Chandeliers have come a long way from elaborate lighting exclusively reserved for mansions, castles, and palaces of the wealthy. While there are still some stunning chandeliers that may only be affordable to a few with prices upward of $25,000 or more, there are plenty of beautiful and affordable choices for the typical home. These options can also adorn many spaces in a house, including the living room, foyer, and dining room.
With so many kinds available, it’s helpful to know some insider tips on how to shop for the best chandeliers for a space. Continue reading to learn how to narrow down the choices, and check out the top picks for some of the best chandeliers that can add beauty and elegance to your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Gabel 5 – Light Candle Style Drum Chandelier
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bestier Modern French Empire Flushmount Chandelier
- BEST FOR LARGE SPACES: Sofary Spiral Raindrop Chandelier
- RUSTIC PICK: TZOE Orb 4-Light Metal Chandelier
- CONTEMPORARY PICK: Possini Euro White Flower Wide Pendant Chandelier
- BEST DESIGN: Interior Decor 12-light Firework Chandelier
- MODERN PICK: Sofary Rectangular Crystal Chandelier
- ECLECTIC PICK: CB2 Teardrops Capiz Chandelier
- MOST VERSATILE: Possini Euro Spheres Sputnik Glass Pendant
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Chandeliers
Chandeliers used to be considered only formal lighting, mostly in dining rooms. However, nowadays some chandeliers are quite affordable, making it easier to include them in practically any room of a home. So, if you are currently contemplating dressing up a room in your home with a chandelier, here are some tips on how to choose a chandelier that can become an ideal showpiece in a space.
Types of Chandeliers
When shopping for chandeliers, there are many types of chandeliers from which to choose. For example, a fancy chandelier for a grand foyer may be a tiered traditional crystal chandelier or resemble a dramatic waterfall of lights. A nostalgic option, which harks back to the days when candlelight illuminated homes, is a candelabra lamp that looks like it uses real candlesticks. Some of these also include little shades around each light bulb. There also are drum chandeliers, mini chandeliers, and other modern options like Sputnik style, globe, and futuristic.
Chandeliers are available in a wide range of materials such as metal, crystal, or glass. If the goal is to match a chandelier with the kind of decor in a home, there are chandelier styles that fit many interior decor styles like rustic, midcentury modern, industrial, modern, and more. For those who aren’t a fan of chandeliers with many light bulbs, there are chandelier-style pendant lights with lights that hang like chandeliers but only have one bulb in the fixture.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of a chandelier is important. If the chandelier’s weight is too heavy for the ceiling box, there’s the risk of it falling. Most boxes can typically support between 50 and 75 pounds of weight, so the ceiling will require extra structural bracing if a chosen light fixture is heavier.
The length of the wiring or chain is also important to consider. The hanging height of a chandelier depends on the room, furniture placement, and height of the ceiling. If a chandelier is desired for a living room, it can hang lower if it’s above a table than if there is nothing below it. Otherwise, family members or guests run the risk of bumping their heads each time they try to pass underneath it.
In some municipalities, there are local building codes that dictate how low a ceiling fixture can hang. The following are general recommendations for how high the chandelier should be above a table, floor, countertop, and door.
- A chandelier above a table is usually about 32 to 34 inches above the table.
- A chandelier suspended over an open floor is usually about 6.5 to 7 feet above the floor.
- A chandelier over an island countertop is typically 32 to 34 inches above the countertop.
- A chandelier suspended over a front door in the foyer is usually about 12 to 16 inches above the doorframe to allow the door space to swing open.
It’s also important to take into consideration the height of the ceiling when choosing a chandelier. If a ceiling is too high, chain links or extension rods can be added to make it long enough. However, if the ceilings are lower than average, links can usually be taken out to shorten the chandelier.
Installation and Placement
Where a chandelier hangs is an important consideration. Typically the type of chandelier that would hang in a foyer is different from one hung in a living room. For instance, the one in the foyer may be able to hang much longer than the one in the living room because the ceiling may be higher in the foyer.
Another consideration is installation. Some chandeliers may be easy to install because they will replace one that’s already in a home. Turning off the breaker box, removing the old light, and replacing it with the new one may be as simple as disconnecting the old fixture and connecting the new one.
Other chandeliers may be difficult to install because they may require an electrician to do some rewiring. So, when thinking about what type of chandelier is best, make a game plan for who will install it.
Type of Bulb
Unlike lamps or other lighting solutions, a chandelier typically casts its lights upward instead of downward. However, since chandeliers usually have more than one light, they can become overpowering, particularly if they have a high wattage. The higher watts may not only give off a strong glare but may also give off an uncomfortable amount of heat with incandescent bulbs.
If the plan is to use traditional high-watt light bulbs for a chandelier, it may be a good idea to choose a fixture that’s dimmable so the amount of light can be controlled. Dimmable lighting can help create different moods, which is a pleasant option in the dining room.
Ease of Care
Cleaning a chandelier can be quite a task to complete. This is because many chandeliers have very delicate parts. Dust, cobwebs, and other elements can make some chandeliers look unsightly. Usually the best way to keep them clean is to use a soft cotton cloth to gently remove the dust. However, if the dust and dirt are caked on from years of not cleaning it, a commercial- strength chandelier cleaning solution may be needed.
Another challenge to cleaning can be trying to reach it. If your chandelier is mounted high up in your foyer, cleaning it may not be so easy. Luckily, there are cleaning gadgets and professional chandelier cleaning services that can safely and adequately clean chandeliers. To avoid the difficulty of cleaning a chandelier, it may be a good idea to choose one that is easy to maintain from a distance.
Our Top Picks
Looking at the options to find the best chandelier can be a lot of fun, but it can also be challenging. To make it easier, the following are some of the best chandeliers on the market organized by category. One of these may be the perfect pick to light up your home.
This vintage beauty combines drum style with candelabra style. Instead of a chain, it uses an adjustable down rod that works well on horizontal or sloped ceilings in spaces like dining areas or bedrooms. This weathered gray fixture has a distressed appearance and can use up to a 60-watt bulb, which emanates a warm glow throughout the space. It is also dimmable.
Although it works well for an indoor country aesthetic, it is also suitable for damp spaces. Therefore, this piece can also be installed on a covered porch that may be exposed to moisture. While it is quite a stunning piece, it may not resemble the photo, which gives the impression that the piece is whitewashed. The product may be darker than expected.
- Weight: 14 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.75 by 21 by 21 inches
- Materials: Distressed metal
- Fixture can be dimmable when using dimmable light bulbs
- French country-inspired design
- Adaptable to sloped ceilings
- Finish may not look like the image
Classic designs like this Bestier Modern French Empire Chandelier hardly ever go out of style. The beautiful combination of quality materials is sure to dress up any home area, including the dining area, living room, or foyer. Although this is a two-bulb flush mount chandelier, the gorgeous crystals scatter light throughout the space as if there are even more lights within it.
This chandelier is 12 by 12 by 9 inches, so it would work very well in more cozy spaces like a foyer, bedroom, or even bathroom. It is compatible with many types of bulbs, including dimmable ones. Best of all, this charming piece is available at an affordable price.
- Weight: 4.19 pounds
- Dimensions: 12 by 12 by 9 inches
- Materials: Metal and crystal
- Can be displayed in various areas of the home
- Only needs two bulbs instead of many
- Looks like an expensive chandelier
This breathtaking chandelier is sure to be a showstopper. And since it is meant to display in entryways, it can be a delightful showpiece that may leave guests in awe. Whether it is surrounded by other lighting or is the only light in the room, this chandelier illuminates beautifully, and it’s available in several different sizes to suit your space. This light fixture can be enhanced by choosing warm or cool light bulbs for the fixture.
While this chandelier is a glamorous choice, it can be time-consuming to assemble. Also, since it is heavy, it may require professional installation to ensure that the ceiling doesn’t collapse from the chandelier’s weight. As a statement-making light fixture, this becomes a focal decor element in any space it’s installed.
- Weight: 14.7 / 20.7 / 33.2 / 38.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 16 by 40 inches and available in more sizes including 19.7 by 78.7 inches, 24 by 120 inches, and 26 by 137.8 inches
- Materials: Stainless steel and crystal
- Large fixture that works well with tall ceilings
- Combination of light and crystals create a warm atmosphere
- Displays well near an open staircase or entryway of a home
- Available in several different sizes
- Fixture could be too heavy for the ceiling box and require structural support
- Five light bulbs needed
- Assembly is not easy
A rustic decor won’t be complete until this stellar chandelier is hung in the dining room, foyer, or living room. This simple vintage-looking chandelier can elevate the entertaining experience since the user can turn the light up or down as necessary. In addition, its colossal size makes it a centerpiece that won’t be missed.
The main body of the chandelier comes pre-installed. It has a 60-inch chain cord that is adjustable and can work well on both horizontal and sloped ceilings. Buyers can create the perfect lighting effect with incandescent, dimmable light bulbs or opt to save energy by using LED bulbs.
These chandeliers display well in bedrooms, dining rooms, and foyers of homes but can also be used in commercial places like hotels and restaurants. However, despite its gorgeous rustic design, some may feel that it isn’t rustic enough because the white paint may not create the vintage charm they want.
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 82.5 by 17.7 by 82.5 inches
- Material: Brushed metal
- Up-light fixture that’s easy to install
- Uses 60-watt or 30-lumen incandescent, LED, compact fluorescent, or halogen bulbs
- Dimmable when used with a dimmable light bulb
- Light may not look distressed as in the photo
Not everyone is looking for a traditional style when it comes to chandeliers. For those who desire a modern or futuristic look, this light fixture can accentuate a midcentury modern or contemporary space. This pendant chandelier only requires one bulb but disperses light through its many “petals.” As a result, it is an engaging showpiece that displays well in living rooms and dining rooms.
Even though the light is made up of very intricate resin pieces, there’s no need to worry about putting it together because it comes already assembled. However, users inexperienced with electrical wiring may need a professional to adjust the cord. Made of resin, the light’s elegant shape shines through after it is hung.
- Weight: 4.41 pounds
- Dimensions: 19.5 by 12 inches
- Material: Resin
- Fixture comes already assembled
- Electrical cord is adjustable
- Resin material may not appeal to all
This combination of gold-colored stainless steel and crystal unite to form a dynamic fixture. The visually active design of the Interior Decor 12-light Firework Chandelier makes it feel like the light is exploding in various directions like fireworks. With its nontraditional look, it is suited for contemporary or modern decor.
Even though it may be a beautiful work of art without the light turned on, it transforms into a magical design element once it lights up. The fact that it is dimmable makes the chandelier even more alluring. Light bulbs are included with the fixture, and it works well with a horizontal ceiling or a sloped one. However, despite all of its visually exciting features, it can be challenging to assemble.
- Weight: 12.03 pounds
- Dimensions: 39.37 by 39.37 by 15.74 inches
- Material: Stainless steel
- Visually striking, especially with dimmable lighting
- Light illumination is multidirectional
- Bulbs included
- Challenging assembly and installation
Elegantly designed in a nontraditional form, this chandelier is ideal for a home with modern decor. The transparent K9 crystals add more sparkle to the fixture, dispersing the light throughout the room in a dazzling way. Warm lights create a textural and inviting atmosphere, while cool lights really make the crystals shine. The rectangular shaped fixture fits well over a rectangular dining table, but it could also work over a coffee table in a large living room.
Although this chandelier is an attractive centerpiece that will draw attention in any room it is hung, the fixture is very heavy. The ceiling must be assessed to determine if it can support its weight, and additional structural support may be needed. Note, too, that it is available in several different sizes. The light fixture is very delicate, so it must be handled carefully to avoid knocking off any crystal connectors.
- Weight: 25 / 29.8 / 33.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 32 by 10 by 10 inches, and also available in more sizes including 39.5 by 10 by 10 inches and 47 by 10 by 10 inches
- Materials: Stainless steel and crystal
- Ideal for dining rooms
- Uses warm or cool light bulbs
- Cable length is customizable
- Fixture is very heavy
- Assembly is complicated
- Additional structural support may be needed in the ceiling
Pearls aren’t the only beautiful creation that comes from oysters; the shells from oysters are harvested and handcrafted by artisans in the Philippines to create this stunning chandelier. Each capiz shell is strung and attached on a brass frame, and together they create a delicate, soft look, especially when the light is on. Although it would seem that this stylish beauty would take multiple lights, it is a pendant light taking either a 100-watt incandescent bulb or a 23-watt CFL bulb. Neither bulb is included.
This chandelier can be a remarkable statement piece in dining areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms. While it may be easy to clean with a soft cloth, this handcrafted beauty can be very delicate. Buyers must use extreme caution when handling to prevent damaging it.
- Weight: 16.09 pounds
- Dimensions: 27.5 by 23.75 inches
- Materials: Capiz shells, iron, and brass
- Fixture comes assembled
- Ideal for dining areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms in the home
- Handcrafted by artisans
- Can use either incandescent or CFL light bulbs
- Must be handled carefully as shells are very delicate
- Light bulb is not included
This chandelier combines the space-age nostalgia of the 1950s with a modern flair that can fit into a variety of interior design styles, including midcentury modern, transitional, minimalist, and industrial. The frosted glass bulbs and antique brass come together to create an impeccable design that displays well in dining areas, living rooms, and areas with vaulted ceilings. This magnificent showpiece is easy to hang, has a sturdy build, and provides illumination from 15 halogen light bulbs.
While it is a striking addition to any midcentury modern or contemporary space, the chandelier has few drawbacks. The lights can get very hot, and the spheres surrounding the bulb may break easily if they are not carefully handled. However, replacement spheres are available for purchase. One downside is that assembling it may be a bit of a challenge.
- Weight: 7.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 30 by 13 inches
- Materials: Borosilicate and opal glass, chrome
- Replacement for spheres available
- Can be hung on a sloped ceiling
- Includes fifteen 25-watt G9-base halogen bulbs
- Glass sphere surrounding bulbs are very delicate
- Light bulbs get very hot
When deciding on the best chandelier, the Gabel 5 – Light Candle Style Drum Chandelier topped our list for its traditional design, gorgeous aesthetic, versatile use for indoors and outdoors, and easy installation. If a more traditional and formal chandelier is desired, consider the Bestier French Empire Antique Farmhouse Chandelier. It resembles a classic grand chandelier without the high price.
How We Chose the Best Chandeliers
To compile this list of best chandeliers, we considered nearly 60 chandeliers from some of the best online retailers. We chose several styles that look like classic chandeliers, some that are a modern take on a classic look, and a few that are unique in their design. Although the cost of chandeliers can get very expensive, all of the picks on this list are under $500.
We considered different interior design styles as we finalized this list and where a chandelier may be installed. Most of the choices can be used anywhere in the house, including the foyer, the dining area, and the living room. Many of the light fixtures also work well mounted on sloped or cathedral-style ceilings. There are also a few chandeliers that can be displayed in commercial buildings such as restaurants or hotels. Finally, our top choice can be used indoors or outdoors under cover.
Whether you have installed chandeliers in your home or you are installing one in your space for the first time, you might be left with additional questions about chandeliers. From installation concerns to how to care for them once you’ve installed them, below are some answers to top questions about chandeliers.
Q. How high should I hang a chandelier?
The answer to this question depends on where the chandelier is hanging. If it is over an open floor, 7 feet above the floor is recommended. If it is above a kitchen island or a table, aim to hang it within 32 to 34 inches above the table or island.
Q. How do I change the bulbs for chandeliers in very tall spaces?
There are long sticks with suction cups on the end that you can use to unscrew the old bulb and replace the new one in a pendant type of chandelier. However, for tall chandeliers with multiple bulbs, a platform ladder can help provide access to the light bulbs and stability while changing them.
Q. How do I clean a chandelier?
It is a good idea to clean a chandelier with a soft cotton cloth because paper towels may scratch the material. However, if your chandelier is too high for you to reach or you’re not quite sure which cleaners to use on the chandelier, it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer or a cleaning professional that specializes in chandelier cleaning.
Q. What are the best light bulbs for a chandelier?
Choosing the best light bulb will be determined by the type of chandelier you choose. Some chandeliers can use incandescent bulbs, but you may want to consider using LED bulbs for energy efficiency. It’s best to go with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Typical chandelier bulbs include the following: T6 Tubular LED Candelabra Chandelier Light Bulb, E12 Flame Tip Candelabra LED Chandelier Light Bulb, B10 Torpedo Blunt Tip Candelabra LED Light Bulb, E12 Flame Effect Candelabra LED Light Bulb, or G9 Cylindrical LED light bulb. Your chandelier may even take G9-base halogen bulbs.
Q. Can I fit a chandelier in a bathroom?
There are limits to where chandeliers can go in a house. If you want a fancy chandelier in your bathroom space, there needs to be sufficient space between it and any wet areas. It’s best to check with local building codes. Another thing to keep in mind is size. If a bathroom is small, a smaller fixture usually fits better.