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Craftmade Ceiling Fans: Ahead of the Curve

Craftmade is at the forefront of ceiling fan design and function.

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In the last several years, ceiling fans have seen a resurgence in popularity, marked by new technologies, materials and designs that have elevated design in a category staple that hadn’t seen many changes in decades. From smart technology to LED to innovative materials, ceiling fans have come a long way.

Craftmade is at the forefront of ceiling fan design and function. Utilizing everything from Wi-Fi to smaller motors and lighter, yet more durable blades, Craftmade ceiling fans deliver optimal functionality with a "wow" factor design. Two of Craftmade’s recent ceiling fan introductions — Bandeaux and Axel — showcase new, unique design aesthetics, all while maintaining the home comfort and smart versatility for which Craftmade ceiling fans are known.

We talk with Craftmade ceiling fan designer JJ Jones about the inspiration behind the Bandeaux and Axel ceiling fans, as well as how beauty and functionality work together.


Can you share your inspiration behind the designs of the Axel and Bandeaux fans?

​JJ Jones: As designers, we tend to concentrate on fan bodies. I am drawn to and enjoy working with shapes as well as working to engineer in function. For the Bandeaux I wanted to design an unusual smooth blade shape to draw attention to the design, while maintaining an optimal level of performance.

For the Axel, I saw an opportunity for a larger version of what has come to be known as the “fandelier.” When working on these fan and lighting combinations at Craftmade, we have tended to go smaller in size. The Axle presented an opportunity for a larger “fandelier.” Years before, we had created a small version of this fan. This larger-size concept offers the possibility of more air and light covering a larger area.


When did you realize you could turn functional fans into beautiful decorative pieces?

​JJ Jones: Like most product designers, we envision designs in our heads and do preliminary sketches of different concepts and blade shapes. This version of the Bandeaux was conceived during that process.   

With the Axel, that concept had been in my mind for some time. What I had to do was work out the structure to make sure the light would be stable and manufacturable as that was such an important part of the design.


What research went into introducing the current finishes?

​JJ Jones: We have a lot of support from our design group as to finishes that are best in the market. As a designer, we will photo render a design in several finishes or finish combinations to see what resonates with our team. The best combinations will be selected for production as a group effort.


How did technology impact these fan designs and does it enhance performance?

​JJ Jones: LEDs have advanced rapidly not only in lumen performance but also in CCT control and size of the LED platform. This along with DC Motor technology advancement has made it possible to create smaller and slimmer profiles, and aggressive blade shapes that allow for modern sleek designs.


What ensures these fan designs will stand the test of time?

​JJ Jones: To me Craftmade means quality.  Quality of the design, materials and manufacturing. Our product development team keeps that at the forefront. We engineered these fans to include the latest technology including Wi-Fi capability, color temperature-changing technology, energy-efficient DC motors, and completed with the details and finishes that ensure that these remain relevant well into the future.


How did you ensure that fan functionality wouldn't be compromised? Do they perform better than a traditional fan?

JJ Jones: I spent five years living in Hong Kong and working directly with factories in Asia developing ceiling fan products and overseeing quality. I moved into product design and management. With this experience, I tend to look at any design from a manufacturing perspective and keep performance in mind when designing.


Did you have to overcome any design challenges?

​JJ Jones: I tend to work within the framework of the technology available. When designing, I always strive to design products that can be manufactured but still push the boundaries. For the Bandeaux, the key was to split the blade into two pieces to loop the blade around to return to the housing to be stable and work within the limits of the molding process. The Axel fan utilizes axial flow design blades which are one of the best blade designs for efficiency. The challenge to designing this fan was getting the light to the outside of the blades and to work without shadowing or hot spots. Fortunately, due to its scale, with a few changes to the light channel and lens cover during the factory prototype stage, enough room was created to eliminate those issues.


What was your favorite part of designing the Axel and Bandeaux?

​JJ Jones: My favorite part of these designs was working with an object that not only has to look good but also perform. I enjoy seeing a creation come to life. I also enjoy working with a great team of people. I was blessed with a small gift, but design is just the first step in a dream. Everyone’s effort in our team is needed to make these designs a reality. 

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