How to Upgrade an Old Ceiling Fan
We have multiple ceiling fans in our home. They are still working well and are very effective at circulating air.
However, they have become a bit dated and when we remodeled our kids’ rooms, I wanted to upgrade them.
I was wanting to update and customize each light fixture to match the decor in my kids’ rooms.
I asked my husband if he could find a way to add the lampshades to the fans. He tried soldiering them on, but then came across a better way.
My husband figured out how to add a light shade to the fans to customize and modernize them without needing to use a soldering iron. The tools he used are common household tools.
This is how he did it…
Supply List for How to Upgrade an Old Ceiling Fan
How to Upgrade an Old Ceiling Fan
Continue reading and/or watch the video on this page to see how…
This tutorial is complex, so I’d recommend watching the video; but for those who would rather read, I’ll try explaining how we did this.
- Disconnect power to the ceiling fan.
- Take off the light shades and bulbs.
- Take off the housing below the fan blades (the one that holds the electrical wires for the bulbs and their sockets).
- Take those two units apart so that you can drill the holes where the lampshade needs to go.
- Measure where the 3 holes from the lampshade will go (or 4 holes or however many crossbars your lamp shade has).
- Drill the holes a little higher up on the housing (but not too high to interrupt the flow of the fan blades if possible for added stability).
- Using tin snip, snip a strip of metal up to the hole.
- Using needle-nose pliers, peel back the metal to allow for the lampshade frame to slide into the holes.
- Using needle-nose pliers, push the metal back.
- Put the pieces of the fan including all of the wires back together again.
- Alter as needed for your fan and light shade/fixture so that they will work together seamlessly.
- Put the shade back onto the fan and test that everything works as desired.
Tips in choosing a lampshade/light fixture to add to an old ceiling fan.
1- MOST IMPORTANT. The frame of the lampshade needs to be at the top of the frame or fixture of the light to attach it to the fan without it getting in the way of the fan blades.
I thought I had bought a lampshade that would work, but in the end, the three bars and round circle where they meet up was in the middle of the shade (height-wise), so I had to return it. Be prepared to be flexible with the lamp shade you use. Most that I looked at actually had bars that met further down (in the middle).
If the bars are malleable then, they can be somewhat towards the top (within the outlined box in the photo below) and then you can just bend them a little to work. Outside of the circled box, I’d say avoid using.
2- Use a large enough fan to be able to fit the lightbulbs that need to go back onto the ceiling fan. I wasn’t sure about my daughter’s boho lampshade but my husband measured it and was able to make it work.
All of these lampshades were purchased from IKEA; I was not trying to do that it just worked out that way.
I purchased the GOTTORPPendant lamp shade, bamboo, 22×15″ for my daughter’s Boho chic room.
The LÖKNÄSLamp shade, blue/silver color, 17″ for my son’s Polar Bear Arctic room.
The NYMÖLamp shade, white/brass color, 17″ for my daughter’s Kitty Cat Room (coming soon).
and the FAXSTAD Pendant Lamp Shade ~16″ was used for my son’s Soccer Rocket League Themed Room.
3- Use a lamp shade or light fixture that is not too heavy.
We have been using these lights and fans for over a month without any issues at all.
The stability and build quality look as if this upgrade/alteration should last despite the life of the fan.
Despite being modified this change should not affect the function or life of the ceiling fan.
I hope this tutorial and video help to show you How to Upgrade an Old Ceiling Fan easily and inexpensively as well.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.