Why ceiling fans are more than just cool air

When creating a sanctuary in your home, keeping cool in summer and warm in winter are fundamentals that we sometimes take for granted. Ceiling fans are an ideal way to survive the extremes of Australian weather and they can even include a light to maximise functionality. Let’s go over some basic things to consider when choosing a ceiling fan.

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Safety and fundamentals

Installation

First and foremost, it’s important to note that, unlike changing a lightbulb or other small DIY jobs we can do ourselves, a ceiling fan must be installed by a licenced electrician to meet Australian safety standards. And because fans require a solid support for secure attachment to the ceiling, the build stage is an ideal time for installation.

Indoor or outdoor rating

If you enjoy spending time on the back patio, ceiling fans are great in alfresco areas. However, it’s important to ensure that you install an appropriate fan for outdoor use. Remember that even if a ceiling fan is rated for external use, be mindful the fan is not overly exposed to the elements, particularly rain, and that wiring must comply to Australian standards. At Lumi Lighting our Luna ceiling fan is coastal-rated and is suitable for indoors, alfresco areas and coastal locations.

Height

According to Australian standards, the minimum distance from the floor to the lowest part of the ceiling fan needs to be 2100mm for it to be considered safe. Given that most Australian homes have a typical 2400mm ceiling height, this is enough room for a fan but it’s always a good idea to measure up before considering a purchase. If you’ve got low ceilings, do research into low profile fans to find something that will fit. For high ceilings, opt for an extension rod accessory to lengthen the fan to an ideal height of 2100mm to 2500mm from the floor.

Room size

Depending on the size of your room, you may choose to install one ceiling fan in a central position or evenly space out two (or more) fans for better coverage. The diameter of the fan comes into play, too. As a guide, small rooms less than 16m2 (4 x 4m area) would suit a 122cm fan and average rooms around 16 to 25m2 (5 x 5m area) would suit the most common fan size of 132cm. For spacious rooms of 36m2 (6 x 6m area) and larger, a 142cm fan would be appropriate, or consideration of two or more smaller fans. Bear in mind that these figures are suggestions only, and given that fans have adjustable speeds, a variety of sizes can be appropriate for most spaces. If in doubt, select a larger fan, as it can be used on a lower setting if needed.

AC and DC

Without going into too much of the technicalities, AC stands for alternating current and DC stands for direct current, which both describe the function of electric motors. Fans with AC motors are connected directly to a power source, whereas fans with DC motors require a transformer that allow connection to the AC power source. DC fans are becoming more popular in the market as they tend to have bigger benefits over AC. They use less power, in some cases up to 70% less, which means they’re more economical in the long run and have reduced impact on the environment. They also allow for more speed control and consistency, which in turns keeps them quieter. At Lumi Lighting, our Luna, Helice and Kanopi ceiling fans are all DC.

Ceiling fans helice kanopi and luna

From left to right: Lumi Lighting's LunaHelice and Kanopi ceiling fans.

Functionality and technology

Multi-purpose fan and light

If you require both illumination and air movement in a room, a ceiling fan with a built-in lamp is a practical solution. These lights provide ambient illumination (as opposed to task lighting) and there will be separate controls for the fan and the light.

Reversible

We all know ceiling fans cool a room in summer, but did you know they can also warm up a space in winter? To stay fresh in hot weather, fans should rotate counter-clockwise to push cool air down to the floor. In cold months, the fans should rotate clockwise at a low speed. The gentle updraft circulates warm air up and back down along the walls and to the floor. This allows you to lower the thermostat on other energy-hungry heaters and, as a bonus, electricity bills are reduced as less energy is used. At Lumi Lighting, our LunaHelice and Kanopi ceiling fans are all reversible.

Remote control

You may find it convenient to select a fan that has remote control. There is a variety of functions available, such as speed regulation, timers, dimming for a light, etc. These days there are also options for operating a fan through smart devices.

Aesthetics and style

Colour

When it comes to the colour of your fan, palettes are fairly limited to neutral tones and natural finishes. For style longevity, opt for classic white on a white ceiling. If you’d prefer to make a statement, go for contrasting black on a white ceiling or tie in natural timber finishes or palm leaf blades with other organic elements of the room.

Number of blades

It used to be that a higher number of blades translated to higher efficiency, however, modern technology has made this less relevant in the residential arena. More recently, the number of blades is an aesthetic choice. You may even see some two-bladed ceiling fans in minimalist or avant-garde homes.

Ceiling fans are an economical way to supplement other heating or cooling appliances, while keeping with your personal style. Let the Lumi Lighting team guide you on your journey to design your residential retreat.