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Having a ceiling fan installed in the living room, a bedroom, or even a large den is a great addition that can help circulate the air in the room and keep you cool when the weather gets warm. Ceiling fans are often installed in place of a central overhead light, but, this doesn't mean that you need to sacrifice lighting for cool, moving air. Instead, you can install a ceiling fan light kit to get both increased airflow and enhanced lighting.
A ceiling fan light kit is a style of light that is designed to connect to a ceiling fan and operate on the same circuit, allowing the light and fan to be controlled with the same switch. The best ceiling fan light kit for your home should have an appealing aesthetic and style that improves the appearance of the room while also adding a significant amount of light. Consider these top products and keep reading for more information to help you decide on the best ceiling fan light kit for your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Best Overall: Hunter Fan Company 99143 Four Light Fitter
The best overall ceiling fan lighting kit certainly should be one of the most versatile. Therefore, the top pick for this list comes in with a look that you can use in virtually any room. The Hunter 99143 kit is a great all-purpose unit that blends well with a variety of ceiling fans. With four separate light bulbs and available shades (sold separately), the kit provides great coverage all around the room when positioned in the center.
The kit is rated for damp areas, so you can use it on both indoor and outdoor ceiling fans. It also comes with four 13-watt CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs. The kit is compatible with all "5" series Hunter ceiling fans.
Best Budget: Westinghouse Lighting 7784800 Three LED Cluster Ceiling Fan Light Kit
Budget lighting kits for ceiling fans make a lot of sense if you need to replace or upgrade an existing fan light. Sometimes, you may just want to refresh the overall look or get better illumination in the room. Whatever your reasons may be, a good budget option is one that will give you plenty of light as well as versatile styling.
When the budget is tight, one of the best ceiling fan kits you can buy is the Westinghouse 7784800 kit. This three-light fixture accepts standard-base light bulbs and comes with three energy-efficient LED bulbs. With a classic brass finish and frosted ribbed shades, the kit works well with traditional or vintage decor schemes. It's designed to fit most 42-inch to 52-inch ceiling fans that have a housing cap with a center hole.
Best Exposed-Bulb: Kichler 370041OBB, Industrial 3 Light Fixture
Sometimes the best reason to buy a new ceiling fan lighting kit is a practical one. If you want the most coverage and illumination in a room, you need to think about the type of light shade the center kit comes with. Or better yet, do away with the shades altogether. Using an open, exposed-bulb design allows the light to freely illuminate the room without any hindrance.
With a classic open-bulb, wire-cage look of industrial-style lighting, the Kichler 370041OBB kit can turn a plain fan into a striking focal point. The tri-bulb design provides ample illumination in any small- to medium-size room. More importantly, the wire cages allow the bulbs to shine without being impeded by light shades.
Best Elegant: Minka Aire Cristafano Chandelier Universal Ceiling Fan Bowl Light Kit
Highly decorative ceiling fan lighting kits are a great way to add some style and visual appeal to any room. We love this glittering, intricately crafted Cristafano Chandelier Ceiling Fan Light Kit from Minka Aire because it provides the perfect dash of elegant grace and luxurious sparkle to any room in your home. This crystal-studded set comes with one bowl light and one crystal draping set (please note that the fan is not included and must be purchased separately).
In addition to its eye-catching crystals, the Cristafano features detailed metal work, dark walnut finish blades, and cut glass shades. Reviewers on Wayfair have high praise for the Cristafano Chandelier Ceiling Fan Light Kit, with glowing descriptions of the product ranging from “totally stunning” to “very elegant."
Best Industrial: Emerson LK36BS 4 Spot Mesh Light Kit
The industrial design style is one that blends both form and function with that raw look you would find in an old factory. For people wanting to replicate such a look around home, there are a few easy ways to do so without breaking the bank. A ceiling fan lighting kit is a great way to add an industrial accent to the room.
Unlike some of the ultramodern, minimalistic light kits you see on the market these days, the Emerson LK36BS still manages to hit all the right modern touches with an emphasis on industrial design. It features a brushed-steel finish and unique wire-mesh light shades for an eye-catching contemporary look without going overboard. The kit is suitable for indoor and outdoor fans.
Best Traditional: Hunter Fan Company 28568 Dual Use Light Kit
A ceiling fan light kit is a great way to add an accent of traditional or vintage design as a focal point in the room. Best of all, depending on the particular lighting kit you choose, you can find something on the subtle side or go more bold. This next lighting kit has the practical benefit of providing great illumination with a unique visual style all at once.
The Hunter 28568 is one of the most elegant and traditional ceiling fan light fixtures you will find on the market today. Unlike other light kits that use three or four individual bulbs and light shades, this one has a single swirled-marble glass globe, providing the same warm, diffuse light you would get from an enclosed ceiling fixture. In fact, you can install the kit by itself as a semi-flush light fixture.
Best Minimal: Hunter Fan Company Marine II Outdoor White Ceiling Fan Light Kit
There's nothing wrong with wanting your ceiling fan lighting to go unnoticed. A minimal lighting kit won't draw attention to itself. Instead, it will sit there doing one job well: providing ample lighting and illumination.
For simplicity, there's nothing better than the Hunter Marine II Kit. With a single white light globe hiding two 13-watt CFL light bulbs, this is the kit to choose when you don't want to draw attention to the ceiling fan at the center of the room. This kit is UL listed for wet locations (not just damp locations) so it is suitable for wet-listed fans in outdoor areas, as well as for indoor use. The all-white finish also makes it extremely versatile to use with a variety of ceiling fans.
What to Look for in a Ceiling Fan Light Kit
Ceiling fan light kits come in a variety of different styles, including stemmed/branched, uplight, and bowl/shade light kits. The best type of ceiling fan light kit for your space depends on the current position of the ceiling fan, as well as your personal preference for each style.
Stemmed/branched ceiling fan light kits have multiple stems or branches that extend out from the central fixture. Each branch or stem has a globe, shade, or exposed lightbulb that can point up or down. These light kits are one of the most popular options available and they typically work with most ceiling fans, though you should always verify that a light kit is compatible with your fan.
Uplight ceiling fan light kits require a certain amount of space above the ceiling fan, as these kits are actually made to sit on top of the fan with the light bulbs point upwards. Before investing in an upright ceiling fan light kit, make sure to measure the distance from the ceiling to the fan and check the manufacturer's direction to determine if the uplight kit is compatible with the ceiling fan.
Bowl/shade ceiling fan light kits are still one of the most common options available. These kits connect to the bottom of the fan housing and may have one or two bulbs that are made to sit inside an enclosed bowl, though some light kits may use light shades instead of a bowl. Bowl/shade light kits are a good option for traditional or minimalist aesthetics because they do not draw a lot of attention.
Given that a ceiling fan is typically installed in the center of a room, it's important for a ceiling fan light kit to look appealing and improve or match the overall aesthetic of the room. With this in mind, you need to look for a ceiling fan light kit that has an attractive finish, like brass, chrome, or even an antique bronze color, and also consider the size, shape, and number of lights.
Ceiling fan light kits come in several different styles, so the number of lights on a single light kit can commonly range from one to five. Additionally, these lights can be exposed or they may be hidden under a bowl or shade. Choose the ceiling fan light kit that can adequately light the room and that is the most appealing to your personal tastes. Just keep in mind that the light kit finish should match the finish on the ceiling fan if you don't want this color contrast to stand out.
One factor that can be easy to overlook when searching for a new ceiling fan light kit is the type of bulbs and the overall efficiency of the light fixture. While most ceiling fan light kits are designed for use with incandescent light bulbs, these are the least efficient light bulb option available. Consider using CFL light bulbs or even halogen light bulbs to improve the efficiency of your new lighting fixture. Alternatively, the efficiency of the fixture can be greatly improved if you look for an LED ceiling fan light kit. Though, these products are not as popular as standard ceiling fan light kits, so they may be difficult to find and could come with a higher initial cost.
Pairing a high-efficiency ceiling fan with a high-efficiency light kit is the best way to enjoy the new lighting fixture without worrying about the impact on your energy usage. Keep an eye out for Energy Star certified products, as you can rely on these ceiling fan light kits to operate at up to 60 percent greater efficiency than a standard light kit.
What is a ceiling fan light kit?
A ceiling fan light kit is essentially a light or a set of lights that can be installed on a ceiling fan in order to improve the lighting in the room without having to install an entirely new fixture.
How do you install a ceiling fan with a light kit?
A ceiling fan needs to be installed in an area with enough space for it to operate properly and an available power source, so in most cases, it makes sense to remove a central ceiling light and install the ceiling fan in its place. The basic steps include removing the old light, installing a fan brace, installing a mounting bracket, attaching the fan canopy, wiring the fan, attaching the fan blades, putting the lightbulbs in, and testing the fan.
How do you replace a ceiling fan light kit?
To replace a ceiling fan light kit, start by turning off the power to the ceiling fan and the current light kit. Unscrew the mounting screws to access the wiring, then disconnect the wires that run from the light kit to the ceiling fan. Connect the wires from the new light kit to the ceiling fan and position the new light kit so that you can fasten the mounting screws. Once the new light kit is wired and secured, turn the power back on and test the ceiling fan and the light.
Can you replace a ceiling fan light kit?
If the ceiling fan in your home has an existing light kit that you don't like the look of or that may be faulty, it is possible to remove this old light kit and install a new light kit without having to replace the ceiling fan, so you can keep the feature you want and update the one that you don't.
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Additional research for this article was done by Timothy Dale, a seasoned home improvement expert. He specializes in a number of topics, including plumbing, construction, and product recommendations.