How to Buy a Chandelier - Modern Home Lights

How to Buy a Chandelier

Chandeliers have evolved beyond their traditional place in dining rooms. This comprehensive guide to chandelier shopping unveils all the essentials about these exquisite lighting fixtures, perfect for both indoor and outdoor settings. Explore our extensive collection of chandeliers available for purchase here.


What you'll learn:

1. What size should your chandelier be?

2. How high to hang your chandelier

3. Tips for different types of ceilings

4. Brightness and dimmers

5. Using outdoor chandeliers (wet or damp locations)


What Size Should Your Chandelier Be?

We suggest two straightforward formulas for determining your chandelier size:



Room Length + Room Width = Chandelier Width (in inches)



A common rule of thumb for determining chandelier height is to multiply the room height by 2.5 or 3. This provides an approximate chandelier height.


Dining Table Chandelier Sizing Tip 

Opt for a chandelier roughly one foot narrower than the table for a balanced appearance.


How High To Hang Your Chandelier

This depends on the location of your chandelier.

Here are the most common uses:


Above a Dining Table

The standard recommendation is to hang the bottom of a dining room chandelier 32-34 inches above the tabletop.


Above the Floor

Maintaining a minimum clearance of 7 feet between the floor and the bottom of the chandelier ensures both visual balance and practicality within the space.


Above a Kitchen Island

Kitchen island chandeliers should typically hang with the bottom positioned 32-34 inches above the counter, striking a balance between providing sufficient illumination and avoiding obstruction of sight.


Two-Story Foyer

When selecting a chandelier for an open foyer, keep in mind that it may be viewed at eye level or slightly below from the second floor. Opt for a fixture that is visually appealing from all angles, including from above, to ensure a cohesive and attractive look throughout the space.


Perfecting the Height: Fine-Tuning Chains and Downrods

Our chandeliers typically include 10 feet of wire and 6 feet of chain, providing versatile options for most home installations. These measurements can be adjusted to suit your room's ceiling height. Any deviations from this standard will be clearly indicated in the product details.

Chains: Chain links are designed for easy adjustment by adding or removing links as needed for length. Before installation, trim any excess electrical wire accordingly. Remember the golden rule: measure twice, cut once. It's wise to leave a bit of extra length for unforeseen adjustments.

Downrods: Our designs often include various lengths of downrods that can be combined to achieve your desired hanging height. These downrods feature threaded ends for simple attachment, eliminating the need for cutting or alterations.

Tip: When uncertain, it's wise to seek advice from a licensed and bonded electrician.

Need a longer chain or additional downrods for your high ceiling? If installation mishaps occur, resulting in broken shades, fret not. We've got you covered with replacements. Simply contact us, and we'll take care of your needs.


Tips for Different Types of Ceilings

Chandeliers are typically versatile in their installation. Here are responses to frequently asked questions about installation:

Can a chandelier be installed on a sloped or vaulted ceiling? For fixtures suspended from a chain or cord, installation into the junction box ensures straight hanging due to gravity. If opting for a downrod model, ensure it's labeled "sloped ceiling adaptable" for installation at various angles.

How do you address high ceilings? Our chandeliers typically come with chain or downrod lengths suitable for most ceiling heights; however, additional lengths are available upon request. Additionally, consider a motorized chandelier lift for convenient maintenance, enabling easy cleaning and bulb changes.

Is it possible to use a chandelier with a low ceiling? Yes. For low-ceiling rooms, you can easily adjust your chandelier installation by either removing most of the chain or utilizing the shortest available downrod.

Do chandeliers require additional support from the ceiling? Standard ceiling junction boxes are typically suitable for installing small to mid-sized chandeliers. However, for larger fixtures weighing over 50 pounds, extra support is necessary. An expandable chandelier/fan brace, positioned between ceiling joists, offers the required reinforcement. If uncertain, it's best to seek advice from a licensed, bonded electrician.

What if my junction box is in the wrong location? Swagging the chandelier involves draping the chain over a hook at your desired hanging location. Ensure the hook is securely attached to a ceiling stud to support the fixture's weight.

Will there be a chandelier canopy included? Most of our chandeliers, pendants, and mini-pendants are accompanied by a ceiling canopy, also known as a "ceiling plate," which serves as a decorative cover for the junction box. If not included, this information will be specified in the product details.

Dimmers & Brightness

When the lighting level is ideal, a chandelier can truly enhance the ambiance of a room. Opt for brighter illumination over kitchen islands and a softer, more romantic glow in dining areas. All our chandeliers include either the bulbs or recommended bulb types, tailored to expected usage and suitable for various settings.

To further customize your lighting, consider adding a dimmer for added flexibility.

Any lighting can be paired with a dimmer switch, as long as you have the appropriate dimmer. Reach out to us, and our lighting specialists will assist you in finding the perfect match for your requirements.

When using dimmers with LEDs, ensure compatibility to avoid flickering and premature wear. Older dimmer switches may not support LEDs, so it's essential to use LED-compatible dimmers and bulbs.


Using Outdoor Chandeliers (Wet or Damp Locations)

Extra precautions are necessary when installing a chandelier in moisture-prone areas such as porches, patios, verandas, and even bathrooms.

Choose outdoor chandelier fixtures designated explicitly for outdoor use. Keep in mind that outdoor designs are suitable for indoor use, but the reverse is not always applicable.

Check out our Outdoor Lighting here.

Two types of outdoor fixtures should be noted in product details:

Damp rated (or damp location) fixtures are designed for use in protected outdoor areas not directly exposed to rain, such as covered porches and patios. These are the most common type of outdoor chandelier available.

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