Choosing a ceiling light for your home from a catalogue or online can make many people nervous. They are unsure of the finishes, the correct size, or are just unsure what type to choose.
Here we have tried to make it easier for you, with tips and suggestions that have helped many of our customers over the years, who to this day are still delighted with their purchase.
Choosing a ceiling that is right for you and your home is relatively easy. What is confusing is the vast amount of different types that are available, so you find yourself flitting to one style then the other which often confuses and put people off making the final decision.
If you are redesigning a whole house or it is a new build then it is best to concentrate on one room before moving on to the next. It can sometimes be so easy to get confused with the many different styles available. Once you have decided on that room carry onto the next. Remember that each room can be of a different style depending on its use, for example a traditional study and a conservatory will have very different lighting requirements.
Does the room have a high ceiling of 8ft or more? If so, you are very fortunate and can chose something that hangs down on chain suspension or a multi-level pendant that hangs a good way from the ceiling. As a rule of thumb most of our products are measured without including the chain height, so the actual height is taken from the highest point of the fitting to its lowest point. The chain height is then added to this measurement.
If your ceiling height is lower than 8ft, then a semi flush fitting may be your best choice. This will have no chain and is usually suspended by a mount or different height rods incorporated into the light fitting itself, so the height shown in the description is the actual height it will project from the ceiling into the room.
If the ceiling height is 7ft 6in or lower, then a flush ceiling light fitting should be considered. Some people dread choosing a flush mount, especially if it is a living room where you want to have something decorative as a focal point. Today there is a vast and expanding amount of highly decorative flush mounted lights that are spectacular and a far distant cry from the day when we could only choose a simple glass shade on a bracket or lamp holder.
It is always a good idea to measure the height of your ceiling before deciding on the type of ceiling light will be most suitable. At this stage you will know whether it needs to be suspended on a chain, semi flush, or flush mounted.
What style of décor are you seeking to achieve? Modern, traditional, contemporary, or do you have a themed style to your house such as Art Deco, or do you live in a rustic 18th century farmhouse?
Always try to remain in keeping with the style of your home and furnishings and not be too extreme. It really is important to think at this stage of the style of lighting that will suit your home and not to choose something just because it is in fashion or trendy. Fashion and trends come and go, but if you choose the correct style of fitting it will blend well with your home and outlast fashion trends, remaining a feature for many years without becoming out of date or out of style.
By now we should have chosen the style (modern, traditional, contemporary or themed) as well as the type, (chandelier with a chain, semi flush or flush mounted).
There are so many different finishes to choose from, but in many cases, the choice of finish has already been made for you. What finish are your door handles, switches, sockets, fire surround, hearth or curtain rail? These are just a few hints and things to think about that can sometimes help in choosing a particular finish from fixtures you may already have.
If you are starting from a blank canvass then your chosen finish will depend greatly on the type of décor and theme you will be seeking to achieve. In general it is a good idea to match the finish of your light fitting with other fixtures in your room, so if you are starting with a blank room it is a good idea at this point to choose other finishes at the same time, for instance light switches, sockets, fireplace curtain rail etc. There are many finishes to choose from such as brass that has recently been making a comeback after being out of favour for a few years. Trends come and go but the traditional colours such as brass, chrome and the satin colours such as satin silver and satin brass will always remain.
Now that you have decided on the type, style and finish of your light fitting, you need to ensure that it gives sufficient light and is proportionate to the room size.
What Size Do I Need?
Generally the size of your ceiling light determines the amount of illumination you will get. For instance a three-light chandelier is almost always smaller in diameter than a five-arm chandelier. The diameter of our fittings is given in the description and is measured at the widest point.
The diameter is important. The larger the diameter, the wider the fitting, so the bulbs are spread further apart and will throw light further into your room. Generally, the larger the room, the larger the fitting needs to be as they hold more lamps than a smaller diameter alternative.
Sometimes it is very difficult to visualise the size of a fitting by reading the measurements from a description. Through years of advising our customers we have found that the following method works. It may seem peculiar, but we have found it has helped many of our customers to get the proportion right before committing to their purchase.
If you cannot imagine how it will look in your room, find and old cardboard box and cut out the diameter of the light. Ask a helping hand to hold this at the approximate height that it would hang. This cut out will help with visualising the size of the ceiling light and the impact it will have on the room.
This method can also be used with the height of the fitting and how far down it will come from the ceiling. The height is given from the top to the bottom. Fittings that come with chain suspension are measured in the same way, but the length of chain is generally not included in the measurement and this has to be added. Chain lengths vary from manufacture to manufacture it may be a good idea to check the chain length before making your final decision. The chain can be reduced in size by removing as many links as necessary to achieve the desired height.
Generally speaking how much illumination you need in a particular room is a matter of personal choice. Some may want the room in question to be particularly bright; some may require a soft ambient light for the room. Many other factors come into play, for instance, does the room have wall lights, do they come on with the main light or are they switched independently? Are there table lamps and floor lamps in the room?
We hope this information page has helped you feel more confident in making your final choice. We understand how important it is to choose the right type of light fitting for your home.
If you needed any further information on any of our products, please call 0151 650 2138 or use the contact us page and we will be extremely happy to assist you.