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Crystal lighting has long been a mainstay in the world of lighting. Starting out largely as lamps and chandeliers; this timeless style of lighting has evolved over time to include the perfect lighting solution for most any overall aesthetic theme. Today we’re going to take a look at what makes this style so enduring and show how with just a little imagination, you can turn a crystal lighting fixture into almost anything you want.
Restrained ornamentation and a refined decorative look is the order of the day for Crystal lighting. Fixtures in this class usually have a smaller scale compared to the more Baroque-era grandiose fixtures with more excessive design elements.
Often times; Crystal lighting styles will have distressed tones that resemble their vintage-style lighting counterparts, but with heavier design elements and more intricate detail while using crystal as an accent to project the light in a visually pleasing pattern. An intricate pattern in an antique bronze finish with crystal inlays without invoking the more flared styling that is typical of earlier period lighting is a great example of Crystal lighting.
What makes Crystal Lighting so Wonderful?
There’s a lot to like about crystal style lighting; they can project lots of light, introduce elegant styling and can even establish a sense of presence in a home. People love the amount of light that a Crystal Fixture can add to a room, and the way crystals are cut can also alter the projection of light, and different angles can even reflect more or less light. This makes it perfect to make a statement without overpowering your room. In addition; the elegant styling of Crystal Lighting can also add a classic sense of ambiance to any room. Anywhere from the Chateau look to more contemporary crystal lighting, the breadth of the designs and styles know no bounds.
A Crystal fixture can be almost immediately noticed, and it very quickly can become a focal point of any room in your house. If the goal is to drive the visual feeling of the room, a large centerpiece fixture might be your best bet. On the other hand, crystal fixtures can also lend a subtle elegance to an area of your house. For example, perfect for the way they project lighting on the wall; a well placed fixture such as a crystal sconce can be a pleasant way to light a hallway, while needing a relatively small amount of light as its original source to effectively show the way without the area being overtaken by the brightness that a more traditional fixture might convey.
You might be inclined to think that the majority of Crystal Lighting fixtures are chandeliers, but this is not necessarily the case. Over the years Crystal Lighting has truly evolved into other form factors as well. Everything from wall sconces to flush-mounted or even pendant lighting, Crystal has found its application across almost the entire spectrum of available lighting. For instance; this wonderful Elk Lighting lineup makes a great case for more modernized or even Rustic lighting than you might find on a prototypical Crystal Chandelier.
Quality of the Crystal and Production Methods
When it comes to the process of producing crystal, there are no shortage of options. Whether you’re searching for a particular brand (i.e. Swarovski) of crystal or a certain aesthetic value, there are a few key styles of crystal production. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and each has a unique history all its own.
Known for their exceptional quality, Swarovski is perhaps the best known producer of Crystal anywhere, and for good reason. The generations-old process that they use to cut and polish the glass produces radiant light in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes, making it a great platform for designers to run with. The Swarovski crystal is generally machine cut and then polished to produce their trademark perfect optical clarity.
After the desired clarity is achieved, they also put an invisible optical coating to the glass. This makes it easier to maintain and clean. Fun fact about the Swarovskis; the logo for the company is also laser etched inside each crystal, so buyers will be able to easily tell whether or not the piece is genuine.
Egyptian crystal (often called Gemcut or Moroccan Crystal) is typically characterized by a prismatic brilliance along with a very sharp visual purity and precise polishing. Gemcut crystal is top of the line quality right beneath Swarovski, with incredibly high standards for polishing compared to others in the industry.
Also called Heritage Handcut, Handcut or Regal crystal, the Turkish crystal has a fascinating production process. The methods of production date back centuries and is incredibly labor intensive. First, the crystal is cut by hand on iron and sandstone grinding wheels, then polished on a wood wheel with marble dust.
The unique polishing method is what gives the Turkish crystal its defining attribute; the polishing process can often leave small traces of the wood wheel inside the finish. This is an easy way to tell the authenticity of the piece.
Often called Legacy Crystal or Venetian Crystal, the Italian crystal comes from Venice; a region well known for its long, storied history in glass making. Rather than being hand cut or machine cut, the Venetian Crystal is fire-polished and molded. This process results in a wonderful subtle brilliance that keeps prices modest compared to other types of crystal and allows for fixtures of a wide variety and price to be available on the market.
If you’re looking to add a sense of elegance and class to your room, or simply to enhance the delivery of light to a certain area of your house; a quality Crystal fixture is a great avenue to consider. Even in locations and form factors that you might not typically associate with crystal, there are a seemingly endless number of combinations, colors and qualities that are available at nearly any price range. If you were considering a crystal fixture, or even if you weren’t at all, the style is definitely worth a look.
PRO TIP: You might be inclined to think that the majority of Crystal Lighting fixtures are chandeliers, but this is not necessarily the case. Over the years Crystal Lighting has truly evolved into other form factors as well. Everything from wall sconces to flush-mounted or even pendant lighting, Crystal has found its application across almost the entire spectrum of available lighting.