I am in the process of updating my guest bedroom and my first goal was to install LED recessed lights along with a ceiling fan(no light kit). The fan is powered by its own dimmer switch and the lights are also powered by its own dimmer switch rated for LED lights. Here's where I run into trouble...If I turn on the fan, the lights flicker at each stop of the dimmer switch. The lights also flicker if they are dimmed low and the ceiling fan is turned on or off. Both switches are in the same gang box being fed by the same power source. All the whites are pigtailed together. Any thoughts here? I feel that it must be something with the neutrals as the lights still continue to flicker on even when I remove the light dimmer switch completely yet leave all the whites pigtailed together.

Thanks for the input everyone. First off to clarify, the fan is on a fan controlled switch...playing around with the fan a little more I decided to connect the light kit to the fan to see if any difference would occur. When I did this, problem solved...sort of. As long as the fan light was on I did not get any sort of flickering of the recessed LED lights when changing the fan speed. So I Decided to take the fan back and try another one that did not come with a light kit(though could have one installed)...same problem, back to square one.

Also, I put a dimmable halogen light in the recessed lighting and that too flickers like the LEDs so I don't think it's a particular problem with the LED's.

The only idea I have left is whether it could be the wiring going to the fan. I kept the wires from the past fan which were 12 gauge. Could it possible be that I need to back off and go to 14 gauge?


2 Answers 2


If you actually have your fan connected to a light dimmer then you need to replace that with a fan speed controller. The motors of ceiling fans are not made to be run with a standard light dimmer.

The other thing is the windings of a motor are essentially a dead short when the power is first applied. Current spikes which creates a corresponding voltage drop on the line for a split second. As the electromagnetic field of the motor creates impedance the current falls to normal running current and the voltage drop disappears. Sensitive electrical equipment may be affected by these spikes.

That being said, a ceiling fan should not affect LED lighting in this way. The LEDs are not that sensitive and the motor is quite small. If this were normal millions of consumers would be complaining that their lights flicker when their ceiling fan is turned on.

So, again check to see if your fan is connected to a fan rated speed control not a standard light dimmer.


LED's & CFL's are touchy about good connections. I'd check the grounds too. Definitely remove all pigtail wire-nuts to make sure everything's been actually twisted together by pliers rather than just pressed together by the wire-nuts...you can also start by just pulling on each pigtail to see if any slip out. Otherwise, it may just be a bad bulb, that is a typical symptom of a bad circuit-board bulb.

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