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? Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 10:40
  • does the light come back on by itself after it is off for awhile? Commented Oct 3, 2012 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
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 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.) Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 16:56

6 Answers 6


I bought 2 Hunter Exeter model fans and was running into the problem of the lights cutting in and out after about 10-15 minutes of steady light output. Both fans were having the same problem. The fans are controlled by radio frequency remote controls - which the instructions say are "paired" with the fan when they arrive. BUT, you can re-pair them and doing so solved my intermittent light problem. I only re-paired one of the fans and now both fan lights work properly. My guess is there was some interference between the remotes for the two fans, and re-pairing one eliminated that interference.


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.

  • 1
    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. Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 16:55

I installed an outdoor Hunter ceiling fan 8 days ago (lantern model) that came with the 2 dimmable LED bulbs so the bulbs are not overheating. It also came with the 2032CR watch battery for the remote control. Occasionally when I use the wall switch to turn the fan & light on and off instead of using the remote control to control the fan and light on and off from it's previous setting I have that problem.

I opened the remote control, pressed the reset button and haven't had the problem the last 3 days.


I just had the same issue where every time I used the remote to turn on the lights, it would go off the very next second. Fan would stay on and speed can still be adjusted. I took the remote apart thinking maybe the light button got sticky. Then I unplugged the light assembly under the glass covering. None of it helped. Only when I took one bulb out, the other one would stay on. So it is definitely the wrong bulbs being used.


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.

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