A search brought up similar questions but my situation involves a ceiling fan w/ lights that operates via a battery powered remote.

This fan is on a circuit that previously had a total of three switches (master bedroom). One of the switches was taken out of the equation during the fan install (numerous years ago), but over the past 12 mos. or so, the lights go off by themselves. I have always used 4 CFL bulbs, which are fairly low wattage, originally without problem.

Sometimes the lights go out after being on for less than five minutes, other times they stay on for 30 minutes or more before being "extinguished". I have never noticed if the fan operation is affected the same way. What gets the lights back on is switching the two regular light switches in some order/sequence, which I haven't figured out, but the lights tend to eventually go out again w/o using the remote.

As far as I can remember, the original lighting didn't have any problems, and the fan/light fixture has worked okay for the first few years.

2 Answers 2


It’s hard to tell for sure but if it was working normally until recently I’d say the electronics for the remote control receiver are failing.

You can bypass the remote unit and connect one of the wall switches directly to the light kit. You can keep using it that way or replace the remote and receiver with a universal ceiling fan remote control kit.

  • I kinda like what you're suggesting, but off the cuff, the two switches are on same circuit. If I "hard wire" the light kit, it should work, but then I take out the ability to turn the fan on and off, as well as the multi-speed. I would prefer doing away with the stupid remote, but the unit doesn't have the old-style independent switches- one for the lights and one three-way switch for the fan. not to mention one would have to walk across the room just to turn off the light- defeats the purpose of multiple switches controlling the load.
    – BikerJ
    Feb 25, 2021 at 7:45
  • Ahh...I thought you meant there were two wall switches. You can still bypass the remote unit so the wall switch controls only the light. (The fan and light have separate wires and the light is usually a blue wire.) If your light works normally this way it will tell you the remote control unit is faulty.
    – Mysterfxit
    Feb 25, 2021 at 14:28
  • At a minimum @BikerJ, "hard wiring" it to the switches and bypassing the remote will tell you if the remote receiver is the issue. If it is, you can then decide how to proceed - replace fan entirely, leave hard-wired & add a 3-way switching option, live with it, etc.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 25, 2021 at 14:39
  • @Mysterfxit, there are two wall switches. Originally, there were three, but I took one out of the equation/circuit. IIRC, originally, there was no fan- just a light fixture, which I replaced with this fan unit that worked as designed for a while, but not lately. I wonder if the CFL bulbs could be acting up and causing the control unit to cut-out? I will try some LED bulbs. Also, to get lights back on, I flip one wall switch, then I flip the other wall switch, and then go back to first wall switch to flip it once more. Then, the lights blink once. I can then turn them on with the remote.
    – BikerJ
    Feb 26, 2021 at 3:03
  • 1
    Worth a try. If LED bulbs don’t help try incandescent bulbs. If anything the electronic s were designed with them in mind.
    – Mysterfxit
    Feb 26, 2021 at 3:08

After a couple of weeks of doing nothing towards this issue, I took my own suggestion with the prodding of Mysterfxit.

First, I want to correct my previous statements re: troubleshooting. It seems once in a blue moon I don't (fully) know what I'm talking about. :>) It only takes one of the wall switches to reset the fan controller. The other switch isn't even connected (Ugh!)

The CFL bulbs appeared to be the culprit. I removed all four, and gradually installed LED bulbs, until I had three bulbs installed. Three bulbs illuminated, as did four bulbs. More importantly, they remained on for several hours until I operated the fan/light remote to turn them off. I tried the remote again today with success, so I'm deciding/guessing this problem is solved.

I believe Mysterfxit was on to something. Maybe the controller needed to see a certain amount of continual load, or maybe the CFLs are going bad? Also of note: the LEDs are rated at six watts and .09 amps each, while the CFLs are rated at 13 watts and 210 milli-amps.

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