The Dreaded “Boob Light”


I cannot tell you how many time I have walked through a new construction home and seen one (or several) of these boob lights staring at me from the ceiling.  I totally understand that builders and developers operate on a very strict budget and these are super cheap, but I’ve even seen them installed in multi-million dollar homes too, which is just inexcusable at that price point! Bad lighting can date a room faster than anything, so replacing these fixtures is always a good idea no matter what age or style home you have.  Good looking flushmounts are somewhat hard to find, especially on a budget, but certainly not impossible! Here are some finds that don’t break the bank and look a whole lot better than something with a nipple.


1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. // 13. // 14. // 15.

And if you want to invest in a flashy, gorgeous flushmount here are some options as well:


1. // 2. // 3. (also this version) // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. (also this version) // 12. // 13. // 14. // 15. // 16. // 17. // 18.



  1. Thank you Thank you Thank you so much for this post! I have been searching for reasonably priced flush light ceiling lights and had only come across the boob lights!! :) Post is so very helpful!!

  2. Great post, thanks! I’ve been stalling on replacing my light fixtures and this was exactly what I needed. Two light fixtures ordered!

  3. The title of this post made me laugh so hard this morning!! About 12 years ago I bought my first condo and I admit to buying many boob lights and thought my place looked super chic! Flash forward to a few years ago when we bought our first house…the boob lights were the first things to go!! I replaced them with a bunch of things that look nearly identical to the things on your affordable list. Great post (but now I will see those lights and think ‘boobs’!)

  4. Love this post. We just installed two of #13 (affordable list) in our walk-in closet, and they look great. Erin, you have such a great eye for detail!!

  5. It took me a year but I finally replaced the last of my boob lights this past weekend with the adler flushmount (#17). It is beautiful, but an absolute nightmare to install. 3 people, lots of swearing, and some DIY hardware…but it sure does look pretty!

  6. Thank you for this post! There are so many atrociously ugly flushmounts out there and it’s tough to find stylish ones at a reasonable price point. I snapped up #2 as soon as it became available on West Elm. They are a great source for affordable lighting, but haven’t had flushmounts lately. Love the brass!!!

  7. I have some of those and suddenly I need to go shopping! And I need to check and see if you’ve written one of these for non-flush options too!

  8. great post! Oh how I despise those boob lights (and that is exactly how I refer to them, too!). My home is new construction and the first thing I did was buy new lighting to replace them. You have provided some great flushmount options!

  9. Hello – I am looking to replace a standard glass globe with something with of more interest. Are you aware of any sources that just sell the globes (the ones that are threaded at the bottom and twist into an existing mounted fixture)? Seems to be difficult to find…thanks!

  10. Sometimes its uncanny how we are on the same wavelength. I was just looking at flush-mounts yesterday. Looking for something to replace the one in my laundry room. Thanks for the post.

  11. Thank you for posting these lovely options! I am a lighting designer and there are a few things that I dread seeing in new construction and this is certainly one of them!

  12. No boob lights but I do have a few ugly flush mounts (lower ceilings upstairs in my Tudor) and the ones with visible bulbs look very period appropriate. Pinned this post.

    Numbers 1 and 9 (love the brass base) would work well in our home.

  13. My parents used to have one, and I always referred to it as the boob light – to my mother’s dismay. Glad to see I’m not the only one that calls them that!

  14. Great post! I am still searching for a simple flush mount gold and crystal chandelier for my 4 year olds bedroom. We have a cape so it can’t hang low at all. I am struggling. Love your blog!

      1. Thank you Erin! Love both of those. Probably leaning towards the PB one based on cost – I mean she is just 4 :) Now just need to do some measuring. My husband is 6’4″ so every inch counts upstairs.

  15. The flush mounts they installed in our house were horrible (cheaper than boob lights and 15 years old no less). Last week I had the final two replaced with recessed lighting, which opened up the cramped space a bit more because there is no longer anything protruding from the ceiling. The lights plus installation were about the same as the affordable options you have listed and new lights brighten the space so much more that it’s now pretty obvious that the walls need to be painted again (thank you, dogs).

    Also, I NEED #15 in the affordable list (in blue) in my laundry room.

  16. Erin, do you worry about the fabric flush mounts getting dinghy with dust? I’m thinking of changing them in my son’s room. Thanks for the help. Can’t wait to change all mine now!

  17. Erin, I so agree about lighting, it is one thing that can change a room from ordinary to extraordinary. We just moved into a new home and I have recessed cans in most rooms, but want to add a few flush mounts in the entry hall and the Robert Abby fixture #6 is what I have in my plan. I am pinning this post it is a great resource. Thank you for doing less and more expensive options, that is so helpful. I for one really appreciate your sourcing!!

  18. THANK YOU FOR TH IS! I just searched your blog last week for “lighting,” trying to find all your posts because I’m replacing two lights in my house and I need help. I especially appreciate the affordable options. Thank you so much.

  19. Any suggestions on ceiling fans with lights? I have 2 bedrooms with hideous fixtures that are fans + lights. I like the fans for cooling room and the overhead light is practical but these fixtures can be so ugly.

    1. I’ve been on the warpath around fan lights as well – I haven’t found any good options other than (when the time comes around) replacing the fans with another fan that lacks a light kit.

  20. I was just talking about this the other day! Are builders lazy or do they have no taste? No offense guys , but the boob light has had it’s day. Thanks for this post Erin!!

  21. I shared your blog and my brother sent me a text that he lives about a mile from Newton! He is in grad school at Boston Conservatory. I recently went back to school for interior design! Love your blog so much – you do such inspiring work!! I sort of went about this career thing backwards! I’m a former stay at home mom – so I empathize being busy with little ones around! I would love so much to come see your studio when I visit my brother. Is that even a possibility?! (You can creep on me @hawkeyejamie on Instagram to make sure I’m not a total lunatic ?)

  22. Yay! Someone taking boob lights head on. They are the worst and it is so disappointing to see the in grand homes. Great choices for alternatives.

  23. This might be a dumb question but do you need an electrician to change your light fixtures for you or can you DIY? I’m not totally inept when it comes to simple repairs and such but have always shied away from anything electrical and plumbing so have never even looked into replacing our light fixtures (could just chalk that up to laziness too).

  24. Jesus take the WHEEL, this is my exact conundrum! This is the fourth (rental) apartment in NYC that I’ve lived in that comes chock-a-block with boob lights. Pre-war, fully renovated with exposed brick fireplace and…three boob lights. In addition to the expense of a decent looking flush-mount is the issue of how few of them actually give you substantial light. The only decent thing the boob-light has going is that it has two relatively high watt bulbs and fairly bright illumination. Thanks for the post, very useful indeed!

  25. I This post is great! I struggle with wanting stylish lighting but the really good stuff is so expensive! Iike the striped affordable one!

    1. I, too, would love to see a pendant post. I really feel like the ones above my island in my kitchen are too small, but I have no idea how to determine what size I need.

  26. ? when we were building I walked into the room and two of these were hanging. My husband and I in no way could keep it together, giggling and taking a picture like school girls we had to tell the builder that they must go immediately. I not so classily stated I couldn’t have a set of boobs hanging from the ceiling. I have never laughed so hard!

  27. You are DEAD ON! Seriously people, put a bit of effort into your home decor. DOWN WITH THE BOOB LIGHT!

  28. I guess I have a different idea of what “reasonably priced” is. The cheapest here seems to be in the $120 range. That’s not cheap for a “boob light”. My basement alone has 4 of them. I have about 8 places for these lights in my house. Spending $1000 on lighting for basic hallway lights, is not what I consider reasonably priced.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! If I only needed one, I guess I could justify the cost. Unfortunately, both my kitchen and laundry room have multiple lights.

  29. This is hilarious…Worse if you have a pair! That was the case in my pantry and I just couldn’t think of anything but boobs! Love your suggestions as I need a light in my entry and the ceiling is too low for a hanging light. Beautiful choices here. Kim

  30. What timing to see the post on “Boob Lights!” We recently got rid of two “boob lights” in our kid’s bedrooms and replaced them with the 14 inch ALANG from IKEA. They are REALLY affordable and look great! The 14″ one is only $29.99 and the 18″ is only $44.99. They put out lots of light, too, as the 14″ one even takes two light bulbs. We put in two Ecosmart soft white bulbs in each one (100W replacement that only uses 23 watts…1650 lumens of brightness). We had to do some research on light bulbs as I wanted a LOT of light in the bedrooms as these lights are mounted in front of the closets. It was way easier with the old style light bulbs! : ) LOVE the look of them!

  31. Such a helpful post Erin! Thanks. Although how you didn’t title it “Boob Lift” is beyond me. You’re a better woman than I. : )

Comments are closed.