Information for people wanting to buy ceiling fan lights in the UK
UK Ceiling Fan Lights Info
Astra started off life in Bury, Manchester / Lancashire purely as a ceiling fan distributor in 1999 so we like to think we know a thing or two about the UK Ceiling Fans market. We have years of combined experience selling firstly Canarm Fans and then Fantasia Ceiling Fans, Encon / Angelo /Westinghouse Ceiling Fans, Euro Fans, Hunter, Polar, Global and Astra.
If ever there was a product that you could say "you get what you pay for" it almost certainly is fans. Most of the best quality product sold in the UK will be made in Taiwan as quality assurance and consistency is far better than the Chinese. You will find these in the Fantasia product and higher end of the Westinghouse products.
They tend to have far more powerful 153 motors that will stand the test of time and will run quieter, you can usually have these fans running on a lower speed thus providing the same air movement as a cheap ceiling fan but without lots of unwanted noise. How is this achieved? ... If you put a smaller motor on a fan you have to adjust the pitch angle of the blade or it will burn out prematurely, therefore a decent fan with a powerful motor will have more angle on the blade and will move far more air....even at lower speeds.
Summer / Winter Use
Many people do not realise that ceiling fans are not just there to provide a cooling effect, but to recirculate trapped air at the top of the room. By reversing the fan on the reverse function switch trapped warm air at the ceiling can be pushed back down and recirculated if set on a lower speed.
Most fans in the UK have 3 speeds and a reverse function and unless controlled by a remote control the switch operates like this;
High - Medium - Low - Off - High - Medium - Low - Off as you pull it.
If you want to change direction for Summer / Winter use you must switch the ceiling fan off and allow to stop before doing so, failure to switch off will almost certainly damage the motor.
With / Without Lights
There are ceiling fans without lights available too, as not everybody may want a light, with the Fantasia Mayfair and Capri ranges; lights can be added at a later date if required and the light switch is usually built in to the light kit.
Remote Control Kits
Ceiling fan remote control kits are available for most fans including Fantasia and Westinghouse. There are 2 types available which are RF or IR.
RF or Radio Frequency works on radio waves so there is no need to point the handset at the fan, the frequency can also be set so that 2 or more fans can work simultaneously or independently. One downside to RF is that on rare occasions the frequency can be affected by others and cause rogue triggering of the controls.
IR or Infra Red works like your TV remote in that you point it at the receiver and an Infra Red signal is transmitted. The negatives of this system are that only 1 fan can be controlled by a handset and the receiver is usually visible on the outside of the ceiling fan and not always directly inline with where you may be sitting.
Remote controls will usually control the lights on/off and dim up/down, and 3 fan speeds hi/m/lo but not reverse. If you are installing a remote on to a fan that has pull cords, always make sure your fan is set in the high speed position before using your remote and that the light cord is in the on position.
Installing a Ceiling Fan
This will depend on where you are siting your ceiling fan and if you are replacing a light fitting. Firstly bathrooms are not recommended to have a ceiling fan fitted because the steam and moisture in the atmosphere will cause problems.
Firstly you will need to consider a few things:
- Measure the ceiling to make sure that the blades are not going to be too low, recommended height for mounting a ceiling fan in the UK is around 2.3m (roughly equates to a tall person with there arm outstretched).
- Measure the room to make sure the fan is not going to be too big / too small or totally ineffective. Common sizes are 36" for small room, 42" for medium size room and 52" for larger rooms. The best thing to do is get a tape measure out and simulate the required size, you should get an idea of whether its going to look ridiculously small or large...
- You may need to check if the ceiling is going to be strong enough to carry the weight of your ceiling fan, if the existing light is not next to a joist you may have a problem. The approximate weight of ceiling fans are 5kg for a small cheap 36" fan rising to 11 or 12kg for a big hefty 52" quality fan. This problem sometimes arises in conservatories where there is no solid fixing point on the ridge line as its pvc. This can usually be overcome with a ridge fixing bracket.
- Wiring - Is there a switched and permanent live supply at the light fitting or desired fixing point? If you only have a permanent live you will have to switch the fan on with the pull-cords on the fan, likewise if you only have a switched live you will have to switch the light switch on every time you want the fan on and then pull the light cord if the lights are not required. The ideal scenario is if there are both present, this will allow you to have the switched live connected to the lights so you can continue to use the existing switch. You would then connect the fan motor to the permanent live and use the pull cords on the fan to control it as and when required.
- On most Uk ceiling fans the permanent live is brown and the switched live is orange or red, neutrals are usually always blue and green/yellow for earth.