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I understand that ”flush mount“ lighting means the fixture hugs the ceiling.

What does "semi-flush mount" lighting mean?

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It's like a short chandelier as shown in your example. The "semi" can range from the shade being just a couple of inches away from the ceiling to usually no more than 12" away. Bugs love them.

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Actually, flush mount means the fixture is in the ceiling--flush means "on the same plane as". Otherwise it's surface mount. (Marketing departments use the term to sound clever when they should say "surface mount".)

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Examples of flush mounting are recessed cannisters and undercabinet lighting.

So, "semi-flush mount" would mean partially recessed. Examples would be eyeball-style recessed cans and channel track lighting.

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