I want to replace an existing "lights-only" fixture with a "ceiling fan with lights". This is a new home and I was told by the builder that the box is ceiling fan rated and is pre-wired for dual switches. I made a diagram of the present wiring. Most "dual-switch" connections call for 4 wires from the ceiling box (black hot, red hot, white neutral, and copper ground) to be connected to (fan black, fan blue, fan white, fan ground). But, I only have one "red hot" at the ceiling box. I would appreciate any advise on how to connect the ceiling fan with lights.

Thank youenter image description here

  • is there a black in the ceiling box?
    – Jasen
    Sep 16, 2020 at 10:14
  • 1
    How could you have a red (switched) hot in the ceiling box and not have a black? AFIK there is no NM cable (aka Romex) which has a red and not a black. Is the wiring NM cable or is it individual wires in conduit? Look in the ceiling box for an unconnected black wire folded and pushed up out of the way. Sep 16, 2020 at 11:23
  • 2
    Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? Sep 16, 2020 at 11:34
  • 1
    Black wires matter. Sep 16, 2020 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


If there is only the red hot in the ceiling, make sure for one that the box is fan rated. If you have two switches on the wall, it'd be interesting to know where the other hot goes, so I'd be investigating your wall switch. An easy fix would be to get a ceiling fan with remote, as it can be wired for just one hot, neutral and ground and is easier, though more expensive. Otherwise, you're wiring the red hot to both fan hots and controlling it through pull cords if you don't want the fan and lights on or off all the time.
But if you have a dual switch, definitely follow that up carefully.

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