Deciding on the perfect fan for your home, office, or business is no small task. Factors to consider range from the style of the fan, the size of the fan, to the location of the fan. Often overlooked are the lighting options that come with fans. In this article, we detail some common light kit options and bulb types to help you decide on the perfect lighting for your space.

The types of light kits and bulbs for ceiling fans that are discussed:

  • Downlight
  • Uplight
  • Multi-Light
  • Bowl Light Kit
  • No Light
  • LED
  • Fluorescent
  • Halogen

Ceiling Fan By Lighting Type

TYPES OF LIGHT KITS

The types of light kits discussed in this article are multi-light, uplight, downlight, and no light. There are more kinds of light kits, including combination uplight/downlight and purely decorative lights, but the types discussed here are the most common. Each type of light kit has an application depending on your needs.

Downlight

With downlight kits, lights are mounted to the bottom of the motor, and provide direct light. Downlights are typically included with a fan, but can also be purchased separately to be added to an existing fan. Ceiling fans with downlights are best used in areas that require bright and direct light, like kitchens & laundry rooms.

Uplight

Uplights ceiling fan kits are typically mounted above the fan motor and angled, so the direction of the light faces up towards the ceiling. Pointing the lights upwards reflects light off the ceiling, providing indirect illumination to a wide area. This indirect lighting provides a delicate, soft glow to your room. This method of lighting is best when wanting soft mood lighting for rooms like the bedroom, living room, or den where cozier lighting is preferred. Consider up lighting kits in rooms like the living room or den where cozier lighting is preferred.

Multi-Light

Ceiling fans with multi-light kits have several lights. This standard ceiling fan light kit can have lights that face up or down but typically face down. Multi-light installations provide the bright, direct light offered by a traditional downlight while providing more coverage. Multi-light set ups work well in areas where bright light is required across a wide area, or in multiple locations, like over a dining room table.

No Light

Ceiling fans without lights are a cost-effective option for areas in which a lighting scheme has already been established. These fans offer a lower profile, allowing them to be used in almost any space without distraction. In your home, ceiling fans without lights work well in rooms typically lit by lamps or natural light, like the bedroom or living room. Ceiling fans with no lights are also a good fit for commercial spaces that require air circulation, but no additional lighting, like a restaurant or workshop.

TYPES OF LIGHT BULBS

As important as the kind of fixture for your fan is the type of light bulb it uses. Selecting the proper type of bulb ensures ease of use, proper color temperature, and visual appeal. Learn about the different types of light bulbs for ceiling fans and their applications below. For a more in-depth discussion of different light bulb types, see our piece on efficient light bulbs.

LED

LED lights offer the most energy efficient solution to lighting. They consume less power than traditional lights, and last much longer (over 25,000 hours in some cases). Because of their long lasting nature, ceiling fans with LED lights are ideal for locations where changing the light bulb may be difficult, such as fans installed on very high ceilings. Although they save money over the long term, LED lights are more expensive than other options like fluorescent or halogen. Most LED lights are now dimmable.

Halogen

Ceiling fans with halogen lights consume 15% less energy than traditional incandescent lights. Halogen lights create the most heat temperature wise. They also tend to produce a warmer, more welcoming light that is appropriate for living rooms or dining rooms. All halogen lights are dimmable with the appropriate dimming control.

Fluorescent

Fluorescent light ceiling fans use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) and use 75% less energy than incandescent lights. Fluorescent light bulbs have a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs, but not as long as LEDs. CFL bulbs are typically not dimmable, so it is not advised to use them as the sole lighting source for a multi-use room. CFL bulbs are also not recommended for fixtures where the bulb is exposed, due to their visual nature.

Incandescent Light

Incandescent light bulbs are a traditional style of light bulb and have been the most common light used in the last few decades. They have fallen out of favor in recent years due to modern advances in lighting technology like LEDs, Halogen bulbs, and CFLs. Incandescent bulbs use more electricity than their counterparts. Most manufacturers no longer make fans specifically for incandescent bulbs. All incandescent lights are dimmable with the appropriate dimming control.

RELATED ARTICLES

Check out some of our other articles on purchasing ceiling fans! If you’re still at the start of your research, read our overview on how to buy a ceiling fan. Here you’ll learn the basics of room size, control types, and more. If you are curious about efficiency rating, check out this ceiling fan rating guide. Learn how different fan components are rated for efficiency.