Two Birds, One Stone: How Form Follows Function in the Lit Ceiling Fan

Choosing appliances for your home often feels like walking a tightrope between form and function. The delicate balancing act between a fixture’s style and its functionality can be a challenge to navigate. On one hand, you want your home to reflect your design sensibilities. To achieve true relaxation and harmony inside your home, it should look and feel like you want it to. On the other hand, there’s energy efficiency and pure usability to consider. How can savvy homeowners kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and prioritize both utility and design when it comes to their living space? Hint: Look up! The solution may be as simple as finding the right lit ceiling fan for your home.

Efficient Temperature Control

Ceiling fans provide year-round temperature regulation. If you’ve ever struggled to sleep on a stuffy summer night, then you likely know the relief that a good ceiling fan can bring. Ceiling fans accelerate stagnant air and create a pleasant wind chill effect. Since this moving air feels cooler on human skin, it saves us the trouble of lowering our thermostat. Fans can lower how a room’s temperature feels by eight degrees, and each degree that you raise your thermostat above 78 can cut between three and eight percent of your cost, according to House Logic.

But what about the rest of the year? When your heater is on during chillier months, warm air tends to rise to the ceiling and linger there. Considering that you’re the one paying to raise the temperature, it’s simply not an efficient use of your heating resources. The National Association of Home Builders advises homeowners to run their fan blades clockwise during cool months to push this warm air downward and back into circulation for all to enjoy.

Shed Some Light on Any Room

Besides temperature, another condition for comfort inside the home is adequate illumination. Installing a ceiling lamp overhead is an excellent way to provide general lighting for a room, which is the important baseline layer for creating a well-lit space. The first step to choosing a light fixture is measuring your room. Since ceiling fans allow some flexibility in how they hang, homeowners can optimize the height and positioning of their ambient light source. Seven feet is the accepted minimum for height above the ground, but eight to nine feet is the ideal range. Energy Star outlines several helpful mount options:

  • Standard mounts (three to five inch downrod from the ceiling bracket to the fan)
  • Extended mounts (six to 120 inch downrod from the ceiling bracket to the fan)
  • Flush mounts (anchored directly against the ceiling, also known as “huggers” or “low profile” mounts)
  • Sloped mounts (handy for angled or vaulted ceilings)

A Stylish Light Fixture

Ceiling fans are first and foremost a functional lighting and airflow appliance, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be easy on the eyes. If you’ve carried any preconceived notions about these fixtures from the past, it’s time to throw them out. Modern ceiling fans with lights only serve to enhance a room’s design. As Joe Rey-Barreau of the American Lighting Association says, “The range of ceiling fan styles available today is without boundaries. They have become as much a decorative element in a space as a decorative lighting fixture. The broad range allows ceiling fans to be selected so that they support and enhance the design style of the furniture.”

When you’re picking out a lit ceiling fan for your living space, have some fun matching it to various components that already exist in your room. Do you simply love the wood of your antique coffee table? Consider a ceiling fan that uses the same finish. Could your mid-century modern living room use a simple, sleek fan overhead to tie it all together? This is the part where you can really dig in and find a unique piece that speaks to you. The right illuminated ceiling fan will give you the best of both worlds: style and utility.

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  1. Yes!! I love the air circulation from a fan!! Plus there are so many gorgeous ones!!!

  2. Great tips! We had ceiling fans when I lived in Nevada (a must!), but now I’m back east, and am looking to get one for the dining room. Thanks for ideas! 🙂

  3. I would love to put ceiling fans in my house. This is a great posting, very informative. Thank you for sharing.

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