Creating a Suspended Ceiling

Reference Number: KB-02838
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


How do I show a suspended ceiling with recessed lights that fit the ceiling tile grid?


A suspended ceiling can be created by raising the ceiling height and using a soffit to hang the ceiling surface. To show the lights in line with the runners we can take an overview and remove the floor.

To create the suspended ceiling

  1. Click Edit> Default Settings , highlight "Floor" and click Edit.

  2. In the Floor Defaults dialog, on the Structure panel, specify Ceiling (B) as the height of the structural ceiling. In this article 121 1/8" is used. when done click OK to close the dialog and click Done to close out of Default Settings.

    Home Designer Pro has the ability to modify the layers of the Ceiling Structure and Finish. With the ability to modify the Ceiling layers it is not necessary to use the Soffit discussed in the following steps.

  3. Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit  and place a soffit within the area where a suspended ceiling is going to be drawn.

  4. With the Soffit selected use the edit handles to resize the soffit to match the size of the room.

  5. With the soffit still selected click Open Object .

  6. In the Soffit Specification dialog, on the General panel specify the Height of the soffit and the Floor to Bottom distance.

    For this article a soffit Height of 24" and a Floor to Bottom distance of 97 1/8" is used.

  7. On the Materials panel select the lower of the two Soffits and then click the Select Material button.

  8. In the Select Library Object dialog browse to the desired material.

    In this article Materials> Ceiling Tiles> Rectangle Ceiling Tiles is used.

  9. Click 3D> Create Camera View> Camera then click and drag a camera view to see the results so far.

    Home Designer Pro has the ability to modify the origin of the Ceiling Tile material making it easier to get the grid positioned.

To place lights

  1. Close the 3D view to return to your floor plan view.

  2. Click Library> Library Browser  and within the library browser select the desired lighting fixture. Place the desired number of lights into the plan.

    In this article Architectural> Lighting> Fluorescent> Recessed> 24x48 Recessed is used.

  3. Next click 3D> Create Camera View> Full Overview  and using the Move Camera with Mouse  feature rotate the view until a straight on view of the bottom of the structure is seen.

  4. From the menu click on Tools> Display Settings> Display Options .

  5. In the Display Options dialog uncheck the Disp column for the "Foundation" and "Floor Surfaces" layers then click OK.

    If the area is already furnished you may need to uncheck the Furniture and Fixtures layers as well.

  6. Now it is possible to view the ceiling surface and the light fixtures. Select one of the light Fixtures and place it within the grid provided by the Ceiling Tiles material.

    If you have trouble getting the light within the grid hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard to allow for free movement.

  7. When lights are placed click Tools> Display Settings> Display Options  and put a check the Disp column to display the layers that were turned off in step 4 then click OK to close out the dialog. Close out of the overview by clicking File> Close.

  8. Click 3D> Create Camera View> Camera  then click and drag a camera view to see the results.