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The Great Fan Debate




Ceiling Fan Fanatics…you know who you are. You simply cannot imagine a day without the breezy effects these moving structures create in your home. Enjoyable in any season, ceiling fans are an energy efficient way to keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter months, which make them a crowd favorite.  But, with so many different factors to consider within each home and particular space, how do you know what to look for when choosing your perfect ceiling fan? Let us walk you through our five-point checklist to help you solve the great fan debate.


The most important place to start when embarking on your fan search is considering the location of your fan.  This determines what you will be requiring from it in regards to air movement, lighting options, and its overall functionality in your space.  For example- a standard 12’x12′ bedroom will require a more standard sized fan of 52″-54″ in span, while a 20’x20′ great room with vaulted ceilings is going to demand a larger ceiling fan of 60″ or greater to evenly circulate the air.  Is your fan located in a dry, indoor space?  Or, will it be exposed to humidity and other damp or wet elements?  Knowing this information will help our consultants determine exactly what type of motor and size of fan will best suit your space.  This informative video below, from Kichler, serves as a great tool to help you get started.


Blade pitch is the angle of a ceiling fans blades.  Why is blade pitch important?  The greater the angle, the greater amount of air the blades can “push” while in rotation.  This means more air movement from your fan, and generally more airflow efficiency.  There are many factors that contribute to a fans overall airflow efficiency rating, blade pitch being only one of these.  What is a an airflow efficiency rating you ask?  This is calculated by a combination of the fans airflow in cubic feet per minute, or CFM rating, and its electricity consumption in watts.  These two figures are computed to determine how many cubic feet of air is moved per minute, per watt of electricity consumed, at the fans highest speed setting.  Confused?  Let’s focus on the fans CFM rating- which is the most common tool used when trying to determine if your fan will move the right amount of air for your space.  There are some general guidelines you can look for here:

  • GOOD AIRFLOW– fans in this range will have a CFM Rating between 4000 to 5000.
  • BETTER AIRFLOW– fans in this range will have a CFM Rating between 5000 to 6000.
  • BEST AIRFLOW– fans in this range will have a CFM Rating higher than 6000.

Ask or look for the airflow efficiency, CFM rating and blade pitch information when comparing fans. This is typically posted on the bottom of all product literature and fan specification sheets. Our trained lighting consultants can help advise you on what rating is most appropriate for your fan needs.


Most ceiling fans come equipped to be installed on a standard 8′ or 9′ ceiling.  If you have higher ceilings or vaulted rooms, you’ll require a longer downrod to suspend the fan so that it provides a 9′ or 10′ clearance from the floor to the underside of the fan blades for optimal air movement.  If mounting on a sloped or vaulted ceiling, we will need to use a little basic geometry to calculate the downrod length needed for your fan by first determining the ceiling pitch with a rise/run formula.  Depending upon the degree of slope in your ceiling (or angle as shown in the chart below), your fan may require the use of a sloped ceiling adapter. These diagrams from FANIMATION give us a clear guideline to the above rules. 


Choosing a fan with a light option is a great opportunity to add more function and ambiance to your space.  Many fans now come with integrated lighting units- creating a sleek and cohesive overall look.  Some ceiling fans will also include energy efficient LED lighting systems, saving you energy and generating less heat than traditional lighting choices.  There are also several fan designs where you are able to add on a decorative light kit of your choice.  This allows you to personalize your ceiling fan and create a look that is completely your own.  Whatever direction you choose, our trained consultants will make sure that your are getting the right lighting options and lumen output for your application.


As you are choosing your fan, try to identify specific features that are important to you. Do you desire the ability to control your fan from your smart phone?  With so many advancements in technology, the days of your standard wall mount or remote control are ending.  Now, fan manufacturers are embracing wireless and blue-tooth technology, and integrating this compatibility into their fan control systems.  With the new FanSync bluetooth control system from Fanimation, you have the power to easily control your ceiling fan with a swipe of a finger- right from your smart device.  This user-friendly system allows you the option to use multiple devices to control one fan, or one device to control multiple fans!  Learn more about FanSync technology in the short video below!

Whatever your ceiling fan need, the advice of a Creative Lighting expert will help to ensure you are getting the right fan for your space and put an end to the great fan debate.

Photo and Graphics Credit- Monte Carlo Ceiling Fan Company, Kichler, Fanimation.


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