Explore the Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans and Learn How to Choose the Right One

If you are looking for something to chill down your outdoor lounging area, why not choose one of the best outdoor ceiling fans? Not very long time ago these useful fixtures were unfairly underappreciated, but as of recently they have started to regain popularity. This comes as no surprise, since today’s ceiling fans are incredibly stylish, functional and diverse. With the latest technological development incorporated, they’ve become energy-efficient, easy to control and applicable under various weather conditions.

The variety of styles the fans are compatible with is truly impressive. Ceiling fans come in a vast variety of shapes, sizes and styles to complement almost any outdoor area decor. Choosing a ceiling fan is to a large extent a matter of taste, but there are some important things homeowners should know in order to make the right decision. Below we give you answers to the most popular questions regarding outdoor ceiling fans.

best outdoor ceiling fans with light

Contents

What is the difference between outdoor and indoor ceiling fans?

Outdoor ceiling fans are specifically designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, moisture, direct sunlight, wind (including salty and dusty breezes) and other natural impacts. They are usually made of durable, rust- and corrosion-resistant materials and their motors are perfectly sealed. On the downside, outdoor fans have rather limited variations of styles and designs, as compared to indoor ones. Outdoor fixtures can be either wet- or damp-rated. Both of them can be used indoors as well as long as they coordinate with your interior. Dry-rated ceiling fans can be used exclusively in dry locations inside a house.

When do I need a wet rated ceiling fan?

When we speak about outdoor fans, we usually mean both damp- and wet-rated fixtures. However, there is an important difference between them. If you have an open gazebo, pergola or cabana, an unenclosed porch or lanai, an exposed veranda or terrace, you should use only a wet-rated ceiling fan.

Can I use a ceiling fan in winter?

Most of the ceiling fans have a so-called “winter mode”. You can set the fan to rotate in the reverse direction to send ascending warm air back down, where you really need it. With the help of an outdoor heater and a ceiling fan, you can create a snug ambiance on your porch, veranda or covered patio.

Is it worthwhile to buy a ceiling fan with light?

Incorporating overhead lights into your outdoor area is a classic and always appropriate design solution. If you have a limited ceiling space, you might find it beneficial to have a light source and a ceiling fan come as a single fixture. In that case, both the light and the fan will be logically located in a place where you need them the most (usually above the sitting area). Modern ceiling fans are equipped with LED lights, which are energy efficient and safe to be used outdoors.

Is there a difference between commercial and residential ceiling fans?

Commercial ceiling fans are usually more sturdy and rugged. They are made of more durable materials, even if it involves compromising on visual appeal. Galvanized ceiling fan kits and commercial-grade outdoor ceiling fans without light are usually applied in large commercial outdoor facilities. Commercial fans are able to produce very powerful airflow, but they are usually rather loud since the quiet operation is not the number one priority.

Now that you have learned a little bit more about outdoor ceiling fans, you probably have a general understanding of what kind of fan you need. To take you one step closer to making a decision, we suggest you look at our list of best outdoor ceiling fans.

ProductAirflow (Cubic Feet Per Meter)Light FixtureMaximum Area Size (Square Feet)Location Rating 
Westinghouse 7800000 Brentford 52-Inch
(Editor’s Choice)
5,062Yes360Wet Check Price
Westinghouse 7200700 Comet Two-Light 52"5,087Yes360Damp Check Price
Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne 54"
(Editor’s Choice)
No informationYesNo informationDamp Check Price
Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BK Maverick 60"8,244No350 - 400Damp Check Price
Westinghouse 7861920 Oasis Single-Light 48-Inch4,305Yes144Wet Check Price
Emerson Ceiling Fans CF130ORB2,278Available, not included75Damp Check Price
Casa Vieja 52" Casa Delta-WingNo informationNoNo informationDamp Check Price

1. Westinghouse 7800000 Brentford 52-Inch Aged Walnut Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan – An Old-Fashioned-Style Outdoor Porch Fan with Light

outdoor terrace fanThis massive, coastal style ceiling fan is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications. It has 5 waterproof blades with reversible design (one side is dark walnut, the other side is cherry with shaded edges). Both designs match the rich, dark brown finish of the fan itself. With a massive housing and a statement light fixture this ceiling fan looks quite imposing, so it will be best suited for higher ceilings. On a low ceiling it will look too heavy and obtrusive. The Brentford ceiling fan is wet-rated, which means it can be used in any outdoor setting. The fan comes with a standard 4-inch downrod, which can be replaced by a longer one if needed (sold separately). The lantern-style light fixture is equipped with three candelabra-type light bulbs, 40 watts each. Thanks to the seeded glass the dome is made of, the light gets softly dispersed, creating a relaxing, even romantic ambiance.

The ceiling fan and the light are controlled via two pull-strings. Alternatively, the fixture can be connected to the control switch with a dimmer. Yet another option is to buy a remote control, which will enable you to switch between three available speeds without any hassle.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 52 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 4 inches.
  3. Wet-rated.
  4. 3 rotation speeds.
  5. Reverse rotation.
  6. Total height: 19 inches.
Pros
  •  Reversible blades.
  • Can be installed in wet locations.
  • Covers a fairly large area (up to 360 square feet).
  •  Comes with an incorporated light fixture (bulbs are included).
  • The fan has a particular style that is conveyed through its fine details.
  •  Lifetime warranty on a motor from the manufacturer.
Cons
  • The light is not particularly bright and cannot be much improved since the fixture uses only 40-watt bulbs.
  • Not suitable for low ceilings.

Verdict

The Westinghouse Brantford ceiling fan looks much like an old-fashioned fixture and adds some rustic or even nautical flair to the outdoor area. It is listed for wet locations but will look more than appropriate in a coastal style living room or lounge area. The design is very style-specific, so you should think carefully before incorporating this fan into your interior or exterior. Although the fan has a light fixture, it should not be relied upon as a single source of light in the area.

2. Westinghouse 7200700 Comet Two-Light 52″ Five-Blade Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan – One of the Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans with Lights

indoor&outdoor ceiling fan with lightsThis is an average-sized five-blade ceiling fan, designed for indoor and outdoor use. It is designed with modern interiors in mind. The fan has a somewhat casual vibe, which makes it suitable for different types of interior styles, including modern, contemporary, coastal, loft and others. It is designed in dark espresso color which goes exceptionally well with the opal glass of the light fixture. Wood-like texture on the blades adds a bit of rustic elegance to the overall look of the fan. The fan is controlled via two pull-chains. Alternatively, you can purchase a remote control or hook it up to a wall mount dimmer.

The Westinghouse Comet ceiling fan has an integrated light fixture with two candelabra-type bulbs that come along with the unit. The light fixture has a frosted glass cover, which gives it a stylish look but steals its brightness. Installing equivalent LED bulbs can help the situation, but if you need really bright light, you should add some other light sources.

This fan is approved for damp locations. Its water-resistant blades and motor can withstand some natural elements, such as moist air, wind and condensation. Covered verandas and balconies, screened porches, enclosed gazebos and terraces, sunrooms and winter gardens are some of the most appropriate outdoor locations for this fan. Granted, it can also be used in all types of interior settings.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 52 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 4 inches.
  3. Damp-rated.
  4. 3 rotation speeds.
  5. Reverse rotation.
  6. Total height: 14 inches.
Pros
  • Stylish contemporary design.
  • Comes with a light fixture.
  • Features a reverse mode for all-year-round use.
  • Comparatively easy to install.
  • Very low-profile if flush-mounted; therefore perfect for low ceilings.
  • Limited lifetime warranty on motor.
Cons
  • When on low or medium speed the fan emits quite audible noise.
  • A remote control is not included.

Verdict

The Westinghouse Comet is a low-profile casual style outdoor ceiling fan rated for damp locations. It is suitable even for low ceiling (if installed without a downrod). The integrated light fixture looks very elegant but does not emit much light (this issue is common with all candelabra-style light fixtures). In general, the fan serves its function quite well but has several drawbacks, such as noisy operation and moderate airflow performance (a slightly greater blade pitch could have solved the problem).

3. Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne 54″ Weathered Zinc Ceiling Fan – One of the Most Stylish-Looking Rust-Proof Outdoor Ceiling Fans

outdoor powerful ceiling fansThis ceiling fan is designed in nautical style. Its five blades with weathered pine finish give it a bit of a rustic vibe. The overall visual appeal is completed by a cylindrical light fixture enclosed in a metal frame. The fan looks quite unusual and definitely stands out. By the look of it you can say that it is designed specifically for outdoor use. The fan is damp-rated, which means it can be installed in all types of enclosed outdoor locations.

What is special about this ceiling fan is its exceptionally quiet operation. Its motor emits very little noise while producing rather a powerful airflow. If having a quiet outdoor ambiance is your priority than this ceiling fan would be the right choice.

Like most other outdoor ceiling fans of this class, Hunter Key Biscayne is controlled by two pull chains. A switch that reverses the rotation of the blades is located on the motor. The light fixture is equipped with two CFL bulbs. Although the light is not exceptionally bright, it is still more effective than in other similar fixtures, due to the cylindrical shape of the glass cover.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 54 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 3 inches.
  3. Damp-rated.
  4. Reverse rotation.
  5. Total height: 16 inches.
Pros
  • Designed to blend in with all kinds of outdoor settings.
  • Very quiet motor.
  • Angled mounting is available.
  • The light is brighter than in similar models.
Cons
  • Flush mounting is not available, so if you have a low ceiling, this fan might not work for you.
  • A remote control is sold separately.

Verdict

The Hunter Key Biscayne outdoor ceiling fan is a stylish fixture that can be used in all kinds of damp locations all year round. Its quiet motor produces impressively powerful airflow. The light fixture is bright enough to light up the outdoor area and create a pleasant ambiance. On the downside, this fan has limited installation options and comes with unclear instructions, which can cause mistakes in assembly.

4. Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BK Maverick 60″ Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan With Remote – The Most Powerful Outdoor Ceiling Fan

ceiling fan damp-rated reviewMonte Carlo Maverick ceiling fan is designed to replicate the shape of an airplane propeller. Its elegant and streamlined design will suit well both indoor and outdoor settings (it is damp-rated, so can be used only in covered outdoor locations). The fan has three hand-crafted wooden blades, which curve up slightly to provide the optimal airflow. The housing is available in black or brushed steel finishes. Both options look great with a dark walnut finish of the blades.

The ceiling fan is run by a DC motor, which is at least 50% more energy-efficient than AC motors used in most of the cheaper fans. Its motor is also very quiet and compact and does not interrupt the streamlined look of the fan. There are six speeds available with this ceiling fan in both forward and reverse directions; the control is performed via a handheld remote control.

The mounting base can adjust to sloped ceilings (up to 45 degrees). It is rather compact and neat-looking. A standard 6-inch downrod is included in the package. Longer rods are also available to order.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 60 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 6 inches.
  3. Damp-rated.
  4. 6 rotation speeds.
  5. Reverse rotation.
Pros
  • Sleek and elegant design. The motor is integrated with the unit in such way that it looks like a part of the design.
  • Six speed variations offer more flexible air circulation options.
  • Reverse rotation mode is available.
  • The ceiling mounting base can be adjusted up to 45-degree slopes.
  • Silent operation.
  • Energy-efficient DC motor
Cons
  • The screws that come with the unit are rather flimsy, so one will have to purchase more durable ones additionally.
  • Only suitable for covered outdoor spaces.

Verdict

This streamlined modern ceiling fan is an energy-efficient solution for indoor and covered outdoor spaces. It is made of solid wood with elegant dark finish accentuated by either matte black or shiny metal housing finish. Thanks to the reverse rotation mode this ceiling fan can also be used in winter to distribute warm air from the heater around the area. It requires an average amount of effort to install but has some installation nuances, which, however, take nothing away from its strong points.

5. Westinghouse 7861920 Oasis Single-Light 48-Inch Five-Blade Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan – The Best Outdoor Fan For a Patio

best outdoor fan for patio guideThis is a rather compact ceiling fan designed for small or narrow rooms and outdoor premises. It is wet-rated, so you can install it on an open porch, patio, veranda, gazebo or cabana. It is made of ABS resin and is designed to withstand rain, snow, wind and low temperatures. The leaf-shaped blades with mahogany finish match perfectly with the oil-rubbed bronze housing.

Westinghouse Oasis ceiling fan has an incorporated light fixture, which comes with a 60-watt incandescent bulb. The light is not particularly bright, but if you don’t rely on it as a single source of light, it serves its purpose just fine. Besides, you can replace it with a LED bulb to adjust brightness. Both the light fixture and the fan can be connected to a wall switch or controlled by the pull strings. There is a remote control option, but you will have to purchase it separately; the light fixture can also be hooked up to a dimmer.

This ceiling fan has three speeds, which are also available in reverse mode. As such, this fan can be used equally effectively both in summer and in winter.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 48 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 4 inches.
  3. Wet-rated.
  4. 3 rotation speeds.
  5. Reverse rotation.
  6. Total height: 16 inches.
Pros
  • Generates a considerable amount of airflow, in spite of its compact size.
  • Has an integrated light fixture. The bulb is included.
  • Can be used all year round.
  • Listed for wet locations, so can be used almost anywhere inside and outside a house.
  • Quiet motor.
  • Effective in areas about 144 square feet.
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Cons
  • The top side of the blades does not have a finish. If you have low ceilings or mount the fan above the stairs, the unpainted part will be well seen.
  • Changing a bulb is quite challenging (you will have to unscrew a metal frame first to remove the glass dome that hides the bulb).

Verdict

The Westinghouse Oasis five-blade waterproof ceiling fan is approved for wet locations and can be used in all types of outdoor settings, including open gazebos, verandas, cabanas and lanais. Its floral-themed design in combination with a rustic lantern-style light fixture will coordinate well with coastal style interiors or exterior settings. This ceiling fan is rather compact and thus suitable for small rooms and areas.

6. Emerson Ceiling Fans CF130ORB Tilo Modern Low Profile/Hugger Indoor Outdoor Ceiling Fan – A Small Oscillating Outdoor Ceiling Fan

best ceiling fans for smaller roomsThe Emerson Tilo ceiling fan is probably one of the most compact fans for outdoor use available on the market. Its functionality, however, is not compromised by the size, it’s just designed for smaller rooms. Thanks to its tilted blades it is able to move considerable amounts of air. The airflow is especially perceptible right under the fan. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, this ceiling fan is sufficient for up to 75-square-feet rooms.

This ceiling fan is damp-rated, which means can be used in bathrooms, on screened porches, covered verandas, and terraces, in sunrooms and enclosed swimming pool areas. It has a low-profile understated look, so it will blend easily with almost any design. The fan is very easy to control. It comes with a wall switch, specifically designed to switch between four available speeds and control the light (in case the light fixture is installed). However, you will need a certified electrician to perform the installation. If you prefer to avoid the hassle, you can buy a remote control from the manufacturer.

This model is compatible with a light fixture, which is also sold separately. The fan comes with a medium-length downrod. If your ceiling is lower than 7 feet, it is advisable to mount it without a downrod. Longer rods and a sloped ceiling mount kit are also available to order.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 30 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 4.5 inches.
  3. Damp-rated.
  4. 4 rotation speed modes.
  5. Reverse rotation.
  6. Total height: 13.3 inches.
Pros
  • Sleek, understated design, compatible with most of the styles.
  • Two installation options: with a downrod and flush mount.
  • Comes with a wall control, designed specifically for this model.
  • No pull-strings to interrupt the streamlined design.
  • Quiet motor.
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty on motor.
  • Compatible with a light fixture.
Cons
  • Quite small, applicable only in rooms under 75 square feet.
  • Quite hard to assemble due to design specifics.

Verdict

The Emerson Tilo ceiling fan is a beautiful little fixture, designed for small indoor and outdoor locations. In spite of its size, it is rather functional; it has four rotation speeds and a reverse mode for wintertime. Optionally you can upgrade it by adding a light fixture. This outdoor ceiling fan can be adjusted to different types of ceilings, including very high and sloped ones.

7. Casa Vieja 52″ Casa Delta-Wing Bronze Outdoor Ceiling Fan – A lightweight Outdoor Ceiling Fan for a Gazebo

outdoor ceiling fan solid wood and metalThis is a contemporary-looking minimalistic ceiling fan that can be easily incorporated into almost any interior style. It has three wooden blades with a 9-degree pitch. The blades are made of solid wood with the walnut-colored finish. Although this is an outdoor ceiling fan, it cannot be used in wet locations. It is damp-rated, which means you can install it only in enclosed outdoor locations or indoors. The motor, canopy, and downrod are made of bronze-finished metal. The combination of wood and metal gives the fan a stylish look.

Installation is quite simple and in most cases can be managed by homeowners themselves. You can operate the fan through a remote control that comes with it. A sensor receiver is located inside a ceiling mount. There are three-speed options you can choose from to adjust air circulation intensity according to your needs. The motor works rather quietly, even at high speed.

Features:

  1. Blade span: 52 inches.
  2. Downrod length: 6 inches.
  3. Total height: 12 inches.
  4. Damp-rated.
  5. 3 rotation speed modes.
Pros
  • Versatile contemporary design fits well with any interior style.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Easy to install and clean.
  • Comes with a hand remote control.
Cons
  • The receiving unit is too big and hinders angled mounting.
  • Not suitable for wet locations.

Verdict

Casa Delta-Wing is a contemporary style outdoor ceiling fan rated for damp locations. This is a great solution for covered porches and patios, as well as barns, warehouses and enclosed pavilions. It is fairly easy to install on horizontal ceilings and doesn’t require much effort to be cleaned. However, it has a fixed rod length, so if you want a more flexible fixture, you will have to order additional rods separately.

How to Make the Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans Work for You: A Concise Buyer’s Guide

Shopping for an outdoor ceiling fan by style or by design is always a right decision. After all, this is your home and every detail of it should make you happy. However, the look is not the only thing that matters. Technical characteristics are also important otherwise your ceiling fan will be no more than an interior decoration piece. So what are the most important features you should pay attention to when choosing an outdoor ceiling fan?

The amount of air a fan is capable of moving

This is one of the most important metrics since it defines how strong of an airflow the fan can provide. These characteristics are measured in cubic feet per minute. The larger the number, the stronger the airflow will be (the number is provided for the highest possible speed). By simply looking at the figures it is hard to understand whether a given ceiling fan would be right for your outdoor location. So if you have little or no experience with ceiling fans, you should ask a seller for professional advice.

Energy efficiency

 outdoor ceiling fan for gazeboAnother important thing to know is how much energy a fan consumes. Until recently the output of a fan has been in direct relation with the amount of power it consumed. Fortunately, now you don’t have to compromise. Many fan manufacturers are concerned with energy efficiency and are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption rates of their products. For instance, ceiling fans with DC motors consume up to 70% less energy than those with AC motors. If you need a ceiling fan with a light fixture, you should look for a model with integrated  LED lights.

Number of speeds. The minimal number of available speeds is three: high, medium and low. More advanced fans have four, five or even six speeds. A greater number of speeds does not affect functionality of a ceiling fan, it just gives you more flexibility to adjust it your needs.

Blade pitch& Blade span

You could have noticed that some fans have almost horizontal blades, while in others blades are significantly tilted. Does that make any difference? In fact, yes. With all other things being equal, the greater the pitch, the stronger the airflow produced by a fan. The optimal angle is somewhere between 12 and 15 degrees.

This is a distance between the edge of a blade and the center of a housing, multiplied by two. As a rule of thumb, the larger your area is, the greater the blade span you should look for. There are standard charts that determine the relation between a room size and an optimal ceiling fan blade span. If your area is very large, it would be better to use two or more smaller ceiling fans instead of a large one. In that case the air will get distributed around the area more evenly creating a comfortable ambiance in every corner.

Location rating

Not all outdoor ceiling fans are the same regarding their applicability in various locations. There are two types of outdoor ceiling fans: wet-rated and damp-rated. Wet-rated fans can be used in any outdoor setting with a ceiling. These fans are made of materials resistant to various natural elements. Damp-rated fans can be used only in covered outdoor locations. Damp-rated outdoor ceiling fans with plastic blades can handle moist air and condensation, but cannot withstand direct impact of water or snow. For an open gazebo or cabana, you should choose wind-resistant outdoor ceiling fans, especially if you live by the sea or the ocean.

Reversibility

Most of us install ceiling fans to get some cool breeze during hot summers. It would be nice, however, to make some use of your fan even after the hot season is over. Many outdoor ceiling fans feature a so-called “winter mode”. When you switch to this mode, the blades start rotating clockwise capturing warm air that goes up from the heater and recirculates it around your outdoor area. With this feature enabled you can enjoy warm get-togethers with your friends and family up till the late fall.

Controls. There are three types of controls available in ceiling fans: remote control, pull-strings and wall mount control. Some models combine all the three types, others have only two or one. In most cases, you can purchase an additional type of control if it is not included in the package.

Flexibility. If you have a flat ceiling of a standard height, there is not much for you to worry about. But if your ceiling is sloped or very high or too low then you should think out how a fan is going to be installed. You should make sure that all the necessary accessories (such as downrods or sloped canopies) are available to order. In case of a low ceiling you should check whether a chosen fan can be flush-mounted. Low-profile outdoor ceiling fans (wet-rated or damp-rated) can also be a solution to the problem.

Conclusion

In this article, we have reviewed 7 best outdoor ceiling fans and provided some valuable advice on how to choose the right one for your home. Surely, there are so many other options available. The range of styles, designs, and prices is much too wide to cover everything in one short article. Nevertheless, we hope that the information we provided will be of some use to you. If you feel that you need to explore further, you might want to look through the best outdoor ceiling fans consumer reports (an abundance of those can be found on the Internet). Indeed, finding a perfect ceiling fan is not an easy job, but if you put just a little effort to it, you will succeed.