Hallway Lighting Catastrophe (Plus My Final Five Semi-Flush and Flush Mount Lighting Choices)

Y’all, I’m so frustrated.

If you have 8-foot ceilings like I do, then you know that finding nice, affordable, non-boob-shaped semi-flush or flush mount lighting options can be challenging. But I searched. I found a reasonably-priced one that I really liked. And the day after it arrived, I installed it. Then I made two trips to Home Depot to find just the right bulbs that put out just the right light. And then for two days, I admired my new light and patted myself on the back for my choice.

And then the light fell to the floor and shattered into a hundred little pieces.


I had narrowed the choices down to five lights, and the one I finally decided on was this Safavieh Greta Veil Gold Ceiling Light.


semi-flush light - safavieh 3-light Greta Veil Gold Ceiling Light

It has stripes. Y’all know how much I love stripes.

I thought the picture was pretty, but it’s prettier in person. It’s not too shiny, and the color is a soft gold. But do you see that white globe/diffuser thing? It’s glass, and it’s pretty heavy. And evidently the third and final time I changed the bulbs (I finally learned that I hate daylight bulbs, by the way…100 watt equivalent LED soft white bulbs are my preference), I didn’t tighten that little nut on the bottom enough. It held for two days and then came loose, with the glass diffuser crashing to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces, and leaving scratches on my hardwood floor.

I looked it over thoroughly, and there was no problem with the threads on either part holding that diffuser up there, so it was completely user error. I just got in a hurry and didn’t screw it on properly.

My heart sank. I threw a little temper tantrum, and Matt swooped in to save the day, as he often does. He said he’d buy me a new light (meaning I didn’t have to spend more money out of my monthly allotted decorating/project money to replace the light, but instead he’d give me extra money to cover the cost). He’s so good to me like that. 🙂

So I could buy the same light again, but I’m not sure if I want to. Even though I’m certain that it was user error on my part and not a product defect, I can’t help but feel a bit…ummmm…oh, I don’t know…betrayed? Okay, yes…I know how stupid that sounds. Perhaps that not exactly the word I’m looking for. I just don’t want to look at that light several times a day and be reminded that I had to pay double the price because I’m the moron who can’t screw on a nut properly. I don’t need a light mocking me. Who needs that in their life? 😀

There are a few others I considered before purchasing the light above.

I really like this Safavieh 3-light Orb Gold Ceiling Light, but it’s only 10 inches in diameter, which I think might be too small for my hallway.

semi-flush light - safavieh 3-light orb gold ceiling light

This Conley 2-Light Semi Flush Mount is also a favorite of mine, though I hesitated to buy it because it’s only a two-bulb light. My hallway is so dark that I really wanted a three- or even four-bulb light.

semi-flush light - Conley 2-Light Semi Flush Mount

But the number of bulbs may be a non-issue once the solar tube is installed in the hallway. Once it’s installed, I’ll probably only turn the light on at night, or if I’m rummaging around in the cabinet and need extra light in the hallway. Two bulbs may be just enough, and I do really like that that light is 16 inches wide.

I generally prefer the look of semi-flush mounts over flush mounts, but I considered this one because I love the bold X-design of this Nil Cross Flush Mount. I also like the satin/matte finish on it, since I’m not particularly fond of really shiny finishes. Plus, it has a 5-star rating from all 10 people who reviewed the product, which is impressive.

semi-flush light - Nil Cross 1-Light Flush Mount

I am confused about the number of bulbs this one requires, though. The name says 1-light, while the description says 2 bulbs. Hmmm…single bulb ceiling lights aren’t something I’d ever buy.

And the last light that made it into my final five was this Shaw 3-Light Metal Semi Flush Mount, which also has really good reviews.

semi-flush light - Shaw 3-Light Metal Semi Flush Mount

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve considered this light for various rooms and purposes. It seems like every time I need a semi-flush mount light, this one makes it into my final five or so, but I’ve never gone for it when making my final purchase.

So those were my final five. I really was pleased with the look of the one I bought, but I do think I’ll give one of the other four a chance this time. Right now, I’m leaning towards that star-shaped light. I do think it’s the prettiest of the five with the textured glass and interesting shape, and I’ll just trust that the solar tube will make up for the extra light I want in the hallway.



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  1. I really love all of those options! Great finds!

    I know what you mean about being mocked by a light and having to relive your error over and over. If you went with a totally different light, I would totally understand. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t ever be able to totally forget that I had made that mistake. So, picking out a new light might not totally wipe that memory from your mind! To this day, I regret when I threw away a Verizon Wireless rebate card for $100 in a cleaning frenzy. Whenever I hear the word Verizon, I remember what I did. Gaah!

    One thought: can you just by the globe part as a replacement part? I was able to buy a new globe for a ceiling fan. When I ordered it a year ago, the Amazon seller shipped me a broken one twice. I ended up getting it for free via a refund from Amazon to “make things right”. But, for a year I couldn’t buy a replacement globe. Per Amazon, the only way to get a new globe was to order an entirely new fan. Which seemed like a total pain. Finally the manufacturer revamped their website and I was able to buy a replacement globe for $30.

  2. The same thing happened to a drum light that I had a contractor install in my bathroom. Exact same shape, same heavy glass bottom. He dropped it while trying to install it. If you got it from Home Depot or Lowes, you might be able to go there, explain what happened, and get just that part from another lamp. He was able to do that, but I can’t tell you for sure if he did it the honest way (that I just described) or if he bought another one, took the bottom out, and returned the rest of the lamp without the bottom! Could’ve been either one! Either way, I very much like your original lamp!

  3. Hi
    How frustrating after all that work. All may not be lost. Have you considered looking for a replacement light diffuser? I don’t know how wide your light fixture is but Home Depot has one that is 11″ wide. I just searched light diffuser. Just a thought.

  4. I am truly sorry about the loss of that pretty light fixture. I don’t blame you one bit for being so frustrated.

  5. Love them all. I’m with others, I’d attempt to find a replacement glass. Having said that, I ❤️ the star one…I love to do something bold and slightly out of the norm in hallways and other small spaces. Adds that bit of unexpected that I usually get from fabric or bold artwork.

    1. Ditto! I’d try to get a replacement, may not be the original look, but look on the bright side[pun intended] could be better! But I do LOVE that star shaped one!

  6. Lighting is the jewelry of a room, go with what makes you the most happy. I had a similar catastrophe a few weeks ago when hubby was changing a light bulb in our $250 semi-flush in the foyer. He ended up cracking the glass bowl (very similar design to yours). The fixture is a coordinating piece with the drum pendant we have in our breakfast room (the two fixtures are in direct line of sight of each other from the front door). I just about cried. I know your pain.

  7. We have low ceilings and use LED cans in places where you don’t really need a focal point. More light, but unobtrusive.

  8. if the star light (i love that one) isn’t enough light for inside the cabinet, how about a few small lights inside the cabinet itself?

    1. I was thinking about inside cabinet lighting, too. I have a light under my sink in my RV that comes on automatically when I open the door I use most and the lights in my RV closets are switchable. They really light up the interior! As a side note. You always find the most amazing lights. When I look, it seems like I never find anything I like. I do love the original but the star light is amazing, too. They’re all great; hard to decide.

  9. That happened to me once over my bed! Glass everywhere! I had to take the whole bed apart and wash it make sure I got it all!

  10. I like them all. My only concern with the star one is that all those facets might cast strange shadows, especially in a hallway.

    I live in fear of my dining room light falling – it has a very heavy, large glass diffuser held up by a relatively small nut that was hard to thread. I love the look of it, but worry about the strength of that nut.

  11. They are all attractive options but I agree with others about seeing if they would sell a replacement globe. Also, it would make me crazy putting up a fixture with a fabric shade thinking of how much dust and dirt it would collect (I for sure wouldn’t be vacuuming it!)

  12. Well, if you REALLY love the original light, instead of looking at its replacement and thinking of how careless you were to not screw the nut in tightly enough, you could choose to look at it and think of how sweet and loving a husband you have to be willing to overlook that human mistake and replace it for you. Just sayin’! Life is too short to dwell on our mistakes, imho. The fact that you are re-thinking your original choice of light makes me wonder if you really did like that one, or are you using this incident to second-guess your first choice? Just less-than-two-cents worth of advice from a good friend.

  13. Ha! I did the same thing! BUT… I truly love my light and had a piece of white plexi cut to size and, 6 years later, it is still hanging above the dining room table. The light has four bulbs and for me that was a requirement. Not that it’s a solution for you but you may want to consider it…

    1. I think that’s a great idea if they can get the edges smooth. Not as heavy as glass, I’m sure. So many of the lights have the same issue with the nut holding on the diffuser that I’d be wary of trying another one.

  14. We don’t have the greatest luck on ceiling fixtures. Worst experience…My parents basement has boob-lights. It take me no less than 30 minutes each time to re-install that stinkin dome because of that center nipple being so tough to get on right so it can reach the base and that capped nut. There’s one which we just leave the dome off because it falls occasionally from the traffic above (dad refuses to believe it)..on that, a well placed couch has saved that dome so many times.

  15. I do like the options that you’ve shown. If you are going to put in a solar tube light (which i think you will love) someday, why not put in a couple of can lights that will give you the extra night light once the solar tube is in? That way you won’t have to switch out the fixture for something else, later on?

  16. We once had a hall light come crashing down onto a tile floor in the middle of the night. Scared the heck out of us.

    Ironically, we just stayed in Bethlehem, PA, and the Morovian star was everywhere… your same flush-mount star light was used in the elevator at our hotel…very pretty!!!

  17. Home Depot has a light bulb that had 3 different lights in one. You just flip the switch to get the desired light. The bulb stays on the last light that was on. Also, defiantly the star light.

  18. Found a potential replacement dome source…Ikea! They got a ceiling fixture for $40 called KARRYD. It has a 12″ dia glass frosted dome in a similarish shape-that fixture’s sides are slightly tapered vs straight and it might be a touch large.

  19. I’ll bet more than 90% of ceiling lights are circular. The star is so unique that is says “Kristi” to me.

  20. I personally would put a piece of white plexi on the bottom and another piece of plexi around the perimeter of the metal cage. It would be a slightly different design (no gap between the metal and the plexi) but still beautiful and would cost next to nothing. All the lights look great, by the way 🙂

  21. I did the same thing last year. Different light, same scenario. I called the manufacturer directly and they sent me a new globe for $10. It was fast, easy and cheap.

  22. Please don’t buy the star shaped one. I think it will make horrible shadows in the space. Clear glass is very blinding.

  23. The star is my fav, then the Nil Cross. (It doesn’t look any shinier than the other picks!) Don’t care for any of the other 3. As far as the star casting shadows, I think that would be great! Also, I’m thinking the tube light will offer a lot of light for the dark hallway.
    P.S. Matt is so sweet!

  24. Okay so this may sounds crazy but have you tried calling the company? I’ve made the mistake before and the company sent me that part that I’d broken. I’ve also seen the option to repurchase the broken piece (ie just the diffuser). You’d be surprised how many companies are willing to do that simply because of a large stock or to keep a customer.

  25. Couldnt you just leave the light base that you have and put one of the other shades you like over them so you have the light options you want?

  26. Can you cal the company that you bought the Safavieh light from and complain that the glass part broke after 2 days and have them send you a replacement?

  27. I can imagine how beautiful the Conley will look with bursts of light going in different directions. I think it will look really pretty in the hall with just the right amount of light.

  28. Your first choice is so pretty – and I’m with the others – just call the company and I bet anything that they’d replace the glass at no charge. Buying a different one seems like a waste of “decorating dollars!” I wouldn’t want my new light to mock me for that! (And I totally get what you mean by that…)

  29. Your current light is great and on sale at a good price right now, and what could be easier than just replacing the glass that broke? No rewiring. You have plenty of projects to finish without making more work for yourself.

  30. 1- call for replacement
    2 – star is cute but clear glass will cast shadows plus it’s too in your face looking at lightbulbs
    3- love fabric shade light- I have 2- they have to be taken down occasionally-(once a year?) to shake out- but everything needs to be cleaned

  31. Ouch! That hallway is fighting you! It clearly doesn’t want to look pretty. Keep going though, the extra problems will make the victory just that little bit sweeter. Just like your bloke (sweet that is … not an extra problem!)

  32. Oy! I did the same thing with a ceiling fan light kit. Please try to contact the manufacturer and explain that the light dropped after successfully taking it down twice. My company comped me a replacement, which I hadn’t asked for. You never know.

  33. Your comment about the boob shape light fixtures made me laugh and I looked up and that’s what I have – Sorry about your new fixture breaking. Love everything you do

  34. My comment is about the tube light. We had 2 installed and they were fabulous. We had a Jack and Jill bathroom that went from one hallway on one side of the house to the hallway on the other side of the house. The long bathroom had no lights and was extremely dark during the the day. We had a tube light installed and I found myself trying to turn the light off during the day only to find out that it was the sunshine was coming in. We’ve moved since and I am considering having the tube lights put in here.

  35. LOL! I love your comment about being mocked! I’m sure so many of us know exactly what you mean!

    Tip: No matter what light you go with–they’re all lovely in their own way–get a little bottle of Loctite, put a drop or two on the threads before tightening down the nut. Loctite will keep vibrations from loosening the nut, but the seal is easily broken when it is time to change the bulbs.

  36. So sorry to hear of this, but I think nearly all of your readers must have experienced this catastrophe – I definitely have! It made me think why the manufacturers cannot come up with better solutions to hold easily breakable material such as glass in a a place like the ceiling 🙂 I came to the conclusion that they just want to sell more of their products…
    I love the shape of the star lamp but would not be too happy with the clear see-through glass – is there any way you could opaque it e.g. by adding a thin plastic foil from the inside? or is that simply too much trouble? I would definitely try and see whether you can get a replacement piece for the lamp you’ve got before going to any lengths of tedious work on a new lamp 🙂

  37. I lived through the 70s, when these lights were popular for a second time (the first was the 50s), so I’m trying to leave that bias behind. I like the last one best. The glass star is pretty, but makes me think of Christmas. Of course, at Christmas time, you could decorate that sucker and really have something.

    1. Actually, I don’t know that the 50s was the first time this style came around. Might have been the 19
      20s – 30s.

  38. All the light choices are beautiful but more importantly, give yourself a break! Look at how much you have accomplished in such a short time…it’s time to take a deep breath, take a break, and look around and marvel at the beauty you’ve been creating (your readers certainly are 🙂 ).

    Wishing you a relaxing, fabulous weekend !

  39. Hi Kristi. I love your choices–and I can totally relate to the difficulty of finding great-looking, affordable, fixtures for an 8′ ceiling–especially ones that can take more than one or two bulbs! I’m looking for some for my home, too, so I really appreciate this article. You found some gorgeous ones.
    Have you tried calling the Safavieh company and seeing if you can just order a replacement glass shade? It might save you lots of money, and the hassle of having to remove the old one.
    I have one question : did the decorative mesh and “stripes”” around the light through any kind of shade or shadow on the walls or ceiling? Just wondering, as I have had that happen to me at times with various shades or light fixtures. Thanks.

  40. Oops- sorry that should have been “throw” not “through” in my post above (as in, “…light throw any kind of shade or shadows….”

  41. I wasn’t going to comment Kristi, but started thinking what I would do and I had to come back to this one. I think I’d get the original one again and I would make the association be “FORGIVENESS”.
    It’s so important to be able to truly forgive ourselves. Otherwise we end up dwelling on past regrets when we could be living life to the full in the present!
    (And also I believe it is harder to forgive others when we are hanging onto things against ourselves.)
    Keep up the great blog, it’s the only one I check regularly!