This delightfully absurd pairing is a bit of your own creation, dear blog readers. 80% of Hawk Hill’s visitors surf in for articles related to A. chandeliers or B. equestrian style and design. I’m naming you enablers, just a bit, because in replying to your comments and keeping my mind brainstorming in these areas I’ve managed to develop an interest in blending the two: stables with chandeliers.

For awhile I’ve been gravitating to (and filling pinterest boards with) images of chandeliers in stables. At first a seemingly very fanciful but unreasonable idea, it’s begun to take root in my brain more and more as equestrian locales are being used for both equestrian/traditional and farm/rustic wedding venues.

Can we agree at the start chandeliers are just impractical in a barn? Totally impractical… Completely impractical… and, delightful. And life, and particularly things in life that we do for pleasure, should make room for impractical things that bring delight and beauty. Thus, maybe chandeliers in a horse barn aren’t such a bad idea afterall.


This article is separated into several parts:

  1. An argument FOR chandeliers in your barn or stable.
  2. Some ideas and inspiration for both practical and fanciful barn chandeliers
  3. Maintenance, cleaning, and general recommendations for stable chandeliers
  4. Recommendations for chandeliers on the market, in various styles, that fit this niche well.

Why Lighting your Barn with Chandeliers isn’t (Quite) as Crazy as you Might Think

Chandeliers bring grace and elegance- and in a barn- whimsical charm. More practically, the touch of class chandeliers create is a way to set your barn apart as an event venue.
As rustic weddings continue in popularity, hanging even simple chandeliers in your stable can elevate your barn from personal playground to a sought-after venue. You work hard to maintain your barn and keep things tidy, why not cover some of your farm operating costs by opening your stable a few weekends a year as a wedding venue or even just as backdrop for portrait and engagement photo photographers. Small details like traditional stall fronts and swapping out harsh fluorescents for classier light fixtures can take your barn from functional for your hobby to being profitable or economically self-supporting as a venue for wedding planners and portrait photographers.

With a small investment in dramatic lighting your farm can generate income as an event venue


Horse Farms and Stables Proving Chandeliers and Stables create a Picturesque Pairing

rustive horse barn with chandelier over open stalls
Potentially DIY chandeliers (looks like grapefine and twinkle lights?) in a rustic barn. source: unknown

 

iron chandeliers in horse stable
Entryway chandelier in a modern barn. from horsejournals.com

 

antler chandelier in horse barn
Rustic antler chandelier in an open format stable. source unknown

 

dreamy white barn, white horse, and chandelier
This obviously staged photo has made the rounds on Pinterest, but I was unable to locate the origin. While this photo shows how elegant crystal chandeliers looks against whitewashed- even dingy whitewashed- wood, DO NOT hang a chandelier this low or in areas (i.e. stalls) where horses are allowed to be without supervision.

 

Natural Wood and Chandelier Lighting in Stable
post & beam style stable with chandeliers by precisebuildings.com

 

riding arena
Indoor riding arena with huge chandeliers. source: devote.se

 


deep reds set off by dramatic lighting
Although not a stable, this photo shows the rustic elegance of crystal chandeliers against a backdrop of aged barn wood. Chandeliers this large and sparkly cost a small fortune, but for the occassional event, there are actually companies in some parts of the US that rent chandeliers and will install, wire, and return later to uninstal for a fee. source: unknown

 

wroght iron chandelier in horse stable
In this pristine barn, a wrought iron chandelier hangs from the vaulted ceiling, wrought iron is a classic look that is easier to clean, making it a good choice for a barn chandelier. source: houzz

 

typical stable aisle
Although not always possible, especially in converted dairy barns, high ceilings allow for better air movement through the barn- which is better for horse’s respiratory systems and more comfortable for horses and riders during the heat of summer. This photo is a good example of what a small improvement to ceiling and lighting would bring to a space, image this same aisle with a high unfinished ceiling and a few basic wrought iron chandeliers (like the photo below)

 

 Erika Chambers photograhy - simple upgrades to the ceiling and lighting change this barn's atmosphere entirely.
Not so dissimilar from the construction of the barn pictured above, simple upgrades to the ceiling and lighting change this barn’s atmosphere entirely (note, also, what appears to be lots of open air storage space above stalls, a feature which has to make feeding hay much easier) Image by Erika Chambers

source: weddingwire.com
I’m not sure what’s going on in this photo. (possible a coverall barn?) but I like that it features very simple chandeliers, proving you don’t have to spend thousands to get the look. source: weddingwire.com

chandelier under barn rafters
Vintage chandeliers- if you can have the wiring checked to make sure it’s safe and totally up to code- second hand chandeliers are an affordable way to add whimsy to your stable. site: zoochat.com

 

If all else fails and your barn’s architecture just doesn’t allow for a chandelier, consider the idea that sparked the whole article: a chandelier in your tack room.

stable tack room with chandelier
source: veranda.com

Some Practical Hints on Installing and Maintaining a Chandelier Installed in Rustic Spaces

Important: Because of elevated fire risk in a barn, all electrical work must be done by a liscenced electrition.

When it’s ok to use a chandelier in a barn:
  1. When the roof is sound and watertight
  2. When the bottom of the chandelier will be at least 12 ft high
  3. When you have an available method to clean (ideas below)

Maintaining a Barn Chandelier

Cleaning a chandelier can be a little tricky- but   you have the right tools. There are a couple of methods to make cleaning super-high chandeliers a little easier:

For lght cleaning and regular maintence and cobweb hygine, it’s well worth the investment in a specialized tool to help clean the chandelier from the ground (or from a stable elevated surface, such as a safe ladder or a pickup truck bed parked in the aisle of the barn)

Cleaning can be a challenge, but actually not that much of a nuisance once you have the right tool. You just need this special cobweb brush that can clean around poles and bulbs (and can be locked into an angled position for cleaning tops of rafters, etc) paired with a commercial grade extension pole like this one that extends up to 12 feet, making it easy to reach lights high in rafters from a short ladder. (you can even get 22 foot extensions poles!)

 

For heavier duty cleaning, especially for crystal or light-colored chandeliers, consider having the light rewired to wire in with a plug instead of hard wiring. The ability to completely disconnect and remove the chandelier means it’s much easier to remove, clean completely with soap and water as needed, and then reinstall once the chandelier is completely dry. Alternately, there are crystal cleaning products that work great, and even pre-treatments that help prevent dust from collecting on the crystal baubles.

Did you know chandeliers were originally designed to raise and lower on a system of pullys? With creativity, the same design can be used today to enable easy cleaning. Here’s how.

Reduce Maintence Time with LED Bulbs

On the high ceilings of barn rafters, you don’t want to be changing bulbs every few months, so be sure to use LED bulbs, which now come in chandelier bulb styles (and, lower your lighting bill by like 70% while they’re at it!)

Chandeliers do take extra time to clean and require thought around placement and safety, but can add an opulence and charm to your barn that far offsets the initial costs and upkeep.

 


Some Reasonably Priced Chandeliers for Barns and Equestrian Inspired Event Venues:

Chandeliers work especially well in a barn with high ceilings to add style while providing a large amount of light that’s hung well above the heads of horses and riders. Avoid hanging too low- your chandelier needs to hang well above the heads of mounted riders or the top bale of a loaded hay trailer.

First, the really elegant, then, some milder chandeliers more practical to barns that are stables first, event venues second.

Option 1: a 2ft x 2 ft Empress Crystal Chandelier and $90

Option 2: at 27″ x 32″ and $199
Chandelier Lighting Crystal Chandeliers H27″ X W32″

Option 3: 38×37″ and $450
Maria Theresa Chandelier Crystal Chandelier


Basic Black 26×25
Heritage 12 Light Two Tier

These chandeliers should be hung in barns with vaulted ceilings, and placed at a height where they can’t  disturbed by mounted riders, hay trucks pulling into barn aisles, or errant streams of water from a stray hose.

For a little extra security, consider a chandelier in the caged style that’s currently popular. The caged chandeliers offer a modern look that has a still traditional vibe that works well in barns. The caged design means that if it IS bumped by a piece of machinery, the elecrical and bumbs will be protected while the cage takes the impact of the hit.


  1. Turbinio Ten Light
    37 diam. x 46.75H in. (This one gets an A+ for barn use since it’s rated for damp locations!)

2. Rustic meets Modern Caged Crystal Chandelier
$2,389
Huge 60″x60″ Rustic Iron and crystal

Can you say Oh-la-la? Hefty pricetag, but a dramatic centerpiece for a venue looking to host enviable equestrian weddings.

BEST VALUE:

World Imports Lighting Hastings 12-Light Foyer Lantern $129.99
This reasonably priced, large (24″x34″) chandelier includes a cage to protect it and also comes in smaller sizes (perfect for lighting your tack room or viewing room).


And finally, if you’ve lusted over the barns and chandeliers above but the architecture of your barn or status as a boarder makes chandelier lighting a no-go, there’s one last option:

The Perfectly Practical Solution for adding a Chandelier to your Horse Barn without the Hassle: Decals

horse in a stall with a chandelier decal
source unknown

Grab this large 51″x63″ Chandelier Decal in black

 

Or this 25×36 chandelier decal

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