The Anatomy of an Iron Chandelier

Wrought Iron: The Basics

The iron is where is starts, but how different is the material and process than other metals? Iron differs from materials such as steel and brass in appearance and strength. Iron’s soft, malleable quality make it an excellent choice for rustic, old world style decorative lighting.

Wrought iron differs from cast iron in both process and appearance. Wrought iron, the material of blacksmiths, is a purer version of the metal and therefore is more easily worked through the hand-forging process. Cast iron is an alloy comprised of iron and other elements. It is pourable and therefore works well in molded forms. While both forms of iron offer unique and beautiful qualities, at Laura Lee Designs we specialize in hand-forged wrought iron fixtures. 

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A Guide to Chandelier Terminology

Canopy – The canopy is a part of the chandelier that connects the fixture itself to the hanging chain.

Chain – Chain can be used both as a design element and to attach the chandelier to the ceiling plate. We offer several types of chain depending on the aesthetic of the fixture.

Ceiling Plate – The ceiling plate affixes the light to the ceiling and contains the junction box.

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Flush Mount – This term is used for a fixture that affixes directly to the ceiling with no chain dropping the chandelier in height.

Bobeche – A dish, commonly made or wrought iron or in some cases crystal, that holds the candle sleeve.

Candle Sleeves – Candle sleeves come in different widths and sizes depending on the style of chandelier. While it is popular to use beeswax or resin sleeves that mimic actual candles, some clients elect to use sleeves painted the same color as the rest of the fixture. This helps create a streamlined, contemporary look.

Socket – Sockets generally come in two sizes, candelabra or medium base. The size of the socket will determine the type of bulb able to be used.

Bulb/Lamp – Selecting the right bulb for your chandelier depends to the amount of light you desire, the wattage capacity of your fixture, and the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve. We use a silicone dipped candelabra-base bulb with many of our fixtures to mimic candle light. Recently, however, a variety of styles and types have become increasing popular. Assess your needs before determining of bulbs such as LEDs, nostalgic style, or frosted glass are right for your chandelier.

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UL Rating - Underwriters Laboratory, or UL, is an independent safety certification organization that sets standard requirements for lighting. Dry rated fixtures are appropriate for indoor settings such as living rooms, bathrooms, or bedrooms. Damp rated fixtures are suitable for locations that receive some moisture, such as patios and building exteriors. These fixtures will often make use of metal or glass to encase and protect the wiring. We offer a selection of both dry and damp rated fixtures.