Select and Hang A Chandelier
article by Jim Hoyle
Tips from a veteran lighting manufacturer
First, consider a few questions to guide you in selecting an appropriate
style. What is the main purpose or primary use: reading, writing, work projects, area lighting, dining room
lighting, accent lighting, an object of art, a beautiful specimen, just
something pretty that will light up an area ? What colors are you using in the
room ? Hold these thoughts and let us consider a few
Which room: living room, den, bedroom, dining
room, foyer, kitchen, bathroom, game room, entertainment room ?
When will you typically be using the chandelier: morning, noon, afternoon,
bedtime, at meals, after supper, late night ? Will others be in the room with
you when you are using it ? Will the light affect others in the room?
Now that you have pondered the above ideas, let us look at some specifics
especially sizes. Home decor items are very important as they relate to each
other in the same room. How big is the table, counter, shelf, etc. where it will be used ? A large
style over a small table or small area
will appear overpowering. A small style over a large table or in a large
area will appear lost.
How large is the room ? A small chandelier in
a huge room will appear lost and vice versa. How high are the ceilings ? Many
medium to large homes today have 17' or taller ceilings in the great room.
Generally a 36" tall and 36" wide lighting fixture with 6 lights minimum is right at
home in a moderate size room. Larger rooms require larger lights. Think of
relativity and remember Einstein. Each individual situation has different
Vertical location is extremely important and varies greatly
with the situation. When located over a dining table, the bottom should generally be around 30-36" from the table top but it also
depends on other variables. This distance allows people at the table to look at
and converse with each other without interference from the chandelier, yet hang
low enough to provide good lighting for the table surface. In very large rooms,
this measurement would likely increase. When located in a foyer, living room,
bedroom, bathroom or great room it should be much higher. Variables include
ceiling height, room size, furniture location and traffic areas.
Consider a dimmer for your dining room as there may be times when you
desire subtle accent light and other times when you want it as bright as
possible. Many dining tables do double duty such as being used as a game table
or as a part time office.
Tiffany styles excellent choices over the dining table if very
bright light is not your main goal. They are unequaled in providing
a romantic atmosphere. If you consider a Tiffany for a moderate
size dining area, look for one that is around 22-24" wide and around 22-24"
overall height although the height is not very critical in this situation.
Larger areas require larger fixtures.
The construction material of your new chandelier can be extremely important. The
most durable materials are metals, stone, porcelains, crystals, glass and wood.
All of the antiques that we repair are made from these materials and
they very handsomely stand the test of time. Resin, poly resin and hydrocal are
not recommended for anything that you wish to keep for an extended period
of time as these materials nearly self destruct.
Hopefully, you are now on your way to selecting and hanging your chandelier. If
you need help, free consultation is available from many professional lighting
showrooms as well as some lighting manufacturers via the internet.