Light and Airy

The brains behind Kichler’s Terna Pendant Fan took an unconventional approach to its design. Rather than approaching it from a fan-first perspective, the designer approached it from a pendant-first perspective.

“The general development process of a fan is the opposite direction,” explains Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends at Kichler in Cleveland. “You want to move a specific amount of air. Then, you attempt to wrap that into an aesthetically pleasing envelope.” Dross approached this design from the opposite direction. He wanted to come up with a pendant that could be used as an illumination method and then figure out if he could incorporate blades that would effectively move air. “It’s a backward development process. It doesn’t make it wrong; it’s just a different way to look at fan product development.”

At 15 in. in diameter, Dross thinks about how to use the fixture in small spaces such as powder rooms. “It’s not the most used room, but it’s a room virtually every guest will visit,” he says. “It would be interesting in a powder room because it will move air, which is desirable in that space.”

Basements are another good application for this light/fan combo. “You typically don’t put a ceiling fan in a basement because most ceilings are relatively low,” Dross explains. “But if you put them over a bar area in a basement where you normally would have a pendant, people aren’t walking into it. Position them like a mini pendant and you can get air movement in the basement.”

Dross has found the fan’s six blades don’t move the air directly beneath the fixture. Rather, the air movement is farther back. “This works for us because our customers will put it over a bar area, and it won’t flutter paper oo napkins; it moves air on both sides of the bar top,” Dross explains. “A lot of people have found that desirable because they don’t want papers moving on countertops the fan might be spinning over, but they want air movement in the surrounding areas.”

Terna, which is available in brushed nickel, oil-brushed bronze or white finishes, made its debut at the 2014 International Builders’ Show, and Dross recalls it was the talk of the booth. “Right now it is a very successful design,” he says. “Customers have been attracted to it. We’ll look at this as we do with the successes of every other product — how can we expand it and should we add more colors.”