Material selection is crucial in achieving the right look for your wrought iron lighting. Most chandeliers that are mass produced are usually made of steel tubing. Steel tubing is commonly used because it is inexpensive, light weight, and easy to bend; these factors make it an obvious choice for mass produced lighting fixtures. There is a drawback, however, when it comes to using steel tubing as the primary material for quality wrought iron lighting. First, square tubing is not perfectly square. The edges are slightly round and thus the scrolls that are formed from these materials tend to have a light weight feel to them. Second, scrollwork that is manufactured from steel tubing and included in wrought iron chandeliers is typically finished by using a flattening technique at the end of the scrolls. These flattened ends can often give an otherwise nicely designed chandelier a very cheap look. Finally, when steel tubing is bent to form a scroll, the initial point of bending leaves an unsightly mark when it comes in contact with a tubing bender. Whenever possible, solid steel stock should be used to make a true wrought iron chandelier. Solid stock allows true blacksmiths to shape and form the metal to any desired form. Because the stock edges are true square corners any scrollwork that is formed carries with it a heavier and more authentic look. In addition to the obvious heavier feel that solid stock carries, another benefit to its use is the inherent finish.
When a chandelier or other wrought iron lighting fixture is made of solid material it typically requires heat to shape it. As the metal is heated it brings out the mill scale of the steel. As mill scale forms it gives a very unique and hand crafted texture to the metal. This texture is further enhanced when the iron chandelier is painted. Following the careful selection of iron lighting fixture material, the finish should be carefully considered. Will the iron lighting fixture have a solid color or a hand-applied patina? Most wrought iron chandeliers are finished using at least a two-tone painting process. There is typically a dark base coat of paint which is then lightly brushed with a lighter color to achieve a deeper and aged look. In addition, many wrought iron chandeliers are also highlighted with a third paint color to emphasize any special ornamentation. Choosing the right finish is a very important part in selecting the correct wrought iron chandelier for your home. Are you looking for an aged look? Will the finish complement other fixtures in the home? Can you visualize your selected chandelier style in multiple finishes? Answering these questions will quickly help narrow down the multiple finish choices that are commonly available. Custom lighting companies that can match or switch finish options to meet your specific requirements can prove to be very important in the selection of your next wrought iron chandelier. Since not all manufacturers fabricate lighting fixtures with the same level of care and attention to detail, one should be armed with proper questions in order to weed out the quality fabricators from those that are less competent.