Chandelier FAQs

What chandelier means

A chandelier is a decorative, often ornate, light fixture suspended from a ceiling, containing multiple lights. The origin of the word Chandelier is from French: something that holds candles.

When was the chandelier invented?

Nobody really knows. Chandeliers in one form or another have existed for over 1000 years and were originally a simple wooden cross, hung horizontally from the ceiling using a pulley. Candles were secured on spikes at the end of each arm. See our Buyer’s Guide for more information.

Can a chandelier be too big?

Yes it can. It can also be too small. You don’t want your luxury chandelier to overwhelm your room, but you don’t want something tiny that looks insignificant in a large room. It is important to determine the square footage (or meterage) of the area in which you intend to hang your chandelier. Generally, a room that is 3 x 3 m (10 x 10 feet) will take a chandelier between 40 – 50 cm (17 – 20 inches). A room of 4 x 4 m (12 x 12 feet) needs a chandelier of around 70 cm (27 inches). If your room is 5 x 5 m (16 x 16 feet), your chandelier should have a diameter of around 90 – 100 cm (36 – 39 inches). If your room is substantially larger than this, please speak to our design team  on +44 (0) 207 870 7415 for advice.

See also Can a chandelier be too heavy?

Can a chandelier be too heavy?

Before installing a large chandelier (if you didn’t already have one there), make sure you have a Load Test done to ensure that your ceiling will bear the weight of your chandelier. It may not have been designed with a chandelier in mind. We always recommend using a professional to install your chandelier so ask them about the Load Test. If you are buying your chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, we can arrange the installation for you, including a Load Test if necessary. Just call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415

What size chandelier do I need for dining room, bedroom, living room or bathroom?

Nobody wants to invest in a chandelier, only to find out that it looks tiny in the space – or that it completely overpowers the room. First of all, you need to work out the size of the area where the chandelier will hang, in square metres or square feet. A room that is 3 x 3 m (10 x 10 feet) will take a chandelier between 40 – 50 cm (17 – 20 inches). A room of 4 x 4 m (12 x 12 feet) needs a chandelier of around 70 cm (27 inches). If your room is 5 x 5 m (16 x 16 feet), your chandelier should have a diameter of around 90 – 100 cm (36 – 39 inches). If your room is substantially larger than this, please speak to our design team on +44 (0) 207 870 7415 for advice.

See also Can a chandelier be too heavy?

Where is the best place to hang a chandelier?

Chandeliers are usually hung in the centre of a room or space, unless it is a dining room, in which case you should hang it centrally above the table. You should have at least 1.2 m (4 feet) space around the chandelier, free of furniture or walls. If your chandelier is above a table, you should leave at least 30 cm (12 inches) between the edge of the chandelier and the edge of the table to avoid bumping your head when standing up.

Chandelier – how high above the floor?

For all rooms except dining rooms and foyers, the bottom of a chandelier should be at least 2m (approx. 7 feet) above the floor. Any lower and taller people run the risk of banging their heads or accidentally hitting it when raising their arms.

Chandelier – how high above a table?

A dining room chandelier is usually hung centrally, over the table, and is often lower than a chandelier elsewhere in the house. The lowest part of the chandelier should be 75 – 85 cm ( 30 – 34 inches) above the top of the table in a room with a 2.5m (8 feet) high ceiling. If you have a very high ceiling, however, this would not look right. For every extra 30 cm (1 foot) of ceiling height, you should hang your chandelier 7.5 cm (3 inches) higher. You should also bear in mind that you need at least 30 cm (12 inches) between the perimeter of the chandelier and the edge of the table so that you do not bang your head when standing up.

Chandelier – how high above a staircase?

The chandelier should not hang lower than the second storey. It should be approximately knee-level with the upstairs landing. If there is a window above the front door, ideally your chandelier should be hung so that it can be seen through the window from outside.

Can a chandelier be hung in a bathroom or over a bathtub?

It is important that you check building regulations in your own area as they differ around the world. Here in the UK, you cannot have a power socket in a bathroom. You can have a chandelier but it must conform to very strict IP (Ingress Protection) regulations. Bathrooms are separated into different zones, with very specific measurements around bathtub, basin and shower. If hanging your chandelier directly above the bathtub, the bottom of the chandelier should be a minimum of 2.25 m above the floor (in the US it must be 8 feet). If you don’t have enough height, you will have to hang your chandelier further away. It is always a good idea to speak to a specialist electrician to work out the best place in your bathroom to hang your chandelier – or whether you should be looking for an alternative light fitting.

Can a chandelier be added to a ceiling fan?

There are quite a few DIY hacks out there showing how to combine a chandelier with a ceiling fan. We would never recommend doing anything of the sort. If you want a chandelier and a ceiling fan, buy one that has been designed for that purpose. There are many innovative ceiling fans available that combine chandelier, air circulation and ionization all in one.

Can chandelier chain be adjusted or shortened?

Yes. In fact, all chandeliers are supplied with more chain than is usually required so that they can be shortened to exactly the right length. It is much easier to shorten a chain than it is to lengthen it. Remember that it is not just a case of altering the chain, the wiring must also be shortened.

At Juliettes Interiors, we always recommend using a professional to install or undertake maintenance on any of our luxury chandeliers. These are beautiful, designer chandeliers and should be treated with respect and expertise. We would always advise against any DIY fix, particularly when electrical wiring is involved. If you are buying your chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, we can arrange installation, cleaning and maintenance for you. Just call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415.

Otherwise, choose a reputable local company with a proven track record in the installation and maintenance of luxury chandeliers. Ask friends and family for a recommendation if possible.

If you are still determined to have a go yourself, see the note below.

How to shorten a chandelier

If your chandelier has not yet been installed, the process of shortening a chandelier chain is not particularly difficult. However, if it is already hanging, the hardest part with a large and heavy chandelier is getting it down from the ceiling itself.

1. Make sure that you know exactly how much shorter you want your chandelier to be. It is difficult to picture the chandelier back and hanging once it is on the ground or on a table, so think about exactly how many inches you want taken off before you remove it from the ceiling.

2. First, make sure that the power is off so that the wires are definitely not live. Do not try to change the wires or unplug anything with live wires. This is a job to be done in full daylight! Next, remove the ceiling cover plate and detach the different wires that run from the ceiling to the chandelier itself. Once you have done these things, you may bring the chandelier to the ground.

3. Mark the chain that will be the last one hanging and, with two pairs of pliers, remove the chain just above it so that all the subsequent links leave with it. You do not need to remove each individual link, just the lowest one that you want removed.

4. It is important to remember that the wires must be shortened as well, not just the chain. Strip the ends of the wires just a little before putting them back.

5. Do all the above steps in reverse. So, reconnect the wires, reinstall the ceiling plate, etc.

6. Test the chandelier and the light and make sure it is the proper height. Remember that you can always make it shorter but you can’t make it longer!

(with thanks to ebay)

Can a chandelier be rewired?

It can but, if you have a large or intricate chandelier, this can be a tricky process. As wiring colours and regulations differ around the world, you would need to check regulations in your area. Any of the luxury chandeliers from Juliettes Interiors conform to the regulations of the country we are shipping to. Should you ever need to rewire for any reason, we would recommend employing a specialist. If you are buying your chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, we can arrange installation, cleaning and maintenance for you. Just call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415.

Which chandelier wire is hot? or Which chandelier wire is live?

This is the wire that carries the electric current. In the UK and Europe, this is called live and it is brown. In the US, it is also known as the hot wire and is usually black. Unfortunately, wiring and the colours used vary around the world – and some chandeliers may have unmarked wires. If in any doubt whatsoever, check with a qualified local electrician. Our luxury chandeliers at Juliettes Interiors are wired to conform to the regulations of the country we are shipping to.

Chandelier – which wire is white?

In the US and Canada, this would usually be the neutral wire. Europe does not generally use a white wire. Other parts of the world use different wiring colours and the white may be live/hot. If in any doubt, check with a local, qualified electrician. At Juliettes Interiors, our luxury chandeliers are wired to conform to the regulations of the country we are shipping to.

Can a brass chandelier be painted?

It can and there are many online tutorials available, advising on types of paint that are suitable. Obviously, all our luxury chandeliers here at Juliettes Interiors are stunning just as they are and we do not recommend painting any of them.

Where to buy chandelier crystals

If you bought your luxury chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, just get in touch with us and we will do our utmost to source replacement crystals for you. Otherwise, the best place to start looking is by searching online. You can either search for a retailer in your area or buy online. Make sure you choose a reputable retailer, and that you can return the crystals if they are not suitable.

Where to buy chandelier parts

If you bought your luxury chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, please contact us and we will find out which parts you need and where to purchase them. Otherwise, the best place to start looking is by searching online. You can either search for a retailer in your area or buy online. Make sure you choose a reputable retailer, and that you can return the chandelier parts if they are not suitable.

Where to buy chandelier shades

If you bought your luxury chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, please contact us to discuss exactly what it is you are looking for. Otherwise, the best place to start looking is by searching online. You can either search for a retailer in your area or buy online. Make sure you choose a reputable retailer, and that you can return the chandelier shades if they are not suitable.

What chandelier should I buy?

This depends entirely on the style of the room it is to go in, your personal taste and the space you have available. See What size chandelier do I need? If you are buying a luxury chandelier, presumably it is something you will live with for quite some time so it needs to be something you love. Our design team are always on hand to advise on sizes, styles and colours so, if you are having trouble deciding, just give us a call on +44 (0) 207 870 7415

Why do chandelier lights flicker?

There are various reasons why the lights on your chandelier might flicker:

  1. Loose Bulb. Turn the chandelier off and gently tighten each bulb. If just one bulb is flickering and tightening it doesn’t help, try replacing the defective bulb.
  1. Faulty Switch. Try jiggling the switch. If this makes the lights flicker, it is faulty and should be replaced. We recommend that you get your electrician to do this. If you prefer to do the job yourself, there are many online tutorials to show you how. Just make sure that you refer to one that is relevant to the country you are in.
  1. Voltage Fluctuation. If your chandelier is wired on the same circuit as a high wattage appliance, it may flicker for a second or two when the other appliance is first switched on. Anything more than this may indicate a more serious issue.
  1. Electrical Problems. If the above suggestions do not fix the problem, or if you have other issues such as lights appearing too bright or too dim, or bulbs burning out too quickly, you may have a more serious electrical problem and should have it checked by a qualified electrician.

Why does my chandelier buzz or hum?

Do you have incandescent bulbs and a dimmer switch? This is the most common cause of humming or buzzing. You can either try lower-wattage bulbs or upgrade your dimmer switch. Even LEDs can hum, due either to electromagnetic interference by other devices or incorrect dimming. If your chandelier buzzes when the microwave is on, for instance, it is interference and there isn’t much you can do about it. If your lights hum when dimmed, check that your dimmer is designed for LEDs. Using the correct, compatible dimmer and LEDs will preserve their life and eliminate any annoying humming.

Why won’t my chandelier turn on?

  1. Is it switched on?
  2. Is anything else in the house failing to turn on? If so, check your fuse box/consumer unit/circuit breaker for a tripped switch.
  3. Is a bulb loose? Try gently tightening all the bulbs. If you know one is faulty, try replacing it.
  4. If new bulbs don’t work, switch the chandelier off (or, for complete safety, switch the power off) and look inside the bulb sockets. There is a little metal tab at the bottom. These sometimes get pushed in so far that they no longer make contact with the bulb. Try bending the tab up a little.

If these simple fixes don’t cure the problem, call an electrician.

Why is my chandelier crooked?

If it has been installed by a specialist professional, a chandelier should never be crooked. Call them back and ask them to adjust it. If you have installed it yourself, make sure you have followed the assembly instructions to the letter. If it is still crooked, you could try the following:

  1. Do you have all the jewels or crystals? If one is missing, it may alter the balance.
  2. If there is more than one chain, are they all the same length?
  3. Check the spacing between the arms – they should be even unless one arm is heavier than the others (allowing for wiring). Adjust the arms until your chandelier is straight.
  4. If you cannot adjust the arms, or this doesn’t fix the problem, check that there is enough slack in the electrical cord running up through the centre. It should not be pulled tight as this may pull the chandelier off centre.
  5. You can buy small weights from DIY stores and furnishing stores. These can be attached discreetly to the arms to alter the balance. The further out on the arm they are placed, the more effect they will have. This will involve a fair amount of trial and error.

If you are still having problems, it may be time to call in a professional. If you are buying your chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, we can arrange installation, cleaning and maintenance for you. Just call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415.

How are chandeliers made?

There are so many different styles of chandelier that we could be here all day. This short video shows how a crystal chandelier is made. If you want to know about a specific style of chandelier, we suggest that you search online for that particular type of chandelier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isrFRo-tpYI

Chandelier – how to pronounce

ˌʃændəˈlɪə; 3 syllables:  or SHAN/duh/LEER with the stress on the first and third syllables.

Chandelier – how to hang, install and wire

If you have read any of our other FAQs, you will know what we are going to say next. If you are investing in a luxury chandelier, we would always recommend that you have it installed by a skilled professional. If you are buying your chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, we can arrange installation, cleaning and maintenance for you. Just call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415. Otherwise, you should find a reputable professional with a proven track record and specialist knowledge of chandeliers.

For anyone determined to DIY, make sure you follow any manufacturer’s instructions carefully and remember to turn the power off before you start. If you need step-by-step instructions, there are tutorials available online but do make sure that it is relevant to the country you are in.

Chandelier – how to clean

You should try to keep your chandelier dust and cobweb-free on a very regular basis so that a major clean is only necessary every so often. Depending on the size and intricacy of your chandelier, cleaning and maintenance should take place once or twice a year. If you have an elaborate or very intricate chandelier, we would always recommend using a specialist service. If you are buying your chandelier from Juliettes Interiors, we can arrange installation, cleaning and maintenance for you. Just call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415.

If it is a smaller or simpler design, you may prefer to tackle the task yourself.

  1. Always clean your chandelier in full daylight. It is never advisable to clean any lighting while it is switched on.
  2. Put cushions or a duvet underneath the chandelier to prevent any scratching or breakage should any parts fall during cleaning. If it is a large chandelier, we would recommend hanging a drop cloth just underneath it to be on the safe side.
  3. Clean in sections so that you do not miss bits.
  4. Begin with columns and arms and work outwards. We recommend a microfibre cloth to lift dust and dirt, or a small microfibre ‘feather’ duster to get into the most delicate parts of the chandelier.
  5. If you have removed the prisms or crystals from the body, rinse with the hottest water possible, then pour over a dilute solution of mild dish detergent. Rinse, dry, then polish with vinegar.
  6. If you are cleaning the prisms in situ, fill a small cup with vinegar and hot water. Hold each prism in the cup to clean off any dirt and coat each crystal. Polish with a microfibre cloth.
  7. Never spray any cleaning product directly onto any part of the chandelier.
  8. Never turn the chandelier on its cord while cleaning. Move yourself around the chandelier.

Chandelier – how to choose

Your chandelier should always complement the rest of your room. It should be eye-catching and stunning – what is the point of a chandelier otherwise? – but should never overwhelm everything else. For advice on the best size of chandelier for your room, see Can a chandelier be too big?

Although a chandelier can act as a magnificent focal point, it should always be part of a carefully-considered design. The lighting in a room should be layered, so your chandelier should be teamed with wall lights, floor lamps and table lamps for an overall look. Look for a chandelier with a dimmer, as it will allow you to control the intensity of the light, varying the lighting in the room to create the appropriate atmosphere. Bear in mind that this is something you will be living with for several years at least so our advice is always to choose a chandelier that you love. If you are unsure, contact our interior design team on +44 (0) 207 870 7415 for advice on the best style and size to suit you.

Are chandelier shades out of style?

The style of luxury chandelier you choose is entirely a matter of personal taste. At Juliettes Interiors, although we stock an extensive range of ultra-modern chandeliers, the traditional, classic designs are still very much in demand, including those with shades. It is also possible to remove the shades from many of the designs to create an entirely different look – or you may choose to change shades that you are no longer in love with for a sleeker, more modern style. Our design team are always on hand if you need help to decide. Call us on +44 (0) 207 870 7415

What are chandelier crystals made of?

The majority of today’s chandelier crystals are made of cut crystal, cut glass or pressed glass. These can be cut, pressed and polished in a wide variety of styles. Earlier versions, particularly antique French chandeliers, used rock crystal – a transparent quartz. However, we have seen a lot of experimentation in recent years, with chandelier drops being made from cocktail glasses, glass bottles and even gummi bears. See our buyer’s guide for more information on the history of chandeliers.

What are chandelier crystals called?

The most widely-used terms for chandelier crystals are: pendants, crystals, pendalogues, drops, droplets, jewels or prisms. They may also be known by their shape, such as almonds or pears.

What are chandelier parts called?

The main parts of a traditional chandelier are:

Column or Stem: the main frame of the chandelier, made of brass, silver (or other metal), wood or glass

Canopy: a decorative dish above the column to hide the connection to the chain

Medallion: a decorative piece to cover the electrical box on the ceiling

Finial: a decorative crystal added to bottom of the chandelier

Arms or Branches: connected to the column, they hold the light bulbs or candles

Candles: modern chandeliers often use a fake candle with an electric bulb

Bobeche: the drip tray, originally there to catch the candle wax, still used as a design feature

Shades: small lampshades to cover the light bulbs, giving a more diffuse light

Crystals: the decorative droplets, designed to reflect and refract light. Also known as pendants, pendalogues, drops, droplets, jewels or prisms

Festoon: a strand of crystals designed to drape or swag within the chandelier

What are chandeliers made of?

Traditionally, chandeliers were made of wood and iron, then brass. As manufacturing processes developed, designers started to use silver and other metals, rock crystals and lead crystal glass. A modern luxury chandelier can be made of a wide variety of natural and man-made products, including metals, glass and acrylic. They would originally have used candles but now use either LEDs or incandescent electric bulbs.

What size are chandelier bulbs?

The chandeliers available at Juliettes Interiors use either LEDs or Standard Edison Screw bulbs in either E14 or E27 size, or their US equivalents, E12 and E26, depending on the country they are being shipped to. If you require any other light fitting, please let us know when you place your order.

How bright are chandelier bulbs?

There is a lot of discussion online about the disappointing amount of light that some bulbs emit. The answer is to shop around. Whether you are looking for incandescent bulbs or LEDs, what you need to look for is the lumen value. So, a standard 60 Watt incandescent light bulb should emit around 500 – 700 lumens. Different brands of bulbs and LEDs offe