Ceiling Fan Glossary

Need a ceiling fan but overwhelmed by the technical jargon? Have you been left wondering what ‘coastal rated’ really means and whether or not it applies to you? Or if flush mount, low profile and hugger ceiling fans are actually all the same thing? (They pretty much are by the way). Or perhaps you’ve come across a T-Hook, but have no idea what it is, what it does or if you need it.
Well choosing a ceiling fan just got a whole lot easier. We have put together a comprehensive guide to all the terminology you may find on our listings to help you navigate your way to selecting an ideal ceiling fan for your application.

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


3000k – Also referred to as Warm White. With this temperature, the light will have a hint of yellow when it illuminates.

4200k – Also referred to as Neutral White. This is the most natural colour temperature. Therefore, your light will be the most similar to sunlight. Note: Some manufacturers may consider this cool white.

5000k – Also known as Cool White. It appears brighter as it has more blue light giving a space a more modern atmosphere.

6500k – Light temperature called Daylight. This resembles an ‘overcast day’ where the sky is the primary light source. Therefore, this shade will have a cool blue colouring.

#k – Reference to a colour/light temperature using the Kelvin Scale. It represents the colour of the light we can see.


AC Motor – Fans with AC motors connect directly to the power source and the electric current reverses direction. They are more energy efficient than most household appliances especially air conditioning. The availability of a larger range of AC fans results in more styles to choose from. There are more options for budget buyers and each fan will generally have a wall control and remote option, whereas DC fans come with a remote control with a rare few available with wall control.

Airflow – Measures the amount of air the particular ceiling fan can move. Commonly measured on our site as m3/hr (cubic metres per hour). The higher the figure the more air the fan can move. Remember to ensure figures use the same measurement before comparing. You may also come across airflow figures measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute), m3/min (cubic metres per minute) or m3/s (cubic metres per second) and so on.

The maximum airflow of most ceiling fans (that is, when on the highest speed) will lie somewhere between 9,000 to 11,000 m3/hr. One of the highest air movers in our range moves 24,380 m3/hr!

To convert an airflow figure into another form of measurement you can use the online calculator, ConvertUnits
As most airflow figures are in m3/hr or CFM use this pre-set converter to convert from CFM to m3/hr.

View our High Airflow ceiling fan range.


B22 Light Kit– A bayonet light fitting and is 22mm in diameter. One side will have one or more pins while the receptor will have a matching L-shaped slot with springs to keep the parts locked together. For the connection to be released the connector can be rotated once pushed down.

Ball Joint– Consisting of a rounded canopy, which is bolted to the ceiling. In the centre of the canopy is a hole which the rod comes through and to which the motor is attached. A ball at the top of the rod stops the rod from falling through and ensures the rod will always hang straight down even if the fan is suitable and therefore installed on a raked ceiling. The maximum degree of the raked ceiling is provided on each of our product listings. Individual products vary so remember to ensure the fan you have selected is suitable for your location.

Blades– Flat panels that move through the air contributing to the overall airflow. They also influence other factors such as noise level. More blades does not always mean higher level of air movement.

Blade Arm– Also known as a blade holder. It is the bracket which attaches the blade to the motor.

Blade Material – Fans can come with three key blade materials including Plastic, Timber or Metal. Other fans may come in other options such as Real Palm or Bamboo however, this range is very limited.

Blade Pitch– The angle between a horizontal (180 degree) plane and the tilt of the blades. A steeper pitch will require a more powerful motor to achieve the same speed. A higher blade pitch can contribute to the overall functionality and airflow of the fan. Most fans lie within the 12 to 22-degree range. However, do not forget to consider the specifications of the motor as well as the blade shape and material.

Blade Span – Also referred to as Blade Sweep. The complete diameter of the fan from the tip of one blade to the tip of the blade on the opposite side. For example a fan with a size of 52” will refer to the complete width of the fan. Use this page to shop by size.

Bluetooth– A standard short-range wireless connection for mobiles, computers and other electronic devices. Three Sixty has introduced a Fansync Bluetooth Control system for 240V AC ceiling fans by Three Sixty, Fanimation and Emerson. It allows you to use your smart device to control the fan by downloading the Fansync Application from the relevant app store once the Bluetooth enabled remote receiver is installed by a licensed electrician. Only the most recent Apple and Android devices are supported. Visit the app store on your device to confirm if your device is supported. Suitable fans will have this option in the accessories section.


Cathedral Ceilings– Refers to a ceiling with a heavy rake (angle) and visually, the roof often meets at a point forming a triangle. This type of ceiling is most commonly found in as the name suggests cathedrals or basilicas. However, may even be found in a designer home.

Canopy – The cover which encloses the mounting bracket of the ceiling fan.

Capacitor – used to store an electric charge. For example; a wall control capacitor will allow you to control the speed of the fan. It is vital that the one which is compatible with the fan is used otherwise it may damage the motor.

Ceiling Height – Measurement from the floor to the ceiling. This will help you establish your drop allowance. If you minus your ceiling height by 2.1m (lowest floor to blade measurement by Australian standards) this will help you calculate the ceiling to blade drop you require and any limitations when selecting appropriate fans. For ceilings 2.4m or lower consider a flushed mounted/low profile ceiling fan.

Ceiling Rake – Also known as an angled/sloped or vaulted ceiling. This is important for those who do not have a flat ceiling. Calculate the degree of the rake as this will help you find fans that are compatible with your requirements. Not all fans are can be installed on a raked ceiling and others have a limit to how sloped a ceiling can be to be suitable.

Ceiling Rose – A decorative mounting found in period homes which a light fitting is often suspended. The depth of the plaster cannot hold the weight of the fan and so a t-hook is required. See t-hook.

Coastal Rated – When installing fans both indoors and outdoors in a coastal area they must be coastal rated. Purchasing outside of this range will mean that the fan is more susceptible to the elements and as a result is more likely to corrode. Therefore, the use falls outside of the recommendations and will not be covered by warranty. View our Coastal Rated fans.

CFM (Cubic feet per minute) – Used to measure a fans rate of airflow. The higher the figure the more air the fan can move.


Damp Rated – Often on listings where the fan is suitable for outdoor, undercover use. These fans will have to be completely undercover and not exposed to the rain. Therefore, wind will have to be accounted for when deciding on location suitability.

DC Motor – utilises new technology. The direct power source connects to a transformer and then converts the energy which then flows one way. Considered more energy efficient than the common AC fan. View fans with a DC motor.

Drop (ceiling to blade) – This measurement, generally provided in mm or cm will assist in determining your floor to blade ceiling height. Deduct this from your ceiling height and it will provide you with a floor to blade measurement. Australian standards require a minimum of 2.1m.

Drop (total) – This will provide you with the complete drop of the fan. If the fan has a light the measurement will be to the base of the light unless otherwise specified.


E27 Light Kit – An Edison Screw light fitting, 27mm in diameter. The globes that are compatible have threaded metal bases which screw into the matching socket.

Extension Rod (also known as a Downrod or Shank) – For those with higher ceilings an extension rod may be beneficial. A popular floor to blade measurement is 2.5m however, this figure is subjective and dependent on individual preferences and may not be possible if your ceiling height is restrictive. Australian regulations indicate that the floor to blade measurement MUST be at least 2.1m. To give yourself an indication of the rod length you may want:


If the drop allowance is larger than the drop of the ceiling fan selected, then you may prefer to utilise an extension rod to lower the fan.

Drop allowance – Ceiling Fan (Ceiling to blade drop) = Potential extension rod length

The included rod is usually very short and together with the canopy and motor the fan will often drop (ceiling to blade) roughly 30cm. For a specific measurement check the relevant listing. However, most fans have a 90cm and/or 180cm extension rod available as an optional accessory if you prefer to have the fan lowered. Each of these can be cut to size by the installer if the full length is not required. Only those rods in the accessories section of a product listing will be compatible.

Just a reminder the lower the fan hangs, the more you will feel its airflow.


Floor to Blade Measurement – This is useful when determining at what height your fan will sit. From the floor to the bottom of the blades needs to be at least 2.1m in accordance with Australian standards.

Flush Mount – Also referred to as Low Profile or Hugger fans. Refers to a ceiling fan that sits closer to the ceiling making them ideal for lower ceiling heights. Check out our low profile category.

Functionality – This refers to the overall performance capabilities which can be influenced by the motor, style of the fan, shape, size and material of the blades.


Globe Specifications – This refers to the compatible globes for a particular light fitting. This will include the maximum wattage, globe type, how many a fitting can accommodate, colour temperature if applicable.


High velocity – Used to describe a fan which produces a higher than standard level of airflow and as a result provides effective circulation.

Hugger – A style of fan which the motor is mounted directly on to the ceiling. These fans will often have a cylindrical motor and generally have minimal ceiling to blade drops ideal for lower ceiling heights. You’ll find some hugger fans in our low profile category.


In-home Warranty – A form of warranty on most ceiling fans for a specified time frame. If an operational fault occurs within the period of time the in-home warranty applies the manufacturer will send out an electrician to determine and resolve the issue. Conditions apply, see relevant manufacturer website for more details.

Integrated lights– Means that the fan has to be fitted with its own light and as a result models are readily available for purchase either with or without light. Lights cannot usually be retrofitted/unfitted.

IP Rated – An IP Rating gives an indication regarding the degree of protection a fan has against both the ingress of solids (first digit) and water (second digit).


1st Number (Level of Protection against the Ingress of Solids)

X – Untested or not specified

0 – Not protected

1 – Protected from solids measuring 50mm or more

2 – Protected from solids measuring 12mm or more

3 – Protected from solids measuring 2.5mm or more

4 – Protection from solids measuring 1mm or more

5 – Limited protection against dust.

6 – Dustproof

2nd Number (Level of Protection against ingress of water)

X – Untested or not specified

0 – Not protected

1 – Protected from drops falling vertically

2 – Protected from vertical drops when fixture is tilted up to 15 degrees (any direction)

3 – Protection from sprays of water at an angle up to 60 degrees

4 – Protected from sprays and splashes (any direction)

5 – Protected from low pressure jets (any direction)

6 – Protected from strong jets and heavy seas (any direction)

7 – Protected from temporary submersion up to 50cm (No deeper)

8 – Protected from continuous submersion up to 100cm (No deeper)


J-Hook – An alternative mounting system to a ball joint. This mechanism fixes the fan in one position and as a result cannot be used on a raked ceiling. It would be ideal for windy areas. Even though we do not have a fan with this mechanism in our range an alternative to consider is a flush mounted or Hugger fan (except the Aeratron Ceiling fans) which will be able to reduce the effect of the wind.


Kelvin Light Colour scale – see Light Temperature, #3000k, #4200k, #5000k and #k.


LED Light – (stands for Light Emitting Diode) An LED panel is considered to be more energy efficient and tend to have a longer lifespan than the standard CFL and Halogen globes. There are LED globes available which are compatible with B22 and E27 light fittings. All ceiling fans with LED light can be viewed here.

Light Adaptable – This describes those fans that have various lighting options. These can be found at the bottom of each fans listing in the accessories section. Note that not all fans have a lighting option.

Light Fitting – The part of the light unit into which the bulb is fitted.

Light Kit – A light fixture found in the accessories section that can be attached to the bottom of the fan. Also See Integrated Light.

Light Temperature – Refers to the colour tint of a light or globe. There are three main colours which are measured in Kelvins: Warm Whites, Cool Whites and a natural tone. See #3000k, #4200K, #5000k.

Low Profile – Low Profile fans are those options that are suitable for lower ceiling heights. Therefore, their ceiling to blade drop is less than the standard 30cm drop. Also, identified as Flush mounted or Hugger ceiling fans. Check out our low profile category.

Lumens (Lm)– a unit of measurement for light. The higher the Lumen rating the brighter the light will appear to the human eye. Australia does not currently (on 23/3/17) regulate how Lumens should be measured and therefore, a light without the cover may be given a higher rating than one with the cover.


Motor Housing – The body of the fan which encloses and protects the motor of the ceiling fan.

Motor Warranty – If the motor fails within the warranty period, parts and labour to fix the defect are generally covered. However, conditions apply for each manufacturer. Please visit the relevant website or contact the specific manufacturer for more information.

Mounting Bracket – Device that enables the ceiling fan to be connected to the ceiling. The Canopy encloses the mounting bracket.

Module – an item (separate part) used to complete a system. This refers to a remote or wall control allowing the user to control the ceiling fan.


Natural Whitesee #4200k. An alternative name for the Neutral White light temperature.

Natural (Colour) – Refers to those fans which feature wooden/timber blades which maintain their brown colouring.

Nautical style – Those fans with a design that would suit a location close to the sea.


Outdoor Rated– A range of fans are suitable for outdoor use to some extent. Most will be suitable for outdoor undercover use which is referred to as damp rated. Wet rated fans are those that can be exposed to a limited amount of water/rain. Those suitable for both outdoor and indoor use in coastal areas will be referred to as Coastal rated. See IP RATED. For outdoor fans view this range.

Operating Cost – The overall, day-to-day expenses of running your ceiling fan.


Pitched Ceiling – See Ceiling Rake.

Pull Cord– A form of control which some traditional fans may come with as the standard. This can be used with an isolation switch which will need to be turned on before using the fan. Alternatively, it can be used in conjunction with a wall control or remote. The pull chain should be left on high speed while doing so otherwise, the fan will run slowly.


Question? Feel free to call our lovely sales team on (03) 9543 7224 or submit a query here


Radio Frequency – Used with Remote Control. Means the remote has a long range and does not have to be pointed towards the fan to operate. It has multi-channel capability which means other remote controls can be used in the house without it interfering.

Remote Control– A handheld device that allows you to operate the fan. This means the extra wiring needed when installing a wall control is no longer required. If you are wanting to control multiple fans in a space via one remote control this is possible however, you will still need to purchase a remote package for each fan as these contain the receiver that the electrician will have to use. Each receiver has limited capacity and this is why one is needed per fan. Ceiling Fans with Remote can be found here. Keep in mind that other fans outside of this category may have a remote control available as an accessory.

Remote handset– The handheld device used to operate the fan wirelessly and at a distance by selecting the relevant function.

Remote receiver – A receiver is installed into the fan by an electrician. It is the part that is relayed the signal from the remote control when picked up by the remote’s transmitter.

Reversible – On listings you will find the phrase ‘reversible for summer and winter use’. In summer the ceiling fan will push air down providing a cool breeze whereas, in winter the warm air which rises will be pushed back down along the walls. This will keep the room warmer, more stable in temperature and reduce heating costs. Without utilising this function warm air will rise to the ceiling leaving to space below to be quite cool. Depending on the fan, you can reverse airflow via the motor or from the remote.

Ripple Control – Australia wide, in particular: Sydney, other areas of NSW and QLD, have electricity distributors that use a remote control and switching system. Signals used to turn on and off high consumption equipment are superimposed on the designated supply line. If the appliance is sensitive to the ripple control, it will result in an audible buzz when these signals are present.

RPM (also known as Revolutions per minute) – The number of complete rotations in one minute around a fixed axis.


Sloped Mount – A mounting system that allows the ceiling fan to be installed on a raked ceiling.

Standard Mount– The typical mounting system that usually has a short down rod extending from the mounting bracket to the body of the fan.


T-Hook – A device used to install a ceiling fan on a ceiling rose. A single hole is made through the ceiling rose, the rod is secured to a fixed beam/joist in the roof above the rose and the ceiling fan can then be mounted on the plate on the bottom of the rod. Only available for Hunter Pacific fans. For more information on the T-Hook click here.


Unison – using more than one ceiling fan which are controlled by the one remote/switch to function simultaneously. Also refer to Remote Control.


Vaulted Ceiling – see Ceiling Rake.


Wall Control– Replaces a wall switch and is installed to control the fan. It requires the running of wires from the switch to the fan. Note that few DC fans have a Wall Control option.

Wattage – This is a measurement associated with lighting. It gives an indication of the amount of energy a bulb (globe) or light panel will use. Note that one with a higher wattage does not mean that it is brighter than one which is lower. To identify the how bright a light will be check the Lumens figure. Each light fixture will accommodate globes that fall under or equal to a particular wattage.

Wet Rated – Fans that are considered wet rated may come in direct contact with water/rain. However, each fan has a different limit, and the extent of exposure will vary.


X (pronounced by) – Usually used when specifying dimensions such as a room size e.g. 3m x 3m. (length x width)


Yoke – Part that connects the downrod to the ceiling fan.


Zero – we offer free shipping for orders over $250 to Metro areas. That means zero extra cost!