As often happens with home décor, ceiling fans come in and out of favor as decades pass. Many potential home buyers cringe when they see a ceiling fan, focusing on the cost of removing it rather than its function. Others love having a ceiling fan in the bedroom or living room and can’t imagine a home without them.
Whichever side of the debate you fall into, we can all agree on one thing: ceiling fans with pre-installed lights are more of a hassle than a help. They take up a lot of valuable space, and they rarely, if ever, provide the light that a room needs.
Lighting is essential to a room’s design, but if you rely on a ceiling fan for your primary light, you’ll end up disappointed.
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Should You Install A Ceiling Fan?
Ceiling fans work well in certain rooms, but there are some spaces where a ceiling fan is just not a good idea. Unless you keep the blades impeccably clean, a ceiling fan doesn’t belong in a kitchen; no one likes their steak with a side of dust.
If you only anticipate using the fan occasionally or seasonally, it might not be the right choice. Ceiling fans are a significant design commitment for sporadic use. A better option is a stand-up fan that you can use when you need it and store away when you don’t.
While a ceiling fan isn’t likely to cause serious injury, it could be an annoyance for tall family members and friends. Again, if you’re only using the fan on occasion, it’s not worth making your family duck and dodge it every day.
If you’re sure that you’ll use the fan often, they can be a great design element in a suitable room. There are endless design options for colors, finishes, and blades. If your design style is modern, rustic, or tropical, you’ll have an easy time finding a great fan.
If you’re determined to have a ceiling fan, don’t do the installation yourself. A poorly installed fan will wobble and make a lot of noise. An experienced electrician will make sure that it’s stable and wired correctly.
Do You Have Enough Space For A Ceiling Fan?
Rooms that are small or have a low ceiling aren’t great candidates for ceiling fans, with or without a light. You need to wisely decorate tight areas because space is at a premium and overfilling the room will make it feel cramped. Installing a ceiling fan will make the ceiling appear lower and can give the illusion of a narrower room.
Once you add a light to the underside of the fan motor, it’ll feel extremely bulky. If you have other overhead lights that are close to the fan (because it’s a small space), the light will create flickering shadows when you run the fan. Beware of this potential annoyance before committing to a ceiling fan.
A ceiling fan can even overtake a large room. The larger your space, the longer the fan’s blades have to be to move enough air to cool the room. However, long blades eat up a lot of visual space. Vaulted ceilings are better suited to fans than low ceilings, but you have to hang the fan low enough for the air to actually reach the people in the room. Again, this devours visual space.
Should you decide that you want a fan, have a professional help you choose the best location for it. Fans cool people by blowing air at them and making their sweat evaporate, so the fan needs to be close to where people congregate, or it won’t serve its purpose.
Ceiling Fans Are Meant To Move Air
The purpose of a ceiling fan is to move air, not to light a room. They work best in spaces with high ceilings, places that get a lot of sunlight, and rooms where people gather, but you don’t need an overhead fan to keep these spaces cool. Pedestal and tower fans are portable, so you can store them when you don’t need them. Plus, they take up less space, and you don’t have to integrate them into the theme of a room.
When you design a room, you have so many lighting choices. However, as soon as you turn your sights toward ceiling fan lights, you severely limit your options. A common complaint with fan lights is that they’re either too bright or too dim. Getting the perfect light from a ceiling fan is extremely difficult.
Many fan lights have frosted glass covers that diffuse and reduce the light they give off. It’s also common for the lights to be directed upward, illuminating the ceiling. If your goal is to brighten a room, lighting the ceiling is has the opposite effect. It’ll also cause a persistent light flicker when the fan runs.
Even if the fan has downlights, you’ll be limited in where you can direct the light. You should install your fan where it’ll cool people, but that doesn’t always correlate with where you need directional light.
A final issue with fan lights is that you give up control over the light bulb temperature. If you find a fan you like but the LED light inside it is a bright, cool blue, it won’t work well in a room with earthy-toned décor. Similarly, a warm light won’t work well in a bright white, blue, or grey room. By bundling your fan and light together, you risk clashing with the color of the room.
A professional could help you pick out the ideal lighting for your space, both in brightness and in color temperature. Instead of relying on a fanlight to brighten your room, put your trust in a lighting professional.
Keep Your Fans And Your Lights Separate
Fans can be a great addition to a room if there’s adequate space. However, there are very few instances in which the light on your ceiling fan will work cohesively with your room.
Finding a ceiling fan that’s the right size, design, and has the right built-in light would be the challenge of a lifetime. Instead, get a fan that you love and then plan your lighting separately. There are too many fantastic lighting options available to settle for a ceiling fan light.