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Chandelier Buying Guide

Chandelier Buying Guide

Chandelier Size

The first thing to consider when purchasing a chandelier is the size of the room and the chandelier. Chandeliers range in size from 17 inches to more than 48 inches in diameter, and they can have any number of lights. Mini chandeliers are growing in popularity as a way to add the style of a chandelier in smaller areas such as a powder room. For traditional locations like a dining room look for medium-size chandeliers. This size chandelier can also serve as focal point lighting for the bedroom, living room or kitchen. Reserve large chandeliers for grand entryways or a large formal dining room. If your dining room table is extra long, consider hanging two medium chandeliers instead of one large one.
Most chandeliers come with an adjustable rod or chain so you can alter the hanging height as needed. Two things to remember when hanging a chandelier are: Be sure it doesn’t block the view of people seated at the table and it doesn’t hang too low so people bump into it. Use the chart to help find the size that works for your home.

Chandelier Styles and Finishes

One you have determined the size of your chandelier, you will want to find your desired style, theme, and finish.
Style - Style is the most common characteristic when shopping for hanging lights. You will want to pick a style you like, and one that works with the rest of your decor.
Traditional - Traditional hardware has a more ornate and classic look. Ranging anywhere from farmhouse to antique to rustic, this style is more detailed and has more embellishments.
Contemporary - With clean lines and sharp, minimalistic look contemporary or modern hanging lights are simple and understated.
Transitional - Combining traditional and modern, transitional allows you to mix factors of both styles for a personalized look.
Eclectic - If you are seeking a more informal and fun look, these unique fixtures allow you the most personalization.


Another way to personalize the look of your chandelier is with a lampshade or medallions.
Shades – Chandelier shades typically come in glass or fabric. Glass shades allow brighter light; fabric shades provide more diffused light. Popular chandelier shades include:
Seeded glass
Etched glass
Rain glass
Frosted glass
Tiffany-style glass

Types of Chandeliers

Chandeliers with Shades. Chandeliers with shades are the most common type of chandelier, and typically have glass or fabric shades.
Tiered Chandeliers. Tiered chandeliers command a strong presence. A two-tier chandelier can add glory to a dining room, whereas a three-, four-, five-tier chandelier works well for a grand entryway.
Candelabra Chandeliers. Candelabra chandeliers are lighting fixtures styled to look as if they hold candles. Many outdoor candelabras are designed to hold real candles.
Crystal Chandeliers. Crystal chandeliers are often what people imagine when thinking of chandeliers. They may be quite ornate, but they don’t have to be—some have a small number of crystals combined with lampshades for an elegant look. Paired with the right decor they add just the right amount of sparkle.
Beaded Chandeliers. Beaded chandeliers are a fun option. They can be fancy or casual depending on the materials used. A chandelier with beaded shells can complement a nautical theme.
Reversible Chandeliers. Reversible chandeliers allow you to have the arms point up or down. Direct the arms up for ambient lighting and down for task lighting.

Lighting Collections

If you find a chandelier you like and need other lighting fixtures, check to see if it’s part of a collection. Lighting collections offer fixtures in the same style and finish for many areas of the home.


If you find a chandelier you like and need other lighting fixtures, check to see if it’s part of a collection. Lighting collections offer fixtures in the same style and finish for many areas of the home.

Light Bulbs

Don’t forget light bulbs. Things like color temperature, lumens and wattage all play a factor in your room’s quality of light. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescents (CFLs) help lower energy costs. Both have a lower wattage but provide the same light output as higher wattage incandescent bulbs. LEDs are also cool to the touch. In general, look for a warm white color temperature for living rooms and bedrooms, a bright white color temperature for kitchens and workspaces, and a daylight color temperature for reading nooks and studies.