to replace it, because bugs regularly get in there and you can see it through the bottom shade, gross.

Molly
11 months ago

I’ll also throw in a shout out to http://www.oldebricklighting.com – a small business that does incredible work for pretty fair pricing. They even did some custom alternations at no upcharge. (no affiliation, just a happy customer)

11 months ago
Reply to  Molly

Yes! I have 7.5′ ceilings and love our Olde Brick Lighting lights in our bedroom and hallway.

Denise
11 months ago
Reply to  Molly

Just bought a fixture from them recently and it is very nice! They have a beautiful selection of affordable lights.

Roberta Davis
11 months ago

My house is Boob Light Heaven! Arghhh! Lots of nice options here!

Jose
11 months ago
Reply to  Roberta Davis

There is no boob light heaven. Only boob light hell.

Nimmip
11 months ago

Hi, In my rental , I don’t have a ceiling outlet. Are there options out there that are plug-in and can be used as flush mounts?

Alexandra
11 months ago
Reply to  Nimmip

If you’re unable to hardwire a fixture, your best bet might be battery operated lightbulbs with a remote. Not every flushmount featured here would work, but I imagine a drum shade or glass orb type shape would cover them well enough.

🥰 Rusty
11 months ago
Reply to  Alexandra

IKEA has a bunch of options.

Amy
11 months ago

Any chance we could get a post on recommended light bulbs? I love what a beautiful fixture can do to enliven a room, but the wrong light bulbs can ruin it all! I’ve read the “rules” about picking bulbs that provides different qualities, but find, for instance, that every 2700k bulb I try provides light that is too orange, too pink, etc. Drives me crazy (and it’s too expensive to keep experimenting)! I honestly miss the uniformity and reliable color quality of old incandescents from room to room with standard bulbs, candelabras, etc.

pam
11 months ago
Reply to  Amy

I miss the color quality of incandescent bulbs too! I had to put lens on my recessed LED fixtures to cut down on glare. But I love how small they are and how little heat they emit. For my other fixtures, I personally prefer Philips LED light bulbs, although you may need to switch out your dimmer switches for the full range of light. And, for those hard-wired fixtures, I like Lutron’s LED+ dimmers (I use their DIVA style: DVCL 153P or their DVELV-300P).

pam
11 months ago
Reply to  pam

I just remembered – one of my pendants came with Emery Allen bulbs and they’re really nice

11 months ago
Reply to  Amy

We switched out most of our lightbulbs to smart bulbs and put them on the incandescent setting. I was hesitant at first, but it’s a game changer. I’ve also found most Ikea lightbulbs to be a nice color.

Jose
11 months ago
Reply to  Amy

Thank you! I have been in kelvin hell for the past year, searching for something in a NORMAL white range for my bathroom sconces. I have bought and returned dozens of types of bulbs over the last year. Babe, you CAN return them! The struggle was even harder because I need candelabra bulbs for those sconces, meaning the limited options were either orange, yellow and blue. I needed a 3000k to 4000k bulb that seemingly did not exist.
Then just last week I found new 3500k bulbs at HD that are called TRUE WHITE! They even have white filament and don’t have text on the glass (another bugaboo) so I am in HEAVEN. I have never felt so seen.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Feit-Electric-60-Watt-Equivalent-B10-E12-Candelabra-Dim-White-Filament-Clear-Glass-Chandelier-LED-Light-Bulb-True-White-3500K-3-Pack-CTC60935CAWFILHDRP-3/323286459

Sam
11 months ago

nice round up of options.
But if you are going to highlight a word, please spell it correctly. UNDENIBALE

CMaria
11 months ago

Love these options, but the glass ball light in the very first picture isn’t referenced anywhere in this article, or the linked Mulitpurpose room article. Do you have a source for that?

Sheila
11 months ago
Reply to  CMaria

Down in the comments from that multipurpose room article (2 years ago), someone asked about that light fixture and Emily Bowser replied, “I got it from a store in North Hollywood called Practical Props when we first renovated 4+ years ago. Not sure if they still have it, hope that helps.”

CMaria
11 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Amazing! I really appreciate you taking the time to look for it! Thank you.

SARAH
11 months ago

Challenge for EHD! Attractive ceiling fans for 8-9’H ceilings! Ceiling fans = less energy than turning on the AC

wally
11 months ago
Reply to  SARAH

I second this. I live in a rental with ceiling fans in almost every room. Some are vintage – none are cute. I live in Chicago, so ceiling fans are super helpful when it is warm (since I don’t have central air).

Jose
11 months ago
Reply to  SARAH

Not fair. the EHD team are not miracle workers. Attractive ceiling fans do not exist. I am unsure why, but they are seemingly impossible to design. Which is a huge frustration when the hub HAS to have one to sleep.

Nicolette
11 months ago
Reply to  SARAH

I have ceiling fans in every room (it gets HOT where I live) and I just try to make them fade away rather than call attention. White, slim design with no bells or whistles

Jennifer
11 months ago

Is there a good dupe for the Clark flush mount? Would love it for over my kitchen sink but it’s out of the budget.

🥰 Rusty
11 months ago
Reply to  Jennifer

Try using Google lense??

Jen
11 months ago

Most of these are gold/brass tones. Any recs for one in silver/nickel? I have builder grade polished nickel hardware on everything else, and it isn’t practical to replace all of it.

Kira
11 months ago
Reply to  Jen

Hi Jen – if you click through to the links, a lot of the ones shown have options for nickel or matte black!

Stephanie
11 months ago

Tragically the adorable rattan Anthropologie flushmount takes a bulb that is about as bright as a nightlight (only 9w). I learned this the hard way :’(

Cottage on the river.
11 months ago

Great post. I am searching for a semi flush or short pendant light that works for an angled ceiling in a very small entry (5′ x 5′). It’s a summer cottage so not looking to spend over $250 (less is better). Ceilings are 10′ at highest point but about 8’6″ where light would be hanging. Anyone have a suggestion?

Michele Gagnon
11 months ago

Very informative and resourceful! Bought a new builder house and there is 2 recessed lights, 6 feet apart in the entrance hallway..Hallway is narrow and ceiling is 12 feet high.. Could I switch them to 2 flushmount or semi Flushmount .. even though they are 2 lights close to each other?

thanks for your time!

ali
11 months ago
Reply to  Michele Gagnon

yes

MD
11 months ago

Thank you for doing all the work for us!

11 months ago

Those mount lights are gorgeous! I love the gold touches. You showed a lot of good examples! Lots of inspiration.

11 months ago

Thank you for the round-up, I’m looking for a semi-flush ceiling light: it’s so refreshing to see something other than Rejuvenation being showcased.

Victoria
11 months ago

So many good options! Any advice for how many lights a hallway might need? My very long hall (25 ft) has five awful light fixtures. Before I buy all new fixtures, is this too many? It seems like three would do. Five seems almost too runway-like.

Liz
11 months ago

Love all of these! We’re gut renovating our house and looking for a semi-flush for a bedroom-turned-office with a sloped ceiling.

Separately, I’m looking for a bathroom vanity light and found what might be called an “aged” boob light 😬
https://www.visualcomfort.com/rosehill-linear-wall-light-arn2013/

Bridget
11 months ago

On this I have to disagree. My opinion on the standard flush mount globe changed when I saw a well known home blogger sell her house with the basic light fixture in bedrooms and closets. They are a perfectly acceptable basic lighting fixture. Furthermore, they aren’t an eyesore.

I did put beautiful semi flush mount fixtures in some areas of our home, but I also did the basic white light fixture (2 for $30) for the bedrooms, basement, and closets. We have white ceilings and they disappear.

I’m happy to see beautiful alternatives but I’d also love to see an end to the term “boob light” and the negative connotations that go with these affordable lighting fixtures. One can promote beauty without knocking an affordable, perfectly fine lighting fixture that is accessible to most people.

Cathy B
11 months ago

Hi Jess/everyone, Have you ever purchased anything from the Shades of Light catalog/website? I think their selection is excellent. I have a long wish list but I haven’t ordered anything. I can’t make up my mind!