In 2012, a number of different lighting trends will come into play. Light fixtures that feature crystal accenting are one of the many trends that you can expect to see when you hit up home improvement stores and home decor stores. So, what is it that is making crystal so popular, what exactly is crystal, and how can you use it in your space? This guide will give you the low-down on crystal light fixtures.
As the economy starts to recover, many people are looking for ways to add a little more luxury back into their lives. Crystal accenting on light fixtures are just one example of how people will be doing these. Other trends will include upgrading their bedding to softer sheets with higher thread counts, throw pillows in more luxurious fabrics and so forth. In short, anything that gives a sense of luxury will start to grow in popularity.
What is Crystal? How is it Made?
Crystal is is made from a combination of materials: calcium carbonate, silica and sodium carbonate. (In other words, limestone, sand and soda ash.) These materials are mixed together, melted in a furnace at approximately 1600 degrees and then allowed to cool before being used in whatever item they are designated for.
In all reality, crystal is actually another type of glass. Both crystal and glass are made from the same materials (limestone, soda ash and sand). However, the main difference between these items is that glass is fired at a higher temperature, usually around 2500 degrees; whereas crystal is fired at 1600 which causes each material to have a different density. In fact, some governments have created standards for what a manufacturer define as glass or crystal.
So how does this affect a light fixture? Crystal, when cut at certain angles, sparkle more than glass cut at those exact same angles. This is why it is important to choose a light fixture that features real crystal rather than glass accents, which will not sparkle in the light as much.
In short, when someone states that ‘crystal’ and ‘glass’ are the same thing, in the definition sense, they are. After all, crystal is a type of glass, however they are still two different types.
How Do I Tell if a Light Fixture Features Crystal or Glass?
There are a number of ways to tell the difference between these two materials, especially in a light fixture. First, crystal is perfectly clear, but may have a white hue. Glass on the other hand, often has a green, gray or yellow under-coloring.
Cuts made onto glass will feel sharp, despite even the best techniques whereas crystal is seamless and flawless. You can run your finger over seemingly sharp edges without getting cut or nicked. This is especially true of crystal chandeliers and other ceiling lights.
As noted earlier, crystal reflects more light than glass. If you hold the crystal up to the light, it should be more reflective, even reflecting a prism or rainbow; whereas glass will not.
In terms of sound, crystal will create a ping or ringing noise. Glass, on the other hand, will have more of a ‘thud’ noise than a ping or ringing.
Finally, when comparing two items of the same size, you’ll find that crystal is denser and therefore heavier than glass.
How can I use Crystal Light Fixtures in my Own Home?
Fortunately, crystal can be shaped into a number of different looks, so there are crystal light fixtures for every space. You can find simple spherical crystal ball bases for lamps, crystal encrusted chandeliers, ceiling fixtures with crystal shades and much, much more.
Therefore, don’t focus so much on finding the crystal so much as finding the right light fixture that comes with the crystal. With so many different styles and options out there, this should be relatively easy to do. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Are you seeking decadent and classy fixtures for your home? Check out our wonderful inventory of crystal chandeliers today!