Chandelier Parts Buying Guide eBay

Chandelier Parts Buying Guide eBay

Chandelier Parts Buying Guide

A chandelier is a light suspended from the ceiling. Most chandeliers are ornate with hanging crystal teardrops, but others are simple and rustic. Early chandeliers were suspended from the ceiling and moved up and down with a pulley system so that candles could be lit or blown out. They were dangerous and needed frequent maintenance, so they were mainly in churches, homes of the wealthy, and royal palaces. In the 19th century, due to innovations in glassmaking and the development of gas lighting, the gas lit crystal chandelier became popular.

When electricity became widespread, electric chandeliers became standard. Many chandeliers are imported with crystals that were cut and polished by hand, so replacement crystals and other chandelier supplies may be difficult to find. Consumers find chandelier parts at specialty lighting stores and online sites like eBay. When looking for parts for the chandelier, consumers should know about the types of chandelier parts including the column, arms, lighting elements, shades, and the crystal or glass prisms that give the chandelier its brilliance.

Chandelier Parts

A chandelier is comprised of many component parts including the column, the arms, the lights, and the crystal prisms. The chandelier has other various parts as well. The following are the parts of the chandelier.

Attachment to the Ceiling

The chain attaches to the chandelier and serves to fix it to the ceiling overhead. A chandelier is heavier than other ceiling lights, so the chandelier chain must be heavy duty. Some people choose to cover the chain with a fabric chandelier chain cover.

Chandelier Column

The column is the main frame of the chandelier. It is usually made from silver, brass, or in some cases, wood or glass. On the main frame, a cage is a structure which contains lighting elements and embellishments. At the top of the column is a canopy which is an upside down dish that serves to hide the connection to the chain; sometimes crystals descend from the canopy as decorations. A finial is a decorative glass or crystal, which is added to the very top or to the very bottom. Chandelier finials can take the shape of triangles, round shapes, or long rectangular shapes. They usually screw on, so consumers have wide latitude in changing finials.

Chandelier Arms

The arms, also known as branches, are the pieces which hold the lighting elements. The arms connect to the frame with metal or wooden plates. Arms vary widely in shape. Sometimes they are fluted, S shaped, or twisted in a ropy fashion, among other styles. Materials can match the chandelier column in brass or silver, or they can take an opposing style in a different material.

Chandelier Candles

The candles are the lighting elements. Chandelier lights sit on a bobeche, which was originally designed to catch candle wax. Consumers have choices in lighting elements. They can choose different color candles and different light bulbs, including LED light bulbs. The candle shades are also an easy way to upgrade or change the chandelier’s appearance. Shades can be fabric or glass and come in a variety of colors and shapes. To control the light, people often use a dimmer switch to raise and lower the lights as needed.

Chandelier Prisms

The prisms are the decorative element on the chandelier, but they have a purpose, which is to refract light which leads to the brilliance and elegance of the chandelier. Chandelier prisms are made from glass or lead crystal, which has varying properties of clarity. Prisms come in various sizes and shapes. They can be a triangular shape with the many sides cut into it. They make take the shape of a drop or an elongated drop. Prisms are also available in different colors. Along with the main prisms, chandeliers often have chains of beaded, small prisms.

Because prisms play such an integral part in the chandeliers character, they have special names for the distinct designs. A bag is a formulation of stringed crystals attached from the column and looped back underneath. A festoon, also known as a garland, is an arrangement that hangs across or down like a curtain. A tent of prisms attaches to the top canopy and hangs down like a necklace.

Prism Brands and Production

Because the prisms are the character of the chandelier, consumers should know some of the high quality brands and the varying methods of production.

Prism Production

Hand cut and polished prisms are individually produced by artisans. To speed up the polishing process, some companies fire polish prisms. Machine cutting crystals is less time consuming and less costly than hand cutting, therefore the cost will be lower for the consumer. Pressed prisms are even less costly because they are manufactured by mechanical presses.

Reliable Prism Brands

The Austrian manufacturer Swarovski Crystal is a world-renowned lead crystal brand. Their optics is very pure with 32 percent PbO (lead oxide). Swarovski is known for cutting their prisms with precision and adding coatings and colors, which have earned them a reputation for outstanding beauty. Consumers can find Swarovski crystal in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

Strass is a subsidiary of the Swarovski crystal company. They use machine cutting and polishing, and guarantee authenticity by adding the Strass signature to each prism. Their crystal is also optically brilliant with the lead oxide over 30 percent. Chandelier aficionados consider their prism’s light refraction as excellent. Additionally, they use a coating which resists dust.

Turkish manufacturers of prisms offer very good quality prisms with excellent optical quality at a fair price. Most Turkish crystals are often cut and polished by hand.

Chandelier Parts Buying Guide eBay

Caring for the Chandelier Parts

Consumers who are looking for replacement parts for their chandelier or are looking to change the look of the chandelier may want to consider some tips for cleaning the chandelier. While cleaning the chandelier, people may notice some areas of potential improvement and can contact manufacturers and sellers for replacement parts.

Cleaning a chandelier is a job that should take place once or twice a year and is worth the effort. Some people dismantle the chandelier from the ceiling for cleaning while others leave the chandelier in place and shine the crystals and dust and polish the columns and arms. Do not turn the chandelier on its chain, instead work around it.

Cleaning should take place during the daytime, as cleaning the chandelier when the lights are on is not advised. Whether the chandelier is dismantled or left in place, cleaning should take place section by section. Place a drop cloth under the chandelier to catch any stray crystals or other parts that may come loose during cleaning. A cushion or quilted blanket under the drop cloth should prevent any breakage or scratching if a crystal does fall.

Begin with the columns and arms and dust or wipe them to free them of any debris before polishing. Use a microfiber cloth and apply a polishing agent directly to the cloth. Do not spray polishing solution directly onto the chandelier. For the other parts of the chandelier, like the candles, clean with gentle soap and water; clean the bulbs with a glass cleaner.

Once the frame and all the component parts of the chandelier are clean, it is time to move on to the prisms. If the chandelier has been taken apart, place the prisms and strings of prisms in a colander so as not to lose any parts. Rinse well with the hottest water possible and pour a mild dish detergent diluted in hot water over the prisms. Rinse clean. Let dry and polish with vinegar. To clean prisms while the chandelier is still installed, take a small cup and fill with hot water and vinegar and simply insert underneath each crystal to coat the crystal with a solution. Polish with a clean microfiber cloth.

Buying Chandelier Parts on eBay

People looking for chandelier parts can use the main page of the eBay website. The best way to search is by entering specific terms into the search box, as you will find what you are looking for quickly and easily. For instance, enter Strauss crystals in the search box to find high quality prisms. Enter chandelier finial if you want to replace your top or bottom ornament with a new one. Enter chandelier shades to find glass or fabric shades to spruce up the chandelier and give it a new look. To change the lighting look, check out LED chandelier lights .

Chandeliers are a specialty item, and eBay sellers with expertise in chandelier parts often have a specialty store on eBay. You can also use previous customer feedback to find top-rated sellers who have consistently good service records and reputable goods. If you are just window shopping at the moment, you can use the save a search feature to go back and find your favorites later. You might want to find a local seller, so you can go and see the optical quality of the prisms or the condition of the other parts. Finding a local seller is also advantageous in that you can take quick delivery if both parties are comfortable with the arrangements.


Suspended ceiling lights have been around for a few centuries. They started with candles but they were dangerous and difficult to maintain. Only the wealthy and the royal were able to utilize the candle chandelier. Later, gas lighting brought the chandelier into more homes and electricity afforded even more people the ability to have this elegant light fixture in their home. Chandeliers are valuable and many people including homeowners, decorators, and resellers look for parts to refurbish and upgrade the chandelier.

Depending on the column, the arms, the light fixture and shade, and the prisms, much of the chandelier can be improved with different chandelier parts. People can change the chain on the chandelier and add a cover over the chain. They can change the light bulbs and the color of the light bulbs. They can add finer quality crystals with better optics from world-renowned brands. Chandelier parts are widely available at lighting stores and at online marketplaces, however some chandeliers are unique, and parts may be difficult to find. People looking for chandelier parts may benefit from shopping on eBay because the online auction house makes it easy to look for the precise chandelier parts needed and desired.

Leave a Reply