A chandelier is a decorative hanging light fixture, with multiple arms holding lights or candles. Chandeliers can be made out of a wide variety of materials, including metals such as brass, bronze, wrought iron or chrome. Other materials include alabaster, crystal, timber and plastic, depending on the style and period of your interior décor.
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The chandelier frame can be made out of almost any material. Metal tubing, in brass, copper or chrome, is popular as the wiring can be fed through the chandelier arms seamlessly. Copper is available from your local hardware store, and flexible enough to be molded into shape in your home workshop, however brass or chrome parts will most likely have to be custom made. Check out your nearest metal worker and bear in mind you will most likely have to provide a sketch of the parts you need, including arms, center piece, hanging chain, and canopy piece.
The first things you will need are bulb sockets, the plastic or metal unit that sits at the end of each arm to connect the light bulbs into. Next, everything is connected up with multiple strand lighting wire within the chandelier. Inquire at your local hardware store, it should have blue, brown, and green strands for the live, neutral, and earth currents respectively. Don't forget plastic connectors to connect the individual arm wires together in the center of the fitting.
Candle shaped globes emulate the real candles used in years gone by. There are also interesting “flicker effect” candle-shaped globes which have a moving filament inside which imitates the flickering of a real candle. These are a little harder to come by but can create an intimate effect in your dining or living area.
Remember to take care when wiring light fittings, and if in doubt consult a licensed electrician.
Additional decorative elements are optional depending on the style you want. The frame can be painted or powder coated in virtually any color, just be sure the paint is the correct type for the kind of metal or materials you use.
Decorative crystal drops are traditionally used in French-style chandeliers, but more contemporary style fittings can also use colored glass, plastic, beads, pearls or virtually anything you want. For the real deal, vintage lighting shops may sell original crystal drops, but new ones can also be found in specialty period lighting stores.
Don't forget the associated rings and hooks to attach them to your fitting. If you're after an Old English style, miniature fabric lampshades are available which simply clip over the light globes.