I currently have a ceiling fan with light in my living room. It has no switch, and is controlled solely by pull chains. I would like to add recessed lighting to the room, and I would like to add two switches: one for the fan, and a dimmer for the recessed lighting. What is the simplest way of adding these two switches? A 3 wire switch loop? If so what is the proper wiring configuration.

  • So there's no switch for this fan at all? You have to cut power at the breaker? Also, what access do you have above the box and into your walls?
    – Machavity
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 0:07
  • The only switch is the pull chain. There is no wall switch. Sorry for the confusion. I have attic access above the room.
    – Jake
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 0:10
  • Next question: you want two switches total (one fan and one lights) or two switches for the light and one for the fan?
    – Machavity
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 0:13
  • How is this living room laid out? Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 0:23
  • One switch for fan, one switch for recessed lights.
    – Jake
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


You could probably get by running 14-3 wire from the box to a double gang box. Make the white wire your incoming hot, nut it to your two switches, wire switch #1 to the black, and finally switch #2 to the red. You can then attach the lights to your black at the box, and the fan to the red.

NEC recommends dropping a neutral to the box, however. If you can, get some 14/2/2 wire (4 line) and use the blue (or white-red stripe in some) to bring your hot in. Hook the white to the neutral and then nut it off in the switch box.

  • "NEC recommends dropping a neutral to the box" this has been required for several years now.
    – user4302
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 17:22

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