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magnolia 11-08-2011 10:58 AM

Replacing light with ceiling fan
In my bedroom, I have a light that I would like to replace with a ceiling fan+light. The setup is a single-pole switch, and a black wire and a white wire at the ceiling box. I believe that if I tie the hot wire for the light and the hot wire for the fan together and connect them to the hot wire from the ceiling (and connect the neutrals as well), the wall switch will turn the whole fan/light off and on, but I can still control them separately with the pull chains. Is that right? I don't really want to rewire the house, but need some way to control the light and fan individually. Also, I have heard that a light/fan remote can be used in place of the wall switch to control them separately, but it's not clear to me how a switch on a two-wire hookup could control the fan and light separately. Is there some kind of remote that can do this? Thanks for the help!

teststrips 11-08-2011 11:07 AM

Yep - you can hook the fan up so both light and fan will work. Both will be switched by the light switch. The only way to control one or the other separately would be the pull chains, unless of course you add a wireless unit to the fan to turn it on/off.

edit - I guess I should point out that the wireless control units take a bit of space up in the ceiling box - if there is no room for one, you'd have to change the box in the ceiling.... also speaking of the box in the ceiling - is it designed to hold a Ceiling fan? If its a normal light box, it probably isn't designed to hold the weight of a ceiling fan... they make boxes with support beams that go between the ceiling joists + you can install through only the existing hole. The biggest challenge with those boxes is it is pretty hard to remove the old box without ruining your drywall.

ddawg16 11-08-2011 11:08 AM

You are correct on the wiring.

What is more important is making sure that the box for the light can support the weight of the fan. In most houses built without ceiling fans, the boxes are not strong enough.

An easy way to tell....with the light fixture off....screw in the two screws that would hold the light....give each one a tug....if you see the box rocking...then it is most likely just nailed to the side of a ceiling joist. I would not trust that box to hold a fan.

If you have attic access, it's not that hard to install a box with support bracket across two joists.

magnolia 11-08-2011 02:29 PM

Thanks for the responses. I hadn't thought about whether the box can hold a fan, but I do have attic access, so I'll climb up and take a look at that. Can you tell me more about how the wireless control units work? Does the transmitter wire in in place of the light switch? Can it control the fan and light independently? And do the come with the fan, or are they aftermarket? Thanks!

teststrips 11-09-2011 12:29 PM

the wireless control units basically make the pull chains wireless. The switch at the wall still acts as a master switch to turn everything off. The light controls aren't super expensive - a quick search on amazon found one for $25.50 -

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