What Are the Different Types of Chandelier Parts?

Brandon May
Brandon May
Chandeliers are made up of several main components that include prism parts, crystal parts and lamp parts.
Chandeliers are made up of several main components that include prism parts, crystal parts and lamp parts.

The different types of chandelier parts can fall into several simple categories. The main chandelier parts are chandelier prisms, crystal parts and lamp parts. Another term for the lamp and light fixture is called luminaire, and it comprises the lamp and a reflector of the light. Knowing the terms of chandelier hardware is important if one finds that mending a chandelier is necessary.

Chandelier prisms are tiny crystals that hang from the bottom of the chandelier itself. Usually, crystal prisms hang underneath the chandelier parts associated with the lamp or chandelier candlesticks. Chandelier prisms help reflect the light from the lamp parts so that rays will shine through into the room that the chandelier occupies. This makes for an elegant display in the room, because even sunlight through the windows can stimulate the diffusion of natural light into the room through the chandelier.

Another type of chandelier parts are the lamp parts, which can include a light bulb or chandelier candlesticks. There is a risk for accidental fire, so candlesticks must be firmly attached to the chandelier lamp part. The safest alternatives are electric light bulbs that shine artificial light into the room. Appropriate light fitting is required in order to find the correct size bulb for the lamp part of the chandelier.

Another part of the chandelier that often goes unnoticed is the arm. The arm is the base of the luminaire, which stems from the base of the chandelier itself. The base holds the lights or candles in position. Many times, the arms are delicately detailed with fine carvings or designs. With other instances, arms are simply there to provide support for the lamp.

The base of the chandelier holds the entire structure on the wall or the ceiling. It can be constructed from rock or metal and usually is fixed in place. The base also serves a purpose as a visual piece, because many are designed with artistic carvings. Crystal prisms might extend from the base, as well.

The main chandelier parts help make the whole of the chandelier and aid in the construction of a beautiful ceiling ornament. The chandelier prisms and crystals provide exquisite beauty as well as a reflection of a concentration of light that emanates in the room. The arms of the chandelier provide support for the luminaire and the lamps of the chandelier. These parts all combine to form a beautiful structure that can add elegance and light to any room.

Types of Chandelier Crystals

Companies use two different products to make chandelier crystals: glass and crystal. Glass and crystal are both made from silica, but crystal has products added to it that reflect light better than plain glass. Additives such as zinc oxide, barium oxide and lead oxide enhance the glass and make it shimmer in the light.

Identifying Crystal Around the World

Europe and America identify glass and crystal differently. In the United States, crystal is glass with a maximum of 1% lead oxide. Europe identifies crystal more traditionally as glass with a 24% lead oxide minimum. Some highly sought-after chandeliers have crystals made with over 33% lead oxide. While glass with a high lead level is not ideal for drinking or eating, it is an excellent product for chandeliers.

Chandelier Crystals Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Crystals, also called prisms, are a significant part of a chandelier’s design. The cut of the crystal determines how it reflects light. A more intricately cut pattern provides numerous angles for light to reflect off, providing a more detailed light design.

Different Prism Shapes

The unique shape of the chandelier prisms gives each light a unique look. The prisms come in many different forms, such as:

  • Teardrop
  • Square
  • Octagon
  • Circle
  • Spearpoint
  • Almond
  • Mapleleaf
  • Rosette

Making Chandelier Crystals

Manufacturers make crystals using two different processes, and each procedure is either by hand or machine.

Shaped Crystals

Some crystals start as a block or circle of glass. Machines cut the glass into the desired crystal shapes and follow with polishing. People can also make crystals by hand following the same process. An iron or sandstone wheel slowly chips away glass fragments as the designer moves the glass to form a specific shape.

Molded Crystals

Another process for forming crystals utilizes metal or plaster molds. Designers pour molten crystal into the molds where it solidifies. When the prism is cool, it gets buffed and polished. Manufacturers use machines to complete this process, while artists do the project by hand.

Chandelier Body Parts

In the center of the chandelier is the body. The body holds the lamp, arm and prisms parts together. Most chandelier body parts are either nickel, copper, steel or brass. Many designers are very creative in putting together an intricately detailed body to provide an astonishing chandelier.

Chandelier Hanging Parts

A chandelier hangs from the ceiling to provide light in a room. There are several ways to put up the light, and each one depends on the hanging parts of the lamp.

Chain

A long chain is a typical hanging part on a chandelier. The chain usually matches the metal of the lamp's body. A chain makes an excellent hanging device because it is adjustable to the ceiling height. Chains are a perfect choice when owners do not know how high or low they want the chandelier to hang.

A chain usually connects to a loop at the top of the chandelier body, which attaches to a hook in the ceiling. The chain often drapes from the center of the ceiling to the wall providing a disguise for the electrical wire.

Rods

Metal rods are tubes that hang from the ceiling to the top of the chandelier. A rod conceals the electrical wire and provides support to the lamp. Rods work best for chandeliers that are hard-wired into the ceiling. A rod does not provide flexibility on length but does give a high–end look to the chandelier.

Rods and Chains Together

A combination of the two works best when the chandelier is hard-wired into the ceiling but needs additional length to hang properly in the room. The rod connects to the chandelier while the chain runs from the top of the rod to the ceiling.

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Discussion Comments

Raynbow

@ocelot60- As long as you get replacement crystal chandelier prisms that aren't too different from the original prisms, I think your chandelier will look fine. You can always move some of the prisms around and place the new ones strategically so that it would be hard to tell that you even installed them.

You can do this by moving some of the original prisms from the interior of the chandelier and put the new prisms in these less noticeable areas.

Ocelot60

I have an antique crystal chandelier that is missing some of its prisms. I can't find new prisms that match exactly, so I'm wondering if it will be noticeable if I use some that look similar. I hate to go through the trouble of installing them if they detract from the looks of the chandelier.

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    • Chandeliers are made up of several main components that include prism parts, crystal parts and lamp parts.
      By: Ultraviolet95
      Chandeliers are made up of several main components that include prism parts, crystal parts and lamp parts.