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To the Trade:
Sourcing Ceiling Fans

For many clients, having the function of a ceiling fan is a non-negotiable in bedrooms, living spaces and more. Here’s how to source the right fan for your clients and ensure your thoughtful design isn’t compromised.

To the Trade: Sourcing Ceiling Fans

Sourcing ceiling fans comes with a number of considerations, from ensuring the right size for proper airflow, to meeting codes, to simply choosing one that best fits your clients’ needs. When your project calls for a ceiling fan, here are the 5 factors to think about to get it right for your clients:

1. Fan Size

The size of a ceiling fan is typically referred to as blade span, measuring the distance across the fan from blade tip to blade tip. The smaller the room, the smaller the fan needed:

Room Room Size Ceiling Fan Size needed
Breakfast nooks
Laundry, mud or other utility rooms
Up to 75 square feet 29 – 36 inches
Dining rooms
Up to 175 square feet 42 – 48 inches
Large Bedrooms
Family Rooms
Media rooms
Up to 350 square feet 52 – 56 inches
Great Rooms
Other Large Spaces
350+ square feet 60+ inches

2. Ceiling Considerations

If you’re working with a ceiling that is… Choose:
8 feet or lower A hugger or flushmount fan
~9 feet high Close-to-ceiling fan, which will have a short downrod
9+ feet high A ceiling fan with a downrod, ensuring the total hanging height is no lower than 7 feet above the ground
Sloped 1. A fan that specifies “sloped-ceiling adaptable” to ensure the downrod can rotate to a certain angle and ensure the fan hangs straight.
2. A separate sloped-ceiling mounting kit.

3. Hanging Height

Two tips on ensuring a ceiling fan hangs safely and properly:

  1. The bottom-most point of a ceiling fan should hang no lower than 7 feet above the floor.
  2. If you’re determining how much downrod you’ll need, aim to leave a minimum of 8 inches between the ceiling fan blades and the ceiling for maximum airflow.

4. Airflow: Cubic Feet per Minute

For a fan to fully meet your client’s needs, it has to work—they’ll likely want to be able to feel the airflow that a ceiling fan creates. To ensure you choose one that brings the breeze, you’ll want to look at a fan’s CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute.

This is how much air a fan moves. It is affected by the fan’s motor, blade pitch and the span of the blades. The higher the CFM number, the more air a fan moves.

5. Style, Blades & Lights

With function comes form, and there are also considerations you’ll want to make to ensure you’re choosing the right fan for your client’s space without sacrificing your design:

Number of blades: While there is a bit of physics involved, the difference between a 3-blade, 4-blade or 5-blade fan is slight in terms of performance and air movement, and these are the most common choices for a residential space. A higher number of blades on a ceiling fan can be slower and circulate less air.

Light Kit: Some fans come with an integrated light for overhead illumination; some include a cover that can be used over the light itself for a no-light look while still having the option. And others forgo the light all together. The choice is really about preference; if you forgo the light, be sure the room still has the right layers of light to create general illumination for the whole room.

Style: Do you want the fan to contribute to the design of the room, or subtly fade into the background? The finishes and overall look of a fan can play into the former; a white finish can help a fan disappear into the ceiling. The breadth of modern fan styles reaches far and wide to ensure you can find the just-right one that fits the needs of your client, and your design.

Remember: Lumens trade partners save up to 25% off retail pricing every day. If you haven’t already, join our trade program to receive these benefits and more.