My husband and I recently purchased the Hampton Bay 68 inch Altura ceiling fan. The reason that we needed to purchase a new fan is because, approximately two months ago, our other ceiling fan fell from the ceiling in the middle of the night. We are lucky that nobody was sitting in the living room when it happened, because they probably wouldn't be alive (if you think we should contact our carpenter, that is unfortunately not an option, because my husband installed it).
Recommend this product?
I have spent countless hours on the Internet and travelling to Home Depot and Lowes (and local lighting stores) looking for ceiling fans, and was unable to find a fan that was both affordable and good looking. I finally dragged my husband last weekend to go shopping, and I brought him to Home Depot and Lowes to survey our options. He was immediately drawn to the Hampton Bay Altura ceiling fan, which is a beautiful fan but didn't have a light. We ended up finding a light attachment for the fan, and we immediately purchased it for the following reasons:
Good Looking: The fan is beautiful (well, at least compared to everything else on the market). The fan blades are real wood, unlike the other fans that are extremely fake looking. The color of the blades are also nice. They have an "oil rubbed" look, which is really cool. You can buy darker fan blades, but the oil rubbed seems preferable. The fan also comes in both a bronze or brushed nickel finish, and we chose the bronze (which almost looks black). It has an "Adirondack" style, which is great.
Light Attachment: The fan was displayed without a light attachment, so I originally had ignored the fan because a light was a necessity. We then looked through the Hampton Bay catalogue at Home Depot, and realized that we could purchase a light attachment. We grabbed the attachment (which was available at Home Depot). It cost about $50, and it is nice looking. The glass is a frosted white glass, and the light shines through it well (our other fan was a darker glass, so the light wasn't that bright). It can handle two 60 watt bulbs, and it came with the bulbs which are the "energy efficient" light bulbs. Unfortunately, the bulbs flickered and the dimmer on the remote control didn't work with the energy efficient bulbs. I then installed two standards bulbs, and the flickering stopped and the dimmer worked. My only note about the light attachment is that it does have a pull chain that hangs from it, which I thought was a bit cheap looking. We didn't have any use for the pull chain because (1) our ceilings are high and (2) we were using the remote control. As such, I ended up just cutting the pull chain that was hanging out of the fan so it isn't visible. I think it looks a lot better.
Price: The fan was only $199 (not including light attachment), which was very inexpensive. I actually think they may have had it mispriced, because the catalogue stated that it should be about $260. This price was reasonable, especially because it came with a remote control. There are some ceiling fans that do not come with a remote control, and, therefore, you need to purchase it seperately. I noticed at Home Depot that the remote controls ranged in price from about $20-50.
Size: We have a large living room with vaulted ceilings, and needed a fan that was at least 54 inches. This fan is 68 inches, and I was concerned it would be too big. It actually looks great because it is made for a "great room." The fan does also come in a smaller size (about 56 inches), but I believe you need to special order it.
Reverse Mode: The fan has a reverse mode, and it can be reversed on the remote control. This is VERY important, especially if you have high ceilings. The last Hampton Bay fan we bought had a reverse mode, but you needed to adjust the setting by using the switch located on the fan. NOT an easy project when you have high ceilings. The reverse mode on the remote was critical. We ended up opening the box at Home Depot to look at the remote because there wasn't any information on the outside of the box. The second we saw the remote, we put the fan in the cart and purchased it. I would note that the ONLY way to operate the reverse mode is by the remote control, so you are pretty much obligated to install the remote transmitter.
Installation: This might have been the biggest "downer" about the fan. Of course, we aren't professional carpenters or electricians. In order to avoid having the fan fall down again, we installed it using four lag bolts. Because our ceilings are high, we also needed to extend the fan using a larger downrod, and it was a complete pain. It involved a lot of wire, and also trying to figure out to pack all of the wires and the remote transmitter into the decorative ceiling cover near the junction box. We ended up cutting the wires to make them shorter, which worked great. I later read some other reviews, and cutting the wires was recommended (apparently other people had the same problem). But needless to say, the process wasn't fun. It was dark in the house (because the power was off), we were on high staging and there was a lot of cursing going on. . . . There are also multiple sets of instructions that you need to review, which wasn't apparent at first. If you want to install the remote and/or light attachment, you will need to review the instructions that are packed separately with those items. But the good news is that we are still married and didn't kill each other during the installation process (home projects are always a good test on the marriage). I would note that we had the same problem installing our last fan, so I wouldn't be concerned about the installation process.
THE END RESULT:
Despite the not-so-fun installation process, we are thrilled with the fan. It looks beautiful, and the price was extremely affordable. I would note that if you are looking for a very fast fan, this is not a fan you should purchase. The "slow" speed is almost a joke, and the "fast" speed doesn't look very fast. However, because the fan blades are huge, it puts out a LOT of air. It is also very quiet. I actually prefer this type of fan, because it is quiet and more efficient. I have read other reviews, and pretty much everybody is impressed with the amount of air the fan circulates even on a slow speed.
Overall, I would highly recommend this fan. It looks cool, and it is cool!