Select and Hang A Chandelier

Chandelier hanging, size and selection tips and ideas 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 more.

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 requirements.

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.

Select Chandeliers here