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Modern chandeliers - when to use one

Author: Peter Hopper
Published: July 18, 2012

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Modern chandeliers are simply an updated version of a type of light fitting that has been popular for centuries. They owe their name to their original purpose which was to hold candles. Back in medieval times or even earlier, houses usually consisted of one large covered space used by the whole household for everything, eating, sleeping, and all the usual domestic activities. Indeed in larger houses several families might well have occupied one “Great Hall”. After dark, one candle wasn’t much use in such a hall but people found that by fastening two pieces of wood together in the form of a cross with an upward pointing spike on the end of each cross-piece, sticking candles on each spike, no doubt the original “four candles,” and hoisting the whole assembly above the heads of the people they got much more light.

History of chandeliers

Over the centuries chandeliers became more and more elaborate with the number of candles increasing and decorative crystal droplets being added to reflect and refract light adding to the overall effect. Then came electricity and the modern chandeliers we know today took the place of candle lit fittings. Chandeliers probably reached the peak of their popularity in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries when the great houses enjoyed their heyday.

Since then their popularity has continued despite the decline in the fortunes of the great houses. There may be fewer of the classic mansions of the rich and famous with their huge rooms but today’s modern chandeliers have found other markets. Large hotels and places of entertainment with their large reception rooms and ballrooms are ideal situations for large and elaborate chandeliers. Electric lights don’t leave sooty deposits so that modern chandeliers are much easier to keep clean than their candle-lit forebears. In fact, now that hotels and other public buildings are all no –smoking areas, annual cleaning is usually sufficient. Maintenance really amounts to just that and replacing the occasional expired bulb. Even that is needed less frequently if, as highly recommended, low energy or LED bulbs are used to save on energy costs and improve green credentials.

Chandelier placement

Install modern chandeliers in large public rooms and areas where normal ceiling lights just don’t cut it! Chandeliers will give such rooms that look of luxury and opulence that makes the premises stand out from the crowd and at relatively modest cost too! That touch of flamboyance works particularly well when the building is a re-furbished old mansion. You need classic lighting for classic rooms and the subtle touch of glass in a chandelier gives exactly that. If you happen to have the task of fitting out a luxury liner then really nothing else will do for the classy restaurants, lounges and ballrooms.

Contemporary chandeliers

Lyco Direct is where you’ll find the modern chandeliers you need to make that big bold statement with your new lighting. There you’ll find chandeliers ranging in size from the 8 arm Poesy at ¾ metre diameter down to the more compact but no less elegant Charleston 3 Light Chandelier" Charleston 3 light chandelier at just 380mm diameter, less than ½ a metre.  That means that modern chandeliers are no longer exclusively suitable for large public rooms and the mansions of megastars and footballers!

The more compact designs are ideal for the lounge of a normal house. You too can make that bold statement without going over the top. So if a simple ceiling lamp doesn’t provide quite the effect you want have a good look at modern chandeliers. They’ll do the trick every time!

Take a look at Lyco’s range of Modern Chandeliers

Looking for more information / inspiration? Check out our Lighting Advice section