Actually, in medium-sized rooms that are y x y x 5-12 blocks high, a chandelier wouldn't look so bad. But this is way too limited, because torchlight doesn't actually reach that far. You could harvest glowstone from the nether or just light the area up with netherrack and flint and steel. Again, inefficient since fire hurts and glowstone is tough to collect. really needs to put in more forms of lighting.
the only solution without placing the torches on the floor is making loooong chandeliers, that have 3 blocks of nothing between the torches on them and the floor.
that way you have to use loads-a-cobble, but the floor is free.
A series of concentric squares, using either lava topped with glass, as in the torch + glass suggestion, or glowstone. This would give you enough room to play with redstone without interruption (and if you do suffer from interruption, just break the piece and replace it with your floor material.) and I think that would work well.
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My Grandmother passed away on Sunday, the 7th of August, 2011. I am taking an extended leave of absence in light of this. My apologies.
Okay I kindaish lied. My stupid MOCD (minecraftOCD) kicked in and I had to replace the dirt with smoothstone (Still not finished with it yet) But Im just placing smooth stone on the ceiling in the corners and above the 4 torches (WIP). Thanks for the help guys.
I use glowstone, actually. It's brighter than any other material and has a wider radius.
Do this in your ceiling:
<Upper layer of ceiling (All stone)
<Bottom layer of ceiling (Stone with Lights)
And a view from the floor looking at the ceiling:
And so on. Make a checkerboard pattern with the glowstone embedded in your ceiling basically. It looks great and lights well. However, if you want to use torches, do a similar thing with blocks with torches attached on each side.
If done right, it looks great aesthetically (the glowstone).
A room lit with this technique. Open in new tab to see full size.