I am ceiling mounting a projector in my home theater room and I need to mount it where there used to be a ceiling fan with light kit. The fan and light were controlled by two wall switches. I'm planning to replace the ceiling outlet with a surge protected wall outlet to power the projector. My question is, how should I wire the wall outlet given there are two wall switches that currently control the power to the ceiling outlet?

  • 1
    Do you want the outlet controlled by one switch, both switches, or always hot? And do you want each half of the double outlet to be wired the same or differently?
    – bib
    Jun 26, 2015 at 16:49
  • 2
    Note: If the ceiling fan is a fan/light combo, and it's the only switched light source in the room, you may be violating electrical code by removing it. Unless you wire the duplex receptacle, so that at least half of it is switch controlled.
    – Tester101
    Jun 27, 2015 at 13:06
  • What size is the box? Dec 19, 2016 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


Note that the ceiling fan electrical box will not be the same as a standard box for a receptacle. You will have to find a suitable faceplate that will adapt to a round/octagonal box, or you will have to change the box itself.

Option 1

Break the tab on the hot side of the receptacle, and wire the two hot wires separately to each screw terminal on the receptacle.

This will cause the two outlets to be controlled independently by the two wall switches.

enter image description here

Option 2

Cap the extra hot wire in the ceiling and wire the receptacle to the one remaining hot wire. Do not break the tab. Remove the switch that controls the hot wire you capped, and cap that wire on the switch end as well. This will control both halves of the receptacle with one switch.

Option 3

If your wiring was done with a switch loop (meaning the power comes into your ceiling box and not your switch box), then you can wire the un-switched hot in your ceiling box directly to your receptacle and make it un-switched. You could then decide what to do with the switches on your wall, but they would no longer control your ceiling box.

Option 4

If the setup does not use a switch loop, you could remove one switch, splice the hot in your switch box to that switch leg, and then you would have un-switched power to the ceiling box.

Keep in mind some of these setups are not "expected" wiring methods and might throw some people for a loop.

  • They make special plates for octagonal/round ceiling boxes that accommodate receptacles, OP should not have to change the electrical box. The challenge here might be the OP's requirement for surge protection. Jun 26, 2015 at 17:04
  • @JimmyFix-it, they make receptacles with integrated surge suppression, but I can't comment on their effectiveness. The difficulty will be finding an octagonal/round plate that has a decorator/GFCI opening to fit such a receptacle and that the OP would want on his/her ceiling. The only ones I have seen look very industrial, but this is all personal preference.
    – mjohns
    Jun 26, 2015 at 18:32

Follow @mjohns615 wiring instructions, then get a decorative ceiling box cover that will accommodate your receptacle of choice. This picture is "Decora" style hole for any number of different outlet types. http://www.kyleswitchplates.com/circular-ceiling-outlet-cover-plates/

enter image description here

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