Create a Patio Oasis With These Outdoor Ceiling Fans

You love sitting outside, taking in the fresh air and warm sun. That’s why you dressed your patio with tables, lounge chairs and an area rug. You also added an oversized umbrella for shade and scattered flowers all around. It feels homey. And while homey is nice, you underestimated the power of outdoor ceiling fans. These overhead fixtures can take a basic patio and turn it into a complete oasis. Seriously, outdoor ceiling fans are a must-have and we’ll prove it to you. Just keep reading.   

The Importance of Outdoor Ceiling Fans

It’s easy to get wrapped up choosing chairs and cushions – and maybe a hot tub. But if you look up for just a moment, you’ll notice there’s plenty of opportunity to add a ceiling fan. Not only do they help circulate air, but outdoor fans can save you money, supply much-needed light and significantly spruce up the mood.

Why you should consider outdoor ceiling fans for the patio:

They create a cool breeze.

As obvious as it may be, ceiling fans do circulate air. If you’ve ever spent a day on the shore, you know how much you savor those fleeting bursts of ocean breeze. With an outdoor fan on your patio, you don’t have to hope and pray for a gust of wind. It’s always at the ready. Best of all, you can adjust the breeze up or down, as needed. This allows you to maximize your downtime and actually enjoy the outdoor oasis you created.

They save energy.

If you don’t have a ceiling fan, what else can you do to cool down your patio? Strategically placing a few portable table fans is one option. The other alternative is to install a separate air conditioning unit, which is most effective in a completely enclosed patio. The problem with running an A/C unit is the cost. Outdoor fans run on much less energy, while still producing that cool, beachy breeze you need to stay comfortable. You can save even more on your energy bill by choosing a fan with energy-efficient lighting. In fact, cost savings is one of the many reasons why you should switch to LED lighting.

They supply light.

As noted above, outdoor ceiling fans can provide a source of light. It’s true that not all ceiling fans come with light kits, but the option is there. And, quite frankly, the option is worth taking. Keep in mind that the sun will set, even on those long summer days. Once darkness falls, you’ll appreciate having that extra illumination over your patio. It gives you the freedom to eat, play games and carry conversations well into the wee hours of the night. Plus, the light helps warm the space, making it feel more inviting for you and your guests.

They add personality.

Ceiling fans may not be as colorful or lively as area rugs and throw pillows, but they aren’t purely functional pieces, either. Over the years, fan designs have evolved into a variety of shapes and styles. You have everything from the innovative Fanimation Fans Punkah® which is arranged horizontally to sleek, three-blade contemporary fixtures that have a space-age feel. It’s worth noting that there are several parts to a ceiling fan, including the canopy, the down rod, the motor, the light kit (if it has one) and the blades. Each of these elements can be fashioned or finished to complement any design style. That’s what makes outdoor ceiling fans a must-have accessory.

Shopping for Outdoor Ceiling Fans: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Do you need lighting?

Every patio is different, which means lighting needs vary drastically. You might have a big picture window that lets enough inside light shine through to your outside patio. Or, maybe you have a small slab of concrete that’s surrounded by brick walls and laced with ivy leaves. In that case, you’ll definitely need a central light source. When it comes to patio lighting ideas, you have a lot of options. Ceiling fans with light kits are a good two-for-one, though. You get all the benefits of an overhead fan (see points above) with ample illumination to keep your patio party going all night long.

  • How much square footage do you have?

The size of your patio oasis might be the most important consideration in shopping for outdoor ceiling fans. This measurement will determine how much air circulation you need, which directly corresponds with the size of the ceiling fan. The bigger the space, the bigger the fan. Below is a general guide for sizing.

Total square footage of patio Diameter of outdoor ceiling fan
Up to 75 square feet 29 to 36 inches
76 to 144 square feet 36 to 42 inches
144 to 225 square feet 44 inches
225 to 400 square feet 50 to 54 inches
  • How much head space do you have?

The vertical height of your patio is the other measurement you’ll want to factor into the mix. Low ceilings or overhangs are defined as anything less than nine feet tall. These areas call for flush-mount fixtures. Patios with more height are open to a wider range of outdoor ceiling fans. These spaces can accommodate flush mount as well as long down rods. Many ceiling fans come with additional down rod options, so you can adjust how low the fan hangs down into your space.

  • Is your patio enclosed or exposed?

Exposed patios are probably the most common because they’re simple and economical to create. However, they’re also the most vulnerable to weather and other outdoor elements. Sun will feel warmer in these areas, plus any air that does pass through escapes quickly and easily. That’s why exposed patios require large, powerful ceiling fans to generate enough air, continuously. On the other end of the spectrum are enclosed patios, which are easy to keep cool. Unless you’re working with a 400-square-foot enclosed patio, a moderate-sized fan will do.  

  • What is your design style?

Your overall design style should always be a top consideration. After all, cohesiveness is calming. If your patio has too many different styles mixed together, it can be disruptive to your mental peace. To avoid this, simply take a look around your patio and assess what theme or features you want to accentuate. Nautical-striped chair cushions, for instance, would pair nicely with a gray-toned wood grain fan blade. Or, maybe you have an eye-catching stone fireplace that serves as the focal point of your patio. A monochrome ceiling fan allows that fireplace to stand out. Of course, if you don’t have any defining décor accessories, you can always use an outdoor ceiling fan to set the tone.

6 Outdoor Ceiling Fans That Will Bring Your Patio Oasis to Life

There’s no shortage of outdoor ceiling fans. At Capitol Lighting, we have nearly 200 unique designs, not including the different finish selections. Even after answering those five important questions and taking measurements of your patio, it can be hard to pick the perfect fixture. But what you can do is take a look at these six outdoor ceiling fans below. They each have distinctive features that will brighten, lighten and personalize a patio oasis.  

Caneel Bay outdoor ceiling fan blends in with the iron lanterns and dark wood patio table.

Caneel Bay by Casablanca Fan Company

In love with industrial design? Extend the look onto your patio with the Caneel Bay ceiling fan. The black aged steel finish is a nod to exposed pipes, while the wood-look fan blades are reminiscent of grainy factory floors. Despite the bare-bones concept, though, this design adds warm texture and tone. Even its lighting is soft and soothing, thanks to the cased white glass covering. The Caneel Bay would be right at home next to a brick wall or hanging over a long, farmhouse-style table.

Cedar Key outdoor ceiling fan adds to the masculinity of a covered living room in the woods.

Cedar Key by Hunter Fan

Even log cabins in the woods could use a cool breeze. Enter: the Cedar Key outdoor ceiling fan. The matte black barnwood blades will complement your surroundings without overwhelming nature’s bounty. Not to mention, there’s a sense of craftsmanship that helps it blend right in with other rustic features, like a stone fireplace or handmade rocking chairs. And if you need the light kit, there’s an extra touch of masculinity in the gray-striped glass fixture. Either way, at 52 inches wide, the Cedar Key is perfect for large outdoor living spaces.

Hatteras Bay outdoor ceiling fan serves as a lighthouse on this open-air Key West-inspired patio.

Hatteras Bay by Kichler Lighting

Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina is famous for its Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. So it should come as no surprise that the Hatteras Bay Ceiling Fan features a classic Fresnel lens. This is a unique type of lens specifically used in lighthouses to make one light source visible for miles and miles. Whether you’re looking for that same beacon of light or just love a classic beach vibe, you’ll get all that and more with the Hatteras Bay. Choose the distressed black finish for a cool, casual space or the brushed stainless steel if your patio is light and bright.

The barn red Mill Valley outdoor ceiling fan sits above rustic dining table and chevron brick patio.

Mill Valley by Hunter Fan

This beautiful blend of old and new designs makes the Mill Valley ceiling fan a patio statement piece. You get the charm of a farmhouse fixture with the convenience of LED lighting. Of course, the barn red finish and oversized bell shape are also responsible for drawing attention. Use the bold structure and color to your advantage. This fan will pop against a set of family heirlooms or a heavily textured patio floor.

With eight sleek black blades, the Vast outdoor ceiling fan keeps tropical pool patio nice and cool.

Vast by Progress Lighting

Tropical climates will appreciate the sheer size of the Vast outdoor ceiling fan. True to its name, this fixture measures a full 72 inches wide, so it can generate maximum air circulation over a – you guessed it – vast space. Note, the narrow black blades are shaped with an S-turn, which captures air but also feels elegant. Keeping in line with that sophisticated style is a clean black light fixture and energy-efficient LED lighting. Let this eight-blade fan spread out over an open patio, where it can fight off sizzling hot temperatures all day and night.

The contemporary-style Zonix outdoor ceiling fan blends in with modern wrap-around patio.

Zonix by Fanimation

Sleek and simple can be just as powerful as a bold color or unique shape. The Zonix outdoor ceiling fan proves this to be true. Even though the design is pared down, the blades look like they were pulled from a jet engine. The striking angle is aerodynamic and offers unexpected movement. For a little extra attention, choose the contrasting bronze finish with wood-inspired blades. Otherwise, let the all-white finish fade into your contemporary patio.

Put a New Spin on It

You can enjoy all the furnishings and décor accessories you want, but nothing compares to the feeling of comfort. For that, you’ll need to look at outdoor ceiling fans. They are the one décor piece that will help you relax both physically and mentally. Not only do outdoor fans provide air to keep you cool, but their central lighting and stylish good looks create an inviting design everyone will love.  

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