How To Connect a Ceiling Fan With a Light to One Switch

Updated March 13, 2018

There are few different ways to connect a ceiling fan with an integrated light fixture. The proper method depends on the type of fan unit you have. Some fans can have the light be controlled by a dimmer switch at the wall, so that one switch controls the fan and another controls the light. Other models use remote control to operate the light, while the old-fashioned type of fan has one switch that provides power to the fan and light at the same time, and you control the fan and light separately using pull chains on the fixture. Both remote-control and pull-chain fans can be wired to a single, standard wall switch, and the fan can replace an existing light fixture.

Turn off the power to the appropriate circuit at the home’s service panel (breaker box). Remove the light fixture from the ceiling, if applicable.

Replace the existing electrical box for the fixture with a heavy-duty box designed specifically for ceiling fans. Ceiling fan boxes may have brace bars that fasten to the ceiling framing or blocking, or they can be fastened directly to the ceiling framing with screws.

Hang the fan unit to the new box to support its weight while you make the wiring connections. Connect the fan to the circuit wires following the manufacturer’s wiring diagram. Complete the fan installation as directed.

Replace the wall switch with a new switch, if desired. Make sure the new switch carries the same voltage and amperage (amp) ratings as the original. Restore power to the circuit and test the fan and light operation.


All electrical installations must conform to the local building code. Consult your city’s building department for recommendations and applicable code requirements.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Ceiling fan electrical box
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Wiring supplies (as needed)
  • Wall switch (as needed)
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About the Author

Philip Schmidt has been writing about homes for more than 19 years and is author of 18 books, including "Install Your Own Solar Panels," “PlyDesign,” and “The Complete Guide to Treehouses.” Schmidt holds an English degree from Kansas University and was a carpenter for six years before hanging out his shingle as a full-time writer and editor.