Fan switch plus connected bulb

My fan is connected by a single switch on the wall, turning on both light and fan. I’m trying to figure out a way to gain separate control of both the light and the fan function without running a second wire. Has anyone tried the following combination:

-A GE fan switch for controlling fan speed
-A connected LED bulb for controlling the light

The main problem I could envision is that the fan might have to be on, for the light to also be on. Ie. I couldn’t have the light on, without also having the fan on. Has anyone tried this? Is that analysis correct? Any other ideas?

You could put an Aeon Microswitch behind each the light and the fan if they are separate fixtures.

It’s a light/fan combo fixture. I don’t think this would work.

Many times the fan light combo has two circuits accessible in the housing. This would allow you to use the micro switches.

I already had purchased one of those fan canopy modules a few years ago (Honeywell 40015) which gave me separate control of the fan and light at the wall and with an RF remote. Just recently I opened up the rf remote and combined it with a Thing Shield and an Arduino UNO board. It is not perfect, but I can control the lights and fan both from the wall. I think the “it’s not perfect” part comes from my inexperience writing the device handler code. The fan and light switches are reliable, I just cant get them to be included in routines and have my Amazon Echo control them.

How hard is this to pull off? I was a little intimidated by the soldering.

I installed a fan with a GE fan control wall switch to control the fan speed and an aeon dimmer Microswitch for the light to be controlled independently. I have 3 wires (black/white/red) going from the wall switch (+ground). I replaced the remote control and fan speed module in the fan with the aeon switch and patched the power from the wall switch directly to the fan.

I can now control the fan light independently and also linked it with the “Dim with me” app to match the level of the other lights in the room as well as the fan itself to turn on if the fan turns on.

If you don’t have 3 wires this will not work because the aeon micro needs constant power to operate though.

I don’t want to say it’s the easiest thing to accomplish but if you have any soldering experience it’s pretty straight forward. The hardest part for me was testing to see which pins I needed to solder to and which state (power/ground) I needed to have them change from/to to simulate a button press. I have done some small soldering jobs before (changing capacitors on tv boards and making an LED arduino clock) so I didn’t have too much difficulty with the solder. When all was said and done I think I spent $50 on the project. ($32 for the Thing Shield with the coupon code, $12 for a sainsmart arduino uno board, $6 for a project enclosure board from RadioShack believe it or not there is still one open near me).

Before hijacking the remote I also tried creating an rf receiver/transmitter with the arduino board. I used an idea I found on a site called arduinobasics. I was able to receive the rf signal via the arduino but when it was time to repeat it to the fan I had no luck. Part of me thinks my problem was the fact that the fan remote had a 305mhz transmitter and I was only able to find a 315 online. I was somewhat limited because I already had the fan installed. If you are starting from scratch I bet you could find a fan canopy module that is known to operate on 315 or 433mhz. I am not as familiar with the aeon micro switch, I know because I am using a button press remote with a toggle switch that I can not see the state of the fan or lights from the app, I can just initiate them to turn on or off.

If you did decide to install the 40015 Honeywell fan canopy module I could definitely give you a schematic of what I did.

I can also show you some ideas on how to explain to your girlfriend why you are spending $50 to take apart a remote control so that you can make a different remote control.

I’m not clear on this. What is controlling the light? It sounds like you have the fan wall switch (to control the fan), but also in the fan unit itself you installed the aeon to control the fan as well? I think I’m misunderstanding where the aeon switch goes.

Ha, this is great, I’m curious what explanation your girlfriend bought? At this point, my spouse has pretty much given up complaining about my obsessiveness with smart devices

Yes, I took the remote control receiver out of the fan housing. I patched power from the fan controller wall switch to the fan. To control the light I put the aeon dimmer switch in the empty space where the remote control receiver used to be. The light (aeon dimmer switch) is turning on/off when:

  • other ceiling lights are turned on (using “Dim with me” app)
  • fan is turned on (using smart lighting app)
  • via Smartthings app
  • via Siri/HomeKit (Via homebridge)

The GE fan controller controls fan speed

That seems a lot easier than what I did.

The only thing that I can see that wouldn’t work here for me is that you would have to go to the app to turn the lights off if I’m not mistaken. I’m sure you could set up a switch that remotely controls the micro controller though.

You could add another wall box for a switch for the light… Then you have the choice if you want to put a smart wall switch in the box instead of the aeon in the fan.

I linked the loan light to the other lights in the room. So when I turn on the ceiling lights, the fan light turns on as well automatically.

I was thinking more along the lines of a “switch to nowhere” that controls the aeon with similar rules, but I see how what you are saying could work as well.

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so i have a fan/light combo that uses a RF remote and I think the RF Remote controller in the fan hood went bad because it no longer controls the fan or lights but i’m able to control fan and light with the pull strings. I think this is a good time for me to try your setup.

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So I finally removed the RF controller under the hood and wired it back up as a normal fan/light. I had a light switch that did nothing, i could never figure out what it was for…turns out it was for the light in the fan! LOL. So now i have the perfect scenero for smartthings. I have a switch that controls the fan and a switch that controls the lights. So i just bought the GE Fan controller and the GE light dimmer. They should install perfect and work great instead of that old school RF remote

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