Ushering in a New Era of Ceiling Fans

Changes to today's ceiling fans are making way for more fashionable, smarter choices, elevating this home comfort staple to a coveted status.

After decades of reliable “sameness,” over the last several years, ceiling fans have preceded other lighting categories when it comes to technology.  Do you want your ceiling fans and chandeliers smart? Ceiling fans are already there.  Are you making the shift to LED technology? Today’s ceiling fans incorporate up-to-date LED light sources as well.  As with much of the latest technology in the lighting industry, ceiling fans is a category that has paved the way. As technology continues to evolve, ceiling fans continue to turn ahead of the curve.  Functionally, ceiling fans have long been a workhorse, enhancing a space’s comfort levels as well as shedding some much needed light. Aesthetically? Ceiling fans had historically been seen as a sometimes necessary, but not so stunning option in a space. Fast forward to today’s ceiling fans, and we’re treated to more robust functionality as well as considerably enhanced aesthetics. So what’s changing to give ceiling fans a new appreciation?  Usb Powered Lights

Ushering in a New Era of Ceiling Fans

Aesthetically, there have been a number of changes to ceiling fans, says Karen Johnson, Special Projects | Brand Manager at Craftmade. Smaller motors and motor housings, new blade materials and LED have opened the door to opportunities for new styles — by now, you’ve all heard of the fandelier — and new ways to disseminate light beyond a center bowl or four-bulb light kit.  To this end, Craftmade takes on both structure and lighting with fan introductions such as Alexis, a fandelier that cloaks clear acrylic blades within a decorative cage that allows the light to stream from all around the fan rather than through a light kit in the center.  Clear acrylic blades are just one of the latest materials to take the ceiling fan to new heights. Where fan blades were previously pressed materials (MDF) or wood, now materials such as composites and polycarbonates allow for different blade sizes and shapes — think curves — as well as those clear blades that virtually disappear.  These materials not only enhance ceiling fan aesthetics, they can also benefit functionality. Newer materials are lighter weight and offer more flexibility in design, so fan blades can provide more efficiency in a variety of shapes and sizes, and fan motors don't have to work quite as hard. Newer blade materials stand up to the elements as well, enhancing damp and wet ratings for ceiling fans destined for the great outdoors. 

As a centerpiece in many rooms, ceiling fans can be as much about the light they project as they are about home comfort. The advent of LED has paved the way for ceiling fan lights to move beyond the traditional downlight, even to where a light ring can encapsulate the blades.  For fans designed with a single center light source, LED light applications can be recessed or delivered in more creative modern shapes and sizes, adding to the aesthetic appeal and allowing for expanded design choices. “LED’s are much more compact and can be integrated into the motor housing,” Johnson says. “LED light kits present a seeker silhouette as well, unlike traditional light kits which added 6 to 9 inches below the motor.” For older homes with 8- to 9-foot ceilings, this can make a huge difference.  LED doesn’t just offer flexibility in the shape and size of the lighting portion of a ceiling fan anymore either. It also allows for adjustability of light output. For Craftmade, many of the new smart ceiling fans offer dimmable LED light that can be adjusted from 3,000K to 5,000K for warmer or cooler light. A remote control that comes with the ceiling fans allows for the adjustable range.  In addition, use of Craftmade’s Bond app allows the end user to control the light even more definitively, finding incremental values between 3,000K and 5,000K.

Controlling light output as well as the ceiling fan’s functionality has been made possible by another innovation in lighting — Smart controls. With Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, the ability to connect with a home’s appliances has added convenience, safety, and more nuanced functionality.  An early adopter of Smart technology, ceiling fans can now have factory-built integrated Smart technology, and existing fans can be retrofitted with hubs that pair with existing Wifi and Bluetooth.  Craftmade utilizes Bond’s integrated Smart technology in many of their ceiling fans, for example. With the Bond app, consumers have access to their fans via voice control, smartphones, and systems, with no additional hub needed, allowing the user to control breeze, light output and timing via an app on the phone or voice command. A remote control is also available for those who prefer not to connect to via Smart devices. Some of the advantages of Smart controls, however, allow for adjustments from home or away from home via an app on a smart device, keeping home environments at optimum comfort levels. 

Since inception, ceiling fans have delivered convenient comfort and light in homes and commercial spaces. And while necessary for some, for others, the clunkiness of this workhorse has been polarizing in home design. You either loved ceiling fans or you tolerated them. Fast forward to today’s offerings, ceiling fans are delivering even better functionality in smarter and more aesthetically pleasing configurations that have helped to elevate this category as a staple of functionality and design. 

To learn more about ceiling fans, visit Craftmade at Lightovation (TM 4902) and Las Vegas Market (C496) or visit

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Ushering in a New Era of Ceiling Fans

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