9 Types of Fan Speed Control Switches Explained

Installing a fan speed control seems like a simple enough task. With a few tools and the right fan speed control switch the job could be done in a short period of time. There are more choices of fan speed control switches than you may think. Knowing what your needs are and doing a bit of research can get you the right switch the first time.

Ceiling Fan Chain Switch

Most ceiling fans are packaged with this standard fan speed control. Three speeds, low, medium and fast operated by a chain hanging down from the fan. While this is a functional and extremely economical choice it does have a few drawbacks. Chains do break easily and if you have a light package the most common issue is figuring out which chain turns on what.

Rotary Wall Fan Control

A wall mounted, 1 knob, switch plate control usually controls one fan by rotating the knob; on and off selection along with 3 speeds. Select units rated at 60z UL, 120 volts and CSA listed.

Variable Speed Wall Control

Similar to the rotary wall fan control, however, these switches are rated at 5 amps and 1 rotary control can operate several fans at the same time.

Dual Fan and Light Control

Two rotary knobs make controlling fan speed and light dimming a breeze. The fan control switch allows for 4 speeds, while the light dimmer allows full range light control.

Tap Fan Control Switch

This fan switch has 2 tap buttons, 1 button for the fan and 1 button for the lights. Light settings go from soft candle light to bright white light. The fan speeds are from slow to full speed. The fan tap button can be preset for your choice of speeds. These units generally include the control, canopy and the wall plate. These fan switch controls are flush to the wall.

Single slide Fan Control Switch

Simple slide knob, three speeds, fan control switch wall mounted.

Single Slide Fan and Light Control

Use with 1 fan and 1 light only. This is a 1.5 amp wall mounted unit. This fan speed control switch does allow for 3 fan speeds on a vertical slider knob; however the lights and the fan are dimmed simultaneously.

Single slide Fan Control Push Button Light Switch

Three speeds are available with the slide fan control switch. It is designed to control a single fan with a light package. The light switch is a flat button toggle with on and off capabilities only.

Dual Slide Fan and Light Control

This unit provides an individual slide knob for the fan and the light. Light slide provide full range and preset dimming. The fan speed control slide provides 4 fan speeds and preset control options. Preset operations include fan/light setting capabilities.

All fan speed control switches should be UPC coded. If you are not familiar with wiring installation it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed electrician before attempting to install any of these devices.