I am new to this site and hope all is well with everyone. I consider myself a DIYer. I research and talk to people before I jump into a job around the house. The second I reach my limits, I call the professionals. At this point, I have installed ceiling fans, light fixtures. I have also changed light switches and sockets countless times. I also have relocated electrical ceiling box a few years ago with no issues.

In a different room recently, with access from the attic, I relocated another ceiling box and fan bracket about 2 feet from its existing location. It was removed and installed with no issues at all. I set up and installed a new fan with a remote. After a short start-up for the remote and a flip of the switch, there was no light or fan movement. All of the wires were double-checked and seemed to be installed correctly. I then noticed that my illuminated wall switch is barely lit. I tested the switch and I had a reading of about 50 volts. All of the outlets in the room work. I went back to the attic and double-checked all the wiring for the fan and they seemed ok. The fan that was replaced was in perfect working order.

So before I call the professionals, What can I be missing or do?? Thanks in advance...

  • When you say you "tested the switch", what do you mean exactly? Tell us what you did, and what kind of tester you used. Apr 25, 2020 at 0:50
  • Hi Jimmy and thanks... I used a Commercial Electric Voltage tester. I tapped each screw on the side of the light switch. The light switch in the room with the fan reads around 50. The switch in another room read around 125 or so. The light switch in question is connected with two black wires. The cable with the wires extends up from the light switch box to the ceiling box in that room. hope this helps..
    – Monbon
    Apr 25, 2020 at 1:55
  • @Monbon is changing the fan remote out for a different remote system an option? Apr 25, 2020 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


Illuminated wall switch?

OK, so this is a powered switch.

It requires power to do its "lighting up" thing.

It could just be changed to a non-lighted switch, and some of these issues would "go away", but it would leave another dangling issue... plus, that's no fun :)

On classic devices like this, they do not have a separate neutral wire going to the switch. They depend on being in series with an incandescent light. Incandescents, which are off, are basically a dead short.

When you changed this to a fan (you used a fan-rated box, right?) you now have the lighted switch in series with a fan remote control module. When the module is quiescent, it draws very little power, and the lamp inside the switch doesn't light, and doesn't really bother the remote. That's why you were able to configure the remote even with the switch off.

This had led you to a misplaced assumption: that you can have dual control between both the switch and the remote.

No, you can't. These two things will not play well with each other.

This is nothing an electrician can fix. If you hire one, you'll end up paying for a lecture. This lecture :)

But there must be a switch that works.

If this is the only light switch in the room, it introduces a problem. Code requires that there be a light switch in the room in the usual location, and the light switch turns on a light.

So if this is the only switch, it's simply not an option to bypass it and use the remote exclusively for control of the light.

If power enters the fan box rather than the light switch, then most likely you can rearrange so the switch controls the light (bypassing the control module altogether), and the fan operates off the remote. At this point the lighted switch might start glowing like it used to (if the fan's lights are incandescent or LEDs tolerant of obsolete lighted switches). But if they are not, you can install one incandescent bulb, or you can wire a Lutron LUT-MLC dummy load/incandescent simulator, in parallel with the lamp (i.e. between switched-hot and neutral). That should bring the lighted switch back.

If power enters the light switch, and the cable to the fan is /3 type (black white red), then you can also do what I just said, using white as actual neutral, black as always-hot to the remote, and red as switched-hot to the lamp. If your light switch is a classic /2 "switch loop", and you want /3, that is something an electrician can easily do.

  • Ok, and thank you for the "lecture" I appreciate your time and knowledge. I will have to re-read this a few times to make sure I understand what you wrote. Hopefully, I can understand and address the problem. I will definitely reach out to you once I have it resolved or not.
    – Monbon
    Apr 25, 2020 at 12:52
  • @Harper, could he/she simply change out the switch for a regular non-lighted SPST switch, and leave it in the ON position? Apr 25, 2020 at 13:33
  • @JimmyFix-it That would solve half of it. There'd still be no working switch in the room. Apr 25, 2020 at 16:55

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