If you are looking for an ambient lighting option that also acts as a decor feature in your space, you might want to consider chandeliers. In this article, you will learn about these aesthetic lighting fixtures that have stood the test of time in interior design.
The term chandelier comes from a french word that translates to candle holder in English. It referred to candlesticks that hung from the ceiling as a source of light since there was no electricity at the time. The house or any such space was illuminated with candlelight from such chandeliers. However, modern chandeliers use light bulbs instead and come in a lot more designs.
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In current times, chandeliers are classified under pendant lights. However, they come in many different designs, sizes, prices, etc. The purpose of the chandelier may vary as well and this affects its design and placement. The materials used for making chandeliers include crystal, bronze, glass, steel and wrought iron. This is why chandeliers tend to weigh a lot and often have to be suspended from a chain to support their weight.
A lot of people assume that chandeliers are the same as pendant lights but this is not necessarily true. Pendant lights are fixtures with a single light bulb that are suspended from the ceiling. Chandeliers are fixtures that are suspended from the ceiling too but they have multiple light bulbs that are incorporated in one fixture. When you purchase either of these lights, you will notice that chandeliers are a more expensive option while pendant lights can be bought at a much cheaper range. You will also notice that pendant lights are usually more simple in design while chandeliers tend to be more ornate and artistic. While pendant lights are available in beautiful designs as well, it is better to choose a chandelier if you are looking for a showpiece.
The main styles of chandeliers
1. Candle style
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This design is probably the oldest chandelier style and adds a hint of the past to your decor. However, these days, bulbs have replaced the candles that were previously held on these. They suit a rustic interior design and are a simple yet elegant style.
2. Wagon wheel style
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This style developed from the candle style and lights were set on the wheel frame. It makes it possible to expand the radius of light being distributed around the room.
3. Crystal style
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Chandelier designs became popular over time and were used in churches and aristocratic mansions. This is why the design of the chandelier was improvised to look fancier and crystal was used, hence the name. These crystal chandeliers are still one of the most popular options. If you have high ceilings, raindrop or staircase designs are great crystal chandelier options.
4. Venetian style
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Although crystal chandeliers were popular, crystals were scarce and expensive. In 1676, someone had the idea to mix glass and lead to get a similar effect. The sparkle obtained from this was even better than that of crystal. Around the 1700s, chandelier designs became more delicate and in Italy, they used blown glass. These chandeliers with blown glass came to be known as the Venetian style chandeliers.
5. Beaded style
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Beaded style chandeliers are another popular style that is beautiful and delicate. The beads can be made from different materials including crystals and so there are many designs in this style. They can be made from glass, wood, metal, etc. Some designs even use shells instead of traditional beads. This style suits a more exotic or new age interior design, depending on the beaded style.
6. Tiffany style
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In the 1900s, the use of stained glass in chandeliers gained a lot of popularity because it added more colour and brightness to space. If you visit some old established restaurants from that time, you can still see such chandeliers used in their retro decor style.
7. Shaded style
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Shaded style is a more modern option and many people prefer it in their homes. It helps in softening the light emitted from the bulbs and is a good choice for modern interiors. Since the shades are usually placed around the lights, it gives the appearance of a drum so these are also called drum chandeliers.
Where to install a chandelier?
In older times, chandeliers were usually installed on the ceiling above the dining table. However, these days, you are not limited to such installations and you can put up a chandelier in your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc. as well.
Beaded or crystal chandeliers should ideally be installed where there is limited airflow. It should not be fixed near a fan or an air conditioner. The wind from these devices would cause the beads or crystals to move and also bring in dust which will settle on the chandelier. Dust accumulating on your chandeliers would affect its appearance and it would also mean that you need to clean it more frequently.
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In bedrooms, chandeliers should be installed away from the bed and not directly over it. There are two reasons for this that you need to keep in mind. One is that the accumulated dust might make the bed dirty and another is a safety concern since the chandelier might fall due to an unprecedented reason. Keeping the chandelier further away would also prevent the light from disturbing your eyes. Having a dimmer can help you adjust the chandelier light as required in your bedroom.
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In kitchens, the smoke exuded during cooking can cause a chandelier to get tarnished. It is better to install a simple chandelier if any and not one with a lot of strings or patterns. This would make it easier to clean and maintain the chandelier hung in the kitchen.
If you hang a chandelier in your bathroom, it should be at eye level when viewed from the bathtub. Place it away to the side so it doesn’t touch your head when you bend over the sink or are washing your hands there. Hanging the chandelier in the middle of the bathroom is one option and above the sink is another. An important point to remember is that the value of a hanging lamp in the bathroom should be IP44 or higher. This will prevent dampness in the bathroom, something that can shorten the life of your lamp.
Things to consider while installing a chandelier
Installing a chandelier is not as easy as you may assume. This is why it is important to consider a few points before setting up a chandelier on your ceiling.
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