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Essence FAQ


Why Essence?

Ranging from 8- to 14-ft. (2.4 – to 4.2m) in diameter, Essence® is both an essential money-saving machine and a work of art for commercial spaces, indoors or out. With a gearless direct-drive motor that provides quiet, comforting air movement, Essence is ideal for any space from lobbies, pavilions and music venues to seaside dining and open-air theaters. Provides cooling over the same area as 64 standard ceiling fans.

How many standard fans does Essence replace?

A single Essence provides cooling over the same area as 64 standard ceiling fans.

What applications are suitable for Essence?

Essence is a perfect choice for everything from lobbies, pavilions and music venues to open-air theaters and seaside dining establishments. Tested by TUV and certified to UL 507 and CSA 22.2 No. 113, Essence is suitable for both indoor and outdoor/wet applications.


When should I use the wired vs. wireless wall controller?

The wireless wall controller lets you use an existing light switch junction opening to power the controller. This option doesn’t require a physical connection between the fan and controller. It is most commonly used when it is difficult, costly or otherwise undesirable to run a physical wire between the two.

The wired wall controller draws power from the fan and requires a CAT5 cable to connect the two devices. This option is best when power to operate the controller is not available, it is acceptable aesthetically or the fan is installed outside the radio frequency range of the wireless wall controller.

What is the “power cutoff tab” on the wireless wall controller?

The power cutoff tab on the wireless wall controller disconnects power to the fan only if switch leg wiring is used. Note: It doesn’t just turn the fan off but actually terminates power and resets all fans status and alarms.

Is the “red switch-leg” wire required with the wireless wall controller?

While the red switch-leg is recommended by Big Ass Fans®, it is not required in order for the wireless wall controller to operate the fan. However, this makes the power cutoff tab functional. If switch-leg wiring is not possible or desired, secure the end of the red wire on the wall controller with an owner-supplied wire nut.

Can the wireless wall controller be surface-mounted and recessed?

The wireless wall controller can be either surface-mounted or recessed in a double gang box.

Can the wired wall controller be surface-mounted and recessed?

The wired wall controller can be either surface mounted (hardware included) or recessed.

How many fans can be controlled by a single wireless controller?

The wireless wall controller can control a single fan or up to three linked fans. If installing linked fans, the first fan must be located within 50 feet of the wall controller. Successive fans must be within 50 feet of each other with no physical obstructions between fans.

Is there a wiring distance limitation between power source and fan?

The only limitation is the standard voltage drop concern. The longer the run, the heavier the gauge required. Follow requirements set forth by the National Electric Code (NEC), ANSI/NFPA 70-2011, and all local codes.

Can the wireless or wired wall controller be installed outdoors?

Neither wall controller is rated for use in outdoor environments (covered or uncovered) unless it is housed in an appropriately rated enclosure for outdoor use. Only the fan itself is rated for installation in a covered outdoor application.

Does the wired wall controller fit into a single gang electrical box?

Yes. The Essence wired wall controller can be mounted on either a single or double gang electrical box (owner supplied). If mounting to a junction box, the provided back controller cover is not needed.

Can multiple Essence fans be controlled using a single wired wall controller?

No. The wired wall controller was designed to control a single fan. For multiple-fan control, use the wireless wall controller.

Can Essence fans that were not originally sold with the wireless wall controller option be retrofitted in the field?

No, it must be specified at the time of order as to whether Essence will be controlled with either a wired or wireless wall controller. Given the complexity of the electronics board, it is not recommended that owners retrofit in the field. The fan will be setup for either the wired or wireless controller at the time of production.

What is the HP rating of the Essence motor?

The Essence motor HP will vary with fan diameter and speed, because it uses a variable torque motor. In our current applications, the 8-ft Essence motor, running at full speed, delivers 0.6 shaft horsepower. As the size of the fan increases, so will the speed and HP.

What is the start-up power draw for the Essence?

The Essence motor includes variable speed drive electronics. These electronics permit fan speed changes and also limit the startup torque typically associated with across-the-line starting of induction motors. Inrush current is therefore eliminated.

Can Essence be integrated into a building automation system (BAS)?

Essence can be integrated in any BAS that allows for 0-10 VDC analog speed reference and dry run enable contact.

Is there still local control when the fan is integrated into a BAS?

No. Any local control will be bypassed when the fan is integrated in a BAS.

What type of network cable is acceptable for connecting the fan to the wired wall controller, CAT-5, CAT-5e CAT-6?

Any plenum CAT5 cable is acceptable. CAT6 cables or any other network cable with a stiffener (riser) is not recommended.

“Plenum” refers to a building structure where the entire ceiling grid is the air return, often the area above a drop ceiling. Plenum cable is fire-rated for commercial applications. If a fire breaks out, the sheathing on the cable has a higher temperature rating and a built-in chemical fire retardant that slows burning and produces less smoke and toxic chemicals when it melts.

Does the input power wire run directly to a pigtail from the motor

The input power wire (from the electrical panel) connects to a power cable off the motor inside the extension tube. The other end has bare leads. Twenty feet of cable is included with the fan and will accommodate the longest extension tube available.

Does Essence come standard with a fire relay?

Yes, all Essence fans are shipped with a fire relay. The included fire relay, when installed, integrates the fan with a sprinkler system and shuts down the fan upon receiving an alarm signal from the system.


What are the mounting options for Essence?

While Essence and Isis® use different extension tubes, they use the same mounts:

  • Universal mount (bar joist installations)
  • I-beam adapter (small or large – see Essence Installation Guide for specific measurements)
  • Z-purlins
  • L-bracket (wood beam – see Essence Installation Guide for specific wood beam measurements)
  • Wood frame kit

Other mounting configurations may exist, but all requests must be submitted through the Special Order Request process.

Can the extension tube be shortened in the field?

It is not recommended to modify the extension tube in the field due to the nature of cutting and drilling round tubes. However, custom extension tube lengths can be requested prior to ordering the fan by using the Special Order Request process.

What are the minimum and maximum lengths for the extension tube?

The minimum length for the extension tube is 14 inches if there is open ceiling above the fan. If the fan is to be mounted below a flat ceiling, the minimum extension tube length is 2 feet to prevent starving the fan of air it needs to draw from above the airfoils. The maximum extension tube length is 15 feet. Any length above 15 feet must be submitted through the Special Order Request process.

When and why are guy wires required as part of the installation process?

Guy wires are only included with fan orders with extension tubes longer than 4 feet. Guy wires are recommended with extension tubes 4 feet or longer.

What is the purpose of the extension tube cover plate?

The extension tube cover plate gives the user a means to reverse the direction of the fan. The cover plate also provides the installer access to the wiring harness and the owner a visual status indicator from the floor.

Can I troubleshoot the fan from the floor?

Yes. The status indicator located on the extension tube cover plate or wired wall controller (not the wireless wall controller) will blink a set number of times depending on issue. See Essence Install Manual for fan status LED definitions.

Why does the fan jerk when it first starts?

It is normal for the fan to experience a slight jerking motion at startup. This occurs as the motor synchronizes the relationship between rotor and stator during startup and should quickly abate.

How can the direction of the fan be reversed?

With the fan turned off, select your preference using the fan direction selector switch located on the fan’s extension tube cover plate.

How long should it take to perform a turnkey installation on a single fan?

It should take about four hours for an experienced installer with one helper to install the fan.

Can the fan be installed using a single-man lift?

No. It is recommended that two people perform an installation.


What are the color options?

Standard configurations:

  • White with silver trim
  • Silver with black trim

Color Options:

  • That's What She Red
  • Orange You Special?
  • Jolly Good Yellow
  • Green Eggs and Fan
  • Blue My Mind
  • Blinded by the White
  • Grey’d Expectations
  • Silver Tongued Devil
  • It's Never Too Slate
  • Cocoa Ono
  • Bringing Sexy Black

Can an escutcheon be added after the Essence fan is installed?

Yes, the Essence escutcheon is a two piece unit that is positioned around the extension tube and flush with the ceiling. Double sided tape and screws join both sides to form a single unit.

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