I have a remote-controlled ceiling fan and light. I don't run the fan, but when I turn the light on sometimes it will stay on for a long time then just go off by itself. I have tried both kinds of bulbs, but neither works. What causes this problem. Do I have to replace the ceiling fan and light, or can it be fixed?

  • By “remote,” do you mean that it has an infrared remote control, like a TV? How is the fan wired—are there any wall-mounted switches that control the fan? How long does it stay on before it turns itself off? Does that only happen sometimes? – Vebjorn Ljosa Oct 3 '12 at 10:40
  • does the light come back on by itself after it is off for awhile? – shirlock homes Oct 3 '12 at 12:01
  • It would be useful to test with the fan on as well, knowing if that turns off at the same time or not will help isolate the problem to the light part (or not). – gregmac Oct 3 '12 at 16:46
  • Is it overlamped, with a bulb that's a higher wattage than what it's listed to supply? Lots of devices have thermal sensors that kill power to the light if it heats up too much. (A bit of darkness beats a fire.) – Jeremy W. Sherman Oct 3 '12 at 16:56

I had a ceiling fan where the light turned off after it heated up, it turns out that the contact that the bulb screws into lost contact due to the expansion of the metal due to the heat. You could try bending the contact out a bit to see if that helps. Clean it as well while you're at it. Make sure the power to the light is off so you don't get a shock.

Another possibility is that the radio control is being activated by interference or someone else using a remote on the same frequency. Many devices like doorbells and garage door remotes use the same radio technology, so changing the radio channel your light uses may fix the problem. Your manual should show how to do that.

  • Don't just flip the switch off. Kill power to the entire circuit at the breaker box before bending out the contact. That, or very carefully use a listed insulated tool. If someone wired the light wrong (interrupting the white, grounded conductor rather than the black), the socket will still be hot even with the switch off. – Jeremy W. Sherman Oct 3 '12 at 16:55
  • Very good point! – GdD Oct 3 '12 at 20:10

This last guy is right. A lot of these ceiling fan lights have a wattage/voltage protectors. If the combined wattage of the bulbs exceed 190 watts, it will shut down the lights. Try using 40 watt bulbs, not 60. I just had this happen to me


It's because you have the wrong wattage light bulbs in there. Take one out and it will come on and stay on.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.