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Ideas and Inspiration

Oct 28, 2014

Lighting Tips

Get in Touch with Your Glamorous Side

7 Illuminating Strategies to Highlight your New Crystal Chandelier

1.  Size and install smartly:  Whether you are installing a crystal chandelier over your dining room table or as a central design feature in your master bedroom, the diameter and height of your fixture must be in proportion to other items in the room.  The diameter of a dining table fixture should be 12 inches less than the diameter of the dining table.  The height of the chandelier should allow for a clearance of 30 inches from table top to the bottom of the fixture.

quoizel tricia in dr

Quoizel’s “Tricia” chandelier adds elegance to this contemporary dining room.  * Interior design by Sandra D’Amata International, Inc.

If your crystal chandelier will be a central focal point in your foyer, living room or master bedroom, take into account your ceiling height and choose a chandelier that may be installed to leave at least a 7-foot clearance from the floor to the bottom of the chandelier.

2.  Reflect Resplendence:  The true beauty in a crystal chandelier extends far past the light source, decorative finishing and crystal configuration.  Crystal facets reflect and refract a brilliant array of colors and illuminating effects, especially when combined with sunlight and/or electric light sources.  Matte finishes on furniture and surrounding walls work well with crystal illumination.  Avoid creating glare and unflattering shadows off metallic or shiny surfaces.

3.  Choose the Right Bulb: Most chandelier bulbs will be candelabra-based, yet what type of candelabra bulb you choose will make a tremendous difference in both the total presentation of your chandelier and the overall illumination in your room.

master chandelier

Crystorama’s “Mercer” chandelier–installed with dimmable LED candelabra bulbs–provides magnificent illumination in this master bathroom.*

master bath chandelier

* Interior design by Sandra D’Amata International, Inc.

Important questions to consider when choosing your light source…

• Would clear or frosted bulbs work best?

Frosted bulbs provide a more subdued illumination. They are recommended for most traditional dining room chandeliers.  Clear bulbs work well with chrome finished retro-modern chandeliers and may add to the radiant sparkle of modern crystal chandeliers.

• What shape bulb would best complement my chandelier: Torpedo, flame tip, round or designer bulb?

For a more traditional look, flame tip bulbs are the right choice.  Flame tip bulbs also look best in chandeliers with faux drip-candle holders.  Torpedo bulbs are less tapered and present a contemporary look.  Round bulbs add an eclectic vibe to a traditional chandelier.  Uniquely-shaped and/or textured candelabra bulbs may add a custom-designed artistry to your chandelier.

led_c7c bulbrite E12 candelabra LED

Diamond cut candelabra bulbs from Bulbrite Industries

sf_6s6 silicon dipped candelabra

White Silicon-dipped chandelier bulb from Bulbrite Industries

s3745 designer bulb from satco

Candelabra designer bulb from Satco

• How many lamps does your chandelier hold?  How bright do you want to go?

Depending upon the size of your chandelier and the amount of lamps (bulbs) it will hold, your options will involve a choice of incandescent 25-watt, 40-watt or 60-watt; LED, CFL or halogen.  Lumen count, as well as color temperature and color rendering will be important measurements to know when evaluating your bulb selection.  Sometimes a little trial-and-error will be the best way to decide which lamps works best with your crystal chandelier.

While you may mix and match light sources within the same room, you should stick to one type of illumination when it comes to using LED, CFL or incandescent bulbs.  Depending on color temperature and color rendering, mixing LED, CFL and incandescent within the same room may create uneven illumination and the entire room may look “off.”

NOTE: Although manufacturers list a “Maximum Wattage Allowance”  on each socket, that much light may be too bright for your room.  Unlike a reading lamp that you may use on high power quite often, the crystal chandelier is a decorative piece designed to provide ambient, rather than task illumination.  Always work within the confines of your space to keep glare at bay and bring out an illuminating harmony.

Re-lamping concerns are also important  and depend upon how often your chandelier will be in use.  Think about energy-efficiency and maintenance costs when deciding between LED and incandescent.  For example, a foyer fixture in a entryway with cathedral ceilings will be used frequently and relamping may be difficult, so LED light sources would be most cost effective.

4.  Designer Add-ons:

 • Shades or no shades?  
ch533-6 chandelier shade fromLite source
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Chandelier shades add a bit of elegance and provide subdued illumination. From colorful and whimsical to tailored neutrals and classic silk  styles, chandelier shades will dress-up a crystal chandelier and create a more formal look.

• Ceiling medallions and/or chain covers?
1750-206 Ashton Court medallion
“Ashton Court” ceiling medallion from Minka Lavery
7-2600-8 Quorum medallion
 Ceiling medallions from Quorum International

Decorative ceiling medallions and fabric cord or chain covers may also enhance the look and feel of your crystal chandelier.

5.  Supplement Superbly:  Depending upon the size of your room, you may choose to add portable lamps and/or wall-mounted fixtures to complete your lighting design. A crystal chandelier serves mainly as a decorative item and should never be the only source of lighting in your room.

• Adding wall sconces

best of the worst living room pics

“Tricia” chandelier from Quoizel accompanied by “Constructivism” wall sconces from Fine Art Lamps

* Interior design by Sandra D’Amata International, Inc.

• Adding accent table lamps

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“Tricia” chandelier from Quoizel Lighting accompanied by recessed lighting and “Sovereign” accent lamp from Dimond Lighting

* Interior design by Sandra D’Amata International, Inc.

• Adding recessed or track lighting

Two recessed spot lights make a perfect addition over a formal dining table.  Track or rail lighting may also be configured to incorporate a crystal chandelier as the central lighting design feature.

6.  Dimming Diligence:  Always install your foyer fixture or dining table fixture with a dimming control.  Make sure your bulbs are all dimmable and compatible with your dimming system.

7.  Cleaning Conscientiously:

Crystal elements should always be kept clean to bring out the true brilliance in your chandelier.  Always check manufacturers instructions.  Although there are many spray crystal cleaners on the market, the best way to clean crystals is with a simple soap and water mixture and white glove polishing.

Whether your taste leans toward traditional or ultra-modern, crystal chandeliers add a supreme elegance and energy.  The trend today calls for mixing crystal illumination with minimalist decorative ensembles.  Due to the very composition of crystal itself, even the most traditional crystal chandelier energizes and blends well with virtually any decorative style.

Find expert lighting advice and view an outstanding assortment of new crystal chandeliers at a Capitol Lighting showroom or  From traditional to modern, featuring hand-cut, rock crystal or SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS new crystal chandeliers are timeless and always in style.

Top crystal chandelier pics include:

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“Cascade” from Murray Feiss featuring a whimsical array of crystals and a Heritage Bronze finish

ac10132 Madison Artcraft

“Madison” from Artcraft Lighting featuring triangular jewel cut crystals with a delicate Silver Leaf finish

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Crystal chandelier from Minka Lavery featuring a multitude of crystal facets and a Distressed Silver finish

1-1043-4-8 savoy house

Mini chandelier from Savoy House featuring clear cut crystals and New Tortoise Shell with Silver and Gold finish

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“Vertex” Geometrix-by-Schonbek featuring SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in Forest Floor

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“Hamilton” Jet Black and Rock crystal chandelier from Schonbek

Visit a Capitol Lighting showroom to view exquisite crystal chandeliers.  The holidays are approaching; Bring in a bit of glamour to enhance the festivities!  Fabulous new crystal chandeliers are available now at  See new crystal chandeliers from top vendors including Murray Feiss, Crystorama, Schonbek, Swarovski and American Brass and Crystal.