What is a Designer Ceiling Fan?
General Design Trends
In recent years the ceiling fan market has broadened considerably with additions at each end of the market. At the very cheap end there are models starting at around £25-30 that now have designs that at first glance look very similar to those costing ten times as much. At the top end there are some very classy models at the £1000 level. In between there are further segments in the £200-350 price point and £450-700 zone.
The two biggest developments we have seen in the last 5 years has been the emergence of new compact ECM/DC low energy motors with their controllers and the use of solid compressed light wood blades. This has spawned a whole new generation of ceiling fans that not only look amazing but have much improved performance over the traditional and now cheap AC motor fans. The new motors and blades are both relatively expensive to produce which accounts for the price point. These two trends and what they have enabled to happen define the new standard for state-of-the-art designer ceiling fan.
Now blade designs can be 3D with carved propeller looking blades as opposed to the traditional 2D blades made out of plywood or worst still hardboard at the bottom end. Now the motor is much smaller and can even be hidden entirely by the wooden blades something that was almost impossible 10 years ago.
Designer Fan Features
Designers have taken these changes and combined them with the taste and demand from the wider fashion trends taking place in interior design. There is an appetite for new colours such as bronze, grey, matt black, dark koa, pewter and antique brass. The result has been the creation of a range of more expensive, modern styled designer ceiling fans. We don’t include in our discussion the more wacky designs that would only be suitable for those that wanted to make a strong statement such as the one bladed fan. There are so many designs that come and go that most people would never want to see in their home or restaurant. Mainstream designer ceiling fans however look beautiful for all to see. The Zephyr fan epitomizes this genre and nobody can fail to be impressed with its beauty, style, performance and features. The US version called the Maverick, has been tested and classed as the most energy efficient ceiling fan of 2017.
So what are the typical features of a designer fan? :
- Motor – Is an ECM/DC very low energy, high performance
- Blades – Solid light-wood blades, usually hand finished, painted and balanced in sets
- Control – Hand held wifi 6-speed remotes, sometimes 4G technology
- Finish – Dark browns, bronze, black
- Quietness – There should be no noise from the motor, no hums or buzzes from the capacitors or motor windings
- No wobble – The fan should move smoothly with no wobble whatsoever
- Light kits – Normally absent as lighting is created separately
- Warranty – 20-25 years for the motor
Are They Worth The Extra Money?
It goes without saying that the fans at the very cheap end are going to be very poor quality and very likely to fail within a few years due to the quality of the components. Add in the installation costs and it really is a false economy to use what can only be deemed “ceiling junk”. The secret true answer lies in where you wish to deploy a ceiling fan. If it is an up-market restaurant or hotel then they will impress your customers and give you years of faultless service. If it is in a bedroom then quietness is essential for a good night’s sleep and so certainly worth it there. For other rooms that might only be used occasionally then not worth the extra. For rooms that you and others use a lot such as a conservatory or lounge then yes it is certainly worth paying more for and not something you will regret. A lot of old traditional designs look very overpowering and ugly in comparison to a typical designer ceiling fan. Many people never think about upgrading or replacing the ceiling fan.
At the end of the day style, beauty and design matter unless you enjoy living in a communist era housing project. They matter because it is your home and work environment that you care about and it speaks about you to others when you invite them in.