ceiling fan buying guidelines

Ceiling Fan Buying Guidelines - Selecting a Ceiling Fan

Want to find out which ceiling fan to buy? What size of fan do you need for your size of room? Perhaps the most important element in any room, a ceiling fan is a must-have in warmer climates where it provides a fresh breath of air. Read the Ceiling Fan Buying Guidelines at Stardust for selecting a ceiling fan of your choice. Selecting the right fan: in addition to stylish good looks and design qualities, there are several other important considerations to make when selecting a ceiling fan.

Energy Consumption:

Modern Fans can keep you comfortable while helping to reduce energy consumption in several ways. Like a nice breeze on a warm day, moving air offers recognizable relief from heat and humidity (scientists have a term for what's happening on your skin-“evaporative cooling.”). This “cooling” effect allows for upward adjustment of your AC thermostat by as much as 8 degrees, resulting in up to 40% reduction in power consumption. In many cases, air conditioning can be turned off entirely, with a Modern Fan using less electricity than a standard light bulb.

Consciously Cool:

Consciously cool Modern Fans. Additional reductions and savings are gained in cooler seasons when Modern Fans are used to re-circulate heated air that would otherwise remain trapped or stratified near the ceiling. Furthermore, Modern Fans offer long-life, color-balanced compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) options with all but two of Modern Fans products. CFLs use only 25% of the energy consumed by equivalent incandescent or halogen lamps.

Energy Star Partnership:

In Modern Fans effort to continue improving technology, value and efficiency, they have partnered with the EPA and others in the industry to develop and promote use of high-efficiency products. Modern Fans Energy Star ceiling fans meet the highest levels of quality, performance and efficiency, in terms of air moved per watt of energy used.

Ceiling Height:

The more space between the blades and the ceiling, the more effectively your fan will circulate and distribute air. However, building codes require that the blades of a ceiling fan be at least 7 feet above the floor. Generally, Modern Fan recommends hanging the fan as far down from the ceiling as is visually appropriate, while maintaining the 7-foot blade clearance above the floor. When dealing with higher ceilings, one-third the distance to the floor is a good guideline. We generally recommend one of our hugger models for 8-foot ceilings. Keep in mind that optional light kits may add several inches to the overall length of the fan.

The blades on some Modern Fan models (Nimbus, Pharos, Halo and Cloud) are positioned at the top of the fan body. When hung with the shortest down rods, the blades on these models are very close to the ceiling, reducing the volume of air movement. Consequently, these models are best suited for ceiling heights that can accommodate use of a slightly longer down rod.

Blade Diameter:

In nearly all cases, our 52-inch blade span is the most appropriate selection. The 42-inch blade span should be reserved for smaller rooms or narrow spaces (10 foot by 10 foot and smaller), or when airflow to the area above the blades is blocked or restricted by architectural elements (beams, walls, cabinetry, etc.). Occasionally two 42-inch fans may be a desirable alternative to one 52-inch fan. Our Altus and Cirrus models are available with a 36-inch blade span for exceptionally small or narrow spaces.


Most Modern Fans are available with a choice of standard incandescent or energy-saving compact fl uorescent lamping. Our CFLs provide 75% energy savings and lamp life up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. While dependable for well-balanced, warm light, keep in mind our CFLs are not dimmable.

Our fanlights generally function well as a primary light source for a space, but may not be satisfactory as the only light source in a room. This will depend on factors such as room size, wall/ceiling color and intended use of the space. Be sure to evaluate the wattage listed for each fan light and the amount of light your space requires.


Modern Fans do not use pull chains (except for the Industry model). Therefore, in order to operate your fan at different speeds and switch the light independently of the fan, you need to select the appropriate control. Please refer to the controls section of our catalog or Web site for more information. Any control ordered with a fan that has been configured with an energy-saving CFL will be supplied in a non-dimming version.

Unless stated otherwise, all Modern Fan controls are designed and intended for operation of a single fan or fan and light. Our #009A and #009B controls are available for controlling multiple fans, however separate switching must be planned for any lights associated with grouped fans.

Whether Modern Fan or third party controls are used, it is critical that Modern Fans are operated with “fan speed controls” and not generic “dimmers” or rheostats. Dimmers and rheostats intended for operation of light fixtures will cause motor noise and may shorten the life of the fan motor, voiding the warranty.

Sloped Ceilings:

The Eclipse and Stratos require use of an optional adapter (#SAE or #SAS) for sloped ceilings and will accommodate slopes up to 31 degrees. The Pensi fan and all Hugger models do not adapt to slope ceilings. The #LHK Hugger Kit (for the Lapa) is intended for fl at ceilings only. All other models hang from a ball and socket mechanism that allows for installation on ceiling slopes up to 33 degrees. Our #045 slope adapter can be used for ceiling slopes that exceed 33 degrees and up to 45 degrees.

Damp Locations:

All but three Modern Fan models (Aurora, Aurora Hugger and Lapa) are rated and marked as “Suitable for Damp Locations.” While you can expect years of trouble-free performance from these fans when installed in humid or coastal environments, the degree to which the appearance of a fan may be impacted by the environment will vary widely. A fan’s specific finishing process, as well as the intensity and nature of exposure that it will encounter in a given application will directly affect longevity of its finish and appearance. We encourage you to closely consider these factors when selecting fans for use in damp locations.

The Brushed Aluminum and Galvanized finishes will typically outlast all others in our collection. These surfaces will not rust or peel, however, they will weather as a result of oxidation and exposure to salt or other corrosive conditions. Our Bright Nickel and Matte Nickel finishes are also well-suited for exposure to reasonable conditions, but may show signs of weathering more quickly and visibly. Our coated finishes (Gloss White, Titanium, Textured Nickel, Gloss Nickel) may be subject to peeling over time when exposed to sun, salt, and/or other corrosive conditions.

An additional consideration is blade construction. Over time, plywood is subject to warping and/or de-lamination. While fan blades are easily replaceable when necessary, our injection- molded, plastic blades supplied with the Velo, Velo Hugger and Pensi fans will generally outlast the plywood blades supplied with all other models in our catalog.

Modern Fans are not rated, nor intended for use in applications classified as Wet Location.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

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