This is part two of our three part ceiling fan buying guide. In this part, we will cover lights, motors and style. If you missed it, in part one of our ceiling fan buying guide we covered the difference between indoor and outdoor fans, blade span as well as how to adjust for ceiling height and slope.
Ceiling Fans with Lights
A great aspect of ceiling fans is that they can both provide air flow and illuminate your room in a single fixture. Even if you choose ceiling fan without a light, there are light kits for many models. It is important that the light kit you select is compatible with your ceiling fan. Light kits will need to be the same brand as your fan and even then not all will be compatible. Be sure you are buying a light kit that is of the same finish as your fan. As discussed in the first part of this guide, UL ratings are important. If your fan is installed in a damp or wet area you will need light kits that have compatible UL ratings.
If energy efficiency is important to you, be sure you pick out a light kit that is Energy Star qualified. The energy use between an Energy Star qualified fan and light and one that is not could be as much as fifty percent.
Ceiling fan lights are not all the same. They could be either downlights or uplights. Most ceiling fans feature downlights. Uplights on the other hand have the benefit of indirect lighting. The light produced by an uplight will be less harsh and is a better choice if you just want to light a room. If you are looking for something closer to task lighting, such as for reading or other tasks, a downlight will be a better choice.
Matching Your Home’s Decor
The style you are hoping to achieve will have a strong influence on the right ceiling fan for you. Does your home have a traditional, contemporary or transitional design? Maybe you chose an eclectic or Mediterranean style. Tropical style ceiling fans have become popular in recent years if that is your thing. It is just as important that your ceiling fan match your room as it is for any other fixture or piece of furniture.
Finish is more essential than most people realize. The finish on the metal parts of your ceiling fan should match other metal fixtures in your home. Metal fixtures in your home may include: lamps, door handles, tables legs, beds, faucets or even cabinet knobs. In the case that your fan of choice has wooden blades, the blades should match other wooden pieces in your room such as furniture and flooring.
There are only a handful of base finishes that most products use. Common finishes will usually be variations of bronze, nickel, chrome, antique brass, polished brass, black or white. Manufacturers like to come up with creative names, but most will fall into these categories. Most products in these categories will match well even if the products’ finishes are not named the same.
The quality of the motor I your ceiling fan is perhaps the most important aspect you should consider. A low quality motor can lead to your ceiling fan needing to be replaced much sooner. Lower quality motors tend to produce more noise and use more energy as well as potentially producing a wobble or less than satisfactory air flow.
The best types of motors are DC motors, flywheel and oil bath motors. These are the highest grade of ceiling fan motors. The next grade includes Stack motors and large standard direct drive motors. The lowest grade motors you should buy are standard direct drive. Motors of any lower grades will wear out too soon and are not really worth buying.
Part three of our series covers airflow ratings and effieciency as well as fan controls. Click here to read Ceiling Fan Buying Guide Part 3.