Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

The intention of this guide is to give a basic understanding on choosing an appropriate fan and identify any accessories that may be needed. Topics covered are listed below:


The information is general in nature and does not constitute specific advice to any client. Fansonline does not take responsibility for a client’s choice of fan or accessories. If you'd like more specialised help and to discuss the options for your space, our friendly sales team will be more than happy to assist.

1) Am I able to install a ceiling fan in my space?

The vast majority of people find that a fan can be installed in their homes. 
If your ceilings are 2.4m or higher then you can usually install a fan that fits within the Australian standards. Most states require a fan to have its blades no lower than 2.1m from the floor. Please check the ceiling fan drop to measure in order to ensure that you are complying with these standards. Generally speaking you may require an extension rod if your ceiling is 2.7m or higher. For more information regarding extension rods jump to section 6 extension rods.

ceiling fan installation height

Low profile fans (examples below), have a hugger style and are great for lower ceilings. Even if you have a 2.4m high ceiling and want the fan to sit as high as possible these would be an ideal option.  The drop of Hugger fans such these cannot be increased and therefore, do not have extension rods available as an accessory.

We can't find products matching the selection.

2) Outdoor & Coastal Locations

If you’re looking to install a fan outdoors, then be sure to select a fan that is suitable for your intended use as environmental conditions can impact both the longevity and performance of the fan. It will also be worthwhile to ensure that warranty will cover your intended use. View our complete range of outdoor ceiling fans here.

However, no fan, no matter the use is immune to the elements and therefore maintenance according to each fans care instructions is essential to preserve their condition for as long as possible.

The below fan is an example of a class leading outdoor ceiling fan, it comes with an IP66 rating which means that it can be cleaned with a hose if required!

  1. Aqua IP66 Rated DC Ceiling Fan with CCT LED Light - Black 52"
    Special Price $469.00 Regular Price $499.00
  2. Aqua IP66 Rated DC Ceiling Fan with CCT LED Light - White 52"
    Special Price $469.00 Regular Price $499.00
  3. Aqua IP66 Rated DC Ceiling Fan - Black 52"
  4. Aqua IP66 Rated DC Ceiling Fan - White 52"

3) IP (Ingress Protection) Ratings

These badges aren’t the only thing you can look out for. Some fans listed in the outdoor category will have an IP rating which will also be helpful when finding suitable options for outdoor use. The first digit of an IP Rating represents the level of protection against the ingress of solids and the second against the ingress of water. Below is a table that will help you identify the level of protection signified by a specific rating. 


 (first digit) 

 Degree of Protection 

against ingress of solids 


 (second digit) 

 Degree of Protection

against ingress of water 


Protection Rating untested or unspecified.

X Protection Rating untested or unspecified.

No protection.

0 No Protection.

Protected against solid objects:

50mm in size or larger.

1 Protected against drops of water falling vertically.

Protected against solid objects:

12mm in size or larger.

2 Protected against drops of water falling vertically when fixture is tilted up to 15 degrees in any direction.

Protected against solid objects:

2.5mm in size or larger.

3 Protected against sprays of water from any angle up to 60 degrees.

Protection against solid objects:

1mm in size or larger.

4 Protected against sprays or splashes of water from any direction.

Limited protection against the ingress of dust. 

Sufficient protection against harmful amounts that effect operation and functionality.

5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from any direction.

Dustproof - Full protection against dust entry.

6 Protection against heavy seas or a strong jet of water from any direction.
7   7

Protection against temporary submersion. No deeper than 50cm.

8   8

Protected against continuous submersion. No deeper than 100cm.


4) Choose the size of the fan

Fan sizes are given as the diameter (blade span) of the fan. For example, a 52" fan will measure 52" from the tip of one blade to the tip of the opposite blade. The greater the diameter of the fan, the more area it will cover. For lounges and living areas, 52" and 56" fans are generally a good place to start. In bedrooms 48" and 52" fans are usually popular sizes unless the room is very small or unusually large.

bedroom ceiling fan size

If your room is uncommonly small, we do have a Small Ceiling fan range which are 44” and below. On the other hand, if your space is quite large we have a Large Ceiling fan category with fans measuring from 54” to 95”, depending on the amount of space which needs to be covered.

5) AC or DC motor and other considerations

AC (Alternating Current) DC (Direct Current)

Connected directly to power source. Electric current reverses direction.


  • More options available at a lower price point
  • Larger variety of styles
  • Use less electricity than most household appliances, especially air conditioners
  • Standard models will use no more than 90w on the highest speed. Majority of models use less.
  • Most AC fans come with a wall control but almost all are remote adaptable
  • Reversible from the motor

The direct/AC power source connects to a transformer which converts the power to DC. Flows in one direction.


  • Utilise New Technology
  • Quieter than AC motors
  • Use up to 70% less energy than an AC fan
  • Tend to have more speed options
  • Come with a remote control - rare few include a wall control or offer one as an accessory
  • Reversible from the remote
  • Often more compact and lighter
  • Generally faster to start, stop and change speed

Regardless of the fan motor selected, be assured that you will be purchasing a quality, energy efficient fan.

Some AC fans, particularly when looking for a more traditional style are pull cord operated, however, a wall control or remote option are often available in the accessories section of the relevant listing.

For more information visit our page on DC Ceiling Fans.

Choose your preferred Blade Material

There are three materials you will often be able to choose from: Plastic, Timber or Metal.

Plastic blades are becoming more and more common. They are durable, easy to clean and can be shaped into a range of unique and interesting styles.

A common misconception is that the more blades the higher the airflow. The number of blades often has little to do with the amount of air the fan can move. Air movement and overall functionality will depend heavily on the motor. Other contributing factors can include: the style, shape of the blade and even the material of the blade.

Ceiling Rakes

It is important to know the exact degree of your raked ceiling in order to determine which fans can be installed in your location. Our range varies with some fans for flat ceilings only to others appropriate up to 38°. Be sure that the ceiling fan you’ve chosen will be compatible with the degree of your vaulted ceiling. Some fans may require an additional ceiling rake kit in order to be suitable.

6) Extension Rods

Extension rods are not necessarily required when installing your ceiling fan. Whether or not you wish to use an extension rod will depend on a few factors. This will include: your ceiling height first and foremost, how low you would prefer your fan to hang granted it meets the Australian measurement requirement and how powerful the fan is. 

If the ceiling height is more than 3m then you might benefit from using an extension rod. These usually come in a 90cm length size and the installer can then cut it to size if need be. You will generally need a 90cm rod for ceilings up to 3.7m high depending on the drop of the fan selected and how high you intend to have the fan sit. The lower you have the fan the more you will be able to feel the airflow and therefore if preferred you may wish to have it sit at 2.1m from the floor to the blades which is the minimum based on Australian regulations. Some fans come with the additional option of purchasing a 1.8m rod for those ceiling heights that exceed the 3.7m mark. 

Extension Rod Guide – Based on Floor to Blade Measurement of 2.5m

Measurements below are based on a standard fan drop of 30cm and a floor to blade measurement of 2.5m.  If the drop is above or below 30cm, or you intend to have the fan sit higher or lower the measurements for the extension rod will have to be adjusted accordingly.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the options for your location and preferred height.

Ceiling Height Fan Drop                    Additional Length Required Total Length Required

Blade to Floor 



 Flush/Low profile Fan

 (up to 30cm drop)

 No extension rod required No extension required  2.1-2.2m

 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 No extension rod required

No extension required


 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 20cm or less

50cm or less

90cm rod – Cut to size


 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 50cm or less

80cm or less

90cm rod - Cut to size


 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 80cm or less

110cm or less

180cm rod - Cut to size


 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 120cm or less

150cm or less

180cm Rod - Cut to Size


 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 150cm or less

180cm or less

180cm Rod - Cut to Size


 Fan Drop: 30cm or more

 180cm or less

210cm or less

180cm rod or

240cm (if available) cut to size

 2.5m +

Note that compatible extension rods are listed in the accessories section of each fan listing. 

7) Remote Control

A remote control is usually an option for any fan and can be purchased as an accessory so your electrician can install it at the same time, otherwise they are also available as an after-market accessory and can be installed after your fan. This will still need to be done by a licensed electrician. They can be very useful in cases where running wires from the fan to the wall control is not possible or too difficult. They are also useful if you like to control the fan from the comfort of your chair or bed. Note that once you fit a remote, a wall control can no longer be used. 

Remember the vast majority of DC fans will come with a remote control as standard without the option of a wall control. However, AC fans which generally come with a wall control will almost always have a remote control available as an accessory.

8) Lights

If you intend to have your ceiling fan operate as your main light source, then you’ll be looking to purchase a ceiling fan with light kit.

Most fans will either come with their own compatible light kits which can be found in the accessories section of each listing, can only be fitted with their own integrated light or have a model available which includes a light. There are some fans that are light adaptable and will have several light options available in the accessories section of the listing.

Depending on the selected fan, the light fitting will differ.

The LED light fittings and globes are considered to be slightly more energy efficient and come in three colour temperatures.

3000k (Warm White) – This is the most common and has a yellow tinge which is considered calming and relaxing.

4200k (Neutral White) - This LED light temperature is quite natural, also referred to as natural white as it is the most similar to sunlight.

5000k (Cool White) - This temperature gives a clean, modern look. It looks brighter to the eye as it contains more blue light.

Each light fixture will take a specific wattage, so before purchasing a globe make sure it will be compatible with your fan. Using a higher wattage bulb than the limit specified will produce excess heat. This may become a safety hazard and could potentially damage the fans light fixture.

The wattage of a light gives an indication of the amount of energy the bulb will consume and is not indicative of the amount of light it will generate. Therefore, just because the wattage is higher on one bulb does not mean it will be brighter than one with a lower wattage. If you intend to identify how bright a light actually is check the listing for the Lumen data figure.

Lumens (Lm) refer to the amount of visible light to the human eye. The higher the lumens the brighter the light will appear. 

When considering the Lumen measurement take into account that in Australia there is no regulation in place to state how Lumens should be measured. This means that if the light were to have been measured without the cover over the light, it would have a higher rating than one measured with the cover on. 

Please note the colour of the lamp on each fan may differ.

9) What if I have a Ceiling Rose?

Ceiling fans are recommended to be installed in the centre of the room but are unable to be fitted directly onto the ceiling rose because of the depth of the plaster. The plaster itself is not sufficient to hold the weight of the ceiling fan. Therefore, the fan is unable to be installed securely to a fixed mounting in the ceiling. In these situations, it is best to use a T-hook.

The T-hook is installed through a single hole, ideally in the centre of the ceiling rose. The rod is then secured to a fixed beam or joist in the roof above the rose. On the bottom of the rod, is a plate and this is what the mounting bracket of the fan can be secured to. Following this, the ceiling fan can then be installed according to the standard instructions provided for that particular fan.

The T-hook is available for Hunter Pacific fans. Keep in mind to speak to your electrician before purchasing as all installations vary and this solution may not be feasible for your location.



Colour / Image Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is for general information purposes and use only. Every endeavour is made to keep the product information complete and correct, however the customer is responsible for ensuring the product they purchase is suitable for their specific requirements. For personalised service and recommendations, please contact us via email or telephone. Please note any advice given by our staff will be based on the information provided at the time by the customer and therefore Fansonline will only be that responsible for correct advice per that information, not the actual situation.

Despite every effort to provide accurate images of each product's colour and design, actual colours and design may vary slightly, due to different device screen settings, the lighting in the installation location, slight differences in product finishes over time and other factors. Fansonline will not accept responsibility for any colour or design differences that are not factory faults. In purchasing from Fansonline, you agree to accept the small risk that there will be a slight variation between the actual colour and design, and the representation on our website. In addition, please be aware that colours and textured finishes often vary between manufacturers; for example slightly different shades of ‘White’, different degrees of shininess, and different looks and feel for ‘bamboo’ material.

Any returns for a product due to customer dissatisfaction with a finish (that is not a fault) will need to comply with the Fansonline Change of Mind Returns Policy.


Fanimation Fan Warranty Disclaimer

Please note that the limited lifetime warranty on Fanimation fans is valid for as long as the person who originally purchased the fans lives at the property where the fans are installed in. It is not valid for new occupants in a house where Fanimation fans were already installed. For further warranty information please reference the Fanimation Warranty Document.

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