Controlling fan and lights separately


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Old 10-01-15, 09:10 AM
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Controlling fan and lights separately

So here's my situation. Currently in my bedroom, I have one light fixture in the middle of the room. I have access to the attic, and am going to be installing recessed lighting in the room, four cans in the corners. In the middle, where the current light fixture is, I'd like to put a low profile ceiling fan, one without lights attached to it. But since they'd all be on the same wiring, the fan would be on any time the lights are on. I know with fans that have lights, you can control the fan separately from the lights, but is there a way to do it in my setup where I'm installing a fan with no lights on it, on the same switch as the recessed lighting without running it to it's own switch? Ideally, I'd love to have a wemo switch that would let me control both of them separately with my phone, but not sure how that would happen lol.

Edit: Now that I look more closely at some light-less ceiling fans, I see that most of them still have a pull string that would tell me they can be switched on an off independently of the light circuit they are on. So I image if I hooked it into the same switch as the recessed lighting, I would be able to turn it on or off separately using the pull string or a remote if it came with one?
 
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Old 10-01-15, 09:37 AM
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If you have access to the attic and are going to be running wire anyway, it's a small step to add a separate switch for the fan. Once you have lights and fan independent, you can add wemo or whatever your heart desires. I can pretty much guarantee you will regret having to have the lights on to have the fan on, and subsequent owners of the house will use your name in vain.

If you insist, however, just buy a fan with remote, even if it comes with a light kit. You don't have to install the light kit, and the remote will still let you control the fan. If you go that route and don't add the separate switch, you will have to have the lights on to use the fan of course.

Figure out what you really want, and we can help.
 
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Old 10-01-15, 09:42 AM
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Yeah you're right, it would be best just to install a second switch. For some reason I was thinking it would suck to try to fish another wire down there, but if there's already a wire going to that switch it won't be that hard to fish another one next to it. I think that is what I will do. Then I guess I have to figure out how to convert the single switch box into a double gang with drywall there. I'm sure it's been done. I can google that. Then I could even put the fan on a wemo and control both of them remotely. Now if only WeMo would come out with a dimmable switch lol.
 
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Old 10-01-15, 09:55 AM
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Converting to double gang is usually pretty easy. Kill the power and remove the existing switch. The box will most likely be attached on one side or the other to a stud. If you have a recip saw, you can slide the blade in next to the box and slice the nails that hold it to the stud. Then pull out the old box, cut the hole larger, and slide in an old work double box. If you don't have a recip saw, you can use a single end hack saw. If it's a metal box it can be a bit more of a pain, but same method usually works. If you've lived a good life, the existing box will be an old work box that isn't fastened to a stud and will come out in a minute.

It will be easiest to fish the new wire while the hole is open before you put the new box in. If it's an interior wall with no insulation it will be a piece of cake. Good luck!
 
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Old 10-01-15, 09:58 AM
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For some reason I was thinking it would suck to try to fish another wire down there,
It won't. Just remove the existing box by cutting the nails holding it to the studs. With care no damage to the Sheetrock and you have a hole big enough to fish new cable. A hole that will fit the old work box you go back with.
have to figure out how to convert the single switch box into a double gang
No, you can use a duplex switch but if you want to go to two gang and separate switches you just widen the hole and use an old work 2-gang box.

The real question here is does power come in at the switch or the first light. To answer that: How many cables in the switch box and what color wires on the switch?

Dang, Carbide Tip covered most of this. I need to take more time reading before answering.
 
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Old 10-01-15, 10:03 AM
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Ha thanks guys. You basically verified the youtube video I just watched. I'll probably widen the hole and go double gang so I can put two wemo switches in there if I want. I built a couple rooms in my basement from the ground up including all the electrical and everything, so I can figure out the wiring, I just wasn't sure about the setup with the fan. But thanks for all your input!
 
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Old 10-13-15, 04:49 PM
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Just remove the single switch and install a duplex one. The only problem you might have is the number of wires in the box.
 
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Old 10-13-15, 05:05 PM
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Sometimes it helps to read the replies. The OP wants to install two WiFi type switches.
He'll need to change the box to a two gang one.

Hopefully, he has taken the advice left here and checked for power AND a neutral at that location or it'll be a no go.
 
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Old 10-29-15, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by PJMax
Sometimes it helps to read the replies. The OP wants to install two WiFi type switches.
He'll need to change the box to a two gang one.

Hopefully, he has taken the advice left here and checked for power AND a neutral at that location or it'll be a no go.
Yeah I've checked the switch, there is proper power, neutral, and ground wires there. I haven't gotten to the project yet, it'll probably happen in the winter when it's not so hot in the attic. (I guess right now wouldn't be too bad either, but we're busy right now) Yeah I'm not sure if I'm going to spring for wifi switches right now, as I've found out there really isn't a good wifi switch solution that includes dimming, which is what I'd really like. But we'll see. I do think I will probably run new power lines down to the switch box so I can separate the fan and lights though. We'll see. Thanks for everyone's advice in here.

Edit: Ha, just realized you were probably referencing ray2047's comment about checking to see if power comes in at the switch or the first light. That I have not checked on yet. But obviously will when I get into really planning my project. I tend to get these posts going months before I'm ready to start my projects lol. There is only one light in the room right now, so power either comes in there, or at the switch. So it really shouldn't be a problem either way.
 
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Old 10-29-15, 08:51 AM
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Remember just because you see a white wire at the switch doesn't mean you have a neutral.
 
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Old 10-29-15, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Remember just because you see a white wire at the switch doesn't mean you have a neutral.
True, I'll have to do some testing when I get it open and validate what each wire is.
 
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Old 10-29-15, 09:13 AM
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and validate what each wire is.
Do not use a non contact tester.
 
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Old 10-29-15, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Do not use a non contact tester.
Thanks, yeah the tester I have is a non-contact variety, similar to this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-NC.../dp/B001UAHZAM
 
 

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