Ceiling Fan Installation for Pergola and general lighting

stubitsApril 6, 2010

When the weather begins to warm up a bit I would like to build a deck with an integrated pergola. This will be part of a larger project and the plans have been produced by an architect. We would like to install a ceiling fan into the pergola, but that it turning out to be more complicated than I had anticipated.

There are many UL wet location listed fans available, and of course we'll wire the deck with either UF rated cable or THNN/THWN running through conduit, but what I cannot figure out is what sort of electrical box to use and as such, how to attach the fan the to pergola rafter.

Am I missing something? Are their wet located listed fan boxes? Can I build out a box around the rafter to protect the junction box/connections and then use a pancake box? I know it has been done, I just don't know how people pull it off. Has anyone done this before and if so, how?

Also, would love some thought on the use of pendant lights on pergolas. Can they look good? How high of a "ceiling" do you need for it to work right?

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I don't believe I can fully answer your questions. I have yet to install electricity to our Pergola but have recognized the moisture problems in doing such. From my research, wet-area outdoor fans are not suited to having direct rainfall contact. My thought is to install a large sheet of plate glass on the "roof" of the Pergola to shield the fan and electrical connections. As mentioned, have yet to do this so cannot attest to success.

I'm not thinking pendant lights would be suited - either for outdoors, or for use within a pergola. Too great of a probability that someone will hit them in addition to them not being suited for moisture. And, the taller a Pergola stands, the less shade value you will receive. Here is a photo of my plan to embed rope lighting into the underside of the top rails. I just took this photo this morning so winters dirt and todays rainfall are apparent but hopefully you'll get the idea. Again, haven't done it yet but this is my solution. (The PVC holds a valance for additional late afternoon sun blocking)

Below is a link showing the assembly of and some schematics of our Pergola construction. Good luck with yours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pergola Assembly

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:10PM
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