I installed a new ceiling fan/light combo. I have two wall switches. (one for fan, one for light). I don't want a remote. I did not use the control box(remote operated brain box) that came with the new fan. (fan is Harbor Breeze?) Instead, I wired one switch each directly to the fan and light respectively. Everything works fine, but I forgot about fan speed. How can I now adjust fan speed? (3 speed or otherwise)

  • Model # of fan? May 6, 2019 at 15:31
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    That is a "feature" of cheapie fans; they work on wireless remotes because that's cheaper to make. Harbor Breeze is Home Depot's house brand. Obviously the price is fantastic... That's basically big box's whole schtick; convince you their prices are way better than a proper supply house, then sell you trailer park tier products that a proper supply house would never allow in the store. May 6, 2019 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


If the fan doesn't have a pull string to control the speed, you can replace the switch on the wall with a fan speed control. This is just like a dimmer switch, but the electronics are slightly different to work with a fan motor rather than a light bulb.

  • I wouldn't say "slightly". I mean it's all transistors and stuff, but I wouldn't want to lend the impression that fan speed controllers and dimmers are in any way interchangeable; they're super not! May 6, 2019 at 18:22
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    @Harper, right, didn't want to give that impression. I phrased it that way because the installation is almost identical and if you can install a light switch, you can probably install a speed control. Thanks for reinforcing that.
    – JPhi1618
    May 6, 2019 at 18:24

Fan model is important here, some of the fans can't be controlled without the electronics you intentionally removed. Why did you do this?

You can't place a fan onto a standard dimmer switch because it damages the motor, your only option is to research the fan model (or call the company) to determine if you can place a fan control switch in the wall to regulate the speed. Unfortunately this isn't always an option and it's becoming more and more difficult with "smart" technology they are incorporating into basic devices. If you don't want the ceiling fan connected to the home Wi-Fi and don't want to use an app to adjust the speed and turn it on/off then you're SOL with certain models. Not very smart but who am I to judge...

My advice would be to install the fan control which came with the unit and it solves the problem without extra costs and labor. Adjusting the fan speed is something I rarely do in my home so I just chuck the remotes into the kitchen cabinet... With certain models you can also program them to use a single remote and eliminate the need for multiple devices.

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