How To Choose The Right Size Chandelier
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Like a piece of jewelry for your home, a chandelier–whether classic crystal or modern metal–is a beautiful way to dress up a room and make it sparkle. Because they are such dramatic pieces, it can be difficult to know what size to use. A too-small chandelier can be dwarfed in a big room, while a too-large chandelier can overwhelm and intimidate a room that isn’t large enough to hold it.
Measure the room’s height and width. No matter what you take into consideration when choosing a chandelier, proportion is important, so this is the place to start.
Add the numbers. An easy way to determine the most flattering size chandelier is by simply taking the dimensions of the room and adding them together. For example, an 8-foot by 10-foot room would look best with an 18-inch-wide chandelier.
Another option is to determine size by your room’s width. Take the width measurement for the room and calculate 2 inches for every foot. A 15-foot-wide room would need a 30-inch-wide chandelier.
Examine length and height. A large, tall chandelier wouldn’t be a practical in a room with low ceilings. Make sure there is enough clearance between the bottom of where the chandelier will hang and the head of a tall person, around 6-feet 6-inches. If the light fixture will be hung over a table, the standard clearance is 30 inches from the bottom of the chandelier to the tabletop.
Consider the style of the chandelier. A smaller but ornate piece might work in a large room, while a larger, plain chandelier could comfortably hang in a smaller room. Use the measuring formulas as a guide, but trust your personal judgment when it comes to style.
THE SIZE OF A CHANDELIER FOR A FOYER
Allow for 84 inches of space between the floor and the bottom of your foyer chandelier. If your ceiling is less than 84 inches, you do not have enough height to hang a chandelier in your foyer.
Determine the approximate height your chandelier should be by allowing two and a half to three inches for every foot of ceiling height in your foyer.
Figure out the ideal width of your foyer chandelier by measuring the length and width of your foyer in feet. Add these dimensions together and this number will be the measurement in inches your chandelier should be.
Using the formulas above, a foyer measuring 10 feet in width, 10 feet in length and 12 feet in height would require a chandelier approximately 20 inches in width and 30 to 36 inches in height.
Make sure you include the ceiling cap and any length of chain necessary to hang the chandelier when measuring its total length.
HOW TO INSTALL A CHANDELIER
Determine the weight of your new chandelier. If it weighs nearly as much as your current light fixture, you don’t have to replace the ceiling junction box. However, if the chandelier is heavier, purchase and install a junction box that can support its weight.
Turn off the power to the circuit where the chandelier will be located. Use a circuit tester to verify the power is off.
Remove the old light fixture. Note how the fixture was installed and mark the wires with tape.
If you determined that a new junction box was necessary, install it now.
Attach the new hardware from the chandelier to the mounting strap. If you find a mounting strap, obtain one and install it.
Screw the mounting strap to the junction box.
Wire the new chandelier in the same manner as the old light fixture. Connect matching colors (e.g., black to black, white to white). You must remove about a half-inch of insulation from each new wire before attaching it to the ceiling wires.
Once you have twisted the wires from the new chandelier to ceiling wires, twist on wire nuts in a clockwise direction.
To complete the procedure, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Chandeliers can slightly vary from model to model, so the final steps of the process will be different.
If you are installing the chandelier in a dining room or kitchen, make sure the chandelier hangs at least 30 inches above any table. The chandelier’s diameter should be at least 12 inches narrower than the width of the table.