Chandeliers – A Grand Way to do Lighting!

When it comes to buying a chandelier especially for the first time most people are often clueless regarding their needs and can end up with a chandelier that may not best suit the room for which it is intended. There are different types of chandeliers avaialbe for different rooms. You have those that are specifically designed as Dining Room Chandeliers. Vintage Chanedeliers are ideal for the living room. They can even be setup at the entrance to add that grand feeling. Before you go out to buy a chandelier, there are a few things that would be handy to know so that your decision may be and informed one.

  1. Understand that the chandelier is more of a decoration than a functional source of light. This means that you do not need a million bulbs on the chandelier because the room is big; have other lighting in the room to supplement the chandelier.
  2. The chandelier should be of a correct height should a table be centered below it. Also if the chandelier has exposed bulbs then it needs to be high enough to avoid glare.
  3. Bigger is typically better; most often a chandelier can end up looking tiny.
  4. Make sure you go through the catalogs at the lighting store. You will have a wide variety of selections to choose from.
  5. The simpler the design, the easier it is to clean.  Chandeliers generally collect dust and easy cleaning is a good criteria to keep note of.

Listed below is a glossary of terms related to chandeliers that you will find quite useful when your shopping around.


Adam style

A light, airy, neoclassical, elegant chandelier . Typically English.


The light-bearing part of a chandelier also sometimes known as a branch.

Arm Plate

The metal or wooden block placed on the stem, into which the arms slot.


A bag of crystal drops formed by strings hanging from a circular frame and looped back into the centre underneath, associated especially with early American crystal and regency style crystal chandeliers.


A turned wood or moulded stem forming the axis of a chandelier, with alternating narrow and bulbous parts of varying widths.


A glass drop with a hole drilled right through.


A dish fitted just below the candle nozzle, designed to catch drips of wax. Also known as a drip pan.


Not to be confused with chandeliers, candelabras are candlesticks, usually branched, designed to stand on tables, or if large, the floor.

Candle beam

A cross made form two wooden beams with one or more cups and prickets at each end for securing candles.

Candle nozzle

The small cup into which the end of the candle is slotted


An inverted shallow dish at the top of a chandelier from which festoons of beads are often suspended, lending a flourish to the top of the fitting.


An arrangement where the central stem supporting arms and decorations is replaced by a metal structure leaving the centre clear for candles and further embellishments.


Another term for crown-style chandelier


A circular chandelier reminiscent of a crown, usually of gilded metal or brass, and often with upstanding decorative elements.

Crystal Chandelier

Glass with a lead content that gives it special qualities of clarity, resonance and softness . making it especially suitable for cutting. Also known as lead crystal.

Drip Pan

The dish fitted just below the candle nozzle, designed to catch drips of wax. Know also as a bobeche.


A small piece of glass usually cut into one of many shapes and drilled at one end so that it can be hung from the chandelier with a brass pin. A chain drop is drilled at both ends so that a series can be hung together to form a necklace or festoon.


Also known as Flemish, a style of brass chandelier with a bulbous baluster and arms curving down around a low hung ball.


An arrangement of glass drops or beads draped and hung across or down a glass chandelier, or sometimes a piece of solid glass shaped into a swag. Also known as a garland.


The final flourish at the very bottom of the stem. Some Venetian glass chandeliers have little finials hanging from glass rings on the arms.


A circular metal support for arms, usually on a regency-styles or other chandelier with glass pieces. Also known as a ring

Montgolfier chandelier

Chandelier with shape of “Montgolfier”, the early French hot air balloon


The process by which a glass piece is shaped by being blown into a mould (rather than being cut)

Neoclassical Style Chandelier

Glass chandelier featuring many delicate arms, spires and strings of beads.


A straight, many sided drop

Regency Style Chandelier

A larger chandelier with a multitude of drops. From the hoop rise strings of beads that diminish in size and attach at the top to form a canopy. A bag, with concentric rings of pointed glass, forms a waterfall beneath. The stem is usually completely hidden.

Soda Glass

A type of glass used typically in Venetian glass chandeliers. Soda glass remains .plastic. for longer when heated, and can therefore be shaped into elegant curving leaves and flowers.


A tall spike of glass, round in section or flat sided. To which arms and decorative elements may be attached, made from wood, metal or glass.


A tent shaped structure on the upper part of a glass chandelier where necklaces of drops attach at the top to a canopy and at the bottom to a larger ring.


A glass from the island of Murano, Venice but usually used to describe any chandelier in Venetian style.


Concentric rings of icicle drops suspended beneath the hoop or plate.


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