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Category Archives: Chandelier General Blog
Should you wonder whether to buy an old chandelier or new one, please read this article to get some pointers.
Advantages of old chandeliers
- may be cheaper
- may have interesting history – the chandelier below belonged to an empress.
Disadvantage of old chandeliers
- The time factor – I suppose it depends on how much time do you have on your hands to go around antique shops to find the right chandelier as apposed to going on the internet to find a new one.
This chandelier is absolutely gorgeous and at first glance doesn’t look too bad as the large crystals were cleaned now and then. But looks can and often are deceptive.
Crystals from the picture above are photographed in detail below.
By popular demand we just had to include this clip on the blog. So many people have said that when they think of chandeliers from a lighter perpective then this clip springs to mind. It certainly has stood the test of time and remains as one of the most memorable episodes from Only Fools and Horses so please take a look and enjoy.
But maybe here somewhere there is a lesson to be learnt!
Click here to view:-
Only Fools and Horses Chandelier Sketch
Some Background This magnificent french chateau has been acquired by an English couple with a dream to restore it and open it to the public as a Hotel. You might look at the picture like I did and say that looks fine and need no restoration but be assured behind this postcard picture is a great deal of hard work to get the chateau ready for guests. Now our involvement has been that Anne the proud new owner acquired 2 of the original chandeliers from the chateau in a local French auction and was keen to have them restored to be placed back into their original positions within this building of beauty. However it was not quite as simple as that as you can see from this image of the chandelier . Firstly , the chandelier was bent and covered in a mass of dirt and most significantly had no electrics for illumination appart from a single flex holding a single globe light bulb! But not to shy away from a challenge we took on the task of re-engineering the chandeliers to restore them to their former glory.
The Chandelier Restoration Task
We were invited to a historic building which was full of heritage and told fabulous stories regarding the history by the man in charge. But as interesting as this all was our task, as I am sure you can guess, was to examine the chandeliers and identify what could be done to return them to their former glory. Now there is no doubt that the chandeliers were magnificent and of high quality but they were so dirty that they were not distinguishable as grand traditional chandeliers. The first step for us is always to examine the chandeliers very carefully to assess the task to be done. A cleaning job if done properly will always involve removing all the crystals and a rewiring job does require that the entire chandelier is dismantled. It is therefore imperative to assess what steps are needed to dismantle and as to whether certain parts will need replacing as part of this process. Clearly with a traditional chandelier as these then it is an object of great value and beauty and must be treated accordingly.
Looking through an interior design magazine I noted distinct luck of design flair for chandeliers. I am passionate about chandeliers (and being a chandelier distributor I should be) I tend to look perhaps more than other at chandeliers and their expression as an architectural feature. There are many consideration to take into account when choosing a chandelier and one of the big factors is the ceiling itself. Don’t take me wrong, I always say to my customers that the chandelier has to be exactly what they want as they will be spending time with the chandelier of their choice more than anyone else. Also that a chandelier is what they feel it is, for example if you they feel that a chandelier is old fashioned than it is old fashioned because their perception of that particular chandelier makes them feel so. The big but however is the need of the room. I have seen fantastic contemporary chandelier on a beautiful old ornate ceiling rose. This marriage of two beautiful objects just did not work, sort of like Heather and Sir McCartny. I am all for complimenting old with new and there are people very successful within this design area but only a few and far apart.
Have you ever thought how much energy your chandelier consumes? Well if it is quite a big one with say 18 bulbs and you are using 40watt candle bulbs then it will consume a massive 720 watts and if it has 24 bulbs you are approaching 1 kilowatt!!! That is a lot of energy which is not only expensive in electricity, this means that it will be generating a significant amount of heat. That may be fine on a cold winters night but you do not really want a massive heat lamp in the centre of your room in the mid summer. So what do you do about it?
One solution is to fit a dimmer which will allow you to regulate the electricity flow and not only reduce the brightness of the chandlelier but also reduce the energy consumption to an acceptable level. However, a word of warning, make sure that you fit one that will take the total wattage of your chandelier when fully lit otherwise you will burn the dimmer out and it will stop working.
Another solution is to wire the chandelier on two separate circuits with say half the bulbs of one circuit and the other half on another. This can often be easily achieved with a two tier chandelier where you can wire the top tier on one circuit and the bottom tier on another. Then by using a two gang switch you can have three different illumination levels, by switching one or the other of the circuits on or the two together. Now clearly you will need the the additional wiring in the room to accommodate for this, so if you have a new build or you are undertaking a renovation why not get the extra circuitry installed.
Both of the above solutions solve the problem but do not addres the root cause, that is, that the bulbs consumer too much electricity. To significantly reduce your consumption the best solution if to fit energy saving bulbs. Now you can select halogens which save approximately 30%, or compact fluorescent lamps which save approximately 80% but the best solution is to fit LED bulbs which will save you around 90% in electricity consumption. An example is to use a LED candle bulb which will only consume 3W and give a power output of around 25watts. Now your 24 bulb chandelier will only consume 72 watts. Problem solved.
The popularity of chandeliers is on an ever increasing trend. People are now viewing a chandelier as an item of luxury which through retailers like Classical Chandeliers are now being made available to a much wider sector of the population. Chandeliers, which traditionally were reserved to grand old properties and Victorian residences are now being seen as a statement of class in modern buildings. Chosen carefully they certainly can bring some sparkling splendour to what might otherwise have been a standard modern house and this is important because as more and more houses are build the proportion of old properties will naturally reduce.