How to Measure and Match a Crystal Piece for Replacement on Your Chandelier 0
Are you trying to measure or match your crystal pieces for replacement on your light fixture? We can help!
Ideally you want to get that measurement correct the first time as most folks, including us, charge restocking fees on returns of parts or they don't accept returns at all.
Replacement crystals frequently are sold with an attached octagon or button and a hook. Keep in mind that this top piece is not included in most measurements. In other words, a 2.5" almond is just that... 2.5" of almond shaped crystal with the added bonus of a top piece.
Below is a 2" measured.
We try to include the overall length (in this case 3.5"), but this height includes the pinning which can make the overall height vary a bit.
When trying to match crystals, it is more important to compare the height than the width. An off width will blend with different crystals better in most cases.
It can be quite difficult to verify that top "button" and the pinning on the piece you are wanting to purchase is the same as the piece that you need to match. If you are examining our parts, feel free to send specific questions. In most cases, we are happy to change the pinning or top piece for a small fee.
Quality is very difficult to determine by photo. Generally, if you tell us the chandelier is pre-1980's, we can assume that the crystal are Italian quality, Czech quality, or Swarovski Strass. What does this mean?
Older Strass is unmistakable. It is thick, heavy and blindingly refractive. Newer Strass is a lighter due to the lack of lead oxide, but it is still gorgeous. (It is also thinner and etched with a trademark.)
"Italian Quality" usually means leaded crystal without great clarity. It is heavy, but whitish looking. Frequently the edges are duller and more molded looking as opposed to cut.
Czech Quality means the good, old stuff! It is a heavy, clear crystal, but not brilliantly sparkly like Strass. Sadly, this is being replaced by a newer, lighter crystal. Good for the environment (no lead) but sad for us traditionalists. Czech quality has edges that look more polished instead of molded.
Hope this is helpful.
Where does the crystal hang? 2
We are still noticing an upswing in parts related questions and chandelier cleaning related questions. I'm guessing many of you are unhappily furloughed from jobs or simply home-bound due to cancellations and are tackling some tasks around the house.
I've made a few posts about cleaning and safety which you can access from the tags to your right. I haven't addressed how to figure out where everything hangs once you have it clean.
First things first... or, maybe I should say for next time.... take a photo of the chandelier before you start removing crystal. I know we all THINK we will remember where it goes, but trust me, you probably won't.
So, let's assume you have a pile of crystal in front of you and a bare chandelier with no idea what to do.
- Separate the types of prisms/pendants. Even if some have 1 button on top and others have 2 buttons on top, sort them separately.
- Intact strands of crystal should be compared to each other and same length should be laid side to side, untangled, so you can see that they are all the same length. Place bits and pieces aside for the moment.
- Save any loose pins that may have fallen out of the crystal.
- Set aside any other loose pieces or pulled apart pieces.
Okay... so that takes care of the sorting. Now turn your attention to the frame of your chandelier. I find it easiest to sketch it out. I can't draw, so mine are laughable, but helpful.
These numbers give me quite a bit of info.
If you have strands, they will match the number of arms. If they are coming from the stem, then they will come from the 2nd bobeche where there are 8 pins, not the top where there are 12 pins. Look at where the loops are on the arm, under the bobeche. One center loop means those strands probably stretch from the front of that arm to front of the next. No loop on the arm means they probably connect to the bobeche on the arm itself.
If I have 12 of one type of crystal, they probably go on the top. 5 of a different would go on the bottom. Just start matching crystal counts to the number of pins. It is a puzzle, but you will figure it out eventually. As you start to populate the chandelier, you will be able to complete the bits and pieces.
If it is one of ours, you can send us a photo and we can guide you. If not, just web search crystal chandeliers and look at the images shown for ideas.
Some chandeliers, most particularly the metal cage framed chandeliers, are a bit more difficult to figure out. But, work on levels for your counts. Usually, each level of the chandelier will have one style of crystal.
These are not the best of times, and we wish everyone health and comfort. Keep sending your questions... our response time may be a bit slower, but we will answer.
How and Where Should You Store a Chandelier 0
The logistics of storing a crystal chandelier are, well, complicated.
Let's tackle the hows first.
Some folks opt for storing a chandelier, intact, hanging in a crate or from a bar of some type in an out of way place. This isn't a bad method as long as you have the room, and everyone knows not to touch. The chandelier should be covered to keep as much dust as possible off of the fixture. Of course, once it is covered no one will know the fragility of the contents underneath, so a CAUTION sign may be a good idea. We don't recommend moving a crystal chandelier in a crate, but for stationary storage, it works well.
We frequently recommend storing crystal chandeliers as if they were packed for moving. That is, each arm taken out of the main stem and wrapped with paper or bubble wrap for cushioning. Crystal trimmings should be wrapped in tissue paper and labeled carefully. Including a diagram of where the crystal belongs on the fixture is a must!
Once everything is wrapped, place the piece in a strong cardboard box with cushioning between the pieces. You want to make sure that pieces can't knock against each other.
Where to store it?
We don't like attics..temperatures are too extreme in attics, at least in most parts of the country. The heat isn't good for the electrical wiring and the candle covers. Garages are better unless your climate is really extreme.
A more climate controlled area is best - somewhere inside the home is ideal. But, of course, the best place to store a chandelier is hanging from your ceiling where everyone can enjoy it.
How to Measure Chandelier Arms 0
It is very distressing to find yourself in need of a chandelier arm. Because they are all hand-blown, matches are difficult. A variation of less than half an inch is size can throw off the height enough to be extremely noticeable. So, size matching is more important than anything.
So, how do you communicate the details of a chandelier arm? Start with the measurement.
An "s" arm, also called a lower arm, is measured straight across. Most arms will come near to a whole-inch increment, and it will be referred to as such. For example, the below "s" arm is a 16" arm.
Although this would officially be called a 16" arm, it may not be exactly 16" across. So, for matching purposes, one would need to know the exact width.
The height of an "s" arm is from the lowest part of the bend to the highest part of the bend as shown above. Truly, in order to match a chandelier arm, it is best to compare, side by side, the old and the new. A side by side comparison allows us to observe the difference in bends, patterns and thickness.
When measuring an upper arm, measure straight out. When referencing the height, mention whether the measurement includes the ferule (metal cap).
Again, the bends on these vary quite a bit (along with the pattern) so it is always best to make an actual comparison.
If you are looking to match an arm, click here.
Other factors that should be considered when looking for a chandelier match: thickness (diameter - usually measured in millimeters), pattern, finish color.
Let us know if we can help! firstname.lastname@example.org
Lighting Ideas for Your Dining Room 0
There are many ways to add ambiance to a dining room, but our favorite way is with lighting.
Lighting can set your best mood, highlight artwork, and show off your gorgeous table setting.
Start with the right chandelier, of course. Something that fits both your room and your decor. Check here for how to choose the best size, but it is about more than getting the right size. You have to love your chandelier. That is absolute! If you love a chandelier that has too few lights, add lamps. If you love a chandelier that has too many, turn your dimmer down. We've written a few blog posts about choosing the right chandelier, and we hope you find those helpful. Imagine that gorgeous chandelier shining down on your set table with your family all around. Beautiful!
Adding wall sconces will help brighten a room and fill wall space. Like most lighting, it is both a decor choice and a practical choice. I think there is nothing classier looking than sconces above a sideboard or buffet placed on either side of a mirror or art. A pretty sconce is like its own work of art.
Buffet lamps! Who doesn't love buffet lamps? They aren't just for buffets, but for any side table in your dining room. What distinguishes a buffet lamp from other table lamps is the size... a buffet lamp is usually slender and tall - perfect to fit elegantly on dining room furniture. The height helps bring light up to the center of the room. Of course any type lamp can work, either in pairs or on their own. I've seen large based lamps fit spectacularly on a sideboard.
And, whether you have dining room furniture beyond your table or not, you can put a floor lamp just about anywhere! Floor lamps are ingenious that way. My favorite floor lamps are shaded, but many folks like a torchiere which directs your light up. I like the the traditional shaded floor lamp because it offers less competition to your chandelier's reflections on the ceiling.
The bottom line is that most folks just don't have enough light in their rooms. And, even dining rooms need more than one source of light. I like at least 3 sources of light, or layers of light, in a room.
What Size Chandelier is Best for a Bedroom 0
What Size Chandelier is Best for a Bedroom?
My best answer to the question above is any size. Seriously. I think you can use any size you want.
Proper sizing: Room width + room length = chandelier width in inches... 10'x12' room takes a 22" wide chandelier. HOWEVER, in a bedroom, a chandelier is really an accent piece, so it is more about the decor. And, the ceiling height.
Ceiling height is the first consideration in a bedroom. You have to walk under the light, so standard height off the floor is 6 1/2 feet off the floor. Most people aren't taller than that (and if they are, they are used to ducking). If everyone in your house is short, good! That leaves more room for a chandelier. (Remember to account for ceiling hardware which can take up to 4" additional beyond the chandelier height.)
If you only have 8', you will do best to use a small chandelier, regardless of how large the room is. An 18" tall chandelier (maximum height for 8' ceiling) starts to look odd when it gets wider than 26".
If you are lucky, you will have tall ceilings and can use anything you want. But, unless you live in a palace, you don't want a huge chandelier in your bedroom. This is one room where less is more.