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25 of the best Exposed Beam Ceiling Lighting Ideas

Exposed beams are a unique architectural feature that deserves to be highlighted in both vintage and modern homes. Depending on the layout of the beams, their coloration, and their size, the room can convey very different aesthetics. In order to draw your ceiling beams into your ideal style, it is wise to carefully choose ceiling lights that fit your aesthetic and highlight the beautiful architecture. To help you achieve your ideal style, we've compiled 25 lighting ideas for beamed ceilings.

Complementary Design

Pairing a wood-finished light with wooden ceilings is a great way to establish thematic ties throughout the space. In these cases, be sure that the wood finish of the light is different from the color of the ceiling; in this case, the linear pendant light shows off a warmer wood while the ceiling highlights a darker one. Using this contrasting color in a unifying material is a great way to create a stunning room.

Phenomenal Fans

Ceiling fans can work well in rooms with wood beams, even if those beams are placed more closely together than they are in this room. When placing a ceiling fan in these cases, be sure to carefully choose a position and mounting type that does not intersect with the beams.

Marvelous Metals

Wrought iron and matte black lights are ideally suited for rustic, modern farmhouse, or transitional styles. The metal from the light can complement the wood, but it can also connect to nearby furnishings, handles, and accents to create a fully realized space.

Modern Farmhouse Aesthetics

Modern farmhouse style has a great appreciation for natural wood tones, so these homes often highlight wood beams if they are in the ceiling. To fully realize a farmhouse style with the ceiling, incorporate a classic iron chandelier with round shapes, candles, and traditional structures. The symmetry and timeless design will help make the most of your room and thematically tie back to those exposed beams.

Visual Balance and Practical Application

Using multiple pendant lights is common in kitchens, since these lights can naturally highlight peninsulas and kitchen islands. Lining up multiple pendant lights to fit into the space and balance the placement of the beams is a great way to create visual balance, add essential lighting, and define the room's style.

Additional Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting Ideas!

Establishing Essential Lighting

Recessed lights can work well in ceilings with exposed beams. If your room is similar to this den, be sure to place the lights at the edges of the beams and not far back into the ceiling. Hiding the lights too far within the beams will hinder how far the light carries and negatively impact the room's functionality.

More Recessed Lighting Ideas!


Chandeliers and pendants are often intentionally placed away from the beams, but mounting the light on a beam is an option as well. This method can work well in physically tying the light and beam together and allow you to mount your chandelier at its ideal placement and height.


One way to make the most of exposed ceiling beams is to use very light, neutral colors elsewhere in the room. In this kitchen, the light wood floors and white counters are so different from the wood accents that the eye is naturally drawn to every area of the room. The dark chandelier placed between the dark wood accents and the white island serves a clear bridge from the lighter fixtures to the dark ceiling and helps the eye navigate the room.

Defying Expectations

Rustic design can indeed lean into modern and contemporary aesthetics through furniture, accessories, and wall color. However, the lighting fixture you include also has a dramatic impact on the tone and style of the entire room. Using an unexpectedly modern light in a traditional cottage space like this room is an ideal way to create a highly unique aesthetic and break away from more common interior design practices.


Lights tying into the aesthetic of the wood beams is vital, but if the room incorporates numerous lighting types, it is important to have some stylistic overlap between all the lighting fixtures. In this case, the common element is rounded lamp shades and cream tones. Though each light has their own unique use of the color, lamp shade, and structure, they work together to create a cohesive and complementary design.

Purposeful Placements

Not all wood beams are placed in the same ways on the ceiling. With beams that extend downward several inches from the ceiling, consider hanging your chandelier at least a few inches further beneath the bottom of the board so that the beam never covers the chandelier at any visible angle. This practice is shown with the Argent Small Chandelier here, which is suspended to hang below the edges of the wood to create maximum impact.

Wonderous Whites

White can help make any room feel brighter. Painting the whole ceiling and the wood beams white is a great way to create an airy room and still highlight a unique texture in the ceiling. Wood beams can be fully painted to cover any texture, or they can be white-washed so some of the grain and knots shine through. In any case, painting beams white can do wonders for any room and can help create a beautiful connection to pendants and chandeliers with white as the primary or secondary color.

Cozy Cottage Lighting

Cottage style homes may not always incorporate exposed wood beams, but they do always highlight natural wood tones and light environments. Whether the room has exposed beams or not, incorporating a off-white or white chandelier can help reinforce the home's cottage aesthetic and create a light and airy style.

Bohemian Cottage

Light woods with naturally warm tones are ideally suited for creating a bohemian oasis. To emphasize that style, choose a chandelier that uses a unique texture, a lightweight structure, and muted colors. These areas all help complement the light and airy tones of boho style and can help optimize your room's style.

Aiming for Ambiance

Ambient lighting is essential in setting the proper tone for the room. Since exposed wood beams and wood ceilings have so much charm and character to them, it is natural to highlight these elements through ambient lighting. Your lights may provide illumination over a small area to create a cozy environment or disperse light over a wider radius to make the space feel more modern. In any case, the lights you choose to pair with your exposed beams are essential for defining the room's tone and functionality.

Only Natural

Fans are no longer eyesores; they are now highly stylish in their designs, materials, and finishes. The Cruise Outdoor Ceiling Fan by Visual Comfort Fan highlights beautiful texture and design that is reminiscent of leaves. This paired with light wood beams and natural accents furthers the room's theme in a creative yet practical way.

Highlighting Architecture

Some rooms with exposed beams have tall vaulted ceilings that are high enough to be two stories tall. In these cases, your chandelier can hang lower to emphasize the furniture and the areas that it is illuminating. Not only will this positively impact the functionality of the space, but it also will highlight the taller ceiling and the nearby beams.

Take your home's decor to new heights with these Vaulted Ceiling Lighting Ideas!

Mid Century Modern Boho

Interior design styles are frequently blended to create new, personalized aesthetics. Many elements of the room help define its unique style, but the lighting fixtures are an essential part of conveying one or multiple styles. In this case, the central chandelier masterfully conveys mid century style through its use of geometric shapes and the boho style comes through in light center ring and the warm gold finish. Whatever style(s) you fall into, look for a light that completes the room's overarching aesthetic through one or multiple styles.

Straightforward Design

Modern homes tend to highlight straight lines and tidy presentation in their architecture and furniture. If your home leans heavily into a modern aesthetic, it is wise to choose a linear light that fits into that overarching style. However, there is still room to be creative with the light by using a different color, material, or a curved light like the Camur Linear Pendant.

Adding Warmth

Rooms with exposed beams can come across as woodsy, rustic, and dramatic if the beams are particularly dark. That is why it can be effective to include a lighting fixture that carries warm tones in its finish and naturally draw out any warmth in the wood above it. Warm metals like gold and brass are two options for lighting finishes that can help complement exposed wood beams.

Embracing Imperfections

Interior design does not have to be perfectly symmetrical to create balanced designs. In this kitchen, a lot of features are lined up perfectly: the barstools, the island, the cabinets, and the lights. However, the lights break that symmetry by not being evenly lined up within the wooden beams. It is acceptable and even beneficial to ignore perfect symmetry with the beams in order to place lights in practical settings and line them up with more prominent fixtures like the island.

Dynamic Distinctions

Ceilings that have many criss-crossing beams and wood accents can be quite busy on their own, but you can still add a distinct chandelier to complement that ceiling. If the ceiling has clean cut lines, then try incorporating a chandelier that uses softer curls and edges to create visual distinction from the ceiling. This is a simple yet effective way to create two stunning details in your ceiling.

Dramatic Design

With dark wood ceilings and wood beams, you may be tempted to incorporate chandeliers and pendant lights that use lighter colors or polished finishes to make them stand out against the wood. While that is an option, choosing a matte black iron is a fantastic way to tie back to the dark wood knots and create a more dramatic, moody room.

Central Spaces

The height of the light is one important facet to consider concerning the wood beams and the light, but the light must also fit in the height and layout of the entire room. This living room highlights how a chandelier can be hung at a good height compared to the beams and how it balances the central seating area of the living room. All lights should be placed intentionally to balance the room's architecture and layout, but the lights must also be used to properly illuminate their designated areas.

Expanding Exterior Design

Stylish lights can also complement outdoor wood beams and ceilings. When choosing lights for an outdoor setting, is is especially important to look at the lights' dampness rating and safety to ensure that they are able to handle any rain, wind, or weather that they may encounter.

Light your home's exterior with these Outdoor Chandelier Ideas!

Highlighting natural architecture is a great way to emphasize the charm of the home and reinforce your personal aesthetic. By choosing chandeliers, pendant lights, fans, and other fixtures intentionally, you can create your ideal style and draw attention to the beautiful features of your home.


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