Is Your Ceiling Fan Causing Flickering Lights?

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Ceiling Fans and Flickering Downlights

Have you ever walked into a room and noticed the lights strobing before your eyes? Don’t worry, it’s not just you, it might be the ceiling fan!


Whenever there is a light source above a ceiling fan, you may experience a flickering effect. This occurs because the ceiling fan blades ‘chop’ the light each time it passes over the light source. This flickering effect can be annoying and can cause distractions and headaches. It can even impact our emotional wellbeing over long periods. Ceiling fans are meant to bring us comfort and cool us down, not drive us up the wall!


But don’t worry, this annoying flickering effect can be avoided!


Avoid ‘overlapping’ your ceiling fan and lighting

Strobing occurs whenever a ceiling fan blade crosses between a light source and your eyes. So one way to avoid this effect is to space the downlights closer to the edge of the room and away from the fan. This minimises the angles from which you see ‘chopping’.


If you’re having a ceiling fan installed in a room with existing downlights, consider the placement of the ceiling fan so that it’s not too close or overlapping with any existing lights. If there is no spot that will work, it might be work asking your electrician if they can move the lights while they are there.


Have multiple light sources

Having multiple sources of light in a room (such as 2 or more downlights, or a separate lamp) can also help reduce the visual impact of flickering. This is because each surface has light hitting it from multiple angles, so one flickering light has less impact.


Get a ceiling fan with a light

If you’re installing or upgrading a ceiling fan, consider getting one with an integrated light. This means the light is below the blades of the ceiling fan, so there is no interruption of the light source.

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