Apart from being a functional source of light, contemporary chandeliers and modern pendant lights look stately and elegant in a beautiful home, hotel or boutique store and of course, they lend the much talked about wow factor! One of the common places to install a chandelier and pendant light in a home or commercial place is the stairwell. However, there are a few things to plan and consider when hanging chandeliers. We’ve put together our top tips and a few important mistakes to avoid when choosing a modern designer fitting for a staircase.
Take stock of your surroundings, such as the height and width of the stairwell, natural light entering the area, artwork on the walls, the angles of the walls and type of staircase. Think about if the chandelier will be hung in a public space i.e. a boutique store, for an office fit-out or a home. Furthermore, curved or spiral staircases might require a different light fitting to a standard staircase. The location of the stairwell can also play an important role in determining the type of chandelier you choose. Think about if the stairwell is at the entry of the home or is it a grand staircase leading up from the living room or is it located at the back of the house.
Evaluate the light entering the stairwell and check if the chandelier will be the only light source or will you be installing down-lights or are there are any windows in the space. As a stairwell needs to be well illuminated, the wattage of the chandelier will depend on the number of light sources in the space.
An aesthetically pleasing chandelier is an easy way to create wow factor in the space. If a piece of art or a custom made staircase is meant to be the centre of attention, you may want to choose one with a simpler pendant.
Choose a chandelier based on the height of the stairwell. Standard height of hanging a chandelier is usually 7 feet off the floor. A reasonably high ceiling of 8 feet – 9 feet, is perfect for hanging a beautiful and moderately long chandelier. It may be challenging to find a chandelier for a very high ceiling and additional lighting may be required to create a well-lit space. If the chandelier is for the home, and if you have small children, ensure that the chandelier cannot be touched from the stairwell. Or if you have tall guests ensure that the chandelier is installed high enough for them to walk comfortably beneath it.
A beautiful yet heavy chandelier may need structural reinforcements to the ceiling. Heavy chandeliers may need extra ceiling braces or support. This is often overlooked and can cause structural damage to the roof/ ceiling or even the light fixture.
Chandeliers come in all different shapes and sizes. The size of the chandelier you choose will ultimately depend on the overall design of the room and your home, your budget and cost of the light fixture and also ceiling height and width of the stairwell.