Talking Fans: Part II

Last week we looked at the continuing popularity of fans and their role in cooling, and indeed warming, our homes, including in conjunction with air conditioning.
This time, we’ll examine fan controls, sizes, materials and blade numbers as well as where to put you fan.
At Lighting Illusions we can help you source and install the perfect fans for your needs and to suit your budget, style and décor.

Ceiling Fan Controls

Many fans are mounted at a ceiling box where a light fixture was formerly located. Typically, the light switch is replaced with a control that allows various fan speeds and—if the fan includes lights—light settings.
It’s important for this control to have a capacitor design and be made by the same manufacturer as the fan to eliminate buzz and hum.
Fans located at an electrical box that isn’t controlled by a wall switch can be operated by a pull chain or, with some brands, a remote control.
Remote controls are becoming more and more popular. As well, advances in design and features are filtering through regularly, including timers to turn on and off your fans as required.
Fan Blade Sizes & Materials
Fans have from three to five blades; the traditional number is four. The number of blades does not affect performance much. Some say that more blades actually move less air because there is less space for them to grab air. But the number of blades does tend to affect cost. Generally speaking, the more blades the higher the cost.
Blades come in several lengths, measured by the full blade sweep they produce.
Most manufacturers make two or three different lengths.
Long blades move more air than short ones.
Blades are made from a number of materials and are given a wide variety of finishes. Natural wood and painted blades are made from solid wood, cross-laminated veneer (like plywood), and the less expensive veneered constant-density board.
Finishes include natural, appliance white, cherry, oak, walnut, burled camphor, bleached oak, white, faux granite, rosewood, black, high lustre, colors, and more.
Some blades have a reversible finish—for example, they might offer a bleached oak look on one side and a painted white finish on the other. Simply turn the blades over to transform the fan’s appearance.
Other blades are made of clear or smoked acrylic.
Sizing & Locating a Fan
A rule of thumb is to use a 52-inch fan (132cm) for up to a 400-square-foot (37 sqm) room, a 44-inch (104cm) fan for up to 225 square feet (21 sqm), and a 42-inch (106cm) fan for up to 144 square feet (13sqm). For rooms more than 5.5m long, consider using two medium-sized fans.
We can help you work out the best size fan to suit your room at Lighting Illusions.
If possible, put the fan in the middle of the room, close to where people gather. Be sure the blade tips are at least 60cm from walls or sloping ceilings. Fans mounted close to a ceiling may produce a ‘cavitational effect’, which means they move less air.
Some surface-mounted, low-profile fans are designed to circulate more air than standard models.
For ceilings taller than 2.5m, hang the fan from a drop rod so that it’s down where it can be more effective. The distance the fan should hang from the ceiling will depend on the ceiling’s height. A fan should never hang lower than 2.1m from the floor.
We have a full range of ceiling rods and can advise which is the right one for your ceiling.
Strong support is required for all ceiling fans. Their heavy weight and centrifugal motion strains hangers. Because of this, they must be mounted to conventional ceiling light fixture boxes that are securely fixed to framing members or they must attach to hooks, metal crossbars, or special hangers meant for fans.
At Lighting Illusions we have the right fan and right advice for you, so drop in, ring us or see us online today.