Chandelier Cleaning and Chandelier Rewiring- A case study

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.

There were a number of Chandeliers to be cleaned but I will concentrate here on the example of one needing full chandelier restoration.

The Chandelier before Restoration.

Chandelier Cleaning

As you can see this chandelier was without doubt a true beauty but had been left for many years to gather dust from the point at which the rewiring became non functional. It was to be found situated in the library but alas not there to illuminate the readers but just as a show item and a memory of the days gone by. The level of dirt accumulated was immense and on closer inspection the chain links were largely beyond repair. Merely picking up a chain which cascades down from the top would cause the linkages to pop open and more crystals were in danger of dropping to the floor. Additionally the wiring had disintegrated to such and extent that it was not possible for the non expert to say whether the chandelier had electric wiring or whether it was just in its original state and being used with candles.




Chandelier Rewiring


The Finished Product after Chandelier Cleaning and Chandelier Restoration


Chandelier Cleaning was a major  task to be undertaken for this restoration. This involves the meticulous disassembly of the chandeliers cleaning the individual crystals and then re-hanging them back on the traditional chandelier. Invariably during this part of the chandelier restoration process then links will be broken and will need to be replaced with the correct links and put in place with specialist tools and special connection techniques. As you can see the result of the chandelier cleaning was simply spectacular and the old dirty crystals now sparkle like they did centuries ago when this chandelier was made.

Chandelier Restoration

The other part in the equation for this chandelier restoration project was the chandelier rewiring. This chandelier does not just have the nine visible bulbs which are situated at the ends of the arms but another hand full on delicate arms inside the chandelier to case light onto the crystal chains. This meant the chandelier rewiring was more complicated because the new wires not only needed routing through the external arms but the internal ones as well. Also invariably old wiring standards did not need earth connections which then makes the chandelier rewiring more difficult because extra wires need to be ran through narrow channels where they were not before to improve electrical safety. So quite a lot of detailed work, in fact arguably a labor of love! But you judge for yourself do you think it was worth it?

A LED candle flame bulb which is perfect for chandeliers

So what kind of light bulb is needed for a Chandelier?

Chandeliers have been around a long time before the invention of the light bulb  in 1879, in fact they have been used centuries before his birth in 1847! The original chandeliers were wooden and held candles on the ends of the arms . One of the benefits of the chandelier in the times before the electric light bulb was the fact that the chandelier had a multitude of arms and therefore could hold a great number of candles. As the light output, or candle power, as it is sometimes termed is only small for each candle this meant that you could get an acceptable illumination level in the room. The idea of the chandelier lived on and in the in the 18th century when the bohemian glass-makers made their fine chandeliers they still used the candle as the prime illumination source.

The design of  traditional chandeliers has not changed much since these days and in fact manufacturers and connoisseurs have taken great steps to preserve its tradition looks and maintain the heritage. Now as the candle complemented the traditional chandeliers so well then the challenge has always been to create an electric light bulb which mimics the effect and aesthetics of the candle as closely as possible.

Looking at different alternatives for the chandelier light bulb.

The light bulb has remained very similar in design over the last century since its invention by Thomas Edison. These light bulbs known as incandescent light bulbs have a tungsten filament which glows white hot when electricity is passed through it, which in tern produces the illumination for the space. Many people did not like the look of the filament in the bulb and therefore pearl or opaque covers were produced but this was not good for chandeliers. It is the concentrated point source source of  white light combined with the clear cover for the bulb which allows light rays to pass through the crystals and produce enhanced sparkle.  This led us quite naturally into having a light bulb which was well suited to  traditional chandelier which was the candle filament light bulb.

The world then got more complicated with the emergence of the energy saving light bulb onto the market. This happened because of the ever increasing need to save electricity and in tern reduce the amount of carbon dioxide let into the atmosphere during the electricity generation process. In fact, things have moved on even further now and government legislation now means that the traditional incandescent light bulb is progressively being banned. This ban has already started with the opaque light bulbs, as they are less efficient, and will progressively be put into effect across the full range of light bulbs over the coming years. The first  energy saving light bulbs used the compact fluorescent lamp – CFL technology and although this was very efficient saving upto 80% in electricity costs does produce very bulky light bulbs with poaque covers which are not ideal for traditional chandeliers.

The new dimmable LED Candle Bulb
dimmable LED candle bulb

This LED candle bulb has a single high powered LED and utilises a light pipe and as a consequence produces a light effect which is very similar to the traditional incandescent light bulb. The clear cover then allows the light to radiate from the glass cover and the light beams then catch the crystal to create enhanced sparkle. This chandelier LED candle bulb has the additional advantage of being dimmable which means that the light level can be reduced to create the right mood. This is particularly important with chandeliers with large numbers of bulbs as otherwise the light level can be too intense. So finally we have a dimmable LED candle bulb with aesthetic worthy of the beauty of chandeliers.

LED candle bulb

The Mystique of the Black Chandelier

In Search of that extra dimension in Architectural Lighting.

Certain interiors demand that something extra. This is especially true for a contemporary styled interior where the minimalist look can sometimes look somewhat bare and plain. It is certainly good to have some striking black and white floor tiles with some plain black soft furnishings complemented by some blinds with clean sleek lines. However, without elegant lighting the whole effect can be lost. There has been a phase of using strategic spot lights for the desired lighting scheme and this can be effective from an illumination perspective but the lights themselves have no aesthetic beauty. It is often good to enhance the back lighting with a striking centrepiece Chandelier that will catch the eye of all who enter.

The Black Chandelier for Traditional Properties

contemporary chandelier
If you have a traditional property typically of the Victorian or Georgian period and you are enhancing the interior design to give it that edge then you do not have to go for a the traditional chandelier . Whilst recognising that this is the safe bet and that this will give your property some real traditional character then if you do want to be more adventurous then it is quite acceptable to select a design with a more modern edge. This chandelier has the traditional chandelier design with flowing glass arms and handing pear shaded crystal trimmings but the use of black glass throughout the whole design make the look simply striking. To add to this the large marea plated crystals which have been incorporated by the Preciosca designer make this chandelier stand out from the crowd. It is these subtle additions and the combination of the Maria Thereasa design which has the glass cased arms and the brilliance of the marea plated crystals which emphasise why the Preciosa designers are recognised for their excellence across the industry.

If the look of this chandelier is still too modern then there are more traditional chandelier options which simply take the traditional designs and simply styalise throught the use of the jet black colour ornamentation so to see more talke a browse through our black chandelier selection.

A more contemporary angle for the Black Chandelier

contemporary chandelier

Should your property be more contemporary then you will typically want to steer well clear of the traditional chandelier unless of course you are going for the option of mixing the old and the new. This strategy is often well used but in this case we will assume that for a modern look you need a contemporary chandelier. The black chandelier shown here is another fine piece of design work from Preciosca and shows how the use of the black and white stripe is not just the reserve of nature and the zebra but can be very effectively used in interior design. This clean sweeping arms and simplistically designed candle trays are all part of the look and the combination is chosen to create an image of modern elegance but one that is memorable and will certainly be the deserving centrepiece for any new space.