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Can I use two light switches to control a light and fan separately?

I am remodeling a bedroom in my home. The room is not original to the house; part of the basement was modified to add an extra bedroom and bathroom.

The bedroom lighting fixture is a dome-shaped light that, while I like it, does not match the style I have in mind. I'd like to replace it with a ceiling fan. However, I would prefer to avoid hanging cords and such -- I worry it would be an eyesore in the look I'm trying to create.

There are two light switches. One of them controls the light -- the other, from what I can tell, does nothing.

Is it possible to use two light switches to control the light and fan separately?

7 Answers

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  • W. C.
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, you can use 2 switches like that. Is there a possibility that the other switch might control a wall outlet or two?

    If not, simply trace the wire & if it goes back to your ceiling box, you're in luck & a fan is probably what it was installed for.

    If you cannot figure out what it's for, or where it goes, you'll need to disconnect the switch & terminate the wires with wire nuts, then tape them & push them back in the switch box.

    Next, you'll need to pull another pair of wires from the switch box to the ceiling box to give you your fan switch.

    Good luck...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Definitely. In the event the light fixture was also wired for a fan, as mentioned above, you certainly can install a fan with no difficulty. You could also install new switches that will control light level and fan speed, and they can be found at any good hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes kind of place.

    However, it is possible that one switch supplies the light fixture, and the other controls, say, the upper half of the wall outlets, as is common. you still can wire the fan up just fine, but you'll have to control light level and fan speed using on the pull cords (the black and red wires in the fan would just be twisted together with the black wire from the ceiling) UNLESS your fan comes with a remote. Then it's possible to get separate fan and light control from a unipolar switch, as the remote receiver installed takes one power source in and divides it into two going out. Then you can just leave the switch on the wall on all the time, and turn the light and fan on and off, change speed, dim and brighten, all from the remote.

    Source(s): I've installed six ceiling fans in my home so far, making due with some pretty screwed-up wiring performed by the previous owner, who wasn't nearly as good an electrician as he thought he was. There are always work-arounds.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Based on your description, there are a few fan companies that make fans were you can control the fan and the light from just one control. The inteli-touch fan models from Casablanca fan company have the fan hard wired and then the control sends a radio signal to the light to turn it on/off and go through the full range dimming as well. Any of the casablanca models that end in a T, for example 6672T, is the inteli-touch.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. (but you knew that already from answers above mine)

    You can split out the light from the fan and have them separate or even make one a dimmer if the drive for the fan or the light is capable of that.

    Especially if it is a bedroom though make sure you use some sort of a mounting kit/bracket/box to install it. Here is a decent walk through from Lowes:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=Impr...

    Hope it helps!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, you can get a stack switch to operate the fan and light independent of one another. It's conceivable that the wiring is already set up for your purposes. You have to take the fan out to see how many wires are there and check the electrical box that the light is hooked into now. Google "stack switch'' to find out how to wire it. I hope that helps.

    Source(s): 30+ years in the construction trades
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  • jay p
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    the switch probably operates half of an outlet(switchplug). wire the fan to work when the lights on then add a pull chain switch to the fan. or rewire.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes, if you have an extra pair of wire from the switch to the fan, done everyday.

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