Light-emitting diode (LED) technology offers bright illumination while using a fraction of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs. You’ve likely been replacing the old bulbs in your light fixtures with LED bulbs over the past few years. That’s still a good idea, but you can also purchase LED ceiling light fixtures that emit light without the need for standard-size LED bulbs.
The best LED ceiling light for your home depends on the fixture type and what brightness is most suitable for a particular room; for instance, kitchens and bathrooms typically require more intense lighting than family rooms and bedrooms.
Ahead, learn essential considerations when shopping for an LED ceiling light and find out why these top picks are among the best available.
- BEST OVERALL: hykolity Flush Mount LED Ceiling Light Fixture
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: LIT-PaTH LED Flush Mount Ceiling Lighting Fixture
- BEST FOR BRIGHTNESS: Lighting EVER Flush Mount LED Ceiling Light
- BEST SMART: TALOYA Smart Ceiling Light Flush Mount LED
- BEST PENDANT: Artika Essence Chrome 1-Pendant LED Light Fixture
- BEST RECESSED LIGHTS: Ensenior 12 Pack Thin LED Recessed Ceiling Light
What to Consider When Choosing the Best LED Ceiling Light
LED lights offer bright illumination while conserving energy—plus, they last approximately 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs. But before you dig out your credit card, you might want to consider the following factors to get the best one for your needs.
Type and Location
LED light bulbs come in a variety of types and styles, each better suited to specific locations than others.
- Standard bulbs: These LED bulbs fit standard light fixture sockets and will disperse a wide angle of light, making them well suited for surface-mount ceiling light fixtures or light kits attached to ceiling fans.
- Can bulbs: Broader and flatter at the end of the bulb, these LED light bulbs are for use in can-type recessed light fixtures. Their wider end minimizes the gap between the bulb and the edge of the can, giving the light a seamless, integrated look.
- Flood bulbs: The powerful LED bulbs used in exterior flood lights emit a very bright light with a large coverage area. Many of today’s LED floodlights automatically light up when they detect motion, and some are charged by solar panels rather than electricity from an outlet.
- Candelabra bulbs: Shaped like the flame of a candle, these LED bulbs fit the smaller sockets often found on chandeliers. Some come with a flickering effect designed to enhance mood and ambiance.
- Track bulbs: These bulbs are smaller than standard bulbs and feature plug-in-type prongs. Track lights are well suited for accenting a specific area, such as a work counter in a kitchen or a work of art.
- Tube bulbs: If you’re familiar with tube fluorescent bulbs, you’ll recognize the long cylindrical shape of LED bulbs that are designed mainly for bright lighting in work areas, such as workshops or warehouses.
- Strip diodes: Becoming more popular all the time, tiny LED diodes, rather than larger bulbs, can be found in small light fixtures capable of emitting very bright light. One of the more common uses for these LED strips is in ultra-thin, recessed light fixtures that are quickly replacing recessed can lighting because these LED fixtures don’t require attachment to ceiling joists during installation.
Brightness and Wattage
Today’s LED lights use less electricity than their older incandescent cousins, but they’re often labeled by their equivalent brightness to incandescent lighting. Incandescent lights were the norm for so long that many people have an easier time relating to incandescent lights’ brightness scale than LED lights. For example, an LED light might require 12 watts to operate, but it could be just as bright as a 75-watt incandescent light.
The brightness of a ceiling light is determined by lumens, a measurement indicating the amount of visible light generated. Simply put, more lumens means brighter light, and fewer light fixtures to illuminate a room.
When comparing ceiling lights, keep in mind which room you’re looking to illuminate. Fixtures that provide bright light for kitchens, bathrooms, and home offices may feel glaring in family rooms and bedrooms. That said, some LED ceiling lights have dimming capabilities, allowing you to adjust the light to suit your needs.
Consider the following rules of thumb for lumens required by room type:
- Kitchen work areas: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens
- Bathroom: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens
- Home office: 6,000 to 8,000 lumens
- Dining room: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens
- Kitchen: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens
- Dining room: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens
- Living room: 1,000 to 2,000 lumens
- Bedroom: 1,000 to 2,000 lumens
Most LED ceiling lights operate in the same manner as other ceiling lights. After installation, you flip a wall switch to turn the light on and off. Some, but not all, are also compatible with dimmer switches, allowing you to dim the light in the room to conserve even more energy. Still others operate by remote control or come with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity so you can turn them on and off or program them in advance from a smartphone or other digital device.
When incandescent bulbs were the most common form of light, interior rooms took on a slightly yellowish glow, which felt second nature to many. With today’s LED lights, homeowners can choose from various color tones, rated on the Kelvin (K) scale, indicating the warmth or coolness of the light.
- 2000K to 2200K: At the warmest end of the Kelvin spectrum, these LED lights offer a soft amber glow, creating a warm, welcoming feel.
- 2200K to 2700K: This range produces a soft white light that’s relaxing and suitable for family and living spaces.
- 2700K to 3000K: Brighter and lighter but still with a hint of warmth, lights in this Kelvin range are comfortable but not harsh.
- 3000K to 3500K: The mid-point on the Kelvin scale, LED lights in this range are crisp and offer a fresh feel.
- 3500K to 4000K: Lights in this range are considered “cool white” lights and are well suited for rooms that require adequate illumination, such as kitchens and hobby rooms.
- 4000K to 4500K: LED lights in this color range may also be called “daylight” color lights and are thought to be energizing and crisp.
- 4500K to 6500K: Also called “daylight deluxe,” lights in this color range are very cool and bright and are often reserved for industrial settings, as their range is too bright to feel comfortable in many home settings.
- Spectrum lights: The new kids on the block, color spectrum lights offer a range of color options, including multiple shades of yellow, blue, green, and pink. These are often called “color changing lights” and shoppers can select individual colors to suit a specific mood.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, LED ceiling lights should be constructed from quality materials, well designed, reasonably priced, and built to last. The best LED ceiling light for your home will depend on your preferences and where you plan to install it. The following LED lights are suitable for various uses, and one (or more) should provide an energy-saving addition to your home.
Shine a bright light in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms with the hykolity Flush Mount LED Ceiling Light Fixture, which uses only 20 watts of electricity but produces as much brightness as 180 watts of incandescent light.
You can wire the hykolity LED light to a dimmer switch to conserve energy when you don’t need a lot of light. The fixture also allows you to choose the temperature of the light (soft white, bright white, or daylight) to suit the room and your style.
The light measures 13 inches in diameter and extends just 3.7 inches down from the ceiling. This light is well suited to any spot in the house where you need a lot of illumination.
Light up staircases, hallways, bedrooms, or most any room in the house without spending a fortune with the LIT-PaTH LED Flush Mount Ceiling Lighting Fixture. When you order, you’ll receive two LED ceiling lights at an attractive price point.
Each light is Energy Star-rated and uses just 11.5 watts of electricity yet provides the equivalent brightness of a 75-watt incandescent bulb. The lights feature round white bases with translucent white globes, and measure 7 inches in diameter and are just 1.75 inches thick.
These LED lights are damp rated, so you can install them in a spot with high humidity, such as a bathroom, laundry room, or even on a covered patio.
If you’re looking for a simple and bright light, check out the Lighting EVER LE Flush Mount LED Ceiling Light. This light produces the equivalent brightness of a 100-watt incandescent bulb while using only 15 watts of electricity.
This LED light offers a measure of moisture resistance, meaning it can be installed in rooms with high humidity or where occasional water splashes occur, such as in bathrooms or kitchens. The light comes with a high-density, molded plastic base and nonglare, translucent globe that seals tightly for water resistance.
The LE ceiling mount light produces crisp daylight color, measures 8.7 inches in diameter, and is just 1.9 inches thick, ideal for rooms with low ceilings.
You can turn your LED ceiling light on or off remotely when you have the TALOYA Smart LED Flush Mount Ceiling Light. This light requires an installed home Wi-Fi network to operate and is compatible with smart home systems: the fixture syncs with Alexa and Google Home Assistant for voice control or easy operation from your smartphone or another digital device.
By downloading the free app, you can use your digital device to turn this smart light on and off as well as select from a wide range of colored hues, including shades of pink, blue, green, and amber, to suit your mood.
When used in white light mode, light is emitted downward from a nonglare translucent panel. In colored mode, light emits from a ring around the base of the light. The light also can be programmed to gradually come on at a preset time to help you wake up in the morning.
The TALOYA light measures 11.8 inches in diameter and is just 1-inch thick. The light works from a standard wall switch.
If you’re looking for LED lighting that’s as classy as it is energy efficient, look to the Artika Essence Chrome 1-Pendant LED Light Fixture. This premium ceiling light features a chrome base and a suspended chrome and glass pendant with a crystal clear bubble glass core that shines warm white light throughout the room. The bubble-glass core diffuses the light and adds a sparkle to modern and contemporary décor.
The Artika Essence pendant light comes with an adjustable pendant cable you can lengthen up to 86 inches for use on high or vaulted ceilings. The pendant measures 3.9 inches in diameter and is 11.4 inches tall.
If you’re looking for energy-efficient LED lighting but don’t want a ceiling light that visibly intrudes on the room’s look, consider the Ensenior 12 Pack Thin LED Recessed Ceiling Lights. This set of 12, 6-inch diameter recessed lights is designed to replace existing lights, or you can install the LED lights in new areas of the ceiling.
Each light uses 12 watts of electricity yet produces brightness equivalent to 110 watts of incandescent light. Unlike earlier types of recessed lights, these recessed LED lights do not need to be attached to ceiling joists, instead, strong spring clips hold them in place on the drywall ceiling.
Position the Ensenior lights approximately 4 feet apart for whole-room lighting, or install individual lights over areas you want to accent or highlight.
FAQs About Your New LED Ceiling Light
LED lights are energy efficient and come with a range of color temperature and brightness options. They also last longer than incandescent lights and won’t get hot with prolonged use. If this is the first time you’ve shopped for LED lights, you likely have some questions.
Q. What is an LED ceiling light?
An LED ceiling light is either a light fixture that features LED diodes or a standard light fixture that accepts LED light bulbs.
Q. Are LED lights reparable?
That all depends on the type of light. If it’s an LED bulb that’s burned out, you’ll need to replace it, but if it’s the light fixture itself, it might be repairable. Check with a local electrician or consult the manufacturer.
Q. Can I leave LED lights on all night?
LED lights don’t generate heat, so you can leave them on all night without worrying about them overheating. LED nightlights and nursery lights are often designed to be left on.
Q. How long do LED ceiling lights last?
You can expect a quality LED light to give you up to 50,000 hours of service.