Lowering Your Crystal Chandelier 0
A common dilemma...how do I lower my chandelier?
Maybe you have moved to a home with higher ceilings, or maybe you just think your chandelier should be lower... but either way, you want to add chain to your chandelier so that it hangs closer to the table or floor. How do you do this?
Most importantly, is there enough wire (lamp and ground) on the fixture to accommodate the new length? If not, you will have to change the entire electrical wire from the ceiling box through the stem to where the center wire connects to the arm wires. You will also need to replace the ground wire.
Safety dictates that the wire has to be whole or connected within the proper wire nuts, and because most folks don't want colorful wire nuts visible, we recommend changing the entire length. You can purchase wire here.
Cut the power to the chandelier! To get to the wire connections, you can unscrew the bottom of your chandelier, separate the center wire from the arm wires, pull the old center wire and then replace that center wire with a new one. It should thread through the center pipe easily. Make sure you are using an appropriate wire. The new center wire must connect to the arm wires.
Once you have solved the wire issue, you can turn your attention to adding chain. Either match your existing chain and add in what you need to get the chandelier to the proper height, or replace all the chain with something new.
Make sure you are using an appropriate chain gauge. Using proper tools, such as chain spreaders, makes your job easier. Using care and strength, and cutting the power to your fixture, you can change the wire and chain on a modest sized chandelier without taking the chandelier all the way down.
Keep in mind that these instructions are specific to our crystal chandeliers. If you have one of our Tier models or Victorian models, we can talk you through how to change the wire in those.
Traditional Crystal Chandelier with a Contemporary Twist 0
We love when our clients bring us new ideas! Recently, we were approached by a designer to help achieve her vision for a fresh take on a traditional-style chandelier.
Katy Krider, owner of Katy Krider Interior Design, wanted to blend our classic crystal baskets with a contemporary cascading pendant design for an impressive historic home renovation in Portland Oregon. The uncomplicated, over-sized ceiling pan conveys a modern look to the lighting fixture, while the cloth-look wire brings an antique aspect. The pendant lights are our Sally Ann and Mary Beth crystal baskets that have been simplified just a bit.
The final product exceeded even our expectations and was the perfect blend of old and new - an excellent lighting solution for this extraordinary home.
Working on this design with Katy and her client was so much fun, and they were kind enough to share installation photos with us.
Check out the photos below and make sure to follow Katy on Instragram: @katydrider.id. And, while you are there, follow us...@kingschandelier.
- King's Chandelier Company
To Shade or Not to Shade 0
Should you put clip-on shades on your chandelier or sconce?
There are many things to consider when deciding whether to add fabric shades to your fixtures. I am addressing crystal fixtures specifically, but many of the same ideas can be applied to other types of lighting.
One of the greatest things about adding shades to crystal chandeliers is that it softens the light. And, if the shades have white linings, the bulbs will reflect off that fabric and back into all the crystals. It really is quite stunning.
You can see in the photos above how the chandelier itself is lit by the way the shades push the light from the bulbs down onto the chandelier arms and prisms.
A few things to be aware of when purchasing:
1. Make sure that you are using a low wattage bulb - if using incandescent, between 15w and 40w, depending upon how big the shades are. If the bulbs become too hot, they will discolor the shades, or even worse, they will cause a fire. Most LED bulbs don't get hot enough to be of concern.
2. Clip on shades will fit either a candelabra bulb or a regular A15 or A19 (household type). Double check that you are purchasing the right type of shade.
3. Look at the interior color of the shade. We really like white interior for maximum brightness.
4. Most lighting fixtures will look best with a shade that has a bottom diameter of 4" to 6", depending upon how large the fixture is. Most of what we sell in the showroom is 4" to 5" bottom diameter.
5. If purchasing shades for sconces, ensure that the bottom of the shade isn't too wide. Measure the distance from the wall to the center of the socket. Half the diameter of your shade should be smaller than the distance from the wall to the center of the socket.
If you think that the light from wall sconces is a bit excessive, shades, either traditional or contemporary styles, are a beautiful way to soften that light.
From a decorating point of view, shades can be a way to change design perspectives of a fixture. An elegant drum shade can make a traditional chandelier seem more modern, or a bell shade can make a straight line chandelier seem more classic. In many cases, a shade can make a fancy chandelier just a bit less so.
Whether for practical reasons or aesthetic reasons, clip on shades can change the look of your lighting fixture.A couple of our favorite shade sellers:
How to Cut a Candle Cover 0
If you are looking for candle covers for your chandelier, you have realized that not only are they available in different diameters, they are available in different heights, too.
However, we do have many folks that inquire about cutting their own. So, how do you do that? The best way to do it is with a band saw. With a band saw, you can make clean, quick cuts no matter how thick the cover is.
Many folks do try to cut their covers with scissors... sometimes that works, sometimes it does not. If the candle cover is thin enough, you can trim down the plastic a bit at a time:
It is best NOT to try to cut it all at once. Although it is quick, that method will crease the plastic:
We have had customers cut them with hack saws and bread knives... though we just don't recommend it.
The easiest way is to let us do it for you! Order here.
- King's Chandelier Company
Golden Oldies 0
When I clean out a drawer around here, I find the best things! I love these old photos from what must be the late Fifties. These lovelies were in some of our early catalogs showing the larger crystal chandeliers.
I'm not sure of the house and exactly who every one is... though the handsome man in the tuxedo is Durward King.
Although I don't recognize all of the people, I do recognize some of the furniture as pieces that found their way to our showroom over the years. Those pieces were meant to last generations - just like our chandeliers.
How to Move a Crystal Chandelier AKA How to Dismantle & Pack a Crystal Chandelier 0
You would think "How to Move a Crystal Chandelier" and "How to Dismantle & Pack a Crystal Chandelier" would be two different topics... but they are not! Ask any chandelier restoration expert and they will agree that the best way to move a chandelier is to dismantle it and pack it.
We believe with our whole heart that if you are removing a crystal-armed chandelier from one location and transporting it to another location, it should be taken apart and packed. I know - I hear you say that if you crate it properly, it will be fine. But, it might not be and why take the chance?
If a chandelier hangs within a crate, it can bang around in that crate. If it is secured so that it can't swing, pressure is placed on those tension points. Either scenario can shatter the crystal pieces. And, if you have had it happen, you know how hard it is to match a broken chandelier arm.
We ship thousands of our chandeliers, and we always ship them with the arms removed from the main fixture, wrapped, and packed withing packing pellets. We also carefully wrap then hanging crystal so that these pieces don't touch one another.
Below is the method that we recommend. These instructions will work with many crystal chandeliers made within the last 70 years or so. If your chandelier is an antique, or you think it is exceptionally valuable, please consult a professional.
- Take photos and make diagrams of where all the crystal pendants and strands hang. Don't rely on original instructions.
- Lay out your tissue paper on a table, then carefully place your prisms/pendants on the tissue paper so that they do not touch. Fold the paper with the pendants inside the folds - you will have to be the judge of how many per sheet of paper to use, but you don't want the final result to be so heavy or large that the crystals tear through the paper. Tape and label. For example: Prisms for Top.
- For strands, use the same method as above, making sure that the strands do not tangle. Once the crystals have all been removed, you can work with the chandelier without all the crystals banging against each other.
- Make sure the power to your fixture off!
- Remove the bottom of the chandelier to get to the nuts that are holding the arms onto the fixture. You can see instructions on how to remove the bottom of our chandeliers here and here. Wrap the bottom in bubble wrap.
- Disconnect the wiring from the arms. While holding the outer, heavy part of the arm, unscrew the nut on the underside of the plate that is holding the arm and lift the arm out of the plate. Remove the light bulb and wrap the arm carefully in bubble wrap. Do this for all of the arms.
- Disconnect the chandelier from the ceiling and remove the stem of the chandelier from the chain. Wrap the stem well in bubble wrap.
- Don't forget to remove your chain, canopy, screw loop and cross bar. You will want to take this with you as it might be original to the chandelier.
- In the bottom of a box large enough for the arms, make sure you have some good cushioning material: layered bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Carefully lay the arms in making sure that there is cushion between each and around each arm. Arrange them so that the heavy parts (candle cups and bobeches) are not on top of one another.
- We pack the bottom and crystals in a separate box from the arms.
- Either place the stem in a box or transport it securely without a box.
- If possible, transport the boxes yourself instead of relying on the moving company. They won't treat it as lovingly as you will.
This all may sound a bit time-consuming, but I promise that this method of packing your chandelier will take less time than trying to find matches to broken components of your chandelier!
We will concede that if your chandelier is very small - say 18" wide, you can probably move it without taking it apart. But, we do recommend taking the crystals off so that they don't bang against each other and chip. Don't pack the frame in a box - keep it where you can see it. Simply place it in the seat of your car and place the seat belt around it. And, make sure not to crack it by hitting it on the door frame on the way in and out of the car.
Whatever you do, do it carefully!