Chandeliers add a touch of elegance to any space. They can range from sparkling strands of crystals to elegant, antique-inspired candelabras. Choosing the right chandelier for your space depends on the room, the ceiling height and what you’ll be using it to light. If you’re putting one over a dining room table, it’s especially important to keep the Ceiling height and table size in mind as you’ll want the chandelier to be proportional to the table.
Typically, chandeliers are heavier than other types of fixtures and can weigh anywhere from 15 to 150 pounds or more. Because of this, the electrical box that the fixture will hang from must be rated to support the weight of the fixture. Also, a ceiling junction box should be securely attached to a joist.
When installing a chandelier, you’ll first need to prepare the ceiling where it will be installed. The ceiling box should be clean and free of any dust or debris, and it should be a size that will accommodate the fixture. If you’re putting a chandelier in a foyer, consider centered it over a large piece of furniture, such as a coffee table, since most people will gather around the furniture. If the foyer is large, consider putting two or more chandeliers to add visual interest to the space.
Next, you’ll need to install the chandelier mounting bracket. Screw the bracket to the ceiling and thread the fixture’s mounting stem into it. Then, connect the stripped end of the black ceiling wire that carries current to the stripped end of the black wire of the chandelier and twist them together with a wire nut. Do the same with the white light fixture wire and white neutral supply wire. Make sure that no wire is exposed and that all the connections are secure.
Once the connections are secure, you can finish the chandelier installation. Depending on the weight of your fixture, you may need to tighten the bracket or even add additional bracing to the ceiling. Make sure that the wiring is inspected regularly to prevent any issues in the future, and have an electrician splice in any exposed wires if necessary.
The Classic Rule
A classic rule for chandeliers is to use the width of the room and multiply it by 2.5 or 3. This gives you a rough estimate of how wide the bottom of the chandelier should be. The larger the room, the more you can err on the high side.
For dining rooms, the bottom of a chandelier should be about 7 feet above the floor. This will allow for plenty of clearance for people to walk under the fixture without hitting their heads. For bedrooms, you should aim for the bottom of the fixture to be about 6 inches above the bed so that it is not too low and doesn’t disturb the rest of the room decor.