Dimmer switch for ceiling fan lights

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  #1  
Old 12-02-05, 07:16 AM
Chu chu charlie
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Dimmer switch for ceiling fan lights

Will a dimmer switch work for a ceiling fan/light ? I want to be able to control the lighting without hampering the fan speed. The fan has three speeds controlled by a pull chain and the lights are just on or off.
 
  #2  
Old 12-02-05, 08:40 AM
J
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I'm definitely not an expert, but I'm sure you can't have a dimmer controlling a fan.

I had two fans w/light kits in my house that I wanted to add dimmers to. Unfortunately, the wall switches only had two wires going to the fans, so adding a switch to separately control the fan and light didn't seem like an option. Fortunately, I found a switch at Lowes that controls the fan via RF (wirelessly). You have to disconnect the fan from the ceiling to add the receiver. Then you replace the wall switch with the transmitter switch. The switch is very nice--has one button to control the light. If you hold down on the switch, it dims the light. Then there are four button to control the fan speed (off, low, med, high). It is a very nice setup, and doesn't take long to install. The downside is that it costs about $45. It's made by the Hunter fan company. See the switch here.
 
  #3  
Old 12-02-05, 10:09 AM
J
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It can be done if the dimmer provides power to the light but not to the fan. There's probably a dozen different ways to do it, depending on the cost and effort you are willing to expend. It also depends on how it is wired now (if it is wired now), whether you plan to add or change the wiring in the wall, etc. The simplest solution may be to buy a wired or wireless remote control (perhaps using the control jumpyg provided a link to, which is quite nice). Other solutions depend on how much electrical experience you have, and/or how much you want to acquire.

Any further details you can provide would help. Is this an existing fan? A new fan? Will you be adding cables?
 
  #4  
Old 12-02-05, 10:33 AM
Chu chu charlie
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The fan is existing and the wiring has 1 black, 1 white and a bare. It is a single switch box. I am an absolute beginner so if I have to do any rewiring or "fancy" switchbox replacement I'll just skip the job. I'ts just for a little convenience anyways.
 
  #5  
Old 12-02-05, 10:41 AM
J
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Try an experiment. Turn the wall switch on. Use the pull chains to turn both the fan motor and fan light on. Now turn the wall switch off. Do both the fan motor and the fan light go off, or does just the fan light go off? If the latter, then just put in the dimmer and call it good. If the former, you can still do it with the existing wires and no fancy switch (as long as you're willing to control the fan motor exclusively with the pull chains), but you'll also need to make a few connection changes at the ceiling box.
 
  #6  
Old 12-02-05, 03:25 PM
Redogs54
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In wall remote control

Chu Chu Charlie,
You can controll the fan speed and dim the light fixture by using an in-wall remote control available at most of the large home improvement stores. This installation requires no additional wiring from the switch to the ceiling box but does require installing a device at the fan location as well as the new remote controll at the wall switch location. There are simple instructions to follow and is something that you should be able to take care of yourself providing you remember to turn off the power to the circuit at the panel box.
 
  #7  
Old 12-02-05, 03:28 PM
Chu chu charlie
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The wall switch controls the light and fan. I'v got no problem having the switch control the light and having to manually use the pull chain for the fan.
 
  #8  
Old 12-02-05, 06:29 PM
J
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You could use the wall control, as both jumpyg and Redogs54 have suggested. However, I understand from your posts that you do not want to go that route.

But you can do this with nothing more than what you already have now, except for the dimmer.
  • Shut off the breaker. Do not rely on the wall switch to control power.
  • Get out the ladder.
  • Climb up to the ceiling, and lower the bell housing on the fan to expose the wiring connections.
  • There are a number of possibilities you might see, so we need you to note all the cables, all the wires, and all the connections, and post back with this information.
  • But chances are this is what you'll see: Two black/white cables coming into the box. The black from the first cable connected to the white from the second cable. The black from the second cable attached to two wires from the fan (either black and blue, or black and black with a white stripe). The white from the first cable attached to the white from the fan.
Awaiting your post.
 
 

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