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How to Choose a Chandelier

How to Choose a Chandelier


A chandelier is a large and impactful lighting installation that can have a dramatic effect on the design of almost any room. But even though one of these fixtures can add depth and nuance to the way a room comes together, picking one out can be pretty straightforward.

Read on to learn the most important things to consider when choosing the right chandelier for your room!

Oil Rubbed Bronze Sputnik Chandelier

Chandelier Size

The most common mistake people make in terms of size is going with a chandelier that is too small for the space. Luckily there is a simple formula that can help you find the right dimensions to fit your particular room:

Length of room (in feet) + Width of room (in feet) = ideal diameter of chandelier (in inches)

So for example, a room that is 15 feet by 15 feet would need a chandelier that is 30 inches across. This rule should serve as a good guide for any space except dining rooms. For these, the ideal sized chandelier should have a diameter about half the width of the table it will be above. Note that If you can't find a style you like in the ideal diameter for either of these rooms it’s best to err a bit on the larger side.

Oil Rubbed Bronze Orb Chandelier

Chandelier Style

Although many people think of the traditional crystal chandelier when considering styles, there are actually many different options to choose from including modern, rustic, and transitional designs in a variety of structures. Some of the most popular options include shaded downlights, shaded uplights, linear chandeliers, and imitation candle chandeliers. Most of these options come in a range of different finishes, so choose one in a hue that complements existing lighting or hardware in a room to help the fixture coordinate effortlessly.

White French Country Chandelier

Number of Lights and Tiers

Chandeliers are available with anywhere from just one or two lights to well over 30, and depending on the specific design come in arrangements from lines and orbs to the traditional tiered style. Be sure to consider any other lighting that you may have in a room and select a fixture that coordinates with the overall lighting-scape to offer adequate light for your needs. Generally a chandelier with more tiers will be larger, more formal, and provide large amounts of light, but there are always exceptions.

Silver Branches Chandelier

Extra Features

While there aren’t too many special features found in large ceiling lights like these, traditional options such as energy efficiency or the ability to dim can make a good fixture even better. For energy efficiency, keep an eye out for fixtures that are EnergyStar labeled that will conserve electricity and help keep energy costs down. When it comes to dimming, most chandeliers should be compatible with dimmer switches, but be sure to check that dimmer works with the particular types and wattage of the chandelier's bulbs.

Black Finished Uplight Chandelier

Keeping It Clean

It may seem a bit intimidating to maintain an elaborate fixture that may be mounted out of reach, but there are actually a couple simple tricks that can help you keep things tidy!

The first is to use a clean, light-weight sock slipped over the end of an extendable duster. Spray the sock with a spritz or two of glass cleaner, and then run it over every surface of your light fixture for a quick dust removal.

For a bit more of a deep clean, if your chandelier has removable baubles you can take them off to clean them. Simply soak them in a mixture of water, dishwashing detergent, and rubbing alcohol to get all the dust off and make them sparkle again.

There are also several chandelier glass cleaners available that can allow you to clean a fixture with a few simple sprays. Just line the floor below the light fixture with newspaper and spray the chandelier with cleaner. The cleaner will remove the dirt and drip to the floor.

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