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Wikimedia Commons

A Dutch Chandelier made from elaborate metal carving

Lighting has come a long way from the medieval candlesticks to lamps to electric bulbs. The evolution of glass has been fundamental to the way home décor has been developed. These days, it does not require having a large mansion to indulge in expensive lighting for homes. Some people prefer to hold on to the erstwhile candlestick rustic while some want to go with chandeliers to make their living rooms look like ballrooms.

The chandelier on its own, bears a regal air to it, and encompasses the manifold inventions that have happened across the centuries. It began as elaborately designed metal candlesticks that were used in churches. Metalsmiths began to make crown designs to enable a greater number of candles to shine at the same time. From this point, the spherical crown-shaped lighting system slowly came into being.


hen gas became available to households, chandeliers were connected to the gas chamber, and the gas flowed through the glass to illuminate the tips. Glass chandeliers reflect the light better and appear brighter Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


The earliest chandelier was made of glass, and the candles that were used to light it were made of animal fat. When gas became available to households, chandeliers were connected to the gas chamber, and the gas flowed through the glass to illuminate the tips. This made sure that the chandelier burned without interruption and reduced the risk of household fires as well.

The name chandelier is derived from the French word 'chandelle' which means candle. With time, it became associated with the nobility. Considering the cost of maintaining one, and the amount of space it took, the poor could not afford to keep chandeliers. Palaces, ballrooms, and the homes of statesmen were filled with elaborate glass lighting systems.

When Daniel Swarovski discovered how to cut lead glass into elegant designs, chandeliers were re-designed to the gorgeous pieces they are today. Most of them are now connected by electricity and have very few bulbs. The sparkle that they give off comes from nearly thousands of reflections and refractions that happen because of the cut glass. Even today, any space graced by a chandelier is a place of beauty and nobility.

Keywords: Chandeliers, Candles, Glass, Nobility


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