I am replacing a ceiling fan with light and remote with the same thing, and want the switches to work as on the old one, but it is different from other "two switch wiring" schemes I've seen.

ceiling box

On the old fan, either of the two wall switches would power the unit on or off, and whatever light and fan combination I had last selected with the remote would be turned on - light only, fan and light, or fan only.

The old receiver had two white, one red, one black and one blue wire. The new remote has a black, blue, and white wire held together in a plug-like unit that will connect to a receptacle in the fan itself that has the same three colored wires. Then there is a black wire and a white wire on the opposite side of the receiver.

Can I wire this somehow to operate as the old fan-light did?

The photo I just added is of the old receiver.

  • The new fan and remote do not need two wall switches,
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 20:30
  • 1
    IIUC, you're simply replacing the old fan/light combo with a new fan/light combo, right? It would be super helpful to list the brand/model of both fans, and a pic of at least the new fan and how the old one was wired up.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 23:19
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    I wish I had taken a picture of the old wiring. I was out of commission for 3 days and can't remember how it was. My bad. I think Ruskes is on the right track, so will try wiring tomorrow. If it doesn't work I'll post model, pix, etc.
    – Chris
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 23:43
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    The only thing that has be befuddled from your description is that the old fan had "two white wires". Unless one white went to the light kit and the other white went to the fan itself, that's... odd... also, I think manassehkat is on the right track.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 23:55
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    Sorry I wasn't clear. In the box there are red, white, and black wires with ground. The original receiver has one red and one white on one side, and one black, one blue, and one white on the other. I do not have a picture, nor can I recall how it all was connected. The fan is in between the two wall switches on the first floor (with the third switch on second floor. There is only one cable in the ceiling. I will swap red and black now.
    – Chris
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


From what you have described, your old and new setups are exactly the same:

  • Switches (multiple, 3-way/4-way) control power to the remote.
  • Remote controls fan and light.

The only catch is that we don't know whether the new remote has a memory. The old one had a memory - it remembered fan & light status through switch cycles. Anything is possible on the new fan/light:

  • Same as before - remembers the status
  • Always off after power is cycled (there is logic to this - it would get people to "always use the remote", but doesn't work well with a multi-switch configuration)
  • Light always on after power is cycled (this would take care of "guest or emergency first responder comes in and flips light switch then the light always turns on)

There are two ways to find out how the new fan/light works:

  • Read the manual. Of course, the manual may not be terribly clear. But that's a good place to start.
  • Install it and see what happens.

If it doesn't work the way you want it to (memory) and instead is always on or always off after a power cycle, return it and do some research before getting another one. And if you do that, I suggest installing a simple light fixture in the interim.

  • Memory ?, use separate light fixture ? what are you talking about ? Power outages ?
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 0:23
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    When the physical switches are turned off, the remote loses power (as well as the fan & light). The old remote apparently had a few bits of memory to store fan & light status and restore them on power up. But if the new remote doesn't have that same type of memory then it will go to a default condition, which is not desired here. As far as a separate light fixture, I am suggesting that a cheap basic light fixture could provide light while figuring out what type of fan/light/remote will work the way they want it to work. Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 1:07
  • AFIK they do not have memory, just a simple relays that are only activated with remote, so stay in position with power off or on .
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 1:13
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    @Ruskes which is it? "do not have memory" means default back to off. "stay in position with power off or on" means "has memory". Old remote had memory. New one - do not know. Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 1:16
  • What memory, solid state kind, other ? The"memory" you are referring too is simple the relay stay in the position till told by remote to change, not with power on/off.
    – Traveler
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 1:40

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