Uplight Ceiling Fans

When you think of ceiling fans with lights, you think primarily of the light that shines down from below. But many ceiling fans come with uplighting in addition to the traditional downlight. The uplight sits above the blades and sheds a pool of light on the ceiling, an indirect light that doesn't glare or blind. The uplight can be controlled independently of the down, allowing you to choose brightness when you need to read, or more diffuse lighting when you want ambiance.

The blades, housings, and lower globes can be had in all the same variety as traditional downlight only fans. Following is a description of some of the uplighting arrangements that can be had.

The most simple uplighting arrangement is a shallow glass bowl, but even this can come in a staggering number of varieties. The glass is never clear since the point is to block out glare. But the glass can be simple white, frosted, or "smoky". A smoky amber shade can give a charming old-fashioned feel, a white shade more of a modern look. Frosted glass can introduce a touch of magic.

For a more complicated, antique effect, consider a faux alabaster bowl arranged as petals between ornate, oil rubbed bronze ribs. Another effect can be achieved by having designs painted on the upper bowl-leaves, perhaps, or birds or whatever else.

The advantage to a glass bowl for uplighting is that some of the light is also cast downward. But it's diffused so there's no glare. However, a striking effect can also be had by constructing the bowl out of metal so that the light is wholly shielded, visible only as a halo around the top of the bowl and a pool of light on the ceiling.

Metal bowls can come in all the standard looks. Brushed or polished aluminum, brass, or copper, as well as black or white painted varieties are common. The bowl might flute outward for a more open effect, broadening the pool of light created on the ceiling. Others might curve in slightly, providing just a touch of light above for atmosphere.

Metal bowls can be etched or molded with ornate filigree. They can have scrolled supports, like a Greek column. The ornamentation can be as simple as a few leaves, shells, or scallops placed at intervals around the bowl. Or it can be as complicated as a continuous design of engraved leaves, horses, and anything you can imagine.

If glass and metal both seem too heavy, a lighter effect can be achieved with a simple woven basket shading the light and directing it upward.

Whether glass, metal, or something else these bowls are often supported by three or more chains that reach downward from the ceiling mount to the rim of the bowl. This can provide an intriguing and pleasing interplay of light and shadow on the ceiling.