Chandelier or Chandelette: What’s the Difference?

When looking for ceiling fixtures, you may be pondering choices such as a chandelier. Once you’ve stepped into the world of chandeliers, you may also notice that some of these light fixtures are referred to as “chandelettes.” You may be wondering what the difference is between a chandelier and a chandelette. This guide will give you a low-down the differences between the two light fixtures.

What is a Chandelier?

In short, a chandelier is defined as any ceiling fixture that features two or more arms with light sources. They typically include a number of crystals or glass that refract the light from the arms, thus illuminating the light. By definition, chandeliers are accepted to be a minimum of 12 inches in diameter.

What is a Chandelette?

The major defining difference between a chandelier and chandelette is the diameter size of the fixtures. While a chandelier must meet a minimum size of 12 inches in diameter, a chandelette is defined as a one that ranges from 9 inches up to 12 inches in diameter. Once these light fixtures get smaller than 9 inches, they typically are referred to as pendant lights.

Aside from size, a chandelette can be almost identical to a chandelier featuring the same number of arms, lights, crystals or other details; simply on a smaller scale.

Other Similarities

In all seriousness, these lights can share many of the different characteristics outside of size. They can both feature two or more arms with two or more light sources. They can feature drum shades, tapered shades, candelabra style lights, scrollwork, crystals and more.

Today, many manufacturers are creating identical versions of the same light in both chandelier and chandelette sizes. This makes it easy for homeowners to find the right ceiling fixture to suit their space depending on the overall size of the room (or in some instances, dining table).

You can also find chandeliers and chandelettes in a number of different styles including contemporary, traditional, rustic, modern, shabby chic, romantic and many, many more.

Additional Differences

It should also be noted that it is possible for chandelettes to be marketed as “chandeliers.” When shopping for these particular light fixtures, be sure to take note of size. Never, ever assume that a light fixture marked as “chandelier” is of true chandelier size. Always take note of the dimensions listed for the light fixture to ensure it is the correct size and type of fixture for your space.

How High Should I Hang my Chandelier or Chandelette?

Once you’ve found the right light fixture, you’ll need to know how high (or low) to hang it. Fortunately, the rules of thumb are the exact same for both light fixtures. The chandelier or chandelette should hang approximately 30 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the top of the table.

For foyers or other spaces, you will want your lighting to hang at least 7 feet (around 84 inches) from the floor to the bottom of the ceiling light. This prevents you (and your guests) from bumping into it.

In short, the main difference between these two lights simply boils down to size.