The 4 Dimmer Switches for Ceiling Fans. Can I use Dimmer Switches with Ceiling Fans?

Dimmer switches are a popular lighting option. They can give any room a sense of ambiance. An additional benefit is the flexibility to have the lighting in any room at a level that is comfortable for everyone.

Can I use Dimmer Switches with Ceiling Fans

Where Dimmer Switches Are Used

Dimmer switches are generally placed in common rooms such as a dining or living room. Most light fixtures used in a common area tend to connect to light fixtures that are only used for light and have no secondary functions or moving parts. Bedrooms are the most common place to find a dimmer switch connected to a ceiling fan rather than a straight-forward light source.

Ceiling Fans Connected to Standard Dimmer Switches

Many times when a ceiling fan is connected to a dimmer, a standard dimmer switch is used. This can become a problem in several ways. Ceiling fans have both a motor and a fan component, making them more complicated than a regular light fixture. A standard dimmer switch, or a single-pole switch, has only one switch, and only the ability to control one element, either fan or lighting.

When a ceiling fan is connected to a standard dimmer, you can control the light level, but damage will be done to the motor. There is also a chance of a fire. Dimmer switches tend to be fairly easy to overload. If you are using the switch to control more than the one thing an overload becomes more likely. If the switch is warm or hot then an overload is about to happen.

Changing From a Dimmer to a Toggle Switch

If you already have a ceiling fan that is connected to a standard dimmer switch, then the easiest fix is to simply take out the dimmer feature and change to a regular toggle switch. Because you disconnected the dimmer switch you will not have the ability to alter the brightness of the light. On the upside, The fixture will no longer be a fire hazard.

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Safe Ways to Connect a Dimmer Switch to a Ceiling Fan

If you still want a dimmer function on the light of the ceiling fan, then there are a couple of options to do this safely. Because there is both a lighting and a fan component, these functions need to be controlled separately in order to work safely. Your house may already be wired so that the fan and the light can be controlled by two different switches.

If the wiring is not already in place then you can rewire it so that a toggle switch controls the fan and a dimmer switch controls the lights. You will likely have to hire an electrician to do this due to the complexity, home insurance coverage, or local permit regulations.

The photo below left comes from a fan speed controller – this is what needs to be used on a ceiling fan.  The photo below right comes from a standard dimmer switch, which should not be used to control the motor on a ceiling fan.


Remote Fan Control Kits

There are kits available that will bypass the need to rewire anything. If you go for this option, then the light will remail wired to the lights only. Instead of connecting to the fan, the switch will control just the lighting portion of the ceiling fan. You can attach the remote device to the exterior of the fan and control that with the remote.

Dimmer switches can be a wonderful addition to any space. The flexibility gained by controlling light levels can help create a mood or provide more comfort. If you chose to use a dimmer switch with a ceiling fan, make sure to weigh your options so that you and your home will stay safe for many years to come.

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Best Dimmer Switches for Ceiling Fans

#1 Smart Ceiling Fan Control and Dimmer Light Switch

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#2 Lutron Maestro LED+ Fan Control and Dimmer for LEDs

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#3 DELIXI White 3 Speed Ceiling Fan Wall Speed Control

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#4 Lutron PD-FSQN-WH Caseta Wireless

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#5 Lutron TGFSQ-FH-WH

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