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Chandelier Buying Guide

2021.07.02 20:06

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Chandelier Buying Guide

By Brian G.

Date Updated: November 19, 2020

Lighting & Ceiling Fans Home Décor

Chandeliers are appearing in nearly every room of the house. Explore whether a traditional or a modern design fits your décor and lighting needs.

Table of Contents

Chandelier Size Chandelier Styles and Finishes Shades and Accessories Types of Chandeliers Lighting Collections Installation Lighting Bulbs

Chandelier Size

The first thing to consider when purchasing a chandelier is the size of the room and the chandelier. Chandeliers range in size from 17 inches to more than 48 inches in diameter, and they can have any number of lights. Mini chandeliers are growing in popularity as a way to add style to smaller areas such as a powder room. For traditional locations, like a dining room, look for medium-size chandeliers. This size chandelier can also serve as focal point lighting for the bedroom, living room or kitchen. Reserve large chandeliers for grand entryways or a large formal dining room. If your dining room table is extra long, consider hanging two medium chandeliers instead of a large one.

Most chandeliers come with an adjustable rod or chain so you can alter the hanging height as needed. Remember two things: Be sure it doesn’t block the view of people seated at the table and doesn’t hang too low so people bump into it. Use the chart to help find a size that works for your home.

For tips on how to select the right chandelier for your room, watch Types of Chandeliers: How to Choose.


Oversized chandeliers can work in smaller spaces if the fixture is light and airy. Be sure your ceiling has adequate structural support and that your home’s junction box is rated for the weight.

Shop Lighting & Ceiling Fans Shop LED Light Bulbs Shop Light Bulbs

Chandelier Styles and Finishes

One you've determined the chandelier size, find your desired style, theme and finish.

Style is the most common characteristic to consider when shopping for hanging lights. Pick a style you like that works with the rest of your décor.

Traditional: Traditional hardware has a more ornate and classic look. Ranging anywhere from farmhouse to antique to rustic, this style is more detailed and has more embellishments. Contemporary: With clean lines and a sharp, minimalistic appearance, contemporary or modern hanging lights are simple and understated. Transitional: Combining traditional and modern, transitional allows you to mix elements of both styles for a personalized look. Eclectic: If you're seeking a more informal and fun style, these unique fixtures allow the most personalization.

Within each style, there are various themes you can choose.

Farmhouse Coastal Vintage Industrial Wrought iron Novelty Shop Chandeliers

Shades and Accessories

Another way to personalize the look of your chandelier is with a lampshade or medallions.

Shades: Chandelier shades typically come in glass or fabric. Glass shades allow brighter light, and fabric shades provide more diffused light. Popular chandelier shades include:

Seeded glass Etched glass Rain glass Frosted glass Tiffany-style glass Linen

Chandelier Accessories: To add extra flair, mount a decorative ceiling medallion to give the chandelier a polished look.

Wall Plates: Consider matching the wall plate to the new chandelier finish.

Shop Lamp Shades Shop Ceiling Medallions Shop Wall Plates

Types of Chandeliers

Besides looking pretty, the main role of a chandelier is to provide ambient or overall lighting. With all the different types available, it’s easy to find one to fit your space. Use chandeliers in the bathroom, bedroom, dining room, foyer, kitchen, living room or master bedroom closet. For more information on lighting your home, check out Home Lighting Tips .

Shaded Chandeliers

Shaded chandeliers are the most common type of chandelier and typically have glass or fabric shades.

Tiered Chandeliers

Tiered chandeliers command a strong presence. A two-tier chandelier can add elegance to a dining room, whereas a three-, four- or five-tier chandelier works well for a grand entryway.

Candle Chandeliers

Candle chandeliers are lighting fixtures styled to look as if they hold candles. Many outdoor candelabras are designed to hold real candles.

Crystal Chandeliers

Crystal chandeliers are often what people imagine when thinking of chandeliers. They may be quite ornate, but they don’t have to be. Some have a small number of crystals combined with lampshades for an elegant look. Paired with the right décor, they add just the right amount of sparkle.

Beaded Chandeliers

Beaded chandeliers are a fun option. They can be fancy or casual depending on the materials used. A chandelier with beaded shells can complement a nautical theme.

Reversible Chandeliers

Reversible chandeliers have adjustable arms. Direct the arms up for ambient lighting and down for task lighting.


A dimmer switch allows you to change the mood of the room. Check the packaging to see if the chandelier is dimmable.

Lighting Collections

If you find a chandelier you like and need other lighting fixtures, check to see if it’s part of a collection. Lighting collections offer fixtures in the same style and finish for many areas of the home.


Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for step-by-step directions, safety, warning and caution information. If in doubt, consult a qualified electrician.

Lighting Bulbs

Don’t forget light bulbs. Things like color temperature, lumens and wattage all play a factor in your room’s quality of light. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescents (CFLs) help lower energy costs. Both have a lower wattage but provide the same light output as higher wattage incandescent bulbs. LEDs are also cool to the touch. In general, look for a warm white color temperature for living rooms and bedrooms, a bright white color temperature for kitchens and workspaces, and a daylight color temperature for reading nooks and studies. For more information on light bulbs, check out the Light Bulb Buying Guide .


Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for your light fixture.

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