Light Conversation — LightingTips


How wide can your chandelier be in proportion to your table? 0

I've had a few discussions about this exact topic lately.  Can your chandelier be wider than your table?  How much less wide than the table should the chandelier be?

If you want an extremely over-sized chandelier, wider than or as wide as your table, you have to hang it higher than normal range.  The chandelier, or at the very least, the bulk of the chandelier, must be above the heads of anyone standing at your table.  I know we don't normally think of folks standing at the table; we envision them sitting, but you do have to consider where the chandelier is if you are standing at the edge of the table, and you do not want a light fixture right in the face, or forehead, of your guests.  I am a fan of over-sized chandeliers in the right space, but just be wary of how low it is. 

To help you visualize... the closer the chandelier's diameter is to the width of your table, the higher the chandelier needs to hang.

crystal chandelier in a large room

We pay more attention to the room measurements to get the correct sizing for your chandelier, and only consider sizing for the table if the table is unusually sized for the room.  There are a few guidelines out there... some say leave 6" from the edge of the widest part of the table.  Others say to use a chandelier that is anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 the diameter of your table - which is a big range.  Again, unless you have a very large dining room, if you purchase a chandelier that is appropriately sized for the room dimensions and ceiling heights that you have, then your chandelier will most likely be sized appropriately for the table you have.

Here are some additional links to help you choose the best chandelier size for your room.

A chandelier over a drop-leaf table.

Guidelines for how high to hang a chandelier over a table.

How wide of a chandelier to choose.

We are happy to answer specific questions about this topic.  Feel free to send us your dimensions, and we will give you our recommendations.


How to add light to your historic home... 0

In my archiving, I ran across this article.  There is some good information here, for all types of homes.

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.

Wall sconces

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. 

Happy Lighting!




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!