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What Are the Different Types of Ceiling Fans with Lights?

M. Kayo
M. Kayo

There are many types of ceiling fans with lights available on the market today, and they fall into three main categories: uplight style, downlight style, and decorative style light varieties. Uplight ceiling fans can add a certain indirect lighting effect, while downlight ceiling fan designs are the most common, and provide mostly direct or diffused light. Decorative ceiling fans with lights combine the light and motor for the most efficient use of space. Ceiling fans with lights are typically used to take the place of ceiling mounted lights while also serving as a cost-effective, energy-saving home cooling options. They provide a wide variety of attractive and functional home lighting options.

Ceiling fans with uplights are basically a light mounted on top of a ceiling fan motor, which adds an indirect lighting effect upward toward the ceiling, outward to the sides, or downward through the fan blades. One concern people have with these types of ceiling fans with lights, however, is that the fan blades may cast a shadow on the floor and furnishings below. Uplight style ceiling fans typically cast light onto the ceiling, producing an ambient, understated glow in any room. These type of ceiling fans are suitable for bedrooms or any space where indirect lighting is preferred.

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Downlight style ceiling fans can add direct or ambient light to a room. These types of ceiling fans with lights provide the most abundant light as well as a variety of lights affixed below the fan motor. These different lighting configurations are commercially available as "light kits" which can be added to an existing ceiling fan. Other downlight style ceiling fans include the light kit as part of the original ceiling fan. Light kits are available in a wide variety of decorative styles and light configurations, including multiple light fixtures.

Decorative ceiling fans with lights are generally fans which have light bulbs mounted inside the housing that encloses the motor. The bulbs are mounted above the fan motor housing or below the fan motor and blades. These fans are usually available at most retail home improvement stores and are available in a wide variety of styles to match or complement just about any interior. They can include both uplight and downlight configurations together.

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Discussion Comments

There are pros and cons to the different light fixtures in ceiling fans. The ones that have several bulbs usually have open shades, so the bulbs are easy to change. The ones that have a single fixture only have one or two bulbs, which means fewer to change, but you have to take the shade off to change the bulbs, which can be a real pain in the neck -- literally.

The multiple fixture lights are usually more decorative, but may not fit with the room's decor. A single fixture light is more utilitarian. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.


This is going to sound odd, but I really prefer a matte finish on ceiling fan blades, especially if the light fixture has several bulbs. This is because the glossy finish on the blades actually reflects the lights like a mirror, and unless the fan is really spinning, the reflections on the blade can be very distracting. There's usually not a problem with a single "cafeteria" style light fixture.

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