Ceiling Fan with Dimmer Switch?


#1

Hi,

I want to add a ceiling fan to my bedroom, but I’d like to be able to dim the lights on it rather than just turn them on/off. Also, I’d like to be able to control the ceiling fan speed. All of this through the app and/or the wall dimmer switch.

Q1 - is this even possible?

Q2 - if possible, what ceiling fan can I use? I’ve seen some where the speed is controlled by pulling a string on the fan itself. I doubt that’s what I’m after…

Q3 - with that ceiling fan, what wall dimmer switch do I use?

Thank you very much!


Has anyone tried the new GE Z-Wave Ceiling Fan Wall Switch (12730)?
Ceiling fan w/ remote control, z-wave wall on/off switch?
#2

You will likely need two different switches.

Lots of discussion on this, in particular read carefully: the dimmer switches used to control fan motors are different than the ones for lights, and it’s very important to match things up correctly.

Both GE and Leviton make zwave switches specifically for fan motor control, so those are a good option.


(Keith Croshaw) #3

Yea just be careful, a lighting dimmer could cause damage to the motor or fire. I’d probably break out the wires and put an Aeon micro dimmer module in the fan housing on the light HOT wire myself. Luckily in my house I don’t have lights on my fans so I only have to think about fan speed. If you modulate the fan speed from a wall switch and the lights are tied into the fan HOT would that dim the lights? So much to think about.


#4

Hi @bigbadwoolfe, unfortunately there is not a zwave or zigbee device that has fan control and light control all in one device. I wish there was.

In my case I was lucky and I had separate wall switches for the light and fan already there that I replaced with a GE dimmer device and GE’s new fan control device.

Here’s a discussion thread that may help you:

Also, do not use a regular dimmer with a ceiling fan.


(Ron S) #5

I am struggling with the same issue with Casablanca fans from 70’s. No clue how to change the switches on those. The fans are fantastic and hardly makes any noise bit need to change the switches.


#6

Thank you for all your replies!

Well, at least I know that what I’m trying to do is indeed a bit tricky and I’m not finding the “right” wall switch because it doesn’t exist.

So to summarize, I’ll need one switch (on/off or dimmer) to control the lights and one switch that’s designed specifically for a fan control.

I’m not sure how I’ll pull that off considering there is only 1 wire going from the wall switch to the light/ceiling fan with lights built in, and usually the ceiling fans have a built in control for the fan (either with a remote or by pulling those strings). So a follow up question, what kind of ceiling fan can I control with the GE Ceiling Fan switch? Is there a specific requirement ? How will the switch tell a fan what speed to run if there isn’t a contract of some sort between the switch and the fan? Are all ceiling fans built to some standard which the wall control switch can tap into?

Thanks!


(Eric) #7

newer quiet multi-speed fans are controlled by switched capacitors. HIGH= 0uF, MED= appx 4uF, SLO= appx 8uF.

an insanely in-depth examination at
http://kenklaser.gaiastream.com/2007/12/17/ceiling-fan-capacitor-woes/

If you don’t have a neutral at the wall switch then you can’t legitimately use the GE Ceiling Fan switch. You could put an Aeon Micro Switch module and/or dimmer(for the lights only) in the ceiling fan enclosure.


#8

Just realized one thing we didn’t explain very well.

Aeon Labs makes a “micro dimmer” (it’s on the official “works with SmartThings” list) which is a tiny control that you can fit INSIDE a wall switch or in many cases a light fixture. Not compatible with a fan motor, but works fine with a light.

So…

You can use a zwave switch rated for fan control as your wall switch. And potentially put the micro inside the fan fixture to replace a light pull cord.

Then you control the fan with the wall switch and the light with your phone or some other option like the Minimote. In fact in you have the wall switch and the Aeon micro then you can set up the Minimote as a remote to control both the fan and the light, although it’s not exactly a dimmer. But good for a nightstand option.

The Aeon micro comes in both a dimmer and a binary on/off option.

It’s the kind of project it’s best to have a licensed electrician do, but it’s very workable for a lot of set ups, particularly the ones where the fan’s light control is a hanging cord.


(Ron S) #9

I have no clue what to do as my Casablanca smart switch for fan, light, reverse at times “shocks” (from 70’s). Most of the light dimmers in the house for lights and fans are obsolete and I am taking a plunge this weekend to open these up and see what’s inside and evaluate my options. I have to freaking label the breaker panel first… I dont want to get electrocuted or set fire to my house… Life… Why did I even buy a house? Experience with switches: zero.


#10

I have a similar problem because I am building a house and have a 3-way which will control a fan with lights. My electrician only wired for one switch for the fan that he said would be controlled with a remote. I want to make it z-wave compatible but cant see a way to do it unless there are two separate switches, one for the fan and one for the light. THe gang box already had so many switches that the electrician elected to do it this way, not realizing it would cause my home automation problems.

So based on this answer you gave, I was wondering if the opposite setup were possible: Could I have the switch turn on the lights and then control the fan from a z-wave device, or even just from the remote that comes with the fan? The lights are most important to me to have access to at the wall, but I would ideally like to control fan and lights with z-wave.

Can I put a regular GE dimmer z-wave switch at the wall and then control the fan with its remote? I am not an electrician, and my electrician hasn’t done any z-wave. We are learning together.


(Sai Smith) #11

I’m trying to determine if it is possible to install a GE Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Fan Control Switch to control fan speed while having Philips Hue Dimmable LEDS in the fan light kit. I’m thinking if the light kit has a constant hot to it without using the wall switch then I could use the pull chain for the fan lights for turning the lights on/off directly if desired but I could just use my Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit for the lights. Any thoughts on this?


(Dale C) #12

Absolutely will work like you want if you can switch the lights on-off from the pull chain regardless of what the wall switch position is in, you are good to go. See this thread here for the various options you might consider