Big Ass Fans designs and manufactures large-diameter ceiling fans for industrial and commercial use. It is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, where all aspects of the business are centered, from R&D to assembly to marketing to sales.
Carey Smith founded the HVLS Fan Co. in 1999. The company’s original name described its flagship product — high volume, low speed fans — literally. The fans used their massive size, not speed, to cool large spaces that lacked air conditioning, such as factories and dairy barns, and the company quickly expanded. Several years after its launch, in response to customers who called asking about “those big-ass fans,” Smith officially changed its name.
When churches wanted to install fans to keep congregations comfortable, Big Ass Fans developed the first silent fan motor. Other kinds of public and private spaces followed. In 2008, the company opened its first overseas office in Australia. In 2009 in Lexington, it cut the ribbon on the world’s only R&D lab dedicated to testing large fans, a LEED® Gold facility.
Big Ass Fans launched its Haiku residential line in 2012, and it has taken off in the years since. The year 2014 was notable for the hiring of the company’s 500th employee, the debut of Big Ass Light’s industrial-strength LED fixtures, and the introduction of Haiku with SenseME™ technology, the world’s first smart ceiling fan.
Big Ass Fans continues to expand and innovate, adding employees and overseas offices and exploring new areas in search of problems to solve.