There are many elements that come together in the process of creating light fixtures, and each one of these elements has a different level of quality from different manufacturers. At Del Mar Designs, we have a lighting review system based on the level of quality that the manufacturer puts into each element for each light fixture.

We then average the elements for an overall light fixture rating: from 1 star being the lowest overall quality, to 5 stars being the highest overall quality light fixture we carry.

The list of elements used to determine the overall value of a light fixture are:

  • Materials Used
  • Workmanship

  • Finish Quality
  • Light Output Technology

  • Product Design
  • Brand Value

Example Lighting Rating:
6LT Napa Chandelier by Kalco Lighting
Kalco 6LT Napa Chandelier


Item Description Rating

Materials Used

Base Score = 3.0
Blown Glass (+1.0),
Wrought Iron (+1.0)


Base Score = 3.0
Handcrafted in the U.S. (+2.0),
Hand Forged Wrought Iron (+2.0)

Finish Quality

Base Score = 3.0
Hand Painted (+1.0)

Light Output Technology

Base Score = 3.0
Halogen (+1.0)

Product Design

Base Score = 3.0
Original Design (+2.0)

Brand Value

Base Score = 2.0
Lower Environ. Impact (+1.5),
Good Customer Service (+1.0),
Accurate Ship Times (+1.0)


Average of other elements Rating

Materials Used

Manufacturers like Kichler Lighting use a variety of different materials to create a light fixture. Some materials are valued higher than others; these higher value materials create a longer lasting, more precious and more durable lighting fixture than the average.

Bronze, Wood, Brass, Silver Light Fixture Materials

The most common materials and the values we give each are: (Start with 3 Stars)

Things that increase a light rating:

  • + +1.5 stars Solid brass, stainless steel, and copper finishes
  • + +1.0 stars Crystal (Swarovski)
  • + +1.0 stars Wrought Iron, Iron
  • + +1.0 stars Blown Glass (Artesian Glass, Hand Blown Glass)
  • + +1.0 stars Seashell (Mother of Pearl, Mussel Shell, Capiz Shell, Oyster Shells)
  • + +1.0 stars Stone (Alabaster, Slate, Calcite)
  • + +0.5 stars Cast Aluminum
  • + +0.5 stars Wood
  • + +0.5 stars Acrylic
  • + +0.5 stars Resin

Things that decrease a light rating:

  • - -0.5 stars Metal
  • - -1.0 stars Spun Aluminum


The workmanship or craftsmanship may determine the overall life of a light fixture. There are many different methods that manufacturers like Minka Lavery use to create a light fixture. We have identified the most commonly used methods and rated them based on the value produced in the overall finished light fixture quality.

Showing The Great Workmanship Of The Lighting Fixtures We Offer
Above: Artisans at work at the Fine Art Lamps facility in Miami, Florida.

The most common methods of Workmanship and their ratings are: (Start with 3 Stars)

Things that increase a light rating:

  • + +2.0 stars Handcrafted by skilled artisans in the United States
  • + +2.0 stars Shaped with a hammer and anvil
  • + +2.0 stars Hand-forged wrought iron lighting
  • + +2.0 stars Hand-crafted
  • + +2.0 stars Intricate Metalworking
  • + +1.5 stars Hand-forged iron
  • + +1.5 stars Hand Blown Glass
  • + +1.5 stars Carved Castings
  • + +1.5 stars Hand finished
  • + +1.0 stars Hand-tailored shades

Things that decrease a light rating:

  • - -1.0 stars Stamped Casts

Finish Quality

The finish quality of a light fixture is a necessary element when determining the overall value of the light fixture. There are many different quality levels to consider when rating the value of the overall finish. A good way to determine this is looking at a fixture type like brass outdoor lighting and see how the finish lasts over time in the elements.

Copper, Bronzed Brass, Natural Brass, Natural Vedigris Patina Light Fixture Finishes

The most common methods of applying a finish to a light fixture are: (Start with 3 Stars)

Things that increase a light rating:

  • + +2.0 stars Unfinished Copper (natural patina over time)
  • + +2.0 stars Unfinished Brass (natural patina over time)
  • + +2.0 stars Unfinished Stainless Steel
  • + +1.5 stars Marine Grade (very durable)
  • + +1.0 stars Acid Finish (color produced by an acid applied to brass or copper)
  • + +1.0 stars Nickel Plated (very durable)
  • + +1.0 stars Hand Painted (faux finishes, an artistic element is added to the finish value)
  • + +0.5 stars Polished Finish
  • + +0.5 stars Powder Coating (most common)

Light Output Technology

Some manufacturers use cutting edge light technology to create an overall light experience from their light fixture. There are many different types of light output technologies used in the lighting industry today. We have defined a few that add overall value to the light fixture.

LED, Indirect, Dimming Ballast, Halogen, And Incandescent Lighting Bulb Types

The most common value added light output technologies are: (Start with 3 Stars)

Things that increase a light rating:

  • + +2.0 stars Light Emitting Diode (LED)
  • + +1.5 stars Fixtures with Dimming Ballasts
  • + +1.5 stars Indirect Lighting
  • + +1.5 stars Shadowing Light Design
  • + +1.0 stars Compact Fluorescent
  • + +1.0 stars Low Voltage Halogen
  • + +0.5 stars Standard Incandescent

Product Design

Product Design is another important factor in the overall value of a light fixture. Many manufacturers hire accredited product designers and engineers to design their lighting fixtures, these manufacturers are the manufacturers that usually produce original product designs. It takes accredited designers to identify trends in an ever changing industry and well designed products to support that change.

Fine Art Belgrave Square Lamp Step By Step Creation
Above: A fixture of the Belgrave Square Collection from Fine Art Lighting being assembled.

The most common design related values are: (Start with 3 Stars)

Things that increase a light rating:

  • + +2.0 stars Good Design Award Recipient - This award is given out by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, starting in 1957
  • + +2.0 stars Light Fair Awards - A variety of awards are gave out at this International Lighting Show
  • + +2.0 stars Original Design - Some lighting designs have become so successful that they are copied by other lighting manufacturers
  • + +2.0 stars Accredited Designer Light Fixtures - Premier designers such as Jessica McClintock, George Kovacs, & Cristina Saralegui, Roberto Pamio, Marco Piva, etc. design these lighting fixtures
  • + +1.5 stars Matching Canopy Design - Design Engineering is involved in creating the light maintaining standards and complementing the whole fixture with decor

Things that decrease a light rating:

  • - -0.5 stars Builder Grade Lights - These lights are comprised of the basic, universal design
  • - -0.5 stars Original Lighting Design Knock-Off


The final element we include in the Del Mar Designs Lighting Rating is the brand value. Many brands talk the talk about contributing to a better future, but which ones really walk the walk?

We Use A Rating System To Grade Our Brand Values On Del Mar Fans & Lighting

Casablanca Support team

Commitment to the Environment

Fulfillment Center

We have identified the following brand qualities that we believe have value: (Start with 2 Stars)

Things that increase a light rating:

  • + +1.5 stars Manufacturing Processes that Reduce Environmental Impact
  • + +1.0 stars Commitment to Energy Star Rated Products
  • + +1.0 stars Good Customer Service and Problem Resolution
  • + +1.0 stars Accurate Ship Times
  • + +1.0 stars +90% Product Availability

This completes the Del Mar Designs Lighting Rating description, Please call (800) 724-5501 if you have any questions about the way we rate our lighting products.