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Heating & Cooling

What do I need in order to switch from a dimming light to a ceiling fan/light combo with dimmer?

We have a dimming light in our dining room. My wife would like me to switch it over to a ceiling fan with a light and still be able to dim atleast the light.I know you can’t use a normal dimming switch with a ceiling fan. What exactly do I need to do a switch over like this and what do I need to purchase? Any special tools I need for this?

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Posted 2013-04-05T18:24:19+0000  by kjpayne kjpayne

Hey kjpayne,


You can change your dimmer when you upgrade to a ceiling fan, but you will need to make sure that the fan and light are on separate switches. 


The fan's motor can't work on a standard variable light dimmer, but the light kit on it can. One key thing you will need to remember is to split the wiring from the fan and light going down to the light switch.


We also sell a dimmer that has dual controls on a single gang device, which means you won't have to break out any sheetrock to install another dimmer/switch. Click on the image below to find out more about this awesome product.

Lutron Skylark 1.5 Amp Single Pole 3 Speed Combination Fan and Light Control - White


You will need to run another wire down from the fan to the new switch so they can act independently.


Once this is done, you can control your fan and dim your lights all from one location!


I hope this has helped you out, and please let us know if you have any particular questions regarding this project.




Posted 2013-04-06T21:21:59+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Sorry if I am a little slow on this. So Basically i just use the current wires to hook up the light and need to run a new wire from the fan, through the ceiling and wall down to the box where I would install this new dual switch? I've never done any type of wiring before that wasn't already existing. Any tips/tricks to this? What kind of wire do I need to purchase to do this? Thanks for your help.

Posted 2013-04-22T13:19:24+0000  by kjpayne

Still looking for help if you have a free minute. Thanks

Posted 2013-04-26T13:45:34+0000  by kjpayne

Hey again,


I apologize for the long delay, I only work here in the office for 2 days and the last time I was here I was working on a lengthy project.


As for your wiring setup, the key is to make sure you have two hot leads coming from the ceiling fan to the switch. This will guarantee the dimmer I showed earlier in this thread will work.


You'll need to check and see what wires you have now coming from the existing junction box to your ceiling fan. I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume the old dimmer was just a single pole one that lead to the fixture.


To update your wiring, you can run another black wire, but you'll need to do it safely so the wiring doesn't get frayed or damaged when it is being pulled through the attic/wall.


You won't need a lot of it, but you will need to measure how much is needed to complete the job.We carry small amounts of solid copper wiring in 12 gauge or 14 gauge at your local store. The outer jacket on the wire will protect and reduce any chances of damaging the wire during fishing it through the wall.

Southwire Romex SIMpull 15 ft. 14/2-Gauge NM-B Cable


The toughest part of the project will be the feeding of the added wire through the wall/ceiling. If you have access to the ceiling above (via the attic), then this part will be easier to manage. Even if you don't have access, you can pull the wire through, as long as you can feed the wire from the junction box (which needs to be rated for the weight of the fan).


You will most likely run into the stud frame in the wall. You can open a small section of drywall where the ceiling meets the wall and drill a hole from the top of the stud down to the wall. Only do this if you can't find the existing wire leading to the junction box. If you do find the wire, you maybe able to fish the wire through the existing hole. And of course, repair and patch the drywall after the project is finished.


The biggest thing is accessibility for the wire to run successfully to the ceiling junction box to the one in the wall. If you can do this, then the wire shown above can safely and securely wire up the dimmer; one for the fan and the other for your lights.


Once that is out of the way, simply wire up each hot lead and neutrals as per the dimmers instructions.


Let me know if this information has assisted you, and let us know if you have any further questions.



Posted 2013-04-27T16:13:03+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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