Light Layering in a Den – Ask Randall

Our favorite Lighting Designer, Randall Whitehead, tackles your questions!
Q. :

You’ve mentioned that recessed lights aren’t the most flattering, so is there a balance to shoot for between recessed and ambient? In one of your blogs someone asked you about lighting for a long rectangular family room with a 9-foot ceiling and you suggested quite a bit of recessed light, including some soffits with recessed lighting. I don’t think you mentioned other lighting, so I’m a little confused.
A. :

Yes, using just recessed downlights in a room produces harsh shadows on people’s faces and makes the ceiling feel lower. I would recommend dividing the ceiling into thirds and installing a pair of pendant fixtures, which will provide both ambient light and decorative lighting. I would then use recessed adjustable fixtures to direct light toward art and tabletops for accent lighting. I think the room in the blog you are referring to had a pitched ceiling, so the soffit around the perimeter of the room provided a space for both indirect lighting on top and recessed lighting along the bottom to highlight art on the walls.

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include “Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide.” Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.


Our How-to YouTube Channel

After 2 years of saying we were going to do it… we did it!  Our YouTube ChannelIMG_1022

We have finally started a public YouTube channel.  Our first offerings are short videos on how to re-pin chandelier crystals. Stay with us a few weeks as we get through the series.

As with everything we do, we want your feedback! What do you want to learn? What do you want to see us do, make, fix?

Reply or send us an email if you are shy… and put blog idea in the subject line.


Snowflakes or Chandeliers?

different view of crystal chandelier

We know to keep our expectations of a Christmas snow pretty low here in the South, but being able to wear shorts on Christmas Day is a bit of a seasonal bummer. We’ve had dreary, warm rain and quite a bit of it.

Today, I decided to make my own snowflakes.

One of my favorite things to do around here is take a bit of a lie-down in what we call our “Strass Room”. It is the room in our showroom building where we display our chandeliers trimmed in Swarovski: black ceiling, royal blue walls and carpet and tons of sparkle. I stretch out on the floor and look up at all of the glittering chandeliers. Lovely.

IMG_0959 IMG_0961IMG_0966 IMG_0962 different view of crystal chandelier

There’s More to Decorate!

Did you decorate your chandelier for the holidays?

You’d think we would be purists about crystal chandeliers, but life is too short to not have some fun and mix it up a little.

Some of my favorite things to search for on Pinterest are your photos of chandeliers adorned with garland, balls, ribbon – whatever makes the festive more festive.  Here’s my board: Decorate Your Chandelier.

We would love to see your photos! Tag us on any social media #kingschandelier.

Happy Holidays!



Safety First

What IS the safest wattage of a bulb to use in my chandelier?

After our last blog, I received this question from several readers. Usually, the answer for this is easy enough as it should be on a sticker right on the socket.

IMG_0825For a candelabra socket (the skinny one) we recommend staying at 40 watts or below, even though the socket itself may be rated to 60 watt. But, make sure to pay attention, because some imports recommend 15 watt or 25 watt bulbs, particularly if it is a very small acrylic chandelier or a light fixture (lamp or chandelier) that has a small shade. Even a 25 watt bulb can burn a fabric shade if it is close to the bulb.

If you don’t have a rating on your candelabra socket (or socket cover), stick with 25 watt or 15 watt bulbs.

IMG_0822Edison base sockets, also called Medium base sockets or Type A bulbs, will also have a maximum wattage. These may range from 15 watt up to 150 watt. Again, if the lamp uses a small fabric shade or is in close proximity to plastic, the wattage should be low: 15 or 25 watt.

Some 3 way sockets are listed as safe to 150 watt, but some are only safe to 100 watt. The maximum may be determined by the size of the shade or the type of socket. We always recommending erring on the side of safety and not exceeding 100 watts in a 3 way socket.

If you are using energy efficient light bulbs, continue to pay attention to the actual wattage of that bulb.  And, the physical size should be considered when the bulb is close to fabric or plastic. Even if a bulb is low wattage, it can still over heat anything that is touching it.

Happy lamping.