Is it a lighting fixture or a ceiling fan? "I really can't tell you," says Bob Cohen, president of Yorkville, N.Y.-based Meyda Custom Lighting, commenting on the company's collection of Chandel-Air fixtures that integrate ceiling-fan technology with custom lighting designs. "But whatever you want to call it, we're very happy to have come up with it," he adds.
The design, Cohen relates, came from his wife's desire for a ceiling fan without the appearance of a typical ceiling-mounted air mover. A prototype of the resulting design was displayed in the showroom adjacent to Meyda's factory and generated consumer interest and sales.
Although the company's website displays nearly 40 variations of the Chandel-Air theme, spanning rustic, with trees and pine cones, Craftsman and contemporary designs, there are really no "off-the-shelf" models. Fixtures are customized to fit individual applications. "We're going to build it when you order it," Cohen says.
The fixtures range in size from 36 1/2 inches to 60 inches in diameter and can accommodate flat or vaulted ceilings of any pitch or height. Energy-efficient LED or incandescent lighting is available.
The Chandel-Air also is designed as an energy saver, to pull hot air up and keep the space cool in the summer and reversed in the winter to push down hot air and maintain warmth. It operates with an optional two-circuit remote control with three-speed fan control and dimming capabilities. The fan has a 25-degree blade pitch, a blade sweep of 29 inches using five blades and an airflow efficiency (cubic feet per minute per watt) of 50.
The grassroots inspiration behind the Chandel-Air line is central to Meyda Custom Lighting's philosophy, and, in fact, played a part in the company's founding. The company, which has been in business for 38 years, grew out of a desire by Robert Cohen's parents for a custom stained-glass window. His father, a retired butcher and a "master tinkerer," took a continuing-education class in stained-glass window making, and what began as a hobby turned into a serious business. The lighting business, in turn, grew out of the stained-glass enterprise, and in a further twist of fate, a metal fabricator came to Meyda to explore turning his candleholders into lamps, introducing rustic metal designs to Meyda's product line. Meyda eventually purchased the fabricator.
Cohen attributes the success of Meyda to its Rust Belt origins. "The only way you could start a business in a place like [this] was to never say no if anybody wanted something. We had a little shop and any time anyone said, 'can you do this?' we always said 'yes,' and then we had to figure out how to do it. It's what we're still doing," he says.
Not all of Meyda's projects are small-scale and home-spun, however. The company created a 35-foot-diameter LED chandelier, said to be the largest of its kind, that hangs in a Utica, N.Y., theater. Another fixture, constructed of 3,000 acrylic LED-illuminated rods is installed at Mall Champlain in Brossard, Quebec, Canada. The company also has a line of ceiling fixtures, table and floor lamps, wall sconces, landscape and outdoor lighting, stained glass windows, furniture and displays.