What is a Chandelier?
A chandelier is a lighting fixture that hangs from the ceiling, usually by a chain. But, there is more. To be a chandelier, the fixture must have multiple branches from the piece that hangs from the ceiling. These branches hold numerous lights.
Chandeliers have been around for centuries. In fact, the word “chandelier” is a French word that is derived from the Latin word, “candelabrum”.
In colonial days of early American history, chandeliers that held candles were common. Having no electricity, the early settlers used candles as lighting for a room. For safety, they placed the candles in a chandelier which was hung high. This prevented a fire and also prevented accidental burns.
Are Chandelier Lights in Style?
Chandeliers are very much in style, especially in log and timber homes. Two of the most popular styles seen in rustic homes are antler chandeliers and the wrought iron candle chandelier. And of course, we also see very artistic and dramatic metal art on chandelier lighting in rustic homes.
Many of the chandeliers that we see in log or timber homes have metal art and beautiful configurations.
How are Chandelier Lights different from Pendant Lights?
A lot of people get these two mixed up, and it’s really easy to do that. Just like a chandelier, a pendant also hangs from the ceiling. The difference is that a pendant hangs from one central metal rod, chain or cord, not a cluster of branches with lights.
In general, chandeliers tend to be fancy or more historical looking, which makes them more rustic. On the other hand, pendants usually tend to look a bit more modern and minimalistic.
In addition, picture many lights (or candles) on a chandelier, while a pendant usually has only one light, or perhaps two.
Where Would You Use One?
Chandelier lighting tends to be dramatic and artistic. Because they are often quite large, you can use a chandelier in a great room very effectively.
Think about what kind of lighting you need in a room. Do you need task lighting for cutting vegetables in the kitchen or reading? Or do you need general overhead lighting for room ambience?
Perhaps you’d like a grand and impressive entryway, with a window over the door that will display your large antler chandelier light at night.
Depending on the size and character of a chandelier, you might see one used in the dining area, foyer or entry, or in the great room with its high ceiling. We even see them used now in less traditional rooms–bathrooms and bedrooms.
This antler chandelier provides ambient light for the bedroom. Table lamps provide more light for reading or dressing.
In addition, we now are seeing people use antler chandeliers over the billiard table in a recreation room, in a bar area or in a Man Cave.
Will You Need More Lighting?
A common mistake that people make is assuming that, because they have installed a chandelier, they will not need any more lighting in the room.
This simply doesn’t work, and that is because chandeliers are made to be decorative and provide ambience. They will provide general lighting, but every room is going to have dark corners and areas that need additional lighting.
A beautiful dining room with a chandelier over the dining table. Note the wall sconces that also provide light, on both sides of the room, and the mirror which reflects light at the end of the room.
You can provide additional lighting by using wall sconces, table or floor lamps and pendant lighting, where you need task lighting or you want to highlight an area of the room.
Why are Chandeliers so Expensive?
There are several reason that chandeliers tend to be more expensive than pendant lights, for instance.
First of all, they are usually quite large. They make a dramatic statement, and they can take center stage, even in a large room with a high ceiling.
There are exceptions, of course. And a smaller antler chandelier might go quite nicely over a dining table in a breakfast nook or even in a kitchen area for general lighting.
Or consider using two small chandeliers in your bathroom instead of traditional lighting over the sinks. With dimmable lights, you could relax after a difficult day, in a soaking bath, with soft ambience lighting and a glass of wine.
Secondly, chandeliers are usually made of expensive materials. You will see chandelier lights made of wrought iron, steel, nickel, bronze and crystal, Tiffany glass or stained glass.
Third, log home chandeliers are often handcrafted. Because this takes special skills and is often time consuming, prices tend to be higher than machine made lighting fixtures.
Last, you will need a professional electrician to install a chandelier. Chandeliers are often quite heavy, and there are regulations by the National Electrical Code that need to be followed. This is not a do-it-yourself project.
What to Expect
Chandeliers are decorative and meant to draw interest to a room. They impart style and elegance to a room, but they don’t serve as the only or primary source of light for your room.
In other words, you can place a beautiful chandelier light in the center of your room for dramatic effect, but it will not light the entire room. This is a common mistake that log home owners often make.
Instead, plan to incorporate other types of lighting in the same room as your chandelier. They will complement each other, and you will be much happier with the amount of light in the room and the overall effect.