Light Conversation — LightingTips


Right-sized vs. Wrong-sized Chandelier 0

When you WANT to break the rules!  

Thinking outside of the proper sized box when it comes to chandeliers.

Talking with a friend yesterday, I reminded her of the common method of finding the proper sized chandelier for any given room... room length + room width = approximately the width of the right chandelier (in inches).  a 12' x 10' room calls for a 22" wide chandelier.  

But, what if you want to be different.  Or what if the chandelier love of your life is too big (or small)?  As they say, it is all good.  It really is!  Ultimately, it is your room, and as long as your head doesn't hit the chandelier, you can do what you want. 

For example, I have a 26" wide chandelier in my dining room, a room that really calls for a 22" wide chandelier.  It is a small room, but I don't want a small chandelier - I own a chandelier store, for goodness sake!  Because the room is small, it only houses a table and the 6 chairs to the table, plus the over-sized chandelier.  I love it!

Conversely, a friend has an undersized chandelier in her dining room.  Her dining room calls for a 26" wide chandelier, and she opted to use the one that was original to her early 1950's home.  It is only 18" wide, but looks perfect with her small chairs and over-sized lamps.

Just wanted to pop in with a reminder that home decorating rules are meant to be broken!


Lowering Your Crystal Chandelier 0

A common 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.

Shopping for your Crystal Chandelier with a Check List 0

Before shopping for a crystal chandelier, you should gather some information in order to make the best choice.

  • Budget?  You can spend just about any amount on a crystal chandelier, and the truth is, you get what you pay for.  Having said that, maybe you only need a cheaper chandelier "just for effect".  Or, if you are looking at our site and a few others, you are really looking to invest in heirloom quality. Either way, determining your budget first will help in your selection process.
  • Number of Lights?  How much light will you need?  It may be good to talk to a lighting professional for some guidance.  Keep in mind, you will want to have your chandelier on a dimmer.
  • Room Size?  You will want to measure the width and length of your room and make notes of any architecture features or furniture that make the room seem bigger or smaller.
  • Ceiling Height?  Very important!  You need to know how much room you have before a chandelier would hit your head.  
  • How will you transport?  
  • Can you assemble it if necessary, or will you need to have an electrician assemble your new purchase.  We always recommend that an electrician make your electrical connection. 
  • Where to shop?  Well,, of course!  

Lighting the Victorian Home 0

quoted in Victorian Homes

The lovely Victorian Homes magazine was kind enough to use us as an expert reference in a recent editorial.  If you love Victorian decor, make sure to check  out the Fall 2017 issue for helpful tips from us and other lighting experts. 

Given that Victorian decor can be on the heavier, more ornate side, the right kind of lighting is important.

Here are some of our suggestions:

1. Layer your lighting. A multi-light center chandelier gives gorgeous ambient lighting and accentuates your period decor at the same time.  Continue with as many floor and table lamps as your Victorian room can handle.  Add a small accent lamps in the Tiffany style to bookshelves and desks to brighten corners. Use an electric candle stick or candelabra to add more lamp, yet look different than a lamp. 

2. Look for white fabric on the interior of lamp shades. Because so many Victorian style lamp shades are made of heavy, layered, or printed fabrics, a light colored lining will help brighten the effect.

3. Add wall sconces. Not only are wall sconces an additional layer of light, but a gas reproduction adds authenticity to the Victorian decor. 

For more Victorian decorating ideas, follow Victorian Homes.

How to keep your chandelier from falling out of the ceiling! 2


Can you imagine coming home to this? Or waking up to the sound of this happening? If not horrifying, then it is downright disconcerting. It doesn't happen often, and with the following information, it should never happen to you.

What are some of the best practices for keeping your chandelier safely in the ceiling?

1. Always ensure that your mounting location can support the weight of your chandelier.  Is your electrical box properly mounted and secure within your ceiling?

2. The cross bar, pipe, and screw collar of your mounting hardware should be a tight fit, with a locknut fitted against both the cross bar and the screw collar. 

3. The above mentioned cross bar should be securely mounted within your electrical box with the long screws that were included with the box.  

Those 3 steps are what holds your chandelier in the ceiling, so always make sure that they are performed carefully, correctly, and securely

4. Never (ever) spin a chandelier on its chain. Actually, don't even turn it. This sounds logical, but believe it or not, it is the number one reason for fallen chandelier. A chandelier revolving on a chain is very mesmerizing - until it unscrews from the ceiling and falls onto your table.  The locknuts are designed to help prevent this from occurring, but they need a little help from you. Best practice - you move around the chandelier doing what needs to be done instead of moving it to you. 

5. Make sure that the top loop on the chandelier itself is secure and tight.  This loop that attaches to the chain is the one thing that is holding your fixture.

6.  Finally, make sure that you are using the proper chain weight.  Heavy, solid chain that is split on the side (never on the bottom) is the best choice. 

Each time you have your chandelier cleaned, the screw loop connection and the top loop on the chandelier should be checked.  Are they tight against the locknuts? 

By following the above practices, you and your chandelier should have a long, healthy life together!

Reply to comment on 5/31/2018:  I'm so sorry that happened to you!  If the pipe came down with the screw loop, the pipe will need to be screwed back into the cross bar and make sure to use nuts to lock it in place.  If the pipe didn't come down, then the screw loop must be screwed into the pipe.  Again, make sure to use nuts.  The proper way to accomplish all of this is to disconnect the wires and start the installation from scratch.  Good luck!  -Nancy


Reply to comment on 7/28/2018 - I sent you a private message.  Let me know if you need further information. - Nancy


How to Choose the Right Medallion 0

We hear frequent questions regarding ceiling medallions.  What size? What style? Should I paint? What about the center hole?  Let's see if we can help!

What size ceiling medallion should you choose?

There are many different opinions and a formula or two to help you pick the right size medallion.  Here is what we have to say about the subject:  A ceiling medallion is an architectural element - just like your crown molding (moulding) or your chair rails. Choose a medallion that suits the style of your room.  

If the ceilings are tall and the molding ornate, then choose something that fits into the decor - an ornate, big medallion larger than your chandelier.  If the room is simple and has 8' ceilings, then choose a plainer medallion that is smaller than your chandelier. Don't worry about the exact size of the medallion.

What style of medallion is right for your chandelier?

Any style is right - again, choose something that suits your room and your home. You can consider matching motifs (Egg and Dart, Greek Key) to your molding. 

Should you paint your medallion?

Yes!  But, how is up to you.  You can match your trim using a nice glossy paint. Or, you can paint it an accent color.  Most medallions are purchased primed and ready for paint.  Victorians would paint the various elements of a medallion in color schemes.  Beautiful if it fits your room. 

Why are the center holes in medallions different?

You will see medallions with center holes that are of varying sizes.  When choosing, keep in mind how your chandelier mounts.

Some medallions have center holes that are smaller than the ceiling box (frequently under 2"). In this case, an electrician will need to install the mounting hardware before the medallion is installed. You can then choose whether to use a canopy or simply use the screw loop without the canopy.  Other medallions have holes that are larger than the canopy you intend to use.  This is okay, as long as your canopy covers the hole in the ceiling.  The bit of the ceiling that peaks through between your canopy and the medallion can be painted the same color as the medallion and will blend in.   

A fancy medallion may protrude some at the very center. For extreme extension, you may need what is called a bee-hive canopy or another type of deep canopy.  

Whatever you do, it will be beautiful! And, if you don't want a medallion, that is perfectly fine. Without a medallion, you may see the gorgeous play of light on your ceiling.