The Family Jewels

Any woman who has slipped on the classic “little black dress” knows it’s not about the dress, it’s all about the jewelry. That jewelry can change the dress from a tailored business meeting look to a fun filled night on the town. I think of light fixtures in homes the same way as I do jewelry. It is a way to personalize, customize and show off your style.

If you are so lucky as to have been handed down the family jewels, a Schonbek Chandelier, Swarovski Crystal or a Sputnik from the 60’s, it can lend itself as the perfect avenue for customizing your lighting selections. If not and your starting from scratch, it benefits you to spend time on Houzz or Pintrest to find what speaks to your style and let that be an element of designing your home.

When I worked residential lighting years ago (it was a few years, but not too many 😉 ) you had a choice of bound glass in polished brass, bound glass in antique brass, and how many candelabra bases you wanted. There were no other products on the market. Illumination is now a fast-moving industry, and much like technology, is ever changing. I am amazed at all the beautiful and luxurious, customizable lighting products on the market today. There is something to fit everyone’s style, but here are some things I learned that can help guide your decision making.

One of the most significant changes in the lighting industry has been the move from incandescent lighting to LED lighting. Previously, our lighting was measured by watts. If you looked at a lamp and it said 60 watts you knew what to expect from that bulb, now it is not as simple. Here is a quick way I learned to convert an incandescent bulb to LED lumens: multiply the incandescent bulb x 15 and that should give you a ballpark number of lumens. As an example, 60 watt bulb x 15 = 900 lumens needed to get the approximate visible light output.

LED has provided remarkable changes for today's consumer. Not only do they have a much longer life span but they are significantly lower in energy consumption and do not add any hazardous materials to our environment. When choosing an LED light I do suggest working with a lighting specialist to review the different Kelvin temperatures and what you prefer. What is a Kelvin temperature you may ask? It refers to the hue of the light: bluish on one end of the spectrum, to a reddish on the other. I personally like the Kelvin 2700-2800 temperature because it is close to the incandescent lighting I have grown up with. After 3000, I find the light takes on a harsher, blueish tone but again these are all personal decisions to make when your selecting lights.

In lighting, size does matter. A few quick measurements to remember when picking the size of a fixture:

  1. When choosing a dining chandelier measure the depth and width of the room and add them together. That should give an approximate diameter of fixture needed. As an example, a 12+15 room should have a fixture around 27” in diameter.

  2. How tall a fixture should be can be calculated by height of the room x 2.5”- 3”. So, on a 10’ ceiling multiply 10x 2.5- 3 and the fixture should be around 25”- 30” in height.

  3. Dining pieces should be hung approximately 28-32” above the tabletop. Keep your dining table in mind when selecting a fixture. This isn’t a rule to you have to totally live by, but a rectangular table might look best with a rectangle or square shape of fixture, a round table should have a round fixture. There are always exceptions!

  4. How should you space your island pendents? There is an equation for that! It starts by measuring how long the island is (in inches), how many pendants, and the width of those pendants. The equation goes like this: island – (# of pendents x width in inches of pendents) = x, then take x and divide by the number of pendents + 1, this accounds for the space on either side of the island. For example: 60” island with (3) 8” pendants is 60-24=36. 36 divided by 4 = 9” distance between each pendant. Pendants should be hung 66”-72” off the floor.

If all of this math seems overwhelming, well that’s what we are here for. With years of experience in home building, we know what to look for so you don’t have to. Our team at Kings Way Homes is here to help you find your panache and create the perfect ambiance for our new home. Either starting with a family heirloom or creating your own shining style! Who knows, someday that beautiful chandelier you choose today, may become your children or grandchildren’s family jewels in the future. Visit our models to meet our sales consultants and learn how Kings Way Homes can help you create your new luxury home.

-Lori Nelson

New Home Consultant


106 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All