Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

Ceiling fan buying guide - LightsOnline.com

Ceiling fans are an ideal way to enhance the value, comfort and beauty of your home. They are a great source of overhead ambient lighting, but they also help you save energy and money on your energy bills! There are more styles of ceiling fan available than ever before, meaning you're sure to find one that perfectly matches your style preferences and the look of your room.

This buying guide will help you understand what to look for and consider when purchasing a ceiling fan. It's an important decision to make, especially since people usually buy ceiling fans with the intent of keeping them for about a decade. If you have questions or need more help, feel free to contact us or give us a call at 1-866-688-3562.

Ceiling Fan Styles

Before you start shopping for ceiling fans, it's a good idea to know what style you want. Is your home's look very stately and elegant? Angular and contemporary? Somewhere in between? We have ceiling fans to suit any decor style: traditional, transitional, contemporary, tropical, industrial, you name it. If you're not sure what style your home is or what style you like, that's OK. Here are some examples of the three most common ceiling fan decor styles.

Traditional Style Ceiling Fan - LightsOnline.comTraditional: Traditional ceiling fans often feature decorative flourishes in areas like the light kit, fan blade arms and fan motor housing.

Transitional Style Ceiling Fan - LightsOnline.comTransitional: Transitional ceiling fans, while similar to traditional, usually tone down the decorative flourishes for a more versatile look.

Contemporary Style Ceiling Fan - LightsOnline.comContemporary: Contemporary ceiling fans tend to have a look reminiscent of machinery or airplane turbines, though you may also see very inventive and unique styles, too!

If you're still not sure what your style is, take a look at our ceiling fans, pick out a few that you like and see if these fans have anything in common.

Ceiling Fan Types and Uses

Ceiling fans are mainly divided by whether they can be used indoors or outdoors, although there is also an innovative new style that combines the style of chandeliers with the functionality of ceiling fans.

Indoor: Ceiling fans for indoor use run the gamut of decor styles, sizes and amounts of blades. Whether you need to outfit a tiny room or a sizable space, there's an indoor ceiling fan to meet your needs. There's also an indoor ceiling fan to fit your decor style: traditional, modern and even ones with a tropical flair, plus finishes including nickel, wood, bronze, chrome and black.

Outdoor: Outdoor ceiling fans are made with more durable materials and can withstand the elements. There are 2 types of outdoor ceiling fan. Damp is suitable for use in covered areas like porches and patios. Wet is the type that can be exposed directly to rain, making it good for use in gazebos or pergolas.

Fan d'Lier: Exclusively from Savoy House, fan d'liers are a unique blend of ceiling fan functionality and the features of a chandelier, hence the name. They are available in styles with or without lights. Select fan d'liers also have air-ionizing features that improve the quality of the air you breathe. Plus, some fan d'liers are suitable for outdoor use.

Ceiling Fan Accessory Types

Fan blades: separate blades that can replace the ones already on a ceiling fan, bringing a new look into the room. Available in many colors, textures and shapes. Make sure to choose fan blades from the same manufacturer as your fan!

Wall-mounted controls: just like light switches, except with more functionality. Wall-mounted controls may feature controls for turning the ceiling fan on and off, changing fan speed, dimming lights and reversing the blade direction.

Remote controls: handheld controllers that do the same things as their wall-mounted counterparts. Receivers for wall-mounted and remote controls are mounted onto the canopy of the ceiling fan. Like with fan blades, please make sure to buy ceiling fan controls from the same brand as your fan.

Anatomy of a Ceiling Fan

Anatomy of a Ceiling Fan - LightsOnline.com

Canopy: The base of the ceiling fan and the part that attaches to the ceiling. Wall or remote control receivers go here.

Down rod: Allows the ceiling fan to hang down from the canopy.

Fan blade: The parts that move so you can feel the fan's breeze.

Fan motor: The housing that contains the ceiling fan's motor and inner workings.

Fan arm: Holds the blades and connects them to the motor.

Light kit: Lighting fixtures that are either built into the fan or can be added onto a ceiling fan that came without an onboard light kit. Styles, sizes and finishes vary.

Fan controls: A pull chain used to regulate the speed of the fan's blades. This function can also be performed by a wall or remote control.

Light controls: A pull chain used to turn the fan's light on and off. This function can also be performed by a wall or remote control.

Sizing Ceiling Fans

The general rule of thumb to keep in mind is this: a ceiling fan that is too big for the space will be overwhelming, but a fan that is too small for the space won't allow you to feel the fan's benefits. Find the square footage of your room (multiply the length and width in feet) and match it with these general guidelines.

Room size in square feetIdeal ceiling fan size
50 sq ft 29" ceiling fan
75 sq ft 36" ceiling fan
100 sq ft 42" ceiling fan
225 sq ft 52" ceiling fan
400 sq ft 56" ceiling fan
More than 400 sq ft 60" ceiling fan or 2 smaller fans

Another way to look at it is this: Small fans of 36" or less are good for rooms of about 6 by 6 feet or smaller. Medium fans of 37-48" are good for rooms of about 10 by 10 feet. Standard-size 49-55" fans are good for 12 by 12 rooms. Large 56"+ fans are good for rooms of 15 by 15 feet and larger. If you have higher ceilings, you may want to add a separate, longer down rod that will bring the ceiling fan down closer to you so that you can feel its effects better. Here are recommended down rod lengths for higher ceilings.

Ceiling height in feetIdeal downrod length
8 Standard
9 12" downrod
10 18" downrod
11 24" downrod
12 36" downrod
13 48" downrod
14 60" downrod
15+ 72" downrod

Ceiling Fan Installation

To get all the information you need for safe ceiling fan installation, click here.

Other Important Ceiling Fan Information

An important thing to remember about ceiling fans is that they don't actually change the temperature of the room. Ceiling fans just provide a breeze. So, when you're not in the room with the fan, turn it off and save energy!

You can use reversible ceiling fans during warm and cool weather to keep the room cooler or warmer, respectively. In warm months, use the downdraft setting. In cool months, use the updraft setting.

When you think about the efficiency of a ceiling fan, you need to consider airflow, which is a measure of how much air the ceiling fan can move. This is determined through the quality of the ceiling fan's motor, the pitch or angle of the blade and the blade's material. For a residential fan, the best pitch is 14 degrees because it provides the most airflow. The best materials for blades are laminates because laminates resist warping and are stronger than solid wood.

Speaking of the best materials, the quality of the motor is really what you're paying for in a ceiling fan. High-quality motors are encased in heavy-gauge steel, so they're quiet, less prone to rattling and will last a long time. Plus, they tend to look better visually.

Trying to pick the perfect color for your ceiling fan? Try identifying the most used color of wood in the room, like the flooring, and pick a fan that uses blades of that color. Then pick out the most used color of the metal hardware in the room, like doorknobs, and get a fan that has that finish too! Alternately, some people prefer all-white ceiling fans in order to blend in with a white ceiling.

Ceiling fan design has advanced to such a point that the difference in amount of blades (example: a fan with 3 blades versus one with 5) is negligible and mostly based on your decor preferences.

All of our ceiling fans include energy guides that tell you the airflow, electricity used and airflow efficiency so you can make the best and most ideal choice for your needs!

If you're ready to find your favorite new fan, browse our selection of ceiling fans. Contact us or call us at 1-866-688-3562 for more help! You can also sign up for our newsletters.

Emma Harger-Young - Lights Online

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