What Is a Ceiling Fan Light Kit? (Explained for Beginners)

Ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool any time of year, but they may lack a light. The solution? A ceiling fan light kit.

What is a ceiling fan light kit?

A ceiling fan light kit is a set of electrical and non-electrical components that allow a ceiling fan to function as a light fixture. The ceiling fan light kit typically includes a light canopy, light kit plate, motor to control the fan, one or more fan blades, and lighting elements.

In this article, I’ll answer the most common questions people ask me about ceiling fan light kits.

What Is a Ceiling Fan Light Kit? (Full Explanation for Beginners)

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Ceiling Fan with lights—What Is a Ceiling Fan Light Kit
Image by author via Canva—What Is a Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Ok, let’s go over a more complete definition of a ceiling fan light kit. I’ll keep the language super simple and easy to understand for beginners.

A ceiling fan light kit can include the following parts:

  • Canopy—A light kit canopy is the metal or plastic housing that attaches to the ceiling and holds all of the other components.
  • Cover plate—A light kit plate mounts to the motor housing and provides a place to attach the light kit wires.
  • Fan blades—Some light kits include one or more fan blades. These blades attach to the motor and help circulate the air.
  • Light kit wires—These wires form part of the light kit wiring harness.
  • Lighting elements—These are usually LED lights, light bulbs, or globe lights.

Different light kits come with different components, but these are typical.

How Do Ceiling Fan Light Kits Work?

Ceiling light kits are pretty straightforward.

You attach them to ceiling fans or replace existing light fixtures.

You can install a ceiling fan light kit where there is existing wiring or where you need to add wiring. If you do decide to add wiring, I strongly suggest that you contact a local licensed electrician.

Once assembled and installed, the light kit motor controls the fan blades and the lighting elements. See the instructions later in this article.

You get the cooling benefit of a ceiling fan and the visual benefits of good lighting.

You don’t need separate appliances when one can do the job.

What Does a Ceiling Fan Light Kit Not Do?

A ceiling fan light kit is not a standalone light fixture.

It is designed for use with a ceiling fan. You should not install one as only a light fixture.

If you’re looking for a standalone light, you will probably prefer other standard lighting options for ceilings.

Types of Ceiling Fan Light Kits

There are three main types of ceiling fan light kits and many different styles. The three main types are branched, upright, and bowl.

Each type and style offers unique features.

What Is a Branched Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Branched ceiling fan light kits come with clusters of lights attached to the end of “branches.” The branches extend from the ceiling fan, offering a greater amount of light.

The lights can take the shapes of globes or cylinders of glass, either upright or inverted.

In this type of light kit, the lights group together in twos, threes, or fours.

Because this light kit provides more lighting, it usually is more expensive than other types of kits.

What Is an Upright Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Upright ceiling light kits rest on top of the fan unit and point at the ceiling.

These light kits offer less bright light and more mood lighting.

An upright kit is generally cheaper than a branched ceiling fan but more expensive than a bowl light kit.

However, it depends on the exact model of light kit you buy.

What Is a Bowl Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

a bowl ceiling fan light kit is the most simple kind of kit. Instead of clusters of lights, this type of kit comes with one large bowl-shaped lighting element.

The bowl hangs below the fan blades.

This is the least expensive and simplest type of light kit you can buy.

What Is a Universal Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

A universal light kit fits many different types of ceiling fans or light fixtures.

In that way, it’s “universal.”

Contrary to its name, it will not fit on every ceiling fan. It does fit on more fans than light kits designed for one specific brand or model.

This type of kit is a good choice if you’re not sure what type of light kit to buy or if you want to be able to use the light kit with more than one fan.

What Is a Modern Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

A modern ceiling fan light kit has a sleek, minimalist design. It often features an all-white or all-black color scheme.

Modern kits fit perfectly with fans in contemporary homes.

They may include LED lighting elements, which are more energy-efficient than other types of light bulbs.

What Is a Traditional Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

A traditional ceiling fan light kit is designed to look like a traditional light fixture.

It features a plastic, metal, or glass shade with simple details. This is a great light kit for general use in most homes, condos, apartments, or offices.

What Is a Vintage Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Vintage ceiling fan light kits are designed to look like turn-of-the-century light fixtures. They often have intricate, decorative details.

This is a nice choice for fans in vintage homes or where there’s an affinity for the classics.

If you own an older home, you might want to consider a vintage light kit.

They often include cages, metal elements, and incandescent light bulbs, which are less energy efficient but look nicer than many other types of light bulbs.

What Is an Industrial Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Industrial light kits have an edgy, modern design.

They often feature metal and wood elements in a distressed or aged finish.

This type of kit is perfect for fans in homes, condos, apartments, or offices with a modern industrial style.

What Is a Ceiling Fan Light Kit With a Remote?

Some ceiling fan light kits come with remotes.

Remotes allow you to turn the light on or off, change the light’s brightness, and even change the color of the light.

You can also control the fan blade speed and direction.

This type of kit is perfect for fans in rooms with high or hard-to-reach ceilings. They also work well in any room where you want quick and easy access to the light and fan.

What Is a LED Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

A LED ceiling fan light kit is a type of modern light kit that uses LED bulbs. LED stands for light-emitting diode.

LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than other types of light bulbs and usually last much longer.

They also generate less heat, so they’re ideal for use in light kits.

What Is an Outdoor Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Outdoor ceiling fan light kits are designed for use in outdoor spaces.

They come with weatherproof materials and features that protect them from the elements.

Some outdoor light kits also include motion sensors, which activate the light when someone enters the space.

This type of kit is perfect for fans on patios, decks, or any other outdoor space.

Pros and Cons of Ceiling Fan Light Kits

There are pros and cons to investing in celing fan light kits.

Here is a simple breakdown that quickly illustrates the biggest advantages and disadvantages:


  • Energy efficient
  • Combine two appliances into one
  • Greater versatility and flexibilty
  • Many different designs to choose
  • Simple, sleek, or beautiful aesthetics
  • Smart or remote-control options


  • Some kits can be expensive
  • You may need to hire an electrician to install it
  • Not all fans are compatible with light kits
  • Not all light kits are compatible with each other
  • LED bulbs can be more expensive than other types of light bulbs
  • Not all light kits are weatherproof or outdoor-friendly

Can You Add a Light Kit to Any Ceiling Fan?

Not all ceiling fans are compatible with light kits.

Most ceiling fans can accommodate a light kit. Others require some type of modification.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can make your own modifications to your fan or hire an electrician to do it for you.

Otherwise, it’s best to buy a ceiling fan made with light kit compatibility.

Are Ceiling Fan Light Kits Interchangeable?

You can use light kits interchangeably on many ceiling fans, but not all of them. It depends on the brand and model.

Before installing a light kit on your fan, check the product specifications to ensure that they’re compatible.

If you’re still unclear about whether the light kit is compatible with your fan, contact the manufacturer or seller of both products.

Do I Need a Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

You may not need a light kit, but you might want one.

If your ceiling fan doesn’t include a light, a light kit is a great purchase. Light adds a ton of functionality to any room or space.

Or, you may want to replace a light fixture with a fan.

Getting a ceiling fan light kit allows you to create more visibility and air circulation for a reasonable price.

How Much Does a Ceiling Fan Light Kit Cost? (Real Figures)

A ceiling fan light kit will cost you between $30 and $1,000 (or more). The average price is closer to $200.

The price depends on the brand, type, style, size, features, and materials.

Typically, more expensive ceiling fan light kits are made of higher-quality materials and include more features.

If you want a basic ceiling fan light kit with few features, it will be cheaper than if you want one with many options.

How Much Does a Ceiling Fan Light Kit Installation Cost?

If you want to get your light kit professionally installed, it will probably cost you between $144 – $352.

Of course, the more required to install your kit, the more expensive the cost.

Complex installations that include new wiring or rewiring, adding new electrical boxes, installing dimmers (for more control over the light) require more time, research, and technical know-how and will cost you more.

This is because electricians must be specially trained for special projects.

How Do You Install a Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

It’s nearly impossible to write one set of instructions to cover every type and model of ceiling fan light kit.

However, here are the basic steps to install a ceiling fan light kit.

  1. Turn off power to the fan. You usually can control power at the fuse box or circuit breaker.
  2. Remove the existing light fixture. You may need to remove screws.
  3. Attach the light canopy to the ceiling box, and mount it onto the electrical housing cap.
  4. Connect wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most of the time you connect the same color wires to each other.
  5. Reattach the screws.
  6. Insert the light bulbs.
  7. Insert and tighten light shade or coverings.
  8. Turn on the power and test the fan and light to ensure they work properly.

Also, watch this very helpful video on how to install your light kit:

YouTube video by Apartment Maintenance—What is a ceiling fan light kit?

Final Thoughts: What Is a Ceiling Fan Light Kit?

Before you purchase a ceiling fan light kit, you want to consider:

  • Do you want a basic fan without any extra features?
  • Do you want the latest in modern features and technology?
  • Do you want a smart or remote-contorolled ceiling fan and light?
  • How much are you willing to spend on a light kit?
  • Where do you want to put your fan and light?
  • What style matches the decor of the room?

By considering these factors ahead of time, you can get the best fan that meets all of your wants and needs.

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