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Home > Buying Guides > Lighting & Electrical > How to Choose Controllers for Ceiling Fans
  

How to Choose Controllers for Ceiling Fans

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Ceiling fans are a perfect addition to any home to help circulate cool air in summer and warm air in winter. Ceiling fans are stylish and practical. For convenient operation, a ceiling fan remote control or wall mount control will eliminate the annoying task of having to stand on something to reach a the chain that turns on the ceiling fan blades or light.

Monte Carlo Fan CKF310 HandHeld Remote Kit Fan Wall Mount Control, White

Wall Mount Control vs. Remote Control

The differences between a wall mount control and a remote control are actually relatively few. The remote control is more portable and can be moved around the house. If you are prone to losing things this might be a problem, however most come with a small holder which can be mounted on the wall so that the remote has a home and isn’t lost as often. Remote controls are battery operated.

Wall mounted controls are hard wired directly to the wall in the same room as the ceiling fan they control. To install a wall mount you will either be removing an old switch and hooking up the new one to the same electric box or you will need to install a new electric box which will require wiring it to your main electric box. In the case that you are starting from scratch, it might just be easier to get a remote control for the ceiling fan.

Starting Fresh

If you are purchasing a brand new ceiling fan and know that you want a ceiling fan remote control, it is easiest to either choose a fan that comes with a remote or wall mount control (as many these days do) or purchase the manufacturer recommended remote control that is usually listed in the ceiling fan product description. By purchasing the remote or wall mount control along with the ceiling fan, you will eliminate the risk of selecting a control device that isn’t compatible with your ceiling fan.

When a ceiling fan is installed the only way to control it is by turning on the switch it is connect to and pulling the chain/s on the fan to control speed and/or light. If you choose to install a wall mount of remote control then the ceiling fan should only be controlled by the remote or wall mount control and not by the chains because this might damage the ceiling fan.

What’s going on in there?

img src="http://hi.atgimg.com/img/p400/227/mir-lfqmt.jpg" alt="Lutron Electronics MIR-LFQMT Maestro Fan Control Lightswitch" class="l" width="240" style="border: 1px solid #ccc; margin-top: 6px;">

If you already have a ceiling fan but are tired of standing on a chair to switch it on and off with the chain, then it is time to upgrade and get a wall mount control and remote control. Finding a compatible remote control or wall mount option will take a little research. Start by determining your ceiling fan’s manufacturer and search for wall mount controls and remotes that are made by the same manufacturer. In the product description of each wall mount or fan there will be a list of fans that are compatible which is where you will find which is best for your fan.

Time for an upgrade

If you already have a ceiling fan but are tired of standing on a chair to switch it on and off with the chain, then it is time to upgrade and get a wall mount control and remote control. Finding a compatible remote control or wall mount option will take a little research.

Start by determining your ceiling fan’s manufacturer and search for wall mount controls and remotes that are made by the same manufacturer. In the product description of each wall mount or fan there will be a list of fans that are compatible which is where you will find which is best for your fan.

Install Time

Installing a wall mount control or remote control can be an easy DIY project, but does require some safety precautions, time and patience. Each remote and wall mount is unique and will come with specific installation instructions. A basic overview of what installation will entail includes:

  •  1. Turning off the power to the room with the ceiling fan
  •  2. Remove the canopy of the ceiling fan and wire in the receiver)
  •  3. For wall mount: remove the switch plate that operates the ceiling fan and wire in the wall mount control.
  •  4. Test

Troubled?

If you have installed the remote or wall mount control and it still isn’t work, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Issue: Installed control and it isn’t working

Possible Cause

  •  Main power still off
  •  Fan pull chain no set to high (manufacturer specific)
  •  Receiver wires wired wrong or came loose
  •  Transmitter and receiver signals don’t match
  •  Battery weak

Solution

  •  Flip electricity on at breaker
  •  Pull chain to high
  •  Double check wiring
  •  Reset the transmitter to the receiver
  •  Determine stronger battery alternative

Issue: Remote doesn’t work except from very close range

Possible Cause

  •  Signal blocked
  •  Battery weak

Solution

  •  Check the antenna in the ceiling canopy and move it for better reception
  •  Determine stronger or new battery alternative
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