I recently bought a house, and one of the Harbor Breeze ceiling fans seems to be wired wrong.

The light button on the remote does nothing.

The three fan speed buttons control the fan speed, but also the halogen bulb. The behavior:

  • When the speed is set to 1, the halogen bulb also slightly glows really weakly.
  • When I set the fan speed to 2, the halogen bulb brightens a little bit (still barely visible) and the fan moves faster.
  • When I set the fan speed to 3, the halogen bulb gets brighter still, and the fan moves fast. At the "brightest" the halogen bulb looks like it's producing barely 100 lumens.

If this is incorrect wiring, how easy is it to fix myself? I want to rule out microcontroller bug, because I assume something old enough to have a halogen bulb is also basically just an electrical device with an RF receiver, and doesn't have firmware.

  • As a side note, do be aware that halogen bulbs tend to run really hot. You could end up with heat damage to the socket, ruining the socket. It could transmit enough heat to damage the paint/finish on the the bulb housing. If it gets hot enough, it could start a fire. The original home-electrician may have been aware of that and wired it so the bulb would only be on when the fan was on to ensure there was adequate air flow to prevent overheating. Not the right fix, but a fix...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 1 at 14:33

You'll have to remove the canopy at the ceiling and locate the receiver up there. There's usually a diagram on it that shows how it should be wired. The diagram will look something like the one shown below. You can google an exact one if you know your fan model number. My guess is that the person who installed the fan hooked the motor and light wires from the fan to just the motor wire from the receiver.

enter image description here

  • Thanks @JACK. That sounds right. I'll give that a try!
    – Eric G
    Sep 30 at 21:03
  • Agree that the light itself is connected to the fan speed circuit, so it's acting as if there's a dimmer. Maybe that's how the customer wanted it !
    – Tim
    Oct 1 at 9:03

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