Differences Between Recessed Mounting and Surface Mounting

Sally Liu

what are the differences between recessed mounting and surface mounting?

As fixtures are nearly hidden and flush with the ceiling, recessed mounting makes the space look clean and compact. Surface mounting expose fixtures directly to the space, making fixtures more attractive.

Various mounting options are available for attaching lighting fixtures to the ceiling, wall, or floor.

What is Flush Mount?

Flush mount inserts fixtures into precision holes in the ceiling. The fixtures radiate light downwards through the hole in the ceiling. The openings of the recessed luminaires must be prepared before assembly and the dimensions of the openings must be compatible with the luminaires. Thanks to the flush mounting, the luminaires are concealed and flush with the ceiling. The space looks compact and trendy if the fixtures are flush mounted. Flush mounted luminaires fit well into the environment, even if they come in different shapes and sizes. For locations with low ceilings or insufficient height to suspend fixtures, flush mounting is most appropriate. Although flush mounted luminaires are not expensive, electrical work, construction, and installation costs are higher than for other installation ways.

What is Surface Mount?

Surface mounting means the fixtures are mounted on a flat surface and protrude from the surface. Surface mounting is the easiest and most cost-effective way to install luminaires. For surface mounting, the luminaires are directly outside. Surface mounting, which connects fixtures to the ceiling, is the type of mounting commonly used in the industrial setting. Surface mounting is ideal for mounting fixtures in small spaces in the structural ceiling, allowing fixtures to integrate with the entire ceiling. Different situations such as an exposed ceiling or sunroof are most suitable for surface mounting. Because flush mounting is almost impossible.

Installation Cost

Cost is always the most important element of any lighting project. It has a direct relationship with gain and mounting path choices. Generally speaking, flush mounting is the most expensive choice. It takes about 4 to 5 times more luminaires to illuminate the same area. In addition, flush mounting requires sophisticated and precise drilling for recessed fixtures, while surface mounting and pendant mounting are not required. It is certain that flush mounting is more costly than others. However, the choice of mounting method does not depend only on cost. Although the surface mount is less expensive, it may not meet the requirements or regulations of certain applications.

Generally, all installation ways can be applied to the lighting project before or during the construction period. But lighting retrofit or retrofit has stricter requirements for mounting methods. Flush mounting is not a good option for lighting retrofits or remodels. Flush mounting requires precision holes and more wiring. In addition, the wires must be properly chained between the fixtures. For this reason, it would be more accurate to use recessed mounting in new lighting projects. If recessed-mount lighting is attempted later, it will be costly, long, and tiring.


Luminaires not only provide lighting, but they can also beautify spaces aesthetically. When the fixtures are flush with the ceiling, they make the space look clean and compact. In surface mounting and suspended mounting, luminaires can directly add an aesthetic atmosphere to the space and provide a beautiful appearance. However, views of aesthetic effects may not be the same for everyone. It is not possible to say anything definite about which mounting method is more aesthetic. We recommend choosing according to the lighting requirements of your factory or shop.

If you want to know more about LED lamps, you can visit our company’s official website www.zgsm-china.com or contact us through online chat, we will reply you as soon as possible.


Surface mounted lighting products have many of the same elements as recessed products — the main difference is that they’re mounted onto the surface of the ceiling or wall, rather than housed within it.

One of the major benefits of recessed lighting is to provide more coverage area. Because recessed lights are spaced throughout the ceiling, it’s easier to light up every corner of your room uniformly.

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Sally Liu
Sales Engineer

Possessing more than 10 years of experience in LED outdoor lighting solutions. English and Spanish language proficiency.

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