Do Ceiling Lights Have To Match? A Guide On Mixing & Matching

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

Do Ceiling Lights Have To Match

I recently started renovating my house, and after painting the walls, I realized that the light fixtures in the home did not match the color schemes that I chose for the walls. This situation made me wonder whether ceiling lights have to match? So I did research to find out, and I am going to share my experience in this article.

Ceiling lights give ambiance and warmth to a room, so it is only fitting to spend some time, effort, and money on the pieces that provide light in the darkness. Mixing and matching of light fixtures are done with great success if there are components that go together like brass and wood, for instance.

I ended up mixing and matching the light fixtures in my house; I like the idea of mixing old with modern and finding the elements that go together. We will be looking into a few of the ideas as a guide on mixing and matching and giving new life to old light fixtures in this post.

A Guide On Mixing And Matching Ceiling Lights

I hate walking into a room at night, where the light is not distributed properly, or the fixture just looks like it does not belong; the main reason this is happening is that there has been no planning. Interior decorators make a living out of planning, and it is a skill that few people have. I am dividing this guide into steps, so here goes:

Step 1 Do A Walkthrough And Make Notes

The first thing I did before mixing and matching my ceiling lights was to do a walkthrough in every space of my home. It is best to do this at night so that you would be able to identify problem areas or areas that require more light.

I made notes of problem areas that did not get enough light or some places where the lights were too high or places where the fixtures did not look good. It was also with this step that I realized that a lot of my current light fixtures were in the wrong location to start with.

I also made notes of the areas where the light was too sharp, and the lights were blinding my eyes. I found that doing a walkthrough really helped with the planning process, and it eliminated a lot of the problem areas.

Step 2 Evaluating The State Of The Current Ceiling Lights

current ceiling light

The next thing I did was to evaluate what I had to work with regarding the current fixtures that I had. I looked at the suitability as well as the notes that I made during my walkthrough. Some of the ceiling lights were outdated, but with a bit of imagination and a few changes, they would work perfectly in my study, where I want a classic look.

I looked at each ceiling light in detail during the day and night, and I added notes on what I did and did not like about each light. It was with this detailed study that I noticed potential in 80 percent of the ceiling lights I already had.

Step 3 Planning For Mixing & Matching Ceiling Lights

After doing the walkthrough of every room in my home and looking at every ceiling light in detail, I was able to identify my needs and wants for every room in my house. I could now sit down and work out an action plan to get the perfect ceiling light in all the right places. I was able to move some of the more modern fixtures to more suitable locations.

Some of my ceiling lights were very old, and I had to first convert them to LED technology; now, I also understood why I had a yellow glow in some rooms. Some of the old fixtures could be modernized with some spray paint or new shades. And then there was the other 20 percent that I just did not have any hope for.

After considering every small detail, I was satisfied that the plan could now be executed and that soon all the ceiling lights would be where I envisioned them and that the plan on paper would work just as well practically.

Step 4 Execute The Plan For Mixing & Matching Ceiling Lights

I have to say I was amazed to find that normal people like myself could get so creative with stuff that I would normally see as old or junk, but I was glad that I decided to restore or modernize most of my own ceiling lights. Apart from changing everything to LED, I decided to give it a creative boost to every other light.

I can not take all the credit for myself, though. I got some ideas from sources like magazines, videos from social media, and obviously from a good friend that happens to be an interior decorator. In this portion of this guide, I will now share some of those ideas with you, so here is what I did :

  • I started with the easiest ceiling light projects first. This is where mixing and matching are fun. Some paint and new modern shades were enough to revive these projects. I also polished the old metal sections. 
  • It was in the kitchen that I really mixed things up. I decided to create a staggered pendant masterpiece above the island, with 3 fixtures that I had in the attic. The one was a bronze piece, the other a wrought iron piece, and the last a wood and brass piece.
  • The other lights in the kitchen are bronze-colored downlights, and it goes extremely well with the masterpiece over the island. 
  • I removed the chandelier in the dining room as it did not fit the room; I decided to tone down the crystal behemoth with an old brass piece with 3  light fittings; I paired this with a new basket shade. I finished the look with stainless steel downlights.
  • I found a perfect space for the chandelier, though. I only had some wall lights in my entrance, so this was the ideal space to show off the elegance of this piece. The wall lights and chandelier worked well with a ceiling centerpiece and new cornices.
  • It was mainly the ceiling lights in the bathrooms that I decided to replace with new water and moisture-resistant fixtures entirely. I decided to put sealed waterproof downlight units into the bathrooms. I did not re-use the old bathroom fixtures.
  • In the bedrooms, I decided to stick with the ceiling fan fixtures. I painted the fans’ blades to match the rest of the room. In places with a lack of light, I used spray paint on some old downlights and installed them in strategic locations.
  • My study was one of my favorite rooms to play around with mixing and matching ceiling light fixtures. I ended up with a mixture of 3 colored metal pendant lights with round glass balls housing the bulbs. It hangs from a rectangular box that looks like a book.
  • I am very proud of how this piece turned out, seeing as it used to be 3 completely different fixtures, but now it is a mixture of classic, modern and stylish. It is the elegant chain I used from the top that brings it all together.
  • The ceiling light fixture in my laundry is a polished nickel piece, and I decided to mix it with matt black lamp shades. It was the last ceiling light that was mixed and matched by me. The rest I then replaced with new fixtures.

The next part of this guide led me to the best part of this whole project. It was time to test my mixed and matched ceiling light fixtures.

Step 5 Testing The Ceiling Lights That Was Mixed And Matched

testing lights

This was by far my best moment yet since starting with the task of renovating my home. It was finally time to see if all the planning and hard work paid off. I switched on every single ceiling light that I had mixed and matched; it was the moment of truth.

What a proud moment, it felt like I won the lottery, and it was so beautiful. It looked way better than I could have ever imagined. My favorites were definitely the piece in my study and above the kitchen island. 

Never in my life would I have known that mixing and matching ceiling lights would look so great, but it was worth putting in the time, money, and research. Take time to admire the work that I have done and give attention to the amount of light that is now flowing through my home.

I needed to make a few small changes to some light bulb choices, but overall, I was extremely pleased with the outcome and would definitely attempt more mixing and matching of ceiling lights in the near future.

Tips For Mixing And Matching Ceiling Lights

In this portion of this article, I am going to share some valuable tips that helped me to achieve my goal in mixing and matching ceiling lights like a true champion; here they are:

  • Always do a walkthrough at night so that you can paint a true picture in your head of where to mix and match if needed. Remember to make notes about the likes and dislikes of every ceiling light. Make notes of where changes need to be made.
  • Do proper planning and research before hastily making decisions; hasty decisions will lead to mistakes and damage usable light fixtures. Get ideas in magazines or walk around in lighting stores to get an idea of what you want. Ask professionals if needed.
  • Do not be scared to get creative; it was the pieces that everyone said wouldn’t work that turned out the best for me. Follow your instincts and go for it. As long as the planning and research are done properly, it will work out. 
  • Do not do wiring if you are not qualified; remember that electrical work needs to be done by professionals. Electricity can cause severe injuries, some so bad it could lead to death, so do not take chances. 
  • I needed to do a bit of cutting and drilling to finish mixing and matching my pieces so remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for tools, including wearing personal protective equipment. Power tools are dangerous if not being used correctly.
  • Paints and solvents carry labels for usage instructions, so follow those. Some of them are extremely flammable. Use pressurized containers in an area where you do not mind overspray. I sprayed my fittings on a piece of cardboard in the garage.
  • Polished metals work very well together for mixing and matching ceiling lights. The secret is to experiment and find components in the ceiling lights that work well together.
  • Bathrooms have a lot of moisture, so it is important to use ceiling lights made of materials suited for that type of environment.
  • There are a wide variety of light bulbs available, so there is another avenue to experiment with. Light bulbs like the silver dipped bulb give a light fixture a completely different feel, and the light coming from this fixture reflects all the way to the ceiling.
  • I used different light bulbs in my mixed and matched ceiling lights, so do not be afraid of playing around. Have fun playing around with different lightbulbs; trust me, it makes a difference.

I hope that these tips will help you mix and match ceiling lights with success and give you as much joy and pride as it has given me.


Ceiling lights do not have to match, as long as there are accents or components that work well and compliment each other. It is possible to mix and match ceiling lights with great success, and combining the different tones of metal works very well. I am extremely happy with how my ceiling lights came out. 

I hope that the information in this guide will assist you, the reader, with enough information to conduct your own research and planning. By mixing, matching, and switching things around, you could make old and outdated ceiling lights awesome again.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.