A chandelier is one of the most high-end decorative light fixtures you can hang in your living room. The branched, ornamental lighting fixture is traditionally used with incandescent bulbs, but it can also be fitted for fluorescent or LED lights. If you’re searching for the perfect vintage chandelier, look to antique shops and salvage yards. Also, keep your eyes peeled for objects with a circular shape like large metal funnels and bohemian baskets at flea markets and other resale outlets. These items can be transformed into stunning chandeliers with new, safe wiring (preferably UL-certified).
In terms of vintage lighting, there are several types that are particularly prized. Crystal chandeliers, for instance, are often adorned with facets that refract and reflect light in an intricate pattern that adds beauty to the room. Other popular types of chandeliers are those that feature stained glass or other colored glass. These chandeliers are often combined with cut glass and crystal beads or drops to add even more dazzling detail.
Another important factor is the age of the chandelier. If you can tell when it was made, you can often guess at its value. This is especially true for chandeliers that were created before electricity. Many of these fixtures were converted to electric power in the 1920s and 1930s. If you can see the original wires that run down the center of the fixture, this is an indication that it’s a genuine antique.
Other indicators that a chandelier is old include the presence of bobeche, or small drip cups for candles. These were common on candle chandeliers, and they can often be found in salvage yards. Hollow tubes, which indicate that the chandelier was once powered by gas, are also common in old-style chandeliers. Occasionally, you’ll even find a chandelier with visible wiring, which can be an indication that it was built before Edison brought us electrical lighting in the mid-20th century.
In addition to these signs, you can also use your own intuition when examining a chandelier for its age. You can hold a drop of crystal or other material up to the light and see whether it creates rainbows of refracted light. If it does, this is a good sign that the piece is made of quality crystal.
A reputable lighting store can help you determine the age of your chandelier, and they can also refresh it with new, safe wiring. These stores will be able to give you an idea of the value of your chandelier based on its condition and the materials that were used to make it. They can also help you determine how best to mount your chandelier in your space, based on the dimensions of your room and the amount of ceiling height it will need to work well. Some popular places to shop for chandeliers are Lighting Direct, Wayfair and Serena & Lily, each of which has options in a variety of styles. You can also find unique chandeliers at local hardware stores and big-box home improvement centers.