I recently remodeled my room and added in a ceiling fan. The room only had a dimmer switch installed which I didn't think would be a big deal because it would either be on or off. However, I'm now having a weird issue. When the fan is on and the light is on everything works fine. The different fan speeds are fine and it turns off when it's supposed to.

The issue is when the fan is off and the light is still on it flickers at a very annoying frequency and dims quite a bit. It's becoming a real issue because now it's getting colder and I can't have the light on in my room without the fan!

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

  • 1
    Is it an LED bulb? Many older dimmers have this interaction with LED bulbs.
    – Phil G
    Dec 4, 2019 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


Two gotchas here.

  • You can't put a dimmer on a fan. Fans require a fan speed controller which is a different sort of thing. Even if you never use the dimmer in middle settings, most dimmers are also doing that dimming thing at lowest (nominal off) and highest settings. Since you don't care that much about dimming, change it to a plain switch.
  • You must not put a fan on a plain junction box. It doesn't have the strength. A fan's vibration will tear a normal junction box out of the wall. So change that box to a fan-rated junction box if it isn't one already.

There are a few things that could cause this, but it comes down to your dimmer not being compatible with the fan, the lights, or both. That leaves you a few options: replace the dimmer, swap it out with a switch or try different bulbs.

Assuming LED bulbs, some of them handle dimmers better than others. There's a chance the dimmer will not work with any LED bulbs, but checking out some "made to be dimmed" bulbs is the least amount of work.

If the bulb swap doesn't help, just using a simple switch would be the easiest and cheapest thing to do. If you want a dimmer you have to be careful and find one compatible with fan motors and LED bulbs (assuming that's what you have). Then the bulbs also have to be compatible with the dimmer... so it can be more complicated for sure.

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