How To Choose A Light For Suspended Ceilings: Types + Review Of The Best Brands

Aesthetic, attractive in appearance and practical, stretching canvases are considered the optimal way to finish a ceiling. But when it comes to designing a lighting system for them, there are problems associated with the peculiarities of the materials used in the process of manufacturing stretch structures.

You do not know how to choose the best fixtures for stretch ceilings and which will be safe in operation?

We will help you understand this issue - in this article we will find out what you must necessarily consider when choosing devices, consider suitable types of fixtures, allocate reliable and proven manufacturers of lighting technology.

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The reason is that its surface consists of PVC-film, glass fabric or fabrics that cannot withstand heat over 60°C.

If you buy the first device and type of bulb in a store without paying attention to the characteristics of the devices, there is a big risk that it will eventually burn the surface.

It can also become warped and saggy, with a yellow color and unpleasant odour when the light is turned on.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Teel will be slightly more resistant to temperature changes, but the vinyl or glossy surface of the film may quickly crack, lose its shape and primary elasticity

That is why the lights installed in a stretch ceiling should be low-powered and produce a minimal amount of heat.

It is advisable that the supporting body of the devices is made of thermally safe raw materials in order to prevent the heat radiated by the filament from spreading to the ceiling.

Preferred light fixtures

Discussion of the most suitable types of lighting is necessary when the ceiling is installed or when the room is designed.

The main restrictions concern:

  • power;
  • bulky;
  • the type of mounting.

These characteristics must be compared to the specific construction and type of finish of the ceiling.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Fixtures are cut into the suspended ceilings and connected to the fittings built into the base surface

Wiring and fixtures are installed before the actual installation. For this reason, the layout and the right number of light sources must also be thought out in advance. In this case, several varieties of lamps will be appropriate.

No. 1 - universal spot devices

Point lamps with a tensioned canvas are the classic and most common combination. The devices are suitable for any room height, even if they are critically low.

The body of the products can protrude slightly beyond the ceiling plane or be completely embedded into the surface, merging with the canvas.

They are used both for highlighting individual areas and as general room lighting (with at least one device per 1-1.5 m²). They form interesting lighting scenarios, giving the interior design a special personality.

The spotlights are characterised by numerous advantages:

  • affordable;
  • easy installation;
  • low heating level;
  • free design;
  • cost effective electricity consumption;
  • resistant to humidity due to closed, tight construction;
  • possible to control the light flow direction.

The way compact spotlights are installed depends on their type. Recessed spotlights are mounted by means of a spring mount that is inserted into a previously prepared hole.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

In the recess, the spring is straightened out, pressing the construction tightly to the ceiling. The opening is closed on the outside with a decorative cover. A gap of at least 7 cm must be left between the main ceiling covering and the suspended ceiling covering for recessed fixtures

Attached adjustable uprights are used for mounting the recessed fixtures. Thermal rings are glued in the marked areas, hiding under the edge of the equipment. They help to fix the body and further prevent heat exchange between the fixture and the material.

To be able to adjust the direction of light, you can pick up swiveling models.

No. 2 - original suspended designs

Pendant fixtures are suitable for large spaces, but are not recommended for use in rooms with low ceilings. They give a diffused or directional light flow, illuminate the room perfectly, emitting a powerful bright light.

There is no risk of damaging the tensioned structure, since the body of the device and the canvas are placed at a safe distance from each other.

The chandelier must not be excessively high in weight. You should also pay attention to the horns and lamps. It is desirable that they face downwards, otherwise overheating of the membrane and glare on glossy surfaces cannot be excluded.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Hung ceiling luminaires allow to drastically change the room: add luxury, visually decrease or expand the area, originally design the working areas

This category includes track fixtures, lamps and chandeliers suspended from a fixed hook made of fittings embedded in the base ceiling.

The frame of the product is held on a decorative chain, rope or rod of 0.2 to 1.5 m length. The attachment mechanism is hidden behind the leaf, only the suspension part and the reinforcing ring are left outside.

Main advantages of the pendant luminaires:

  • uncomplicated installation;
  • aesthetic appeal;
  • wide diffusion angle;
  • compatible with all types of lamps;
  • capable of height adjustment;
  • harmonious combination with different interior styles;
  • fast cooling of bulbs;
  • absolute risk of web damage, provided sufficient suspension length.

Hung-type luminaires are impressive in a variety of colors, designs, decorations. The body is made of metal, plastic materials, glass, wood.

Lamps are made in the form of spheres, geometric figures, curly stems, interesting compositions. The design is modular, independent, rotating, stationary.

No. 3 - bright raster lights

Modular raster lights of fluorescent type are allocated in a separate category. They are cellular metal constructions equipped with a special reflecting grid that diffuses light.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Fixtures of square or rectangular shape provide bright uniform lighting appropriate for large spacious rooms. Their design has no designer originality: the models differ only in the type of profile of the mirror plate

This kind of luminaires has the following advantages:

  • simplified mounting and dismounting system;
  • additional protection for the lamps;
  • mobile size and construction;
  • strong, minimalist design.

For home furnishing this kind of variant is not always advisable. But for the working rooms, offices, trading platforms, exhibition halls, dressing rooms, raster lighting fixtures will be a perfect choice.

No. 4 - LED strip for contour lighting

One of the most original and spectacular types of lighting is LED strip glued to the surface of the cloth. It is mostly used as additional decorative lighting of rooms.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

When combining LED strips with other more powerful lighting devices it is possible to create unique lighting patterns, 3D paintings, contours, complex patterns

A few manufacturers offer models with 120-240 bulbs, which are quite capable of handling the role of the main light source. They emit no heat when lit, which makes them absolutely safe for PVC-film and fabric ceilings.

Benefits of LED strips:

  • compact size, flexibility, light weight;
  • easy fixing in hard to reach areas;
  • low power consumption;
  • low light output;
  • dimming, color;
  • large working life even in long hours of continuous use.

The LED strip has many luminous crystals attached to a circuit board. Their number and packing density determine the power of the circuit.

LED strips may have moisture-resistant and conventional coating, equipped with LEDs of different colors. They often have a dimmer function.

Optimal types of bulbs

Each type of light corresponds to a certain type of bulb. For example, incandescent bulbs are not acceptable in LED models. It is important to take this into account when choosing products.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Energy-saving, LED, halogen light sources, incandescent lamps, fiber optic filaments

In general, any light source is suitable for tension structures, but with several clarifications:

  • it is better to give preference to frosted bulbs;
  • in spotlights should not use incandescent lamps;
  • with halogen light sources, an additional transformer is required;
  • the permissible power of incandescent lamps - no more than 45-60 W, halogen - up to 35 W.

Lamps with incandescent light are installed in pendant chandeliers mounted at least 0.4m away from the foil ceiling. They emit standard diffuse light but are the most uneconomical option among the others.

Halogen lamps are more economical and long-lasting. These devices have good color rendering, provide intense bright light in the room, but are severely limited in color range.

LED bulbs are the best, environmentally friendly and cost-effective option. They almost do not heat up during operation, so they are the best type of light source for stretch ceiling surfaces.

For many models of LED lights manufacturers give a long-term warranty of up to 10 years.

LED lamps are characterized by a wide range of color temperatures - from cool white to warm yellow tone. The devices do not produce a flicker effect and emit rather soft light.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Buying lighting fixtures with already built-in LEDs, it is necessary to clarify the possibility of replacing them. If it is not provided, you will have to replace the fixture when the bulb fails

Luminescent light bulbs are long-lasting and economical. They give quality, diffuse lighting, do not heat up, and do not shine on surfaces. Thanks to their low energy consumption, the rather high price of the products quickly pays off.

As they are characterized by relatively large dimensions, they are not suitable for every lamp model. The main disadvantage of fluorescent lamps is the low starting speed.

Fiber filamentsAnother variant of light source that is often combined with stretching canvases. They are characterized by low heat output and a small amount of light. Usually they are used exclusively as decorative illumination.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

With the help of luminous filaments and special attachments, fascinating effects of the starry sky, tongues of flame, northern lights are created indoors

The cost of optical fibre is a little higher than the other elements, but this is justified by its longevity.

Overview of the best lighting manufacturers

There are many different brands on the lighting market. To be sure of the quality of the equipment, it is wise to buy models from proven manufacturers. Let's take a look at the three leaders in this field.

The first place - the trademark Ecola (China)

A majority of experts think that the most reliable and inexpensive lamps for tension structures is offered by Ecola.

Almost all presented models are equipped with a special protection against moisture. The installation of this equipment is very easy. The installation height and the dimensions of the niche made between the base and the stretch ceiling are minimal.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

The products produced by the manufacturer emit little heat, consume minimum electricity and have a long service life. The special design of the devices prevents unnecessary glare on translucent canvases

The manufacturer's lineup is quite diverse. The recessed GX53, MR16, surface-mounted type devices GX70 received the highest positive feedback.

They meet the criteria important for users: lighting quality, environmental safety, stylish design.

2 place - Philips (Netherlands)

Philips Lighting brand products (new name - Signify) are famous for their versatility and reliability. The brand's collection includes many lighting devices compatible with stretch ceiling constructions.

All of them are united by a modern design in which elegant, concise forms are seen to give the interior a special charm.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

Philips lighting devices are easy to mount on the surface, provide natural color rendering, emit bright and comfortable light, distributing it evenly across the room. In the process of their manufacture only safe raw materials are used

All available models include ultra-thin recessed devices of \"Downlight\" type, ceiling fixtures of ECOMODS series, spot fixtures Probos.

3 place - brand Citilux (Denmark)

The Danish manufacturer Citilux also has something to offer as comfortable, effective and beautiful lighting solutions for stretch ceilings.

The materials used in its fixtures construction are resistant to moisture, temperature variations, vibrations. Most modifications are sold at relatively affordable prices.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

The brand's products are made in a traditional strict style with classical elements. If installed correctly, the different devices can be used to model the space in a special way, illuminate desired zones, create interesting silhouettes

Owners of such lighting fixtures note its ease of maintenance, practicality, high quality, long service life.

The best models of the trademark include Parker series ceiling chandeliers with remote control, recessed spotlights of Alpha, Beta lines, overhead type devices Luna.

Besides the brands you should also mention Osram, Massive, Globo, Markslojd, Feron.

Guidelines for the choice of fixture

Going to the store for a fixture, you must already know exactly what you need. Your choice must be related to the technical requirements of the stretch ceiling, the specifics of the room and the interior design of the room.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

You must be very careful when installing the lighting fixtures. Stretch ceilings require delicate handling. Before mounting, it is advisable to check the structural integrity of the luminaire: chipped and broken corners could catch and damage the canvas

First of all, determine the external qualities of suitable products:

  1. Form. Luminaires have different shapes of body and lamps: standard, asymmetric, geometric. Their choice determines how and at what angle the light will be distributed around the room. Some models add mirrored reflective plates, colored plastic or glass, which help to form a unique romantic atmosphere due to the diffused glare.
  2. Size. All variants of lighting fixtures differ in size and weight. Based on these parameters, the future lighting system is calculated. Do not take too heavy lamps: for them it is necessary to increase the mounting height of the surface, so that the ceiling does not sag.
  3. Color. The body of the light fixtures can be designed in all colors and shades. The palette is so wide that it is easy to match the device to the color of the ceiling covering. If you want to diversify the interior, you can take several lamps in different tones.

It is also important to take into account the peculiarities of the room where the devices will be installed. For bathrooms, where the level of humidity is always high, you should choose equipment with a high degree of protection. Such devices have a sealed body that prevents water penetration.

For more information about choosing and placing fixtures in the bathroom see this article.

How to choose a light for suspended ceilings: types + review of the best brands

The kitchen is usually much warmer than the other rooms. Low-powered fixtures up to 45W

Fixtures with frosted, diffused glass are the best choice for bedrooms. In hallways and corridors of elongated shape, it is recommended to install lighting devices of point type all around the perimeter.

It is not necessary to stop at one type of lighting equipment for the room. It is worth trying to combine different solutions.

For example, to install a classic chandelier and complement it with spotlights. This would create original lighting compositions, emphasize certain interior details, divide the room into zones, avoid shaded corners.

The photo gallery presents effective variants of lighting design in rooms with stretch ceilings:

Image gallery

Photo of

Combining a pendant chandelier with spotlights

Original lighting design of a nursery Children's room

Stellar sky effect on the bedroom ceiling

Interesting lighting patterns and designs

A few general recommendations are also worth paying attention to:

  • fixtures should have internal sides, their heating temperature cannot exceed 60°C;
  • the optimal distance from the wall to the equipment is 15-20 cm;
  • large fixtures or chandeliers are mounted in the center of the room or in the working area;
  • table lights are placed only fluorescent or LED bulbs;
  • In rooms with non-standard dimensions, it is advisable to use the wave pattern of spot fixtures;
  • When buying, the possibility of replacing the burned-out bulbs should be checked;
  • Cast built-in equipment, chandeliers with structural elements sticking upwards, heavy devices, fixtures with bulbs close to the cloth are not suitable for mounting into the tensioned canvas.

It is difficult to say unequivocally which model of fixture would be better - it is a matter of aesthetic taste of the apartment owner or the designer.

But most experts recommend abandoning massive and bulky chandeliers in favor of compact spot devices.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Overview of the main types of luminaires for suspended ceilings:

Expert advice on how to choose devices to arrange a quality lighting system in the house:

The correctly chosen luminaires will not damage the characteristics of the suspended ceiling and ensure comfortable and even lighting of the space. It is enough to plan the layout of the fixtures in advance and follow the basic rules for choosing and installing them according to the recommendations

Share your experiences with the ceiling fixtures. Tell us which model you preferred, and if you were happy with your purchase. Please leave comments on the article, ask questions and participate in discussions. The contact form is below.


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