A Guide to Choosing the Right Chandelier
To many, the word chandelier conjures up images of grand, centrepiece showstoppers in hotel lobbies and ballrooms. However, chandeliers have long been used to inject a bit of "wow" into our homes. Whether you’re looking for a fitting to showcase your entrance hallway, add glamour to your living room or invite you to dine, the right chandelier can make a big impression. With an ever-expanding array of chandeliers to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you. In this guide, we aim to help you narrow down those choices by answering some of the most commonly asked questions.
What Factors Should I Consider When Selecting a Chandelier?
Size and scale is the obvious place to start. Anything too big or too small will result in a disproportioned look, although if in doubt you should always err on the larger side as chandeliers are statement pieces and small fixtures can seem dwarfed by the space if you’re not careful.
Style is a crucial factor when considering which chandelier to buy. There are so many designs available to you, but ultimately, your choice will be swayed by personal preference. You should obviously like what you choose but maybe go for something unexpected and less “safe” as this will create impact.
Direction of light from the fitting is important to consider. Glare from exposed bulbs can be uncomfortable and if this is the case you should choose a chandelier that can be dimmed.
How Do I Know What Size Chandelier to Choose For My Room?
As a “rule of thumb”, to get you started, we would recommend using the following easy steps to calculate the size of chandelier you should be looking at in proportion to the space:
- Measure the length and width of your room in feet
- Add the two numbers together
- The sum of the two numbers will be the diameter of your chandelier in inches.
This is a good guideline, but try our Chandelier Sizing Guide to easily find the right sized chandelier for your room.
Will My Chandelier Produce Enough Light?
Chandeliers are decorative fixtures, and not meant to be the primary source of light for the room. For the best results, your chandelier should be incorporated into a layered lighting scheme. Layering is a lighting technique used in all good design and uses different light sources to create mood and atmosphere. For example, in addition to your chandelier, you might add circuits of table lamps, recessed downlights and cove lighting.
Do Chandeliers Work in Other Rooms in the House?
Most certainly. From living rooms and dining rooms to kitchens and bedrooms, chandeliers can be used in pretty much every room in the house. Even bathrooms can receive a little injection of glamour with an appropriate IP rated chandelier.
At What Height Should I Hang My Chandelier?
Ceiling height, fixture size and room type are all factors here but again, as a “rule of thumb” we would recommend a minimum of 6.5 feet or 2m from the floor to the bottom of the fixture. This height may increase depending on the ceiling height and fixture size.
In the case of hanging a chandelier over a dining table or kitchen island, we would recommend following these guidelines:
Over a table, we recommend hanging a pendant 28 to 32 inches from the bottom of the fitting to the table surface. This is only a guideline, and you may feel you prefer it hung slightly higher or lower depending on fixture size and ceiling height. Remember, we recommend that pendants above dining tables should have a diameter of 1/2 to 2/3 the width of the table.
Over an island, we recommend hanging pendants 28 to 34 inches from the bottom of the fitting to the countertop or 66 to 72 inches above the floor. Again, this is only a guideline and heights may vary depending on the inhabitants, size of fitting and personal preference.
Should I Be Looking for an LED Chandelier?
Whilst traditional incandescent and halogen is still commonly used, the size and versatility of LED has afforded modern designers much greater scope in how they design chandeliers. Choosing a style that you like, that’s appropriate for the space should always be your primary consideration, however.
Can My Chandelier Be Dimmed?
The simple answer to that question is to always check with the manufacturer before you buy. Most chandeliers with an incandescent or halogen light source will be dimmable but again there will be exceptions that. Where LED is used as the light source, the situation becomes a bit more complicated, however, and depending on the power source used to run the fixture, the dimming capabilities will vary. A manufacturer recommended dimmer should always be used.