When it comes to ceiling fans with light kits, one of the most commonly asked questions we receive from our customers is, “How much light will I get out of this?” Unfortunately, no one is pleased to hear that many fans today are made with a light limiter that acts as a wattage regulator. This is how the ‘War on Ceiling Fans’ became quite a stir in our country. In 2005, the Department of Energy passed the Energy Policy Act, restricting the electrical consumption on ceiling fans with integrated lighting and ceiling fan light kits to 190 watts or less (typically a three 60 watt candelabra based light kit would fit this requirement). And since January 1, 2009, all manufacturers are required to supply the bulbs necessary for the light kit inside the product packaging.
At one time, compact fluorescents (CFL’s — sometimes known as ‘those curly pig tail bulbs’) served the purpose of giving the same light output, but in an energy efficient manner. Today, if you are looking to purchase a fan with a light kit, you might consider following the newest LED technology. LED, or light-emitting diodes, are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. LEDs require a driver that is built into the base of the bulb that converts the voltage, consuming only 2-12 watts of energy instead of 40-100 watts. This also makes it feasible for an LED bulb to run on line and low voltage systems.
LEDs run at an estimated 85% efficiency level, meaning about 85% of the energy consumed by an LED bulb is converted to light while the other 15% is converted to other forms of energy. This is why the LED bulb requires a heat sink feature to control the temperature of the bulb. These heat sinks come in the form of thin aluminum fins, making the LED cool enough to touch even after being on for hours. You wouldn’t dare do that with an incandescent bulb! LEDs also have an instant start up, dim beautifully, and work well in all temperatures. Not only are they energy efficient, LED bulbs or chips are also environmentally friendly. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, LEDs do not contain mercury or give off harmful UV emissions.
One of the most important advantages of LED technology is the longer life span. LEDs are rated at about 25,000-50,000 hours (based on a 3-8 hour day). Since LED chips do not have a filament, they do not simply burn out like other bulb types, instead they gradually become less bright over time. This gives the LED a life span of about 10-20 years, with never having to change a bulb! Even though these durable and reliable bulbs have a higher initial cost (ranging from $15-$50), their long life span and high energy efficiency will save you money in the long run. Join this growing trend of “Going Green” by purchasing an integrated LED ceiling fan, like one of the many pictured in this article!