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Outdoor Chandeliers

Updated on June 3, 2013

Having a chandelier on your front porch, in a gazebo, or even in a sun room or solarium  is an elegant and sophisticated way to light these spaces. Not only will an outdoor chandelier provide a rich and inviting light for you and your evening guests, it will also provide safety and comfort. A lighted house, whether you are home or away, is a deterrent to thieves and other ill wishers. The strong but warm light of an outdoor chandelier will also make finding keys or looking for mail or newspapers a much more pleasant experience.
Given the broad range of styles that outdoor chandeliers come in, you can match your chandelier to your exact tastes and to the architecture of your home. When installing these many types of chandeliers, however, it is good to keep a few general tips in mind. Read on for a bit of friendly advice on selecting and installing outdoor chandeliers.

It's important to take the elements when installing outdoor chandeliers.
It's important to take the elements when installing outdoor chandeliers.

Tips for Outdoor Chandelier Installation

The first thing to remember about putting chandeliers in outdoor places is that they will be exposed to the wet and the weather. Thus, these lighting fixtures should be UP approved for use in damp or wet conditions. A chandelier placed outdoors should have a heavy outdoor-rated plug that is grounded, a rubber coated switch, and be installed with weather sealed circuitry. Waterproof glass shades should be used if the chandelier will not be well protected by the roof or of the porch is shallow enough that rain will penetrate the interior. There are outdoor chandeliers that come with fabric shades, although these should be weather proofed to avoid damage and fading.

One of the most important things to consider when buying and installing an outdoor chandelier is the amount of head room that will be required between a standing adult and the fixture. Too little head room can make a porch or other spot feel crowded, and you may even find yourself ducking under a too low chandelier. On the other hand, one with too much head room will feel remote and might not give off enough light for the space it is placed in.

Outdoor Chandelier Locations

An outdoor chandelier can be used in almost any location in which you would use any decorative lighting fixture. The chandelier will add class and style to any porch, entryway, or gazebo.

Of course, the most popular spot for an outdoor chandelier will be a front porch. It is usually best to center the chandelier in the porch roof close to the front door. This will provide enough light for safety and convenience. Very large porches might benefit from installation of two or more outdoor chandeliers for uniform lighting. Be sure to space these far enough apart so they do not appear crowded. Some people like to position a chandelier over a table or other object on the porch. In these cases, it is often best to have a downward directed light in the chandelier to highlight the table or object.

A gazebo is another popular spot in which to place an outdoor chandelier. Gazebos often have peaked roofs that are higher than many porches, so a gazebo can be a good location for a taller or longer chandelier. Rustic designs in chandeliers are often nice in a gazebo made from natural colored wood, whereas a scrollwork type design of Victorian style might be good in a painted or filigreed gazebo.

One spot you may not have thought of to put an outdoor chandelier is a sun room or solarium. The reason for this is that these spots are often quite humid due to the presence of many plants or something like a hot tub or sauna. This humidity makes an outdoor-rated lighting fixture a good idea. An outdoor chandelier will also last longer in these  humid places than will one made for indoor rooms.

Choosing an Outdoor Chandelier

Naturally, the most important consideration in choosing an outdoor chandelier is whether it fits your home’s architectural style. Outdoor chandeliers come in such a wide variety of styles that finding one that fits with your architecture should be no problem. Take a look at one of the many home lighting stores in your area or check out some of the online retailers of lighting fixtures. These online stores can be great values for outdoor chandeliers, and they will often ship direct to your home without additional charge.

When shopping for chandeliers, be sure to check out the low voltage models that are available. Because these lights are often on for several hours every evening, a low voltage model makes a lot of sense. You will save on your electric bill and help out the environment too.

Whatever you taste, whatever your needs, you are sure to find an outdoor chandelier for you. Peruse the Internet, your yellow pages, or your local lighting store and find true elegance in outside lighting with an outdoor chandelier.


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