The Westinghouse Comet 52-Inch moves plenty of air, doesn’t make a sound, and comes with decent hardware and customer support. Its domed light and five blades have an understated style that you probably won’t notice, and it usually costs less than $100, putting it in the affordable realm for a quality ceiling fan. I’ve installed four, and they’ve all worked perfectly; I’m about to buy a fifth—fingers crossed it’s also great!
Speaking of also great, the Lutron Maestro dimmer switch is an awesome addition to this or any fan. It gives you seven speed settings, which really makes the fan a lot more versatile at the lower speeds. It also gives you independent control of the fan and light so you can remove the dangling pull chains.
So, back to the fan’s air movement. One of the rooms we installed the Comet in was a giant 16- by 20-foot master bedroom. Oh, how we miss that bedroom! Its square footage was on the upper limits of the 52-inch fan’s supposed capacity, but we almost never turned it past the medium speed settings, even in the dead of summer. It just moved plenty of air throughout that big room at the lower speeds. That might make you think its level of power was overkill for a small bedroom like the 8-by-10 kid’s room I mentioned, but really, it wasn’t. The lower speed was perfectly comfortable—and that was before we’d even discovered that Lutron dimmer, which would have helped us dial in the speed even better.
Manufacturers measure a fan’s airflow as cubic feet per minute (CFM), an objective measurement, but I’ve found subjectively that there’s something just a bit nicer about the way the breeze feels coming off a wider-diameter fan on a slow speed versus a smaller fan that has to work harder and spin faster to get the same churn going in the room. The narrower fan feels more like a sharp, focused beam of air, and the bigger one is more like a gentle waft. This one’s CFM is rated up to 5,199 at its top speed, which is on the high end of average, and a more intense gust than most people would want running for more than a minute or two. For reference, all of these fans were installed from high-ish ceilings at about 8 feet off the floor, within the 7- to 10-foot range of floor-to-blade distance that manufacturers generally recommend.
On the matter of noise, the Comet 52-Inch is absolutely silent. The smaller fans we installed had a distinct high-pitched hum (which I might never have noticed if the electrician hadn’t pointed it out to me after the installation, saying, “Man, you hear that fan? That noise’d drive me CRAZY!”) On warm days when I turned on the smaller and larger fans in succession, I just shook my head at the little ones’ noise. Again, there are probably quite a few good fans out there that can operate silently at any speed, and there are even some really bad ones that can tick or click or make a wah-wah sound after some use. All I can say is the Comet was quiet from the start and and has been for more than a year of use.
As for hardware, I have to defer to my electrician, who has seen a lot more of it than I have and who pronounced it “not bad.” With electrical hardware, I feel like it either works as expected, or it’s too cheap—the machine screws aren’t threaded well, the wires are substandard, or the connections just don’t feel solid. I wouldn’t expect to find much boutique super-duty artisanal electrical hardware in most high-end ceiling fan boxes. The Westinghouse Comet stuff is decent and shouldn’t need to be swapped out during the installation.
In regard to customer support, my point is really to distinguish the more prominent manufacturers (like Westinghouse) from the big-box store brands. In that sense, I mean you can get support specific to your product, whereas at a big-box store you may not. Sure, you can usually return any product to a big box, so you’re not out of luck if something goes wrong right away. But it’s a little more likely that a Westinghouse (or Hunter, Fanimation, Minka Aire, Modern Fan, Big Ass Fans, Kichler) can actually send you a replacement part if needed, answer an unusual question if something odd is happening, or maybe even replace an older product if something goes wrong later.
Regarding style, the Comet has a pretty neutral, understated look. We’ve always used the black fan blades; the reverse side is a wood-look laminate (it also comes in white/wood and cream/wood, and a more expensive espresso finish). That’s all the style we wanted: felt but not seen.
Like most fans, the Comet has a light. The light incorporates two bulbs under a single glass-dome shade, giving you a range of light levels, and it has standard screw-in sockets (candelabra size, unfortunately), but you’ll still have plenty for LED bulbs, which are usually dimmable and always efficient. Yes, ceiling fan lights are notoriously harsh and you should probably avoid being seen naked under them if at all possible. However, predictable overhead lighting is useful, particularly for drunk guests stumbling off to an unfamiliar bedroom. And, people browsing through an open house when you’re trying to sell your place will find one less thing to be distracted by if there’s a light on the wall right where they expect it.
The Comet also has five blades. I’m pretty sure my ceiling fan reporting has attempted to determine an ideal number of blades on a fan, but it’s really not something you need to focus on. There is no magic number of ceiling fan blades. The bigger-diameter ones can all move plenty of air. Just get the style you like.
Last, there’s price. A ceiling fan is one of those things that, even if I had unlimited money, I’d still want to spend as little as possible on to get something satisfying. The Comet usually costs less than $100, which is about as low as I’d reasonably expect to go, especially considering some of the higher-end fans out there can go for $300, easy. If you like a style at that price and you can afford it, I hope it’s as satisfying as the Westinghouse. I unfortunately can’t offer any comparison for you there. Maybe you should just buy three Comets instead.