Many candelabra lamps look nothing like the candle flames they replace.

What a shame.

Good lighting provides the ‘lean forward moment’ found in film. The visual impression should be one of invitation, enjoyment and appealing appearance of space.

Too often candelabra lamps are nothing like the flames they replace.

Older style Incandescent candelabra lamps needed larger exterior glass envelopes to prevent the lamp glass from melting due to filament heat. Unfortunately many seem not to have understood the reason for this lamp construction solution and kept this larger, not to scale lamp size. It seems often fluorescent and LED sources are placed inside plastic large format candelabra lamp format envelopes…resulting in nothing but unsightly hideous glare bombs.

Good Lighting invites the viewer to enjoy the created space. Chandeliers essentially are  best only as decorative lighting. Attractive artistic shapes is what they can offer.

A dark, light story:

Ritz-Carlton Central Hong Kong.  Opened 1993. Demolished 2008.

A story told was the Interior Designer decided to be the Lighting Designer and essentially only used Chandeliers to light the hotel. The main lobby was dark & dreary and the room occupancy always low. A five-star hotel should never have had dark brooding lobbies and public circulation spaces. Overly bright chandeliers became glare bombs.  The best part of the hotel was the Health Club which had lighting designed by Tony Corbett. You could see the difference.

Lighting Design is all about what you want to see and how you want to see it. It has been said there are only three kinds of lighting. Bad Lighting which is obvious. Indifferent Lighting which while it may be technically correct, is uninspired, and Good Lighting invites the viewer to want to walk into a space to enjoy the created environment.  The viewer feels the instantaneous sensation of the film ‘lean forward moment’ and is compelled to enjoy the created space.

In 1975 Ingmar Bergman filmed the Magic Flute in the Drottningholm Palace’s 17th century Theatre.

Many years ago I traveled to see this Theatre and the chandelier candle replacement lamps. The candelabra lamps wobble independently mimicking the appearance of flames. Magic. You were instantly transported back in time, the created environment of the theater felt much the same as it would have had all chandeliers been lit with candles, but without the smokey smell smog.

This video compilation shows this unique lamp and heritage space. Seeing moving incandescent flame size lamps, was a magical experience.

Drottningholm Court Theatre Chandeliers

Unfortunately I have yet to see any decent LED chandelier candle replacement lamps which mimic the friendly flicker of flames…