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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Do you have a mail order catalog that you can send me? I need some lighting and ceiling fan parts. Do you carry these? I see you have Professional Pricing. Do I qualify for that?

Fans

What size ceiling fan do I need? What length down rod should I use? Do I need to reverse the direction on my fan?

Lighting

What is the proper size chandelier for my dining room table? How far above a table or kitchen island should a light hang? Can bath lighting fixtures be mounted up and down? What's the difference between electronic and magnetic transformers? How does landscape lighting work? Should my lights go up or down in the kitchen? Should my lights go up or down in the dining room? What wattage light bulb should I use? What size outdoor wall lantern should I use? Why is led better than fluorescent? How high off the floor should I hang an interior sconce?

Ceiling Medallions

What is the proper size ceiling medallion to use? How do medallions install? Can I paint or stain a medallion?


Q: Do you have a mail order catalog that you can send me? A: No. At this time we do not offer a catalog. We carry over 80 different lighting and furniture manufacturers who all have their own individual catalogs. If you know a particular brand that you are interested in and would like a catalog of their products, please email us at sales@littmanbros.com and we will try to accommodate your request.

Q: I need some lighting and ceiling fan parts. Do you carry these? A: No. We do not sell individual parts for lighting or fans.

Q: I see you have Professional Pricing. Do I qualify for that? A: Professional pricing is for interior designers, builders, architects or people in the building trades only. We offer them a discount based on volume purchases and a convenient way to shop for their clients all at one store. If you are planning on buying in quantity, we are happy to quote you on a per order basis. Please visit the Volume Discount link at the bottom of any of our pages for details.

Q: What size ceiling fan do I need? A: Typically, a 42" ceiling fan is used for rooms smaller than 12' x 12' and a 52" ceiling fan is used for rooms that are larger than 12' x 12'. Larger fan diameters like 56" and 60" fans are used in large family or great rooms where high volume ceilings are present and a tremendous amount of airflow is needed.

Q: What length down rod should I use? A: Most ceiling fans include a 4" down rod which is used for standard 8'-9' ceiling height installations. For ceiling heights higher than 8 feet, these rules apply:

  • 10' ceiling = 12" down rod
  • 11' ceiling = 18" down rod
  • 12' ceiling = 24" down rod
  • 15' ceiling = 36" down rod
  • 18' ceiling = 48" down rod
  • 20' ceiling = 60-72" down rod

These are standard fan manufacturer guidelines to achieve the most efficient airflow within a room, however, personal preference also applies.

Q: Do I need to reverse the direction on my fan? A: This depends on your ceiling height. Generally, if you have a standard ceiling height (8-9'), then you should reverse the direction of the fan in the winter and summer months. The reason being is that in the summer you want the air blowing onto your skin which creates a "wind chill" cooling effect and in the winter you want the airflow forced to the ceiling forcing the hot air trapped at the ceiling back to the floor keeping the warm air circulating at floor level.

The common misconception is that you want to reverse the fan direction if the ceilings are high, but this is incorrect. For high volume ceilings, the fan should be on a low or medium speed forcing the airflow downwards and pulling the hot air trapped at the ceiling back to room level.

Q: What is the proper size chandelier for my dining room table? A: Generally, the proper size chandelier above a dining room is 1/2 the width of the table. So, if the size of the table is 72" long and 42" wide, then a chandelier approximately 24" in diameter is the proportionate size. Usually a slightly larger fixture will look fine also, however, smaller sizes typically look out of place.

Q: How far above a table or kitchen island should a light hang? A: A chandelier or light fixture above a kitchen island should hang 30"-36" above the counter or tabletop for proper illumination. Generally, the bottom of the fixture should hang between 5'-6' above the floor.

Q: Can bath lighting fixtures be mounted up and down? A: Most bath lighting fixtures may be mounted facing up or down. Glass shades that are typically included with the fixtures use a nord socket ring that will hold the glass in place.

Q: What's the difference between electronic and magnetic transformers? A: Electronic transformers are generally used in lower wattage applications (up to 150 watts) where magnetic transformers are larger in scale in terms of wattage and used for larger applications. Electronic transformers may be dimmed using a standard incandescent dimmer versus magnetic transformers that require a low voltage dimmer due to the "magnetic coil" inside.

Q: How does landscape lighting work? A: Landscape lighting works by attaching pathway lighting, well lighting or spot lighting onto low voltage cable and then attached to a low voltage transformer. Typically, the cable is routed around shrubs, trees and in garden beds and then the fixtures are attached to the cable using a connector. The end of the cable is attached to the transformer and powered either in a garage and plugged into an electrical outlet or hard wired outside and buried under the dirt.

Q: Should my lights go up or down in the kitchen? A: This depends on your desired effect. Down-lighting will emphasize the table and leave both the surrounding area and space above darker. This is great for modern and edgy kitchens or where direct light is needed for homework and other tasks. A shaded fixture or an upward bowl will create a softer more ambient light which will light the space more evenly and avoid glare.

Q: Should my lights go up or down in the dining room? A: Softer ambient lighting is more conducive for socializing and eating. This can be achieved with diffused light either through a shade or upward facing lights. Down lighting will produce a harsher glare which is unnecessary for a non-task area.

Q: What wattage light bulb should I use? A: Never exceed the maximum wattage marked on your light sockets. Task areas require more lighting than a hallway. There is a formula for general lighting, multiply the length times the width of your room. Take that number and multiply by 1.5 this will give you the wattage for incandescent lighting. A 12 x12 bedroom will require 216 watts of incandescent light while a 9 x12 foyer needs 162 watts.

Q: What size outdoor wall lantern should I use? A: Exterior lights are needed for safety, security and style. They serve as visual cues for your entrances and should be proportioned to your door size and importance of that entrance. Unless your front door is on a small porch with a low overhang they should be the largest lights on your home. A general rule is If you have two front lights they should be ¼ the height of your door, if you have one it should be ⅓ the door height. Lights should be hung slightly above your eye level and framed with-in the door height.

Q: Why is led better than fluorescent? A: Fluorescents and LED lights are both more efficient than incandescent lights. A 26 watt fluorescent is equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent while only 15 watts of LED are needed. LED lights also have a much longer lifespan. A 50,000 hr rating is 27 years of regular usage while fluorescents are rated for only 15,000 hrs. After those 15,000 hrs the fluorescents must be properly exposed of so as not to pollute our environment with mercury.

Q: How high off the floor should I hang an interior sconce? A: Interior sconces should be hung so that the light source is just above eye level. This is typically around 64”. When placing vanity sconces take into account where they are located in regards to the center of your mirror.

Q: What is the proper size ceiling medallion to use? A: Installing the proper size ceiling medallion is crucial to getting the look you want. Since medallions install on the ceiling, larger is generally better than smaller. The proper size medallion should be larger than the diameter of the chandelier below it since the medallion will appear smaller once installed onto the ceiling. For example a 24" diameter chandelier should use either a 28" or 31" size medallion allowing for proper proportion.

Q: How do medallions install? A: Ceiling medallions are installed using a specially formulated ceiling medallion adhesive and then secured to the ceiling using finish nails or small wood screws and then touched up with caulk. Most medallions are drilled with a 4" center hole allowing for ceiling wiring to be exposed so medallions can be installed prior to installing a chandelier.

Q: Can I paint or stain a medallion? A: Focal Point brand polyurethane ceiling medallions are factory-primed and ready to be painted or stained and require no sanding. Click here for a selection of finished ceiling medallions.