Hoping somebody can help out here. I'm in the process of changing my old ceiling fan to a new fan (a new ceiling fan with a lighting kit but does not have a remote). Currently, the wires coming from the wall that connects to the fan are Red, Black, White, and Copper/Ground. Apparently, that wire is connected to the recessed light in the ceiling about 7 feet away. The setup is frustrating right now because there's only 1 switch that controls the recessed light and fan and I need to get up on a ladder to pull the string if I want to use the fan or the fan light. More so frustrating is the fact that the recessed light stays on once that switch is set to on so I cannot use the fan without turning on the recessed light. I realize that I can use a remote control but we bought the smart switch and we prefer the functionality of that if possible.

enter image description here

In the junction box where the recessed lighting is, there are two sets of wires coming from the wall. Each set has Red, Black, White, and Copper/Ground. The recessed light has a white light that is pigtailed to both of the white wires from the ceiling. It also has a green ground wire that is pigtailed to both of the copper wires coming from the ceiling. Finally, the light has a black wire that is pigtailed to both of the red wires coming from the ceiling. The 2 black wires from the ceiling are pigtailed but are not connected to the light.

enter image description here

Note that currently, the fan and recessed light is controlled by 1 single switch. The switch appears to have 3 sets of wires coming into the junction box. The 3 white wires are connected together via a wire nut. There are 3 copper wires that are pigtailed to the left side of the switch. There are 3 black wires that are pigtailed with a black wire going to the bottom right bronze side of the switch. However, there is only 1 red wire which is going to the upper right copper side of the switch.

enter image description here

Is it possible to use the smart switch, as pictured in this scenario? I think I have all the proper wires. I'm slightly concerned about how the recessed light is connected to the fan.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    Guessing here, but it seems like the switch controls if power is on in the line to the fan and then to the recess light. The fan pull switch controls the fan/light. You have do have neutral(white) wires in the switch that you need for a smart switch(some switches do not have neutral). Not sure(doubt) if the smart switch will control the as you want. Possible you will need to rewire the switch/fan.
    – crip659
    Sep 2, 2022 at 0:06

2 Answers 2


There is not much you can do with the wall switch, even if you change it into smart switch

It will turn the lights and the fan at same time, regardless.

I would buy two Universal remotes.

One for the fan/light one for the recessed light.

Mount one just above the fan, and the other with recessed light.

Now each can be controlled independently with dedicated remote, if you leave the wall switch on all the time.

When shopping, Ignore the matching to Fan type. That is only for people who already have remote receiver in the Fan, you do not.

You will get hand held remote and the receiver box, that gets mounted above the fan.

You might not need to change any wiring. They are actually simple devices.

Two wires in (Hot + Natural), two or more wires out. One for fan on/off, the other for lights on/off.

There are some with fan speed control but that is another story.


This is what Insteon is for

Your situation, as Ruskes mentions, is sadly something a standalone smart switch can't help you with. However, more powerful systems do exist; in particular, Insteon, which evolved from the power-line X-10 protocol, can do all that you ask of it (and more).

In your case, you'll need to fit an Insteon FanLinc (Ceiling Fan Control) module at the fan location along with a Wall Keypad at the switch location and a Micro On/Off or Micro Dimmer at the recessed light box, then program them together so that you have the controls you wish for.

  • Ah, thanks. I was really hoping that I could use the Smart Switch that I bought specially for the ceiling fan because it works with alexa/google and allows one to control the light and ceiling fan independently and dims as well. From what I initially read, I have all the right wiring because the wire coming from the wall where the ceiling fan is is copper, white, red, and black (although the previous owners connected the blue and black wires from the ceiling fan only to the red wire from the ceiling).
    – Yas Mart
    Sep 2, 2022 at 11:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.