Best Chandelier Lighting

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

54 Models Considered
14 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best chandelier lighting

Once limited to illuminating the dark corners of castles and churches, chandeliers have been a staple in home lighting for the past several hundred years. These fixtures offer an elegant way to light everything from a room to an entryway — and for a reasonable price, you can add a touch of class to just about any space.

When perusing chandelier lighting, you will quickly see that many styles and features are available to you. Which is right for your home? In this guide, we examine the factors you will need to consider, from size and installation to style and construction materials. For example, size is a primary consideration: you don’t want something so large that it overwhelms your room, yet you may want something more than just accent lighting. In this guide, we provide our favorite rule of thumb to help you determine what chandelier size is right for your space. For the sake of practicality, we also explore what you can expect to get for your money at various price points.

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Based on the French word “chandelle” (candle), chandeliers first started showing up in churches as early as the 9th century.

Key considerations

Size

Chandelier lighting can range from fixtures that are several inches in diameter and height to chandeliers that are 24 to 36 inches wide and tall. Indeed, you have a wide variety to choose from.

One simple way to determine the proper size for your space is to measure the width and length of the room in feet. Add these two numbers together and use the resulting sum as the optimum width of your chandelier in inches. For example, a room that is 9 x 9 feet would fare quite well with a chandelier that is 18 inches wide.

Assembly

The assembly process can range from “no assembly required” to “several hours of tedious work stringing crystals together.” In fact, chandeliers frequently ship with dozens of parts that must be painstakingly assembled. And while some consumers are up for this task, others would prefer not to deal with it. Therefore, it’s important before ordering chandelier lighting to find out how much assembly is required.

Installation

Some chandeliers can be installed directly to an existing electrical box in the ceiling. Others hang from chains. Chain chandeliers often can also be hung as swag lighting, which may be easier to install but will require an optional plug kit.

Storage

While rare, some chandeliers fold for easy storage and transport. This can be a handy feature if you plan to move the chandelier frequently.

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Did You Know?
Mini chandeliers that are used to light smaller rooms are sometimes referred to as chandelettes.
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Features

Style

Chandelier lighting comes in a bounty of styles. Here are some of the more common ones.

Rustic: These are often made from wood or iron and have a “country” or rustic feel.

Crystal: This common type of chandelier incorporates a variety of crystals for a stunning effect.

Traditional: These chandeliers are ornate and often have a neoclassical design.

Modern: These are typically less ornate than traditional crystal chandeliers and may have an industrial theme.

Transitional: Transitional chandeliers usually combine traditional and modern elements for something unique yet familiar.

Industrial: This type of chandelier is usually made from metal and boasts a minimalist design.

Materials

Chandeliers can be crafted from a number of different materials. Some of the most common are steel, iron, chrome, bronze, satin nickel, and wood. Rare chandeliers are even made of bone. The material you select should be durable and not flimsy or easily breakable.

As mentioned, crystals are common decorative elements on chandeliers. These can be made of glass or plastic. Note that any plastic elements, including chandelier arms and the strands that hold the crystals, may negatively affect a chandelier’s overall durability.

Number of lights

While some chandeliers feature one light in the center, the majority have numerous arms, each with its own bulb. Depending on the size of the bulbs (which you will probably need to supply yourself), chandeliers with more arms and lights tend to produce more light than those with fewer arms and lights. The number of lights can vary, but four to six lights are common.

Replacement parts

Some chandeliers, particularly those with crystals, include replacement parts in the event that something breaks. Given the problems that can occur with shipping a product such as this, having a few replacement crystals on hand is a big plus and can keep you from having a chandelier with a “hole” in it.

Opting for professional installation? You may be able to save some money by fully assembling the chandelier before the electrician arrives.

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Chandelier lighting prices

Inexpensive: Chandeliers under $50 tend to be simple and less ornate. They tend to provide minimal lighting and are usually compact for use in small spaces.

Mid-range: Chandeliers of numerous styles can be found in the $60 to $140 range. For the money, you should expect a product with a solid build. Both large and small chandeliers with multiple bulb configurations are found in this middle range.

Expensive: Chandeliers over $150 typically offer a superior build and incorporate top-shelf materials like brass and real crystal. These chandeliers tend to be highly ornate and exceptionally durable.

Dyk2
Did You Know?
For the best lighting of a dining table, a chandelier should be mounted 30 to 36 inches over the table surface.
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Tips

  • Some chandeliers take a beating during shipping. Check your chandelier as soon as it arrives for damage. If anything is broken, send it back as soon as possible to receive a replacement.
  • Add a dimmer switch for mood lighting. You can raise or lower the glow of your chandelier depending on the effect you wish to create.
  • If you’re not a fan of the bare chain that attaches a hanging chandelier to the ceiling, you have options. For example, you could buy ready-made decorative chain covers, or you could save some money by creating your own chandelier covers using scrap cloth or other materials.
  • Find out the wattage of a chandelier before purchasing it. Some have a fairly low light output, making them more suitable for accent lighting than as a primary light source in a room.
  • If you are installing a chandelier over a table, look for one that is 12 inches narrower than the width of the table. Mount it over the middle of the table. This will keep people from bumping into the chandelier when they are sitting at or standing up from the table.
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To dress up your chandelier, consider installing it with a decorative ceiling medallion.

FAQ

Q. Where is the best place to hang a chandelier?

A. While chandeliers are often seen in common areas such as a dining room or kitchen, you can hang one wherever you see fit. Large chandeliers usually work best in large rooms with high ceilings. Small chandeliers work well in entryways and stairwells as well as bathrooms and nurseries.

Q. What bulb size does a chandelier take?

A. It depends on the chandelier. Some use one standard bulb with a fairly high wattage. Others use several bulbs, often candelabra bulbs, with a lower wattage. In that same vein, some chandeliers put out a fair amount of light while others are only for accent lighting.

It is essential that you adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting bulbs. Using the wrong bulb could not only produce excessive heat and glare, but it could also damage the chandelier.

Q. Will I be able to install the chandelier myself?

A. That depends on what you bought and how comfortable you are with installation. If you are simply swapping out one fixture for another, installation should be pretty easy. Just be sure to cut the power to the outlet first and note the wiring setup of the old lighting fixture so you can wire the new chandelier in a similar fashion.

If you are installing a new chandelier in a spot with no lighting fixture, installation will be more difficult, requiring the addition of an electrical box, running wires, and more.

Our best advice is to read the included installation instructions carefully before deciding whether to install the chandelier yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, we suggest having a helper on hand for your convenience. If installation is out of your comfort zone, hire a professional.
 

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