3 things you should know about picking the right chandelier

Having just installed a chandelier in a bedroom of all places, it made me wonder.  Is there a guideline about size and weight of a chandelier in a room?  You betcha!

Here are 3 things you should know for picking the right chandelier:

Sizing it Up

Designer rule of thumb for determining the correct size light fixture (if going over a table) is to go with a fixture that has a diameter that is half the diameter (or width) of the tabletop. For instance, if the table is a rectangle that is 48” wide, a chandelier that is approximately 24” (half of the 48” width of the table) in diameter is a great choice. If the table is a 60” round diameter, a 30” diameter chandelier would be appropriate.

When you don’t have a table to help you determine the width of the chandelier, you base the size on the overall room dimensions. One easy method is to add the width and length of the room together in feet and convert that figure to inches to come up with the correct width of the chandelier.  For example, if a foyer was only 8’ x 5’, you would add 8 + 5 together which equals 13, but instead of 13 feet, it would indicate that a 13” diameter chandelier would work best.

The height of the actual chandelier should be determined on the ceiling height of the room, regardless of whether the fixture will be hung over a table or not.  Designer’s rule of thumb is to allow 2 ½” – 3” for each foot of a rooms height. For example, a room that has an 8’ ceiling can use a chandelier that is approximately 20” to 24” in height.

The bottom of the light fixture should be about 30” above the table top.  In a room without a table, the bottom of the fixture should be no lower than 7′.

Visual Weight

Now that you have a basic idea of size, you can fudge that a little bit more or less based on the visual weight of the fixture.  The style and heaviness of the light fixture will affect what size you can ultimately go with. A visually heavy chandelier should be a slightly smaller diameter.  A visually light chandelier can be a little wider in diameter.

Fox example, the chandelier I just installed is black with thick arms, lots of black crystals….a very “heavy looking” fixture that fills the spaciousness of the room nicely.  A lighter weight fixture would have been lost.

Total Wattage

Total wattage of all bulbs should be 200 watts to 400 watts to provide sufficient light.

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