I have a Harbor Breeze ceiling fan and light kit. When I turn on the light, it starts out bright, but then in a second it dims. It doesn't turn off, it just dims. What could be causing this to happen?

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    Is the light controlled by a dimmer, a remote of some sort, or simply by a wall switch? – ThreePhaseEel Apr 18 '15 at 2:04
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    Is the lamp a compact flourescent? Some of them actually are bright when the come on and then get dimmer. I had one like that I replaced with an LED. – ArchonOSX Dec 12 '15 at 2:07
  • Holding down the light bulb on the remote helped my dim issue. Thanks all!! – Steven Hurd Mar 10 '19 at 15:50

One of the current limiting methods required by the U.S. is similar to a dimmer the current is limited by controlling an SCR and this has the effect of dimming. This may be the cause.

  • Yes, this would be the case if you have a large wattage of incandescent bulbs in there. The product labeling should state how much wattage the fan can support, it will dim if you try to add more. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 27 '18 at 15:49
  • The government limit is 190 W but I have seen the active current limiters start reducing the power at under 100 W total. – Ed Beal Feb 27 '18 at 16:15
  • Just curious why the down vote since the op did not state the wattage being used I have seen the limiters to cause this problem including no light at all when they fail. – Ed Beal Mar 14 '19 at 16:14

I had this problem, with my harbour breeze LED being very dim. it turns out the light button on the remote is a dimmer. with the light turned off, press the button to turn the light on. but keep the button pressed, don't let it go. in a couple seconds, the led light brightness will go up. if you continue to hold the button down, the brightness will go down. the brightness will go up and down repeatedly if you keep the button pressed. when you get to a light brightness you like, let the button go. now, when you turn the led light on again, it will remember the last setting.

  • That sounds as annoying as the remote control on my grandparent's TV back in the mid-70's. It had a wired "clicker" remote (the buttons on it actually clicked when pressed), and there was only one volume button - each time you clicked it, the volume increased until it was at max, then it went down to mute and started climbing again. – FreeMan Jan 1 at 15:40

I had the same problem with my Harbor Breeze fan. I found an remote for a fan in another room and programmed it for the fan that had the dimming issue. It seems to have fixed the problem, so I'm guessing the remote is bad.

You may want to double check that the remote is set to the correct bulb type (if it has this switch in the back). Also try pressing and holding the light button to raise or lower the brightness level.


I had issues...turns out the "light" button on the remote, which is long left to right, is the dimmer. Meaning, pushing on the left side of button increases luminosity

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    Welcome to DIY! Can you add a picture of the remote? And how do you know this relates to the question asker's fan? – Machavity Dec 1 '19 at 4:29

I had this exact problem. I bought two Home Decorator fans from Home Depot and installed them in separate rooms in my house. They have LED lights. I know for a fact that I wired them right because the model fan in Home Depot fan was wired the same and my remote worked perfectly with that fan. Both fans at my house had the same issue of the light not turning all the way off but dimming worked and fan speeds worked. LONG story short, I had another fan in the Master Bedroom that was turned on. When I turned the power to that fan off (wall switch toggled to off), both of the new fans worked!!! Now I need to figure out how to wire the Master bedroom fan correctly (9 wires in one box) but at least I know what the issue was!

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    Can you describe how to verify the problem you had is the same as the OP and what steps need to be taken to correct it? – BMitch Jul 14 '15 at 21:16

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