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