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How to Install a Hunter Douglas and Hampton Bay Ceiling Fan with Vaulted Ceilings

Installing a ceiling fan is a great, energy efficient way to create a cool breeze in your home during summer, or, to assist in evenly distributing heat during winter. If you already have an overhead light in the room and are simply swapping the existing fixture for an overhead fan, then the new installation will be fairly strait forward.

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If, however, there is no existing fixture, (or power source) and you have vaulted ceilings with no attic, then you may be looking at some additional hurdles.

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TIP: If you want to install your fan and have it look like it fits in with the rest of the room, pick up WireMold to enclose the wire leading up to the fan. You can paint it afterwards to blend it in with the the beam, ceiling or wall. (See finished photos) (This is also necessary, so as not to violate code.)

If you are heading down the do-it-yourself path, we recommend that you take a look at one, or all of these books first. (See reading list on side bar)

NOTE: Though more expensive, The NEC 2005 Handbook is an authority book. This book will give you the most up-to-date and detailed information on the national electrical codes.

Getting Started: How we Chose our 2 Fans

1. Ceiling fan for living room / kitchen area
2. Ceiling fan for master bedroom

For our 400 plus square foot living room / kitchen area we chose a 52" Hampton Bay ceiling fan with lights.

The bedroom is only about 150 square feet, however, the ceiling is high, so we decided to buy another 52" fan. This time we chose a basic white Hunter Douglas ceiling fan without lights. This fan does the job for the space. It is also contemporary and matches our decor.

One thing to note when choosing a fan is the CFM, (cubic feet per minute of air movement.) You will also get a rating on the power usage at low, medium, and high speeds along with watts / CFM for the various speeds.

Regrettably, we didn't pay attention to this for our living room/kitchen ceiling fan and ended up with a fan that looks great, but is underpowered to cool this room - (To avoid this mistake, please read San Francisco lighting designer, Chandron Param's article.)

Trying to figure out what size fan to buy?

Room Dimensions and Suggested Fan Size
Up to 75 sq. ft. 29" - 36"
76 - 144 sq. ft. 36" - 42"
144 - 225 sq. ft. 44"
225 - 400 sq. ft. 50" - 54"
* Reference: American Lighting Association, 2003

Hiring an electrician

Note: We hired electrician Ken, (old school electrician) to help us with the wiring/installation. However, Ken left it to us to purchase materials.

To get shopping, electrician Ken helped us to determine the approximate location the ceiling fan would attach to the ceiling beam. To get the general measurements, Ken measured from the fan back to the switch. (This gave us a measurement for the length of electrical wire needed for the job.)

We also had to calculate all of the necessary components for the WireMold (because of the proprietary way that the pieces fit together, regular conduit cannot be used in conjunction with Wiremold). Here is a list of our purchases:

  • 2 - WireMold Light Boxes
  • 7 - 5 foot lengths of WireMold
  • 2 - Inside 90 degree corners (WireMold)
  • 1 - Flat 90 degree corner (WireMold)
  • 70 feet of 14/2 Romax Electrical Wire
  • 1 - Box of ¾" screws
  • 1 - Dual control fan/light dimmer switch (living room / kitchen)
  • 1 - Double gang cut in box (master bedroom)

The Installation

NOTE: It is extremely important before starting any electrical project to make sure that the circuit breaker switch is flipped to the off position, (no power to the area you are working on.)

1. First, electrician Ken attached the light box to our beam. (master bedroom)

This was also done in the living room/kitchen area.

2. Then Ken attached the inside 90 where the beam met with the wall. (not shown)


3.Ken measured out a length of wire molding to fit between the light box and angle piece, he then centered it, and attached it to the beam. (living room/kitchen)

4. After that, it was time to run the wire from the light box, through the wiremold and all the way down to the switch. (living room/kitchen)

In both the bedroom and living room we had to run a few more feet of wiremold before being able to run the wire through the wall. (not shown)


6. Because our home is an older home with wood paneling instead of sheetrock electrician Ken had to carefully pry away the paneling to run the wire through the wall. (living room/kitchen)

7. This photo shows Ken adding a switch for the fan, next to the light switch which in both rooms we added dimmer switches. In order for Ken to do this he needed to install a double gang box. He measured out the area for our cut- in box and cut a larger hole into the paneling. (master bedroom)

Hint: Ken says cut the hole as small as possible - if you cut it too small you can always go back and make it larger, however, going the other way is much more difficult.

8. Pop the cut in box into the wall, attach and add your switches. (master bedroom)


9. At the switch you'll want to have around an additional 6" of wire like the wires shown here with tape measurer demonstrating the importance of additional wire length. (master bedroom)

10. You'll run into 3 wires. Generally the colors are: Black = Hot wire, Green = Ground wire, and White, carries the circuit back to ground.


11. We don't recommend that you do the actual wiring yourself (attaching the switches and fans), unless you have some electrical knowledge.

12. Many ceiling fans require assembly.

13.Ken assembled and attached the motor portion first.

14. The blades get added next. (master bedroom)

15. The final bulbs and screws were added.


16. The wall paneling put back and painted.


17. The wiremold painted where needed.


18. And voila, cooling down under the new ceiling fan. (master bedroom)

***Please Note: Because of safety hazards that may result from incorrectly performed work we recommend you hire an experienced electrician to handle all the wiring and switch installation.***

Reading List

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