I know, I know. There are these huge, plain, and boring 24" x 48" fluorescent ceiling lights, right in the middle of your kitchen, your conference room, or your individualized office decor. A homeowner will always have the option to upgrade to a different lighting type, possibly spend thousands of dollars, to demolish existing lighting, wire for the new fixtures, replace the removed sheet-rock, and locate the new fixture locations. The purchase of replacement lighting fixtures will introduce you to a whole new world of options and price ranges. After all of the demolition, and installation, there remains the textured ceiling matching, most often followed by a re-texturing of the entire ceiling, just to achieve uniformity. It can be overwhelming to the DIYer, and will test many a household budget, to complete the task.
FYI, fluorescent lights, were installed in the 70's and 80's, in millions of homes and offices. They were an inexpensive solution to providing full lighting to drop ceiling offices, and in household spaces, that required more than a single bulb in the ceiling, to keep you from stubbing your toe on the bed corner. Today, there are tax credits for using 'GREEN' lighting fixtures, like fluorescent lights. GO GREEN!
There are a limited number of companies that offer solutions to making existing fluorescent ceiling lights more attractive. If you consider the type of lighting that is needed for your particular purpose, an option exists, for enhancing the esthetics of your existing fluorescent lights.
There is a psychological benefit to using a calm, more serene depiction of nature, in medical and dental practices, etc.. Most often, these spaces utilize additional lighting, to assist with medical procedures. Public spaces, like waiting rooms, lobbies, and casinos, might utilize images like sky and clouds, or green foliage, and even 'Tiffany' style panels. These replacement fluorescent panels will work well in these settings.
A few things need to be considered, when deciding on an option for decorating an existing fluorescent ceiling light. Will your space suffer from a loss of light after installing a decorative panel. Will you be happy if the replacement panel changes the color spectrum of the space to blue, or green, or brown (Tiffany). Will you appreciate the outcome, when you consider the cost, the effort to trim a rigid panel to fit your fixture, and the change made to the space, in terms of light loss and color change.
Very few options exist if you require your kitchen, office, or other work space to retain its light quality, and color spectrum. Additionally, the process required to re-size, a rigid plastic panel, will often lead to the destruction of the panel. Many will hesitate to attempt this feat, for fear of ruining the panel, and losing a fair amount of money for their purchase.
The option to decorate your existing fluorescent ceiling light, without having to replace, or resize a rigid plastic panel, is also available. A graphic overlay, reproduced on a heavy 'Mylar' like material, can be installed on top of your existing panel, or cover. These overlays are literally fireproof, and have an ASTM fire rating that classifies them as 'slow to self extinguishing'. A fluorescent tube light will only heat to around 60 degrees.
These graphic overlays are inexpensive, easy to install, and will not alter the light quality or color spectrum of the room. Architectural patterns, and wrought iron designs, are available to complete your interior design theme. The low cost, and ease of installation, will reinforce your decision to retain your existing fluorescent ceiling lights, and create a sense of pride, that only a well designed interior can produce.