The Sputnik Light first became popular in the mid 1950’s at a time where furniture design became imaginative and broke from traditional lines and concepts. No matter where you place this light, it is sure to draw comments and attention from anyone entering your home.
Lighting from any fixture, especially any decorative chandelier like the Sputnik light , should make a room, the people in it, your home furnishings and your prized possessions look as great as they can. Because of this it is important to hang your Sputnik light in the right spot and at the right height for the best effect.
• If you hang the light in a dining room the setting should be positioned in the center of the dining table and be proportionate to the room.
• Be aware of the size of your dining room table. You never want your light to be larger than your table since people might bump into it when getting up. The best way to judge is to make sure the Sputnik light is 12 inches narrower than a table and at least 48 inches of space from each of the room walls or edges.
• Hang your light about 30 to 34 inches over a table for a standard 8 foot ceiling height. If your ceiling is higher than 8 feet, mount the Sputnik light an additional 3 inches higher for each foot of ceiling.
• To prevent unflattering facial shadows from the Sputnik light be sure to position it correctly. Also remember that the heat from bulbs when placed directly overhead can be uncomfortable. Avoid using high wattage bulbs. The increase of heat from the bulb may cause excessive table glare.
• Adding reflector bulbs or a wall dimmer will help you control the light and set a flattering mood.
• As your Sputnik light generally has no central down light, you can enhance the dining room setting and centerpiece by using a recessed fixture with adjustable head and narrow beam bulb. Aim these bulbs at the dining room table’s centerpiece to create additional visual interest to work with the Sputnik light.
• In a larger foyer setting, a Sputnik light can provide a great transition from outdoor to interior spaces and set the mood for your entire home. Hang the light high enough to illuminate stairways or side passages. If you have a staircase, about knee-level of the upstairs landing is a good standard.
• Sputnik lights in a lobby setting can be wider and taller than dining room pieces so that they comfortably fill a space without appearing too small. You don’t want to have a Sputnik light that is too small for a large space. Allow a space for at least 7 feet of clearance from the floor.
• For kitchen islands and dinette tables, pendant Sputnik lights are usually the best choice. According on their arrangement and number, position the pendant 30″ to 34″ inches up from the table surface.
• Many of the larger Sputnik lights are heavy and tricky to hang, so be sure to hire an electrician if you are unable to install the light yourself.
The Sputnik light has a striking and modernistic design and is sure to attract attention from any who enters the room where it is on display. This feature light first became popular in the mid 50’s and has regained popularity due to the renewed interest in neo-modern design. Due to the number of bulbs and light stalks in its design, the fitting tends to attract dust and the chrome finish will need to be cleaned occasionally during the year. Here is how to get this tedious task done:
• Using a feather duster for cleaning is a risky business. Bulbs tend to move in their sockets due to regular expansion and contraction and could be loose, so be wary.
• As the fitting is ceiling-mounted and can be heavy, use a suitable ladder to access the light at a comfortable level. Make sure that you do not rest against or hang on the light as you may tear the fitting from its mountings.
• Ensure that the power is off before handling the light and that the light has been off long enough for it to cool down. Use alternate light sources to illuminate the area where you will be working. Make sure your ladder or base is stable.
• Natural oils and moisture on your hands will leave residues that are barely detectable to the eye. Once the light is switched back on, the metal stalks will heat up and fry any residue into visible marks. Make use of cotton gloves or a soft cloth, so that you make as little contact with the fitting with your bare hands as possible.
• The best way to avoid damage to the chrome finish is to not allow it to get dirty in the first place. You have to deal the chrome before it gets dirtier, the more effort and force you’re going to have to use to clean it and the higher your risk of damaging it will become. Wash the chrome when you start to notice dulling.
• If the chrome is not dull or very dusty, a bucket of warm water, a mild dish detergent and a soft cloth is all that you require. Be gentle with the cleaning as chrome can scratch quite easily.
• If you have heavy deposits of dust and airborne grease, use vinegar as a chrome cleaner. The slight acidity of the vinegar works well for taking tarnish and dirt off of chrome. Turn your cleaning cloth regularly to avoid using dirty areas continuously. For more cleaning power, wet your cloth with vinegar and sprinkle baking powder on it.
• If you find any rust spots on your chrome finish, use a crumpled piece of new aluminum foil dipped in vinegar. Without applying too much pressure, rub the foil over the rusted area and re-dip your foil in the vinegar solution regularly. Once the rust spots have disappeared, rinse down well with fresh water.
• When the chrome is entirely clean, dry it thoroughly as water spots are very evident on the high gloss surface of the chrome. As soon as cleaning is complete, use a soft dry towel and polish the entire fitting with it.
• Wiping the stalks down with fabric softener sheets will reduce static build up on the fitting and reduce the attraction of dust to the fitting. You will also have the benefit of the fresh scent of the softener in the room.
• Making use of your gloves or a clean cloth, wipe the bulbs with a damp cloth. Tighten all the bulbs by hand, taking care not to over-tighten.