Traditionally, chandeliers are hung over dining tables and in foyers or entryways. Nevertheless, a chandelier will look good anywhere you have the ceiling height. You may be able to choose a chandelier to fit into your bedroom, for example, if it has an elevated ceiling. Chandeliers come in styles that will match almost any decorating theme, from medieval to post-modern.
Should it be large or small?
The size of the chandelier should be proportionate to the size of the room. A small hallway chandelier of 18″ to 24″ may be appropriate for a dining room that is 12 feet by 12 feet, for example. It might be preferable to have one that’s 2 or 3 feet wide in an entry hall with a high ceiling and minimal furniture. A chandelier’s height will generally increase as the room’s diameter increases. A chandelier with a larger diameter will typically hang down farther than one with a smaller diameter, depending on the style.
Is special support required?
Crystal chandeliers can be particularly heavy, as they are generally heavier than other light fixtures. For chandeliers that weigh more than 15 pounds, such as ceiling fans, you will need to install an electrical box.
It’s actually the same box. The box will be made of metal, and it will bear a stamp that says, “Rated for Fan Support.”. This type of box can generally support 150 pound light fixtures. Unless it’s provided with it, a chandelier weighing more than this will require special mounting hardware.
There is one exception. You can use an electrical box to enclose your electrical connections and a hickey to support your chandelier if there are gas lighting pipes in your ceiling that are no longer used. With a lock nut and the hickey, which is threaded onto the pip, the electrical box is slid over the gas pipe and held in place. During assembly, a threaded electric nipple — made of hollowed-out “all-thread” — is screwed in to attach the hickey to the top of the chandelier. It is recommended that you use this mounting method for chandeliers weighing no more than 150 pounds.
How far should it hang down?
Chandeliers need to be low enough to provide good light, but high enough not to obscure the view. You should hang it no lower than 7′ above the floor if you want people to walk underneath it. The ceiling might be 10” or higher in a tall foyer. Most people prefer to hang a chandelier 30″ to 36″ above a dining table if it’s hanging over that area.
What Is It With Crystal Chandeliers?
For centuries, chandeliers were made without crystals. To start off with, clear glass and lead crystal glass were only discovered in the 15th century. While it might have been nice to have them in a chandelier back then, they were too expensive until, in the eighteenth century, glassmakers learned how to make cheaper lead crystals. It was then that the “crystal chandelier” became popular.
Due to their affordability, crystal chandeliers became popular for two reasons. Secondly, lead crystal “sparkles,” meaning that it scatters light. The first reason is that many people find crystals and a crystal chandelier attractive in appearance. Candles provided the light at the time. By adding crystals, the chandelier became a more efficient light fixture.
Lead and glass aren’t particularly light, of course. Lead crystal chandeliers are heavier than chandeliers without crystals, so they require more support than ordinary hanging fixtures.