The number of options when choosing a chandelier for your home can be overwhelming. Size, design, finish, color, crystals, chain length - all are factors to be carefully considered to ensure you get exactly the fixture you want. A chandelier is composed mainly of the metal framework, the crystals, and the glass. As one of the major components, it is important to understand the different types of glass utilized to achieve the lighting and effect that you want.
The color of the glass used in a chandelier changes the appearance of the fixture as a whole, but it can also affect the color of the light produced. A clear shade will have less effect on the light color, while a darker color can create a specific mood by changing the tone of the light in a room.
Most color options for chandeliers are different shades of yellow and brown. The names of the glass usually describe the color of the glass as well. Clear glass is transparent, without a discernible color, while white or opal glass is colored white and is opaque as a result. Citrine and amber are yellow colors, while umber is closer to brown.
There are also names for the shading of the glass - sunset glass has color that is darker at the bottom of the glass, fading to paler at the top, while sunrise indicates a glass that is darker at the top and lighter at the bottom.Back To Top
Glass is normally thought of as smooth, but you're not limited to a smooth texture. Shades are available in a variety of textures, from the dramatic to the understated. The texture changes the look of the shades directly, and the difference in thickness of the glass alters the light passing through, creating subtle variations in the light when installed in a room.
Seeded glass has small bubbles inside the glass that look like tiny seeds. The bubbles can be especially interesting when found in colored glass, as the light goes through both the smooth, continuous color and the bubbles, which both bend the light and create spots of lighter color.
Ribbed glass has a pattern of parallel "ribs" running through the glass, creating hills and valleys that can be nearly flat or quite deep. The height of the hills determines the thickness variation in the light, which affects the quality of the light passing through.
Like ribbed glass, sculpted glass has a variation in the height of the outside of the glass. However, sculpted glass has a unique pattern instead of regular ridges. This type of glass can be machine-made or sculpted by hand - the patterns are pressed into the glass while it is still warm from its formation. Some have the look of sculptures adhered to a piece of flat glass, although chandelier glass tends to be a bit more understated.Back To Top
In addition to the texture and the color of the glass, keep in mind the different patterns available in chandelier shades.
- Etched glass has been treated with an acid to create an opaque frost on the glass that will not rub off.
- Polished glass is the opposite of etched - it is glass that is very shiny, with the kind of glisten most people associate with glass.
- Marbling is a coloring technique which blends colors within the glass to create a pattern much like that found in natural marble.
- Feathered glass has a pattern like feathers that have been worked into the glass with various colors, while wisp and swirl glass have patterns of color that are wispy and swirled, respectively.
- Banded glass has bands of color alternating with the main color used in the shade.
- Iridescent glass has a shiny coating that creates a play of color across the surface of the glass. Cased glass has been coated in another color to create a flowing mix of shades across the piece as a whole.
Chandeliers all have specific types of glass, and the color, pattern, and texture of the glass used will have an effect on the light produced by the chandelier, as well as the appearance of the chandelier as a whole. Investigate the different options of glass available to make sure you get the look you want - a change of color or texture might be just what you're looking for!Back To Top