How To Choose The Right Outdoor Chandelier
When considering the installation of outdoor lights for the home, many people choose to add an outdoor chandelier to their porch, sunroom, deck or gazebo. Not only do outdoor lighting chandeliers extend time that can be spent on productive activities as evening arrives, but they also greatly contribute to the overall enjoyment of exterior of the home.
Prior to the invention of the incandescent light bulb in the late 1800′s, candles were used in both indoor and outdoor chandeliers to shed light on living spaces. They were your one and only choice. But with the invention of the electric bulb, many more options opened up to homeowners.
These new electric bulb chandelier choices have made things just a bit more tricky for consumers. Electric chandeliers designed for inside use cannot be used outside for obvious reasons. Outdoor chandeliers for gazebos, sunrooms and decks are going to be exposed to all of what Mother Nature can throw at them (eg. wind, rain, wind, moisture, snow, etc.).
So safety precautions need to be taken whether you decide to use candle or electric outdoor chandeliers. Whichever type suits you best, what follows are some useful planning and safety tips to help you get the most amount of worry-free enjoyment.
Outdoor Candle Chandeliers
Candle chandeliers are still preferred by people who prefer the elegant and understated beauty of the dancing light they provide. Whether the setting is one of quiet solitude or one of entertainment on decks, patio gardens or gazebos, there is something special and unique about the kind of light they provide.
Not only do these hanging outdoor chandeliers have the advantage of not using electricity, but also they are smaller and lighter in weight than their electric counterparts. However, since the light is provided by flames, special precautions need to be taken. Breezy or windy conditions pose a particular concern. It probably is best to not use outside candle chandeliers at all amid particularly windy days to avoid the threat of accidental fires.
But during ideal conditions, candle chandeliers (especially wrought iron black chandeliers), provide a captivating and dramatic effect that cannot be equaled by electric outdoor chandeliers.
For those looking to match the light offered by candle chandeliers without the risk, there are outdoor chandeliers that simulate a candle’s glow through the use of light bulbs. These chandeliers house bulbs where candles would otherwise be. They also provide the peace of mind in knowing the intimate light will not be extinguished should a sudden breeze arise and also dramatically lower fire hazard concerns.
But faux candle chandeliers, which operate on electricity and mimic the light of candles, pose their own risks. Should you decide to go this route, make sure the chandelier has met the safety standards of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL tested and approved outdoor chandeliers are those deemed safe to withstand exposure to wind, rain, snow, and whatever else Mother Nature can expose them to.
Electric Outdoor Chandeliers
As stated earlier, not all chandeliers are designed for outdoor use. Should you decide to choose outdoor chandeliers for gazebos, decks or patios, you’ll need to choose a fixture that is UL approved for damp and wet conditions.
Such designs prevent moisture from penetrating into the wiring of the light through the use of sealed circuitry. Additionally, they include such weather resistant components as a grounded plug, heavy outdoor chords, sealed glass shades, and rubber coated switches.
Choosing an outdoor lighting fixture that features these design aspects will allow you to use it during inclement weather.
Other factors to consider:
(i) Is the exterior lighting fixture tested and approved by Energy Star? This company tests the energy efficiency of consumer products. Those deemed energy efficient are designated with their logo attached to the product.
(ii) If you are not a licensed electrician, employ a licensed electrician for the installation of your electric outdoor light.
(iii) If the outdoor fixture is equipped with shades, what type of materials are the chandelier lamp shades made of?
Some people prefer fabric shades to mute the emitted light. If you decide to go this route, make sure the shades are made of vinyl or some other weather resistant fabric to prevent against damage caused by water, mold or mildew.
Darker shades allow less light to penetrate than lighter shades. So, if you want an area to be exposed to more light, white or off-white shades will allow the most light to go through. Tan or beige chandelier shades will provide yet a softer tone. And dark shades will allow the least light to shine through.
Also, are the shades turned up or down? Turned up shades are notorious for collecting bugs and debris, so you may want to select outdoor lighting shades that are turned down. Such a design protects against moisture and the collection of insects.
Finally, you may want to consider an outdoor lighting lamp that is equipped with sealed glass shades, especially if it is going to be exposed to a large array of weather conditions. These shades not only protect against moisture, but also prevent against the accumulation of insects.
(iv) Think about where you want the exterior chandelier to be hung before you buy. For example, if you want the outdoor chandelier to be hung over an area of activity or dining room table, you may want to consider a fixture that casts its light in a downward direction. If you wish to employ the fixture for ambience, you may want the fixture to cast its light upward.
(vi) What size area do you wish to illuminate? Will one outdoor lighting fixture be sufficient? Or would it perhaps be better to employ two or more smaller chandeliers?
(vii) Do you wish to employ a dimmer for your light switch? Dimmers are an excellent choice for those who wish to control the amount of light emitted by their electric outdoor lights.
Outdoor chandeliers come in a wide variety to suit all different tastes. To choose the size and design that is right for you, all you need to do is consider all your options before you decide to make a purchase.
Home lighting that extends to the outdoors not only helps with the completion of work and tasks that need to be done, but also greatly enhances the enjoyment of the exterior of the home after dusk. Considering where you want the outdoor fixture to be placed and how much it will be exposed to weather conditions will greatly aid in prolonging its life and usefulness.