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I am replacing a ceiling fan/light kit combination with a light fixture. The ceiling fan is controlled by 2 switches; one for light on/off and one for the fan on/off + 3 speed control. My desired end result is 1 switch to control a new light (replacing that switch with a dimmer switch).

At the switch box:

  • Switch on the left (light control) has red/black/ground
  • Switch on the right (fan control) has 2 black wires; one was wired to the black lead on the switch (marked with blue tape in the picture) and the other to the red lead on the switch. enter image description here

At the ceiling fan:

The wires are connected as what appears to be normal (no image attached):

  • Red to fan blue
  • White to fan white
  • Black to fan black
  • Ground to fan ground

Yes; both switches function as expected controlling the light on/off and fan on/off/speed.

Questions

  1. What switch should be used for the new light? The previous fan light control or the previous fan speed control? Doesn't matter to me which one to remove; I plan to use a blank for that.
  2. Based upon the response to question 1, what wires to use for connecting the new light (red to lights' black, white to lights' white OR black to lights' black, white to lights' white OR something else)?
  3. Knowing that I want to remove the extra switch, do I just cap those unused wires off or do they need to be otherwise connected?

Thank you for helping me out!

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Very well-documented question; keep 'em coming! – Daniel Griscom Apr 14 at 14:00
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It looks like you have a pretty "normal" setup:

  • Black (hot) & white (neutral) come in from the panel.
  • Black (switched hot), red (switched hot) and white (neutral) go from the box to the fan/light.

What you should find, but is not 100% clear from the picture, is a wire nut connecting three black wires - incoming from the panel, light switch, fan switch. Assuming you can find that connection (because if you can't then we need to figure out what is going on before doing anything else):

In the switch box

  • Remove the pigtail that used to go to the fan switch.
  • Cap the other black wire from the fan switch - you won't be using it.
  • Use the existing light switch (unless you want to switch a Decora style or a smart switch) - no change needed to that switch in the box.

In the ceiling box

  • Cap the incoming black wire - this was for the fan and you won't be using it.
  • Connect the red wire to the new light's hot (typically black) wire.
  • Connect the white wire to the new light's white (neutral) wire.
  • Connect all grounds together. New light ground may be green or bare.
  • 1
    At switch box Found bundle of black wires and removed pigtail from it that leaded to fan on/off/speed control switch. Capped (and taped per response below) black wire from switch to fan. – HCTagalong Apr 14 at 15:32
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It looks like you've already finished your wiring here. (ignoring, for now, the dimmer). The /3 cable takes fan-switched-hot, light-switched-hot and neutral up to the fan, and they've nicely made the light the red wire; that'll go on the load terminal of your new dimmer. There is 1 neutral bundle back in the box, which makes it easy; keep the existing wires together and add the dimmer's neutral.

Normally you don't use tape to secure wire-nuts connecting 2+ wires. If the wires fall out without tape, this is bad technique causing bad connections that will fail and start a fire - don't "cover this up", fix your technique. Different deal when using a wire-nut on 1 wire. They simply can't hang on without tape. You have to use tape!

Here in this box, this might leave you with a pigtail to nowhere. You're supposed to remove those.

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What switch should be used for the new light?

It doesn't matter. A switch just "makes" or "breaks" the current carrying (hot) wire to the load, so either pair of hot & switched hot wires will work fine.

what wires to use for connecting the new light?

Either red to light's black or black to light's black (depending on which pair you used), and white to white.

do I just cap those unused wires?

Yes (except I also tape wire nuts)

The only thing a bit odd about this is your description of the original connections at the fan speed controller; it is not normal to see a white lead coming from a standard switch or speed control.

  • My apologies, I was incorrect. The leads on the fan on/off/speed control are black and red. I have corrected the description and notes on the image. – HCTagalong Apr 14 at 14:29

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