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Guide to Chandeliers

Chandelier Lamp Shades

Find out more about Chandelier Lamp Shades

Prior to the advent of electricity, chandeliers were either candle-burning or gas-burning devices. When Thomas Edison’s electric light bulb came onto the scene it drastically changed the way we light our homes forever, including the function of the chandelier.

Chandeliers remain a hugely popular lighting method, but these days they almost exclusively run on electricity. Due to the almost offensive nature of the exposed electric bulb, various kinds of lampshades were invented to diffuse the harshness of the light – to take the edge off so to speak. These chandelier shading devices work in an almost identical way to your standard table lamp shade or glass ceiling light cover. Effectively, they act as a filtration system for the otherwise overly intense light, casting the light ever so gently around the room.

Not only are chandelier lamp shades highly practical, they are also highly decorative, instantly adding an element of class and elegance to any room. As we will see, they accomplish all this rather inexpensively on the whole. What is more, they are easy to attach and most models are designed to fit any standard sized chandelier bulb or base.

While there are hundreds of different types, styles, and colors of chandelier shades on the market today, they can generally be divided into no less than three fundamental categories. These categories are listed as follows:

  • cloth shades
  • glass shades
  • chimney shades

The first of these categories, cloth shades, are generally the least expensive of the three, but also boast the largest range of color and style options. Cloth chandelier lamp shades are basically much smaller versions of the standard table lampshade I’m sure we’re all familiar with. These are available in all kinds of colors (white, cream, blue, black, red, and so on), patterns (including plain, tartan, frilly lace, and pleated), shapes, sizes, and materials. They work by means of a simple metal frame, which rests around the light bulb itself, suspending the lamp shade around the light source. Generally speaking, the cost of a cloth chandelier lampshade is between $3 and $6 each.

The second type of chandelier shade, the glass shade (also referred to as a torchiere shade) is a slightly more expensive option. These can range in price from around $50 each for a small simple shade, to upwards of $120 dollars for a bigger more ornate one. They are more expensive, but In this category, the color options are much fewer as it is difficult to find a torchiere chandelier shade in anything besides white or cream.

The final chandelier shade type is the so-called chimney shade. This sort of shade is akin to the glass casing around the flame of an oil lamp – essentially a tall glass tube similar to the look of a chimney. Chimney chandelier shade glass is commonly given a frosted texture in order to better diffuse the light from the bulb. Chimney shades are available in white or black, patterned or plain, and cost anywhere from $3 - $10 a piece.